We all eat - sometimes not so healthy. Here area some alternatives to a few all-too-common diet disasters.
No Fat = No Good: It's time to start your engines!
If breakfast is ever a problem, it's due to one of two (or possibly both) reasons: 1) there is a fixation on eating very little - if any - fat, or 2) people just don't eat it. Every body needs fat, preferably healthy, from foods they eat. That said foods that are "part of a low fat breakfast" still win over more nourishing foods. Fat free or low fat yogurt, fat free or low fat cereals, and fat free or low fat breads all sound really healthy, but in reality, these foods break down quickly to sugar unless you pair them with a healthy fat and protein. You don't eat breakfast because you're not hungry or because you don't have time? Grab a handful of almonds and an apple, or something simple and enjoy it. Very little planning is needed. Bottom line: breakfast is important.
If you're in a breakfast rut, and need some simple, but healthy suggestions - here you go:
1/2 c. Old Fashioned Oats + 1 Tbsp Almond or Peanut Butter (organic) + 1/2 c. Blueberries + 1 Tsp Cinnamon. This is has always been my home run breakfast. Protein, fat, fiber are all there. Cinnamon is amazing at stabilizing blood sugar levels. Keep in mind, this is a good size breakfast for me. If this is your breakfast prior to a 15 mile run, or if you're a big manly-man, you'll probably need a little more. Scale to suit your needs!
2 Boiled Eggs + 1 Slice of Whole Grain Toast + 1/2 Sliced Green Apple. Again, plenty of fat, plenty of protein and plenty of fiber. And yes, eggs are good!
Low Fat or even Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt (yes, there is a caveat) + Raw Walnuts + Cinnamon + Stevia (if you want it sweetened). Walnuts are a great source of omega 3s, Greek yogurt is a good source of protein, and well, cinnamon - you know I just love it.
The Salad Dressing Dilemma: Save a few hundred calories
One ounce of ranch salad dressing is a serving. That ounce is about 140 calories and just shy of 15 grams of unhealthy fats. All regular salad dressings are about the same amount of calories and fat. "Lite" versions often contain miserable ingredients, like high fructose corn syrup, rancid oils and MSG. If you love salads as much as I do, one serving of bottled salad dressing does not go very far! In fact, if you pre-load your salad with dressing, you're likely adding more than two servings of dressing.
Put the dressing on the side, dip your fork first, then plunge your fork into the salad. You'll still be able to taste the dressing, but it will be much less and won't steal the nutritional value of your otherwise healthy salad.
Opt for salsa instead of dressing. I always have a couple jars of salsa in the refrigerator ready to go for chicken salads. I can add as much as I want and don't feel guilty if I use half the jar! Too spicy for you? Mix the salsa with a little bit of sour cream to cut down on some of the heat.
If you've already got a salad loaded with healthy sources of fat, like avocado or eggs, you probably don't need to add much more. If this is the case, add a little bit of lemon
juice and just a dash of sea salt. A good sea salt will really bring out the flavor, complementing just about any vegetable on your plate.
Control Portion Distortion
Many a long and stressful day has been combated by food, food and more food. Even short, boring days have been remedied be eating too much food. I think it's safe to say that every single one of us has fallen prey to overeating. If you're the type of person who has your appetite in control until the dinner bell rings, here are a few tips to help you stay on track.
Make a side salad. No, not for your main course, rather afterward. Instead of reaching for another helping of pasta, or an extra slice of pizza, grab your salad plate and dig in. Watch the dressing (SEE "LUNCH" ABOVE) and enjoy it. You'll do negligible damage to your waistline, and fill up at the same time.
Plan vegetable-based dinners. No, not vegetarian, rather meals that are going to fill you up in veggies, while allowing you to eat enough protein and fat. A couple suggestions include Spaghetti Squash Turkey Bolognese (substituting the squash for pasta) or shrimp and extra veggie stir fry (add more of your favorite veggies and hold off on the rice that would otherwise accompany the dish).
Serve yourself appropriately, then put away the leftovers before you eat. Eating family-style is really nice, but if going for seconds and thirds is becoming a problem, it needs to be curbed.
I hope these help! If you have any tips or suggestions other readers might find useful, go ahead and post them here, or on my Facebook page. I know I'd love to read them.