“I hate to eat healthy, it’s so boring and there’s no flavor.” That exact statement is the biggest objection I hear for eating healthy. For some reason it has been ingrained in our brains that healthy eating includes grilled chicken, lettuce, and water only. To be honest, if that was my definition of healthy eating, then I wouldn’t want to eat healthy either.
One thing that I do understand is the busyness of life. I get up for my workouts or runs and I do my work during the day and next thing I know, it’s dinner time and if I haven’t planned ahead, it could be really easy to just go grab something.
Most days it would be easiest to simply grab some fast food and be done with it. However, that isn’t the best option. First, healthy eating is actually a lifestyle choice. What I mean by that is, once you understand how to make good yummy choices, the fake stuff, yes I said it FAKE FOOD, won’t make the cut.
There is more than one way to cook chicken
Believe me, I love a good piece of grilled chicken. However! Grilled is not the only way to cook chicken. You can bake it, throw it in the crock pot (great way to make the chicken nice and soft to shred it for quesadilla’s or something), or put it in an Instantpot! I have heard absolutely amazing things about this pot. You can bake a whole frozen chicken in an hour?! What?! I just heard about this thing a few weeks ago and I’m definitely grabbing one. Stay tuned and I’ll post an update once I’ve cooked with it. You can check it out on Amazon here.
Also remember that you do not have to season your chicken the same way every time.
Marinate your chicken! There is an entire aisle of good dressings and marinades or you can make your own! Remember that when you buy a marinade, check your labels for added sugar and the sodium content. Your marinade doesn’t have to be overloaded with salt or sugar for it to be simply ah-mazing.
Mix up your meat
Chicken is also not the only meat that there is to eat. There are all kinds of fish to eat, pork tenderloin is a lean meat that is super yummy smoked, baked, or even grilled, ham is also fairly lean. Remember for ham, I am not talking about lunch meat ham, I’m talking about real ham. Also remember to check your sodium levels with ham! Just check the label for that.
Get Fancy with the Spices
Repeat after me.. *ahem* there are more spices than salt. That’s it! Throw in a dash of salt and then get fancy with your spices. Make up dry rubs and use marinades like we talked about in point one.
If you don’t know how to mix and match spices, start with the basics. Still not sure where to start? Head over to Mix and Match Mama’s Post “What’s in my Spice Cabinet” by clicking here and she will give you a rundown of the basics she keeps in her spice cabinet!
This one can get a bit tricky if you aren’t careful, BUT a lot of times the exact brand of an ingredient a recipe calls for doesn’t mean that you actually have to use that brand.
Example- If you want to make a chicken pot pie because you’re really wanting something hearty without totally blowing the daily caloric intake; take the ‘cream of something soups’ that are in a can, and look for their organic cousins. Watch out because they’re still heavy salt so don’t use as much salt in other things, but it does give you a chance to get different flavors without completely blowing the day.
Example 2- I have found that some recipes call for X amount of sugar when the recipe may not need any sugar at all or a very small amount of sugar. Consider removing the sugar or cutting it down from the recipe should it call for it in a normal meal. (Remember we’re talking about normal meals, not baked goods! 🙂 )
Try New Things
I really enjoy trying new recipes. Now, I am no Bobby Flay or Cat Cora so when I try new recipes, probably 7ish times out of 10, it does not look like the picture and sometimes it doesn’t even taste that great. That’s okay though! Trying new things is really what keeps things interesting you get to experiment with substitutes and make the recipe really your own.
Who knows? You might really be the next Bobby Flay or Cat Cora and you don’t even know it!
If you want some awesome recipes, head over to Chelsea’s Messy Apron by clicking here. Chelsea is a food blogger who has some amazing recipes of all different kinds!
Shake up the veggies
Step away from the can! Canned veggies that is. If the vegetables we are eating are only coming out of a can and straight into a pot to be boiled, no WONDER people struggle with eating their vegetables. That’s just not tasty for anyone. (If you like boiled green beans, then by all means, go for it!)
Salads are a great way to get lots of flavor and you can definitely make an entire meal out of a salad. Remember to not drown it in dressing, but mix and match your flavors and you will come out with SO many different yummy flavors.
Here are two recipes of some great salads to get you started:
- From the Harvest Kitchen – Italian Chopped Salad
- From Creme de la Crumb – Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad
What? You’re going to talk about dessert in a post on how to eat healthy? Yes, yes I am. Healthy eating is not about deprivation; it’s about wise food choices and balance.
I have a sweet tooth! In fact, I don’t keep the typical sweets (cookies, ice cream, etc.) in the house because…. I have no self control, that’s why I plan things out!
So, let’s talk about dessert.
No, we’re not going to call it dessert. We’re going to call it treats. If you want to have a treat, here is how I recommend you go about it so that 1. you don’t over indulge and 2. you don’t eat it too early in the day or too late at night. Keep in mind this isn’t scientific but it’s what I have found works out for me. Feel free to experiment for what works for you!
No- you’re not going to “get fat” from eating your dessert at night. That’s silliness. 🙂
If I’m going to have a treat, I typically don’t eat it too late because I have found for me that if my belly is too full, I can’t sleep well at night. It has nothing to do with being afraid the food will turn to fat, it has everything to do with my sleep quality.
Think outside the box when it comes to this step. Here are some great examples of some awesome treats to have that aren’t cake, cookies, or cheap ice cream. (Unless that’s just what you want for your treat!)
- Glass of wine, fancy cheese, and fruit
- Strawberries and Champagne
- Homemade frozen fruit treat – click here to check out Jessica Gavin who is a certified culinary scientist and how to make these yummy treats!
- Mixed Berries with whipped cream (get real whipped cream, read the label! 🙂 )
The list is literally endless. Now believe me, I get it. Sometimes there is nothing like having a giant piece of chocolate cake or a toasty smore. It’s when those things are eaten in a surplus that we aren’t able to reach our fitness goals!
If you still struggle with a sweet tooth during the day, grab an apple or a pineapple, or even allow yourself to have a small piece of chocolate. Remember, if you’re working towards weight loss, remember to count it in your fitness app. 🙂
I have found with my clients and with myself that flexible dieting (the 80/20 rule) works really well in regards to normal everyday living.
If you still can’t believe that I endorsed desserts
Believe it. My weight loss journey was not a small one and I lost over 60+ pounds using these techniques. I never went on some crazy diet, I never drank some weird nasty drink with a bunch of random ingredients or a unicorn hair. I lost the weight by eating real food, being in a calorie deficit and learning a lifestyle.
There was a 30 day period where I ate only meat, veggies, and fats. No starch and minimal dairy. This was because I wanted to see if I was sensitive to any specific foods and because I wanted to jump start my weight loss.
However, I then reverse dieted to a lower percentage of a calorie deficit and periodized my deficits and maintenance until I reached my goal.
Knowing your body type is vital to starting your weight loss journey. It will help you know how to eat for your body.
Healthy living is all about balance and not about depravity. Just like over training can be unhealthy and cause adverse results, depriving yourself of foods for extended periods of time can have adverse results.
Remember that as you’re trying to get back into this lifestyle of healthy eating, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to mess up. That’s totally okay! That’s proof that you’re trying! Keep trying and keep making those strides forward. You can do this!
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