11 Tips For Sticking to a Healthier Lifestyle
Whether you’re looking to come down from your holiday sugar high, hit those New Year’s resolutions, or simply take care of yourself, there’s always a good reason to start eating healthier foods. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, though. Actually, it’s really hard. So to help you (and us) out, we compiled some of our favorite tips and tricks to make it a little simpler.
1. Hydration Station
Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. This might count as ‘healthy drinking’, but research shows that you’re less likely to overeat when you’ve been drinking enough water. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger, but that won’t be a problem when you’ve got a water bottle on-hand. Say no to the potato chips and yes to 8oz of water.
2. Easy Breakfast
Keep breakfast fairly small. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you’re a huge breakfast person, by all means— go crazy! But if you’re someone who isn’t very hungry early in the day, don’t feel forced to chow down on a plate of eggs if you don’t want to! Instead, try a portable treat. We love to grab a Lemon Chia Crisp Oatmega Bar–it’s easy, so good, and amazingly good for you! One bar has 14 grams of protein. 14!!
3. Protein Party
Another reason you’ll want to stock up on your Oatmega Bars? Protein helps you feel fuller longer, and helps you avoid nasty blood sugar swings. So if you don’t want to feel crankier than a three-year-old who needs a nap (yeah, we’ve all been there), eat an Oatmega Bar…or two.
4. Mix It Up
Try some new vegetables. Yes, eating healthily means eating your veggies– but if you’re stuck on the same rotation of carrots and broccoli, chances are you might get bored. Throw water chestnuts in a stir-fry, mix broccolini with olive oil and garlic into your pasta– you never know what you might like until you try it!
5. Planning Is Key
Plan your meals with a meal planning calendar. We can’t stress enough how much this helps me when you’re busy! Sure, you can just write it down on a notepad for the grocery store, but if you’re more of a visual person, try planning out your meals on this whiteboard that’s small enough to fit in your fridge or pantry door. Oh, and keep something around for when you get stuck, will you? We like Amy’s organic canned soup, because they have less sodium than most canned soups, and they go really well with a topping of yogurt in a pinch.
6. Keep It Whole
Choose whole grains. We should all know this by now, but it’s worth repeating. Food science is a beautiful thing, and there are lots of whole wheat pasta and breads that do taste good now– like Racconto’s rigatoni pasta and Hodgson Mill bowtie pasta. Whole grains keep you full longer and are fiber-rich so they have other, erm, digestive benefits.
7. Smaller Plates
Smaller plates = moderate portions. Portion sizes in restaurants can be huge! But when you eat at home, you have all the control. A smaller plate makes a smaller portion the norm– and it can trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more. So if you’re prone to overdoing it, it’s a great way to keep yourself in check. Correll makes these great 10 ¼ inch plates– and the pattern makes any meal feel luxe.
8. Shake It Off
If you’re a fan of salads for lunch (it’s a great way to get a lot of veggies in at once!), try getting yourself a salad dressing shaker. You can measure and store it all in one container, and the unique top makes it easy not to pour too much at once. Bonus: It’s dishwasher safe. Anything that makes eating vegetables easier is a green light in our book!
9. Popcorn, please!
Make your movie nights at home a little more fun with a bag of Skinny Pop! They have the best flavors, like White Cheddar and Sea Salt & Peppercorn. It’s all-natural, gluten-free, and only 39 calories per cup. Need we say more?
10. Those Healthy Fats, Tho
Do enjoy healthy fats to keep your brain healthy and your belly satisfied. Not all healthy foods are low-fat! Mono-unsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, olives, and flax seeds, can actually help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Try flaxseed oil on homemade air-popped popcorn, topped with a little sea salt. The nutty flavor is killer with hot popcorn! Flax seed oil also has essential fatty acids, which are important for brain development. Just check the expiration date and store it in the freezer for best results, because delicate oils can go rancid more quickly at room temperature.
11. The Emergency Stash
Finally, you never know when you’ll be in a pinch. Keep healthy snacks in your desk or bag for emergencies (and we use that word lightly). Misery knows no bounds with the 3:00 pm sugar crash. Keep it at bay with something easily portable and snackable, like roasted almonds. Just a handful a punch – and keeps the hunger at bay til’ dinner time.
Go forth and snack happily, my friends! We certainly will.