Tips and Tricks to Encourage Healthy Eating

If you told me a few months ago I would be writing a post like this, I would have laughed in your face.  I was the fast food queen!  I would have it every day for lunch and sometimes for breakfast and dinner!  I have found, though, that there are some things you can do to help yourself eat better.

1.  Find a few healthy foods you like and keep them in stock all the time.  For me it’s apples with low fat caramel dip (about 200 calories), carrots and low fat garden vegetable cream cheese (weird I know, but around 90 calories), light string cheese (60 calories), and Yoplait Light yogurt (100 calories).

2.  Introduce new produce little by little.  I made the mistake when I first started eating healthy of buying a ton of produce.  I bought stuff I knew I liked (apples, carrots) and a couple things I wanted to train myself to like (broccoli, fennel).  It was a good idea in theory but when you over buy stuff you’re not sure you will eat, they tend to go in the trash.  I probably threw away $30 worth of produce that week.  My new plan:  buy what you know you’ll eat in a week and add something extra you want to try.  That way if you don’t get around to trying it, you’re only wasting a little bit of food rather than a whole fridge full.

3.  Keep foods you eat often prepped and ready to go.  I make lunch for myself and Jeff every day.  At the beginning of Jeff’s work week (my work week is ever revolving so I use his to have a definite start day), I prep items I know we will be using that week.  For instance, every day for lunch Jeff and I have ham sandwiches.  Therefore at the beginning of the week I make ten ham sandwiches and put them in baggies.  Jeff likes dill relish on his and I like mustard on mine, but that would make the bread soggy so I leave them off.  In the morning when I make Jeff’s lunch, I remove the sandwich from the baggie, open it, spread relish between two pieces of meat (or any surface that is not touching the bread), put it back together, and return it to the bag.  No more soggy sammie!  For myself, I just throw my mustard into my lunch bag since I like to toast my bread at work.

Also, as I said above, I like carrots and cream cheese as well as apples with caramel dip.  These items are easy to prepare.  I have a whole mess of little ziploc snack size containers I fill with 1 serving each cream cheese and caramel (separate containers, of course!).  I then weigh out 85g (1 serving) baby carrots into snack size ziploc bags.  Then everything gets thrown in the fridge!  Easy peasy, Japonese-y!

Finally, by having items portioned out, you can just grab what you want in the morning and toss it in the bag.  As you know I watch my calories, but now I know if I’m working late I need approximately the following to have healthy meals within my calories:  a ham sandwich, mustard, carrots & cream cheese, yogurt, a string cheese, a Lean Cuisine or other frozen meal (usually around 300 calories), apple & caramel, and sometimes I’ll add in soup or a 100 calorie pack of cookies.  I always write down what I eat, but if I don’t have time to do it before I leave, I know I can take these items and be under my calories.

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