Preparation is key to taking control of your dietary choices. The better prepared you are, the more healthy options you will have available, and the easier it will be for you to meet your nutrition goals.
For me, some healthy options that help keep me honest include:
Celery has about twenty calories per cup. This comes in handy when my body needs to munch, but I know that the calories are coming later. Tonight, we returned home from a walk to Whole Foods at 7:00 pm. I was ravenous, and I still had to put together a casserole. While I was chopping the veggies, I cut up a stalk of celery to chomp on. This gave me the fortitude I needed to wait another 40 minutes or so before eating.
I was rather annoyed with myself this morning when I realized I was fresh out of cooked quinoa. Having quinoa available for a scoop of healthy carbs whenever I need them helps prevent my making a bad choice first thing in the morning and setting a tone I might maintain all day. Waiting 15 minutes for the quinoa to cook is just frustrating to say the least.
Quinoa stirred into yogurt, quinoa stirred into soup, quinoa with salsa and a dab of fat free sour cream…the possibilities for a whole grain snack are endless and nearly instantaneous when the quinoa is already cooked up and waiting in the fridge.
Spinach adds color and nutrition to just about any dish. I could eat it three times a day no problem. I saute a cup of spinach with my eggs, stir a cup into my lentil soup, and–as soon as I get a couple of Mason jars–I can make salads like these.
However, I was not able to find spinach on today’s trip to Whole Foods. I saw baby spinach, but not the big, curly leaves I prefer because they add volume to my dishes. I bought kale instead, so I will see how that goes with eggs tomorrow.
Lemons and Limes
Citrus fruits add a huge burst of flavor to just about any dish, plus they add vitamin C and antioxidants. Before I reach for fat, salt, or sugar, I like to consider what a splash of lemon or lime can add to the flavor.
I need calcium and protein in the morning, and yogurt hits the spot for me. I stir in some quinoa and a banana and call it a healthy start to my day.
Kicking It with Cardio
Today I had a great cardio day. I stomped out 18 minutes on the stair stepper before my cup of coffee, and then I walked to Whole Foods in brisk weather in the afternoon. That’s ten days of cardio in a row since I made a simple rule.
Breakfast – yogurt and banana (too impatient to make quinoa)
Lunch – eggs, quinoa, spinach, cheese
Dinner – pasta casserole, zucchini, skim milk
Snack – Strawberry Zucchini Salad, celery, chocolate
That salad was pretty awesome again today. It’s all I can do to keep from eating the rest tonight.
What about you? Are you prepared each day to make healthy choices aligned with your nutritional goals? I would love to read your suggestions for being prepared to make good choices.
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