Ever make resolutions and struggle to keep them? Is the cold winter weather making you want to eat more? Find you are making less healthy choices when it comes to food? If you answer yes to any of the above questions, or just want to change your eating habits, read below to start 2014 off right! These healthy tips will help you to eat smarter, amp up your energy, and feel better overall.
1. Drink a lot of water
- Not having enough water in your diet can make your body think you are hungry even when you are not. Find water boring? Add a slice of lemon to enhance the flavor.
*The recommended amount for the average person is eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Dancers should drink more for each hour they exercise.
2. Start your day with a filling & healthy breakfast
- Start off with a healthy meal and you are more likely to eat better throughout the day. Try to include carbs, fiber and protein.
- Recipe Idea: Breakfast Sandwich – Scramble egg whites and chopped vegetables such as spinach or green peppers. Add low-fat cheese and stuff it all in a toasted whole-wheat English muffin. Finish with a side of your favorite fruit!
3. Each plate of food should pop with color
- Add fruits/veggies to vary the color of each plate – it’s a quick and easy way to ensure you are getting more variety.
- Recipe idea: The Loaded Bowl – quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, salt, lemon juice and zest! Full recipe: Click here.
4. Eat lots of greens
- Breakfast Idea: Blend 1/2 cup greens (spinach, kale, or dandelion), 1 banana, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond (or rice) milk, with 2 tablespoons flax seeds or chia seeds.
- Lunch Idea: Make a big salad with all your favorite veggies and top off with some protein – grilled chicken/tofu. Want crunch? Toss in a little sliced almond or pumpkin seeds.
- Dinner idea: With 1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat pasta, combine ½ cup steamed spinach, 1/4 cup cooked diced zucchini and cooked white beans, and 3 – 4 ounces of your favorite protein. Top with 1 tsp of herbs – basil / parsley / oregano.
5. Savor occasional indulgences
- It is okay to eat the slice of pizza or dessert as long as it is in moderation. One way to stay on track is allow yourself one cheat meal each week.
6. Carry protein rich snacks
- Avoid picking up a snack that isn’t healthy or necessarily what your body is craving by keeping your bags/backpacks full of protein-rich snacks, like almonds, greek yogurt, or a hard boiled egg.
7. Avoid too many processed foods
- They tend to have too many ingredients, excess salt/sodium, and many ingredients that are not nutrients for your body. Be sure to read the ingredients of packaged foods you purchase.