At the beginning of this lifelong journey to health and fitness, I had atrocious eating habits. —-What follows is the nitty-gritty of what one would need to do to change an unhealthy diet into a healthy one.——
I ate processed foods (tv dinners, hamburger helper, boxed errything!), junk food constantly (chips, cookies, snack cakes, soda daily), and plenty of fast food (pretty much a fast food meal on my way to work almost daily). And if that wasn’t bad enough, I ate exceedingly large portions of everything. I could put away a drive thru value meal and still have plenty of room for whatever 500+calorie dessert they also had to offer. Part of the reason I was eating this way was just that it had become habitual and I was used to those portions in order to “feel full”. Also, I would often binge on junk foods to deal with problems in my life. That wasn’t daily, but it was pretty regular. I will go more into detail about food addiction in a future post, but today I’m going to focus on how I changed.
- Portion size is everything. Too much healthy food is still overeating.
- When possible, don’t eyeball it, measure your food with measuring cups/spoons.
*Best foods– Eat them at every meal!
1. Lean protein (chicken breast, white fish, salmon, egg whites)
2. Vegetables, any green ones, carrots, sweet potatoes (not regular potatoes), squash, cauliflower. Corn is not so great and is actually a grain.
*Good foods– Limit the number of servings per day—-
1. Fruits–fruit is great but still sugar. Watch portion sizes.
2. Healthy fats– olive oil, almonds, nut butters (natural, no sugar added), avocado, some animal fats
3. Yogurt, cheese, low-fat milk.
4. Whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, stone cut, whole grain wheat bread
*Foods that do nothing for your nutritionally but still tempt you and taste good—Limit as much as possible. Only a few servings PER WEEK or less.
White bread, chips, cookies, cakes, crackers, white rice, potatoes, corn, butter, fake sugar, diet drinks, juice, soda, candy, cereal ☹
This is just a starting point. I fully intend to post recipes here and go deeper into many food topics. For now, here are a few samples of what I typically eat for meals and snacks:
Meals I eat frequently:
- Protein shake– I’ve tried many and I am a fan of Advocare shakes, shakeology, and I LOVE the Arbonne Vanilla Vegan protein shake. I am currently trying out Quest Nutrition shakes.
- 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, spinach, mushrooms, onions, scrambled together. 1 stick of string cheese
- Steel Cut Oatmeal with raisins
- Quest Protein Bar
- Chicken Breast with Veggie (Broccoli, Cauliflower, or Asparagus usually. Sometimes Carrots)
- Tilapia or Salmon with Veggie (Broccoli, Cauliflower, or Asparagus usually. Sometimes Carrots)
- Spaghetti Squash with chicken breast and marinara sauce and parmesan cheese
- Homemade chicken and vegetable soup
- Baby carrots, grape tomatoes, celery, cucumber, sugar snap peas
- Boiled egg
- Apple slices and natural peanut butter
- Greek yogurt
- Tangerine, small portion of any fruit
- Fat free cottage cheese with 1 teaspoon of honey or a few berries
- Almonds and a small piece of super dark chocolate
☺ I tried to make and pack as much food as I can on Saturday and Sunday so it is ready to grab during the week. I have tons of plastic containers in many different sizes. When I bring home vegetables/fruit from the store I try very hard to wash them and divide them out into portions in containers before I put them away that way I will eat them right away and not let anything go bad.
I am a runner and fitness fanatic who is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time. I live in Texas and divide my time between raising 3 children, teaching, and living a fit life.