Eating Healthy: 3 Good Habits

Eating healthy requires organization and planning… which sounds like a big daunting task. However, if you think about it, you can manage it like you manage any other habitual part of your life.

You have to decide what to eat several times a day (and sometimes even whether or not to eat). Another decision we face daily is what to wear. Think about your decision process for getting dressed.

Normally, you choose from what’s in your closet. That brings me to my first point:

1. Eat at home.

Of course, if you don’t have anything but Saltines from 1985 and expired cans of chicken broth, that’s not going to turn out well. So, here’s a project for this weekend:

2. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy meals and snacks.

Here’s what you can do right now… Write down 5 healthy snacks, 5 healthy breakfasts, and 5 healthy lunches you can prepare in 15 minutes or less. I try to have most or all of these on hand so that you have some choices. Here are mine:

Breakfast: McCann’s Steel Cut Oats made with half water half milk, Wheat Bagel with Low-Fat Cream Cheese, Yogurt with Grape Nuts and Cut-Up Fruit, Newman’s Own Cereal & Milk, Bran Muffins with a glass of juice.

Lunch: Turkey Sandwich (with banana peppers!), Turkey Sandwich with Roasted Red Peppers, Spring Mix Salad and Tuna pelted with Balsamic, PB&J :o), Canned Soup

Snacks: Bran Muffin, Sugar Snap Peas, Baby Carrots, Crackers & Cheese, Apples & Peanut Butter

If you don’t have anything in mind, google it and see what appeals to you. Here’s a few great lists I found online: Top Ten Healthiest Snacks, 24 Sandwich and Wrap Recipes, Healthiest restaurant lunches – CNN.com , Pack It Up!: The Cheapest and Healthiest Lunches to Pack, Better Breakfasts: 8 Healthiest Breakfast Foods.

Buy all of these and keep them in stock. Starting a list of 14 healthy dinners you can prepare in an hour or less can also help you with your grocery shopping. If you are on the go a lot you could also have a list of lunches at quick-service and fast-food restaurants, e.g. Falafel Pita @ The Pita Pit, Turkey Wrap @ Publix, Rainbow Roll @ Origami, etc.

Occasionally you may go buy something to wear, but only if you are planning ahead. Hence:

3. Plan eating out for special occasions. For me that includes going out to lunch by myself once a week, frequently for $7 or less. The important thing isn’t that it’s fancy or expensive… just that it is something you can look forward to. Do this even if you have to eat out alone. (To be frugal, check restaurants.com for your favorite places; you can get $25 gift certificates for just a few bucks!)

Having a little snack or a fabulous dinner to look forward to can make all the difference in how we use food to motivate and pacify ourselves throughout the day. When, what and how we’re going to eat next is always on our mind. We might as well have a little giggle and enjoy the though of biting into a healthy little morsel that we know will reward us in the short term and the long term!

Happy healthy eating to everyone!

 

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