14.8.12

Simple tricks to a healthier lifestyle

I just wanted to share some of the helpful tricks I've come across that have helped me live a healthier lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight. I hope by sharing these it helps you to reach your goals as well. These are just easy adjustments that might take a little extra time and money but are so worth it!

I believe that we are incapable of "self control" and in order to eat properly we need to make sure those temptations aren't available to us. I have found the easiest way is to simply not buy the food you shouldn't eat and only buy foods that you can eat as much as you want of and not feel guilty. If your fridge is filled with vegetables and fruits, you will eat vegetables and fruits. If your freezer is filled with frozen fruit you will make smoothies, if it is filled with ice cream, you will eat ice cream. Simple enough.
To ensure you have the right food you have to start from scratch, so don't feel bad throwing out the bad food! Don't make excuses like, "it was expensive, I can't waste" and "I will start once I finish what's there first". Because as soon as you make one excuse you find room to make another and another.
So I'm giving you permission to waste all that bad food that is hurting your body.

Stop buying packaged foods and avoid any food that has a long expiration date or that doesn't expire. That should worry you!

Try to eat food that has ONE ingredient.

So once you have emptied out your fridge and pantry do a little research. Find recipes from health food blogs, fitness magazines, health food cookbooks. Be wary of cookbooks too because just because it's in a cookbook doesn't mean you should be eating it! This isn't about dieting and losing a few pounds, this is about your long term health.

Ignore that lie that as long as you workout you can eat whatever you want. There are tons of "skinny" people out there who are killing their bodies by what they eat. It's not just about the weight. It's more about the parts that you can't see that matter. Start from the inside and work your way out and you will not only get a better result but a permanent one!

Also start making yourself aware of food. That guilt that you feel and try to ignore is there for a reason, don't ignore it! Your body is telling you that you shouldn't have it! I encourage that feeling in my own life because I know that when I look at that second brownie I want it to be able to be easy to say no because the first one made me feel guilty enough. Sure it's ok to cheat every now and then but make sure you are feeling guilty about it, that way you don't take advantage of that excuse!

Make sure you are menu planning every week and if you can grocery shop once a week. I do my big shopping for my meats and misc house stuff on the 15% days but my fruits and veggies I buy weekly so I make sure I am buying just enough for that week and I'm not wasting any. If you know what you are going eat everyday then you are less likely to get off track. I have a list of easy lunches and breakfasts right in my kitchen and I just pick which ever one I feel like that day and make it. If you are menu planning you are not only eating healthier but you will save tons of money at the grocery store.

When you are grocery shopping make sure you only buy what's on you list! Stick to the perimeter of the store and start your shopping on the opposite end of the entrance.

Don't buy chips, cookies, packaged snacks, pop, donuts, ice cream etc. because once you have them at home you won't have the "self control" to not eat them. Don't fool yourself, no one does. It's so simple, if you don't buy it, you won't eat it.

If you need to buy salad dressing make sure you are buying it in the refrigerated section. They expire faster and they usually have way less sodium and sugar that the dressings in the dry isle. The dressings in the dry isle usually last at least a year and that is the kind of thing we want to avoid.

 A great trick my mother in law told me about was mixing a little bit of fat free vanilla yogurt with your plain greek yogurt to give it a little sweetness. I can usually eat it plain but this is a great way to get my son to eat greek yogurt without all the sugar. Those flavored greek yogurts are very high in sugar and you don't want to start your day off with sugar, thats why so many people are so tired at the end of the day.
I love my brown minute rice! It's so easy and quick to make and I never have an excuse to order in pizza when I can throw a chicken breast on top of this! 

Load up on salt free spices and herbs! You can never have too much! I love the mrs. dash line. You can use as much as you want and your food will never be bland. 

I love this soup. If you need a super quick option for lunch or dinner this is a great source of protein and they are really good. 

Always have your whey protein. We usually never get enough protein in our diets especially when we are working out. Some people have the illusion that this is a weight gain suppliment and is only for body builders but that is wrong. I have a protein shake even when I'm not working out. It's also very important to get protein in your body within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning and this is a great way to do that in a smoothie or I've even put it in my coffee. Whether you work out or not you should have this! 

 Have almonds always within reach. They help curb chocolate cravings and are a easy guilt free anytime snack.
Throw out the butter! Butter is full of terrible fats that are harmful to your heart. Substitute it with salt free, heart healthy margarine but make sure you are using your olive oil when you can because thats where you are getting your healthy fats that protect your heart! 

Buy lots of fruit and put them on the shelf at eye level in the fridge! When you are bored and reach into the fridge for a snack, having your fruits right there will ensure you grab them first. I even chop of a few apples and portion them into little bags with a little lemon juice to prevent browning and then they are even easier to eat. 


Natural peanut butter and almond butter are a staple in our home! Make sure when you buy them the only ingredient you should see is peanuts or almonds. They are a great source of protein and you can make a simple pb&j on your way out the door so you aren't tempted to drive through a fast food restaurant. I also read that it's great to make a sandwich before you go on a flight so you don't buy any unhealthy, expensive food in the airport or on the plane. You can't bring liquid but you can bring snacks!
Spice it up! Eating hot sauces and salsas is a great way to not only add flavor to any food but easy spicy foods is also said to speed up the metabolism!

 Pre-portioned smoothie mixes with frozen fruit, spinach, avocado, flax seeds and yogurt is a great way to ensure you have a healthy, tasty snack on hand. I bought the magic bullet to make cleanup easy. I also froze vanilla greek yogurt in ice cube trays to add sweetness and protein to my smoothies. If you like them really sweet add some agave nectar!
Individually portions salmon and chicken. This way they are easy to grab if you want to throw one in a pan for lunch or take a few out quick from dinner. Always cut your chicken breasts in half through the middle. It tricks your body into thinking it's eating more than it is and you aren't eating a whole chicken breast. You don't need that much meat at one time and it will also save you money.

I was so happy when I found these! I use them in the morning as toast, at lunch time instead of bread for a sandwich, or at dinner with a burger. 

Invest in some natural lean turkey burgers. These are just over 100 calories and they are so quick and easy and delicious! Such a simple and filling lunch option.

Chop up some veggies for the week and put them on the top shelf. Having them ready to eat will make it easy to eat! You are sure to grab a handful whenever you open the fridge. They don't last long so just cut enough for 5 days or so at a time but make sure you keep refilling those containers! You will be amazed at how much more you are eating and I say you can never eat too much vegetables! Also when you are filling up on vegetables you will stay fuller way longer than when you are eating those simple carbs like breads and crackers. 

Last but not least eat what comes from the ground! Avoid foods that are processed and sent through factories. If you are eating what we were originally designed to eat you will live a fuller, happier, and long life!