A Healthy Way to Meal Plan Your Week

One of the greatest hindrances to healthy eating is a lack of planning! It’s simple math- if you don’t have plenty of healthy food options in your fridge and pantry- you won’t eat it. When there isn’t any food in the house, the tendency is to eat out, not make a run to the store. Having a detailed meal plan will help you save money and calories in the long run. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead and make the most out of your trip to the store!

Do Your Homework

Before you even begin thinking about your meals for the week, sit down with your calendar and figure out what nights you will be home and what nights you will be out. Check the forecast for the week. It might sound silly but it will help you get an idea of what you will be in the mood to eat on certain nights. For example, what sounds better than a warm bowl of hearty soup on a cold rainy day? Also, will you be having company at any point throughout the week? You will want to make sure you pick a meal that will accommodate various tastes and dietary restrictions. Finally, check sales at your local grocery stores. Many stores have weekly ads with a list of specials they are running as well as coupons you can use. Focus on your meats and fresh produce. This will help you save money and know what produce is in season!

Binge on Pinterest

Once you have an idea of what your week will look like, allow yourself some time to look for new recipes to try! Pinterest is a great resource for meal ideas. However, with literally thousands of recipes at your fingertips, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. For this reason, it is also a good idea to find a couple of food blogs that suit your tastes and check them on a regular basis. Try keeping things realistic when selecting new recipes. If something is far out of your comfort zone (both in taste and skill) - you are less likely to follow through with making it.

A Healthy Way to Meal Plan Your Week

Write it Out

Once you have selected your meals for the week- write out a clear schedule and keep it on the fridge for easy reference throughout the week. Work through each meal and determine what ingredients you will need and what you already have. Be sure to check your pantry for supplies. Nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of meal prep only to find you have run out of a staple item like oil or flour! Create a detailed grocery list broken down into categories (meat/dairy/produce/dry goods) to make your trip a little easier and avoid overlooking an item.

Beyond Planning

Before you go to the store, clean out your fridge. Empty out those leftovers that have been sitting there for a week and get rid of old rotting produce. Not only will it open up space but it will help you know what you have available throughout the week. Next, after you have completed your grocery shopping, take a few minutes to prep certain foods. For example, wash and cut lettuce and other veggies to make salad prep quick and simple. Marinate any meat you may be eating in the next 2-3 days or freeze any foods that might go bad before you can eat them.

Following these simple steps will help you stick to a meal plan and avoid the temptation to eat out on a regular basis. Chances are, anything you are making at home (with fresh meats and produce) will be much healthier and less expensive than anything you grab on the go!

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Seven Foods to cheat your way to the Perfect Summer Body

Summer is the time of cookouts and BBQ’s, and there always seems to be big temptations in the food department staring us in the face. However, you can eat and enjoy the season while keeping a fit body. People will marvel at how you are always eating and still look fabulous. No need to tell them your secrets! Here are seven foods to cheat your way to the perfect summer body.

summer body diet

  1. Avocado: This dense fruit is amazingly good for you. Avocados are full of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids actually reduce belly fat, so keep a few on hand for a quick snack or make a homemade avocado spread to replace mayonnaise on your favorite sandwich.
  2. Greek yogurt: Substitute regular yogurt for Greek yogurt. They have less sugar and more protein as well as probiotics which help the digestive system. Add your own berries or other fruits and forgo the “fruited” versions which have more calories and sugar.
  3. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a great summer time breakfast. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat breakfast don’t gain as much weight over time. Oatmeal is chock full of fiber and protein. Eating oatmeal for breakfast will help you feel full and satisfied.
  4. Eggs: Contrary to everything we have been told, eggs are not bad for you! Eggs are full of protein and help us build muscle and burn fat. In moderation, eggs can be a healthy part of your diet. If cholesterol is an issue, use mostly the whites and keep the yolk from only one egg.
  5. Leafy greens: Pack your salads and sandwiches with more leafy greens than anything else. Leafy greens are filling and full of antioxidants and vitamins. Use a spring mix for salads or mix your iceberg lettuce with spinach leaves to get the dark green veggies. Forgo the high calorie, sugary salad dressings and your salad becomes super healthy. A good substitute for salad dressing is red wine or balsamic vinegar with very little or no oil added.
  6. Berries: Berries are full of antioxidants that improve blood flow in the body which can make your work outs more efficient. Substituting just one snack that is high is carbs and sugar with berries can have tremendous health benefits. Yes, berries do have natural sugar, but they are much better for you than candy or chips! For a great summer snack, freeze a variety of fresh berries and bag them up for a refreshing, cool snack on the go.
  7. Nuts: Nuts are full of protein and good fats. They are a great mid-afternoon snack when you feel drained or a great addition to that leafy green salad above. Nuts will help you feel fuller, longer than a sugary snack. If you are trying to lose weight, reach for unsalted almonds or walnuts for optimal benefits.

