In this week’s post, I would like to share with everyone some tips and tricks for healthier cooking and meal planning. There are a lot of different ways to change your eating habits (notice I did NOT say diet) for the better, but I’ve found that these work best for me:
Purge your cabinets – Keeping an abundance of high calorie snacks food in your kitchen is the quickest way to sabotage your plan of getting healthy. If you want to change your behavior, you’ve got to change your environment. I’m not saying that you can never have those things again, but if they are sitting in your house and you are struggling with your plan, you will surely eat those tempting foods.
Allow yourself a treat every once in a while – Craving something sweet? Go out and get a frozen yogurt instead of bringing home a quart and eating it all in a day or two. A gallon of ice cream at the store may be cheaper by volume, but the savings aren’t worth the cost to your health. Make treats exactly what they are: a treat! Also, use it as a time to hang out with your favorite people and splurge on the good stuff. When I go out to dinner this weekend for my 30th wedding anniversary, my wife and I will order the most expensive dessert on the menu (it’s usually the smallest too) and we’ll split it.
Find healthier alternatives to your favorites – I’ve learned that there is always a healthier alternative. And many times those alternatives can be just as tasty as the original! My favorite healthy substitute? Pizza! If you use a whole grain crust, low sodium marinara, low fat cheese and some turkey sausage on it and load it up with veggies, you’ve got a great healthy meal. Love baked potatoes? Try a sweet potato instead (put a dash of cinnamon on the sweet potato for a great taste).
Plan ahead – The only punch that ever knocked a boxer out was the punch he didn’t see coming. Have a plan each day for what you’re going to eat and cook. Know you’re going out to eat? Choose your entrée online beforehand so you have time to decide on the healthiest option. Prepping food in advance can also help. My wife was out of town last week and had a nice salad prepped for me for all week long in containers, so I just had to grab it from the fridge every day.
Meatless Monday – Choose one day per week to focus on eating more veggies, like the wildly popular “Meatless Monday”. Lean animal protein can be very healthy, but use this day to mindfully eat more fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes and try new meatless recipes.
What are your favorite tricks for a healthier diet? Head on over to the NuStep Facebook page and comment!