Eat at home more than “out”
Cooking your own food has great advantages. First, you actually KNOW what you put into the dish. You have complete control of the ingredients from beginning to end. There are no hidden calories or unknown sodium content. You can also choose a healthier cooking method! Instead of frying your meat you can grill it. The added vitamin D soak while in the sun is just a bonus!
Plan a menu using whole foods
This fits in with the first step. Choose whole foods, meaning the ones that actually look like a food and hasn’t been processed and packaged in a box. There is always some controversy and discussion about organic verses “traditional” farming. I’m not even getting that far here, just choosing a whole food instead of processed yuck/yum is a step in the right direction.
Ditch the Pop
This video was the catalyst to getting rid of my diet Dr. Pepper habit. It took some time, but I can tell you the advantages of leaving pop behind all add up to feeling and being healthier! I’ve seen people drop an immense amount of weight just by giving this sugary beverage up.
Move Your Body More
Even if you exercise regularly you can do this simple step. Take the stairs when you have a choice, park further away from the entrance to work or the store, or add an additional day of exercise. If you are a busy parent, play with your kids. Have a spontaneous dance party or play tag and you be “it.” The kids will love it and you’ll increase your heart rate in a fun way!
Ever wonder why we call our first meal breakfast? It actually means “break” the “fast.” Your body hasn’t eaten in a long time and it’s sleepy. Breaking the fast jump starts your body’s system, introducing vital nutrients and FUEL into your metabolism. It actually tells your body it’s time to get to work. If that isn’t enough to convince you research has consistently shown that people who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off, eat breakfast regularly. Chalene Johnson, in her book PUSH, says “Eighty percent of those who have been able to maintain a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for at least a year report that they always eat breakfast.”
Apparently, some pretty crazy characters…
Image Credit: NMEDA
Beaches, amusement parks, and hotels, OH MY! Lately, I’ve had lots of questions about how to eat when you are not at home. This can be tricky but there are always options if you are willing to plan ahead and do the work.
First, you’re going to need a good cooler. You’ll need to be able to put enough food into it for the duration of your vacation. You’ll want to pack it as tight as possible to help keep food cold. You can even freeze some of the food to act as natural ice packs.
Next, create a menu for your time. Remember to include snacks. I typically try to book a hotel that provides a free breakfast so I don’t need to address that for everyone. Most hotels have a microwave available in the lobby or “breakfast/kitchen” area. I also plan for at least one “splurge” meal or a meal eaten out at a restaurant. This not only helps with staying on track health wise but is great for the budget too!
In creating your menu try to pick foods that travel well and can be eaten warm or cold if needed. I normally make a large batch of chicken and a large batch of ground meat flavored for tacos, both packed into large plastic microwave safe tubs. Tortillas can be laid flat in a bag or cooler and you don’t have to worry about squishing them like regular bread. Rice or quinoa can be cooked ahead and packed the same way as the meat. I also love to take my black bean sweet potato mix to add to meat or salad. I hope you see a pattern here. I do a lot of meal prep for the week and I just basically transfer that meal prep into things that can be packed and stacked into the cooler.
Veggies like carrots and celery can be peeled and cut into sticks, placed in sealed tubs with water and will keep crispy for about five days. Look for fruit that you can either cut up or doesn’t bruise easily. We always end up taking bananas, they get eaten so quickly they don’t have time to bruise though. A word of warning though, as much as I have tried to take hardboiled eggs with us, they ALWAYS make the whole cooler stink. If you absolutely want to take them, I recommend packing them in an entire different cooler, all by themselves.
Don’t forget to pack plates and silverware!
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