Eating healthy ALL the time can be really frustrating. I try to make my eating and cooking habits a lifestyle rather than a diet so I feel like I am not depriving myself. Here are a few tips I swear by that will help you stay healthy, on track, and still satisfied.
1. Always be prepared. If you have a crazy day at work, when you get home and there is nothing to eat, you are more likely to indulge in something unhealthy because you are so hungry. When I go grocery shopping (usually on Sundays), I plan out what is for lunch and dinner for the week. For example, Monday: crock pot bean soup, Tuesday: Seared Eggplant with veggies, Wednesday: Grilled chicken with butternut squash, and so on.
2. Before a big party or event that you know there will be tempting food, eat something before the event. Heading to a gala where dinner is at 8pm and you know you will eat all the bacon-wrapped scallops in sight? Munch on something before the event to fill up your tummy. Some carrots with hummus or whole grain toast with some peanut butter will hold you over until dinner!
3. Cut out added sugar. Whether it’s juice, soda, snacks, try to avoid foods that are sweetened. Drink water as much as you can and eat foods that are naturally sweet like fruit, cinnamon, and coconut flavors. I even put cinnamon in my coffee instead of sugar and it’s delicious! Also, when I do drink juice, I mix up half with water, For example, if I am drinking cranberry juice, I fill the cup up halfway and the rest with water. This way you get the benefits of the juice with half the sugar.
4. If it’s 10 cents, it’s probably crap. You are better off raising your grocery budget or spending more time coupon-clipping then you are trying to eat on $20 per week. Veggies are actually cheap compared to meats so you can get a cart-full of organize veggies, skip the steak and you will have spent less money! I try to eat organic and watch for sales as well as being resourceful with leftovers.
5. Eating out can be healthy too. I love to dine out and eat well at a nice restaurant; I just pay attention to the menu. First, if it’s a table with bread, I tell them to take it away… It’s way too tempting to just sit there. Also, try to do a veggie side. Craving a burger? Go for it once in a while but get a side salad instead of the fries and you will save half the calories. Checking out the menu online beforehand is also a great idea so you can see if they have healthy options or provide nutritional information.