Sunday, January 25, 2015

Organizational Tips for a Healthy Eating Plan

     There is one word that sums up success of any health plan--"ORGANIZATION!!!"  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!!!  It takes longer to be disorganized than to take the time to plan.  Be proactive, not reactive--here's how:

1.  Plan out your meals for the week then grocery shop once.

2.  When planning your meals, do as much prep work ahead of time as possible, especially the night before or the morning of.  (Don't let yourself get overly hungry before starting meal prep!)

3.  Where possible, make recipes in multiples.  I make 4 protein shakes at a time and store in fridge, ready to add ice and blend each morning.  Also, 4 Protein Mug Brownies are easy to store in fridge and add almond milk in the morning to soften, or when ready to eat.  [Spray mug with Pam, add 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons ground flax seed, 1/4 c. low fat cottage cheese, 1/4 c. egg whites, dash cinnamon and vanilla.  Stir and microwave for 1 minute.  Store in fridge.  When ready to eat, add 1/3 c. 30 cal/cup almond milk, wait one minute and dig in!!!  Just like dipping your Oreos in milk!!!  For my protein shake, I add 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tablespoon cocoa or cacao powder, 2 tablespoons Spectrum Flax and Chia Coconut and Cocoa Blend, 1 c. 30 cal/cup almond milk, dash of cinnamon, dash of vanilla in Magic Bullet container and store in fridge til ready to add ice and blend.  A double bonus in making four at a time is that letting flax or chia seeds sit overnight really thickens your shake naturally.]

4.  Make HUGE salad at beginning of week to have on hand and ready at all times.  Romaine, baby spinach leaves, kale, shredded carrots, diced red bell peppers, diced green onions, cilantro leaves. This combination seems to hold up well and stays nice for a full week without becoming wet or slimy. 

5.  Know what you are going to eat the next day before you go to bed at night.  Eat as close to the same thing each day as possible.  Studies show you eat less if not experiencing new flavors every single day.

6,  Have a system set up for tracking progress (journal, fitness pal app, trying on same pair of jeans once a week), etc....

7.  Have a plan for down time when you are apt to be bored (boredom is a HUGE trigger for mindless eating).  Catch up on your recorded TV shows, scrapbook, catch up on magazines, look for #cleancheat recipes on IG, read a book, take a walk, text your friend, send a Thank You note, work on your menu for next week, etc....

8.  Stay full, or at least avoid getting too hungry.  Eat every 2-3 hours.  Keep healthy snacks on hand, ready and easy to grab.  Nuts, string cheese stick, apples, Quest Bars, Greek Yogurt, protein shake, turkey and low carb bread/tortilla, etc...  Make sure to keep something in your purse, office desk drawer, car, and home. 

9.  Have a plan for slip-ups!!!  Get back on track the very next meal, no need to wait to the next day.  What do you do after a slip-up???

10. High protein, fiber and fat will keep you full and satiated longer.  Carbs make you hungry and increase cravings,...plan accordingly.

11. Have a plan to stave off hunger when necessary with calorie free or low calorie tricks, i.e., mint gum, decaf coffee with 30 cal/cup almond milk, water or water with Stevia flavored drops.

12.  EAT SLOWLY!!!  Take a bite, take a drink, set your utensils down while you chew with your hands in your lap, repeat...IT'S NOT A RACE!!!  Enjoy the flavors...SLOWLY!!!

13.  Drink plenty of water--your weight in ounces per day.  Water aids in several body functions, so stay hydrated!!!  Also, if you are dehydrated your brain can confuse hunger for thirst.  (Water is the number one stool softener.)

14.  Clean your house of all junk food.  House Rule:  NO JUNK FOOD....OR, hide it so you can't smell it or see it or find it!!!  (My husband knows to hide all my trigger foods from me if he brings it in the house or risk the evil eye ... :O)

15.  Have healthy alternatives on hand for when sweet and savory cravings strike (Lily's Stevia Sweetened Candy Bars, Quest Protein Bars, Amberlyn Sugar Free Belgium Chocolate covered almonds for a sweet tooth fix, or Quest Potato Chips will cure any salty weakness.  Another fun treat is La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Flour Tortillas with a slice of melted Fat Free cheese and a couple of tablespoons of salsa.  OLE'  :)

     Hope you have found these tips helpful!  I would love to hear any suggestions that you have to share!  We are all in this together!  In good health~paige  RN  NCHC

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