I Want To Eat Healthy. Give Me Ideas!
The nation is becoming more health conscious. Health insurance companies design programs that reward us for eating healthier and exercising regularly. But sometimes the hardest start is the first step. Here are some quick meal and snack ideas that can help jump start your process.
Breakfast is a critical start to the energy you have all day! A well balanced meal that has 200-500 calories is better than skipping breakfast and eating a larger dinner!
-Eggs! Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, poached; it’s all a great fast way to include protein. I pre-make four containers at one time with 1 cup egg whites, spinach, kale, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and any other veggies I have on hand. Then I cook in microwave for 2 minutes, stir and cook 2 more minutes. Cooking it on the stovetop works well too.
-Ezekiel or whole grain bread. Look for high fiber, at least 2 grams of protein and low salt bread with less than 100 calories per slice. I feed my children Aunt Annie’s brand whole grain bread. Add 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2 of a banana sliced or cut a circle in the middle and cook an egg in the hole.
-Greek yogurt. The calorie does not need to be above 150 calories. Buy plain Greek yogurt and add fresh or frozen fruit. Thin out with water if the consistency is not to your desire. Greek yogurt has around 20 grams of protein versus 10 grams for conventional yogurt. More protein equals a more full feeling.
-Oatmeal. Old fashioned or steel cut oats is filling and delicious! Add 1/2 tsp. chia seeds or ground flax to add protein.
-Including salads with light dressing or flavored vinegar and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or grape seed oil won’t blow the healthy goals you’re making. Add 1/4 cup quinoa or farro and 2-3 oz. lean protein. I like to add a few shakes of Mrs. Dash spices to boost the flavor. Pack in a mason jar with a secure lid placing the hardier content at the bottom. When you are ready to eat, gently shake the container and place in a serving plate.
-3 oz. Albacore tuna salad made with Greek yogurt versus mayo. Add spices or red pepper flakes as well as sweet bell pepper for flavor.
-3oz flank or skirt steak on Ezekiel bread or whole wheat tortilla with raw horseradish, tomatoes and romaine lettuce. Add a piece of fresh fruit.
-Whole wheat tortilla or pita filled with grilled vegetables. Add balsamic glaze or flavored aged balsamic vinegar or salsa for added flavor.
-An open faced tuna or veggie melt. Use whole grain bread or English muffin. Top with fat free feta or quest fresco.
Half of your plate should be covered with vegetables, 1/4 with lean protein, 1/4 with complex carbs.
-Stuffed sweet potato with cooked onions and apple pieces, or kale and corn and add 3 oz. seafood to the plate.
-Seafood or chicken cooked to closed parchment paper envelope with veggies underneath. Flavor with flavored vinegar, white wine, apple cider vinegar or fresh herbs. Broccoli slaw, snap peas and kale work really well with this preparation.
-For a meal with Mexican flare, take romaine lettuce, ground turkey or bison with low salt Mexican spices, chopped tomato, low-salt salsa, and rinsed black beans. If you need cheese, use 1-1.5 oz. of sharp cheddar or Weight Watcher cheese. Delicious!
Maybe not every day, but allowing treats keeps your binge-desire at bay.
-1 ounce dark chocolate
-frozen bananas with chocolate flavored yogurt
-frozen blueberries over plain Greek yogurt
-small wedge of Brie or blue cheese with apple slices
-frozen yogurt parfait with a sprinkle of fiber rich cereal and fresh fruit
-Sliced strawberries with a dollar of whip cream
-frozen dark chocolate pineapple chunks (80 calories from Costco).
Food can be your best medicine or biggest health hazard. Choose foods that build energy, not fat. Most of all, make eating ‘An Experience’ and enjoy the flavors.