As I have pointed out before, healthy eating is much less daunting if you approach it with the perspective that you aren’t dieting, you are making healthy choices. Fad diets are often appealing because they can have quick results (and are a great idea if you need to fit into a pair of jeans or a new dress by the weekend), but weight-loss results can be permanent when you practice a healthy diet as a lifestyle.
Cooking has never really been my thing. I can take a recipe and follow it easily enough, but I don’t enjoy being in the kitchen as other people seem to (unless it is to sink my spoon into a bowl of ice cream). However, a wholesome diet is essential to a healthy lifestyle, so I am always on the lookout for healthy recipes and ingredient swaps to make meals that are better for my body. One of my favorite replacement ingredients is Greek yogurt, it can be used to replace many high-calorie, high-fat products (that offer zero health benefits: hello butter, I’m talking about you!) and it adds protein to the recipe. The Chobani Kitchen chart shows the proper measurements when using Greek yogurt as a replacement (any plain, non-fat Greek yogurt will work, you don’t have to use Chobani brand). Another way to trim fat, calories, and cholesterol from your recipes is to use Egg Beaters instead of regular eggs. One large egg has 4.5 grams of fat and about 55 calories, which by itself is not bad at all, but if you eat eggs often, that can start to add up, especially if you have more than 1 or 2 eggs in one meal.
The most vital part of a healthy diet is portion size. Take cereal, for instance, if you are like I used to be, than you don’t just enjoy one bowl of cereal, you like to keep filling it up, “just to finish the milk,” or so I said to myself. Generally, one box of cereal has 9-10 servings. Do you get 9-10 bowls of cereal out of one box? The serving size for most cereals is ¾ cup-1 cup. Try scooping it out with a measuring cup into your bowl and see if you have been eating more than one serving per meal. This goes for almost all foods, we generally eat 2-3 times more than the actual serving size suggested, meaning, we are consuming 2-3 times the calories and fat. Try measuring your meals out to the proper serving size for 1 week and see what a difference it will make.
Here are a few other easy tips to have you on your way to a healthy life:
- Drink water in place of juice and soda, and drink green tea in place of coffee.
- Eat more chicken and fish in place of red meats. (This doesn’t mean eat more fried chicken and fried fish. Try baked, grilled, or broiled.)
- Fruits and Veggies. Fruits and Veggies. Fruits and Veggies. No excuses anymore, there has to be at least one fruit and one vegetable that you can stand.
- Eliminate processed foods whenever possible and purchase fresh (organic, if possible) produce. (Jason’s Produce in Melbourne has excellent prices for fresh produce, or there is a Farmer’s Market in Downtown Melbourne almost every Saturday!)
- Have a plan for your meals, make a weekly schedule. You are less likely to pick up fast food if you have a plan for what you are going to cook.
Playlist Songs of the Week:
“Breakfast At Tiffany’s” Deep Blue Something
“More Than a Feeling” Boston
“Carry Out” Timbaland (feat. Justin Timberlake)
“Come Sail Away” 144 BPM Workout Remix
Ashley Shih has lived on the Space Coast for the past 5 years, and she can be seen training for marathons by the beaches of Brevard. Her goal is to share the ups and downs of her fitness experiences with readers, in order to help them with their lifestyle goals. Please email her with questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/ashleyerinshih.