These seven foods to cheat your way to the perfect summer body will help you stay on track with your fitness goals while letting you enjoy great summer snacks without guilt!

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Eight Tips for Healthy Eating

Tips for Healthy Eating

Studies show a healthy diet over exercise is more inclined to help you maintain a healthy weight. However, most people still choose to work out excessively and eat unhealthily, because they have the impression healthy eating means a diet. It doesn’t have to feel like that- here are some tips to get you started on a healthy eating track.

  1. Avoid Anything Low-Fat or Low Sugar

Low-fat, low sugar, anything deemed ‘diet’ is bad for you. In processed foods, companies know by taking out fat they need to add sugar to make the product taste decent, and no sugar needs a replacement of sugar-like derivatives that trick your brain into thinking it’s getting sugar only to fill it with disappointment and cause hunger cravings to spike even more. Just steer clear, in fact…

  1. Stick to Non-Processed

When you go to the grocery store stick to the outside perimeter- produce, meats, fish, dairy. You should only venture into the aisles for spices, coffee, and pickled products.

  1. Aim for Colorful Plates

The more colorful your plate, the more nutrients you’re about to eat. Color in vegetables is a result from various chemical compounds which all work differently in the body. By keeping your plate colorful and trying our different proteins you’ll get all the necessary vitamins your body needs to work well.

  1. View Sugary Desserts and Drinks as Treats

If you have a sweet tooth or a daily habit of sugar laden, whipped cream topped coffee drinks, wean yourself off. Either stop with sugar cold turkey or slowly restrict yourself day by day. Humans only really need 6-9 teaspoons of sugar a day (25-32 grams), the rest is stored as fat.

  1. Eat When You’re Hungry

If you’re following these rules, then eat when you’re hungry- forget about 3 or 5 or 8 meals a day. Studies show the frequency of eating isn’t as important as what is eaten. If you starve yourself you’re likely to feel sluggish, go into slow metabolism mode, and binge on junk.

  1. Be Aware of Nutrition Labels

It’s hard to cut out all processed and prepared foods in our packaged food lives, so read labels to choose wisely. Know how much daily sodium, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and sugar your body needs. Read ingredient lists. Don’t buy anything with more than 6 ingredients to avoid excess chemicals and empty calories.

  1. Alcohol Rules

If your goal is to lose weight, then cutting out alcohol will help reach your goals faster. However celebrations happen, so allowing yourself a few drinks is fine as long as you do it right. Avoid beer and sugary additives like soda or juice. Stick to wines which have only 4 grams of carbohydrates, or hard liquors which have none.

Mix your hard liquors with seltzer water and a squeeze of fresh citrus juice, all of which also have zero carbohydrates. Restrict yourself to a certain number of drinks, being sure to drink a glass of water in-between each one to stay somewhat in control of your inhibitions. You’ll be less likely to binge eat on greasy late night food and will have a great next day sans hangover.

  1. Eat a Pre-Dinner Salad

To help keep you in control at restaurants or parties (and save money) eat a small pre-dinner salad before attending a dinner or event. You’ll get your vegetables and won’t be famished and inclined to order junk. You might even get away with a small appetizer and save on the check.