I’ve posted a lot lately about finding the right nutritional balance for your lifestyle. It’s a lot easier said than done, though, as I’m sure many of you have found. Eating healthily is a choice you have to keep making at every meal, every day. That may sound exhausting, but if you make healthy choices consistently, they will become habit. I’ve put together a list of quick tips that can help you develop healthy habits and stay on track.
- Shop seasonally
In Wisconsin, we have to take advantage of when certain foods are in season. Stock up on fresh produce, but make sure you make time to prepare it! Too often, we purchase fresh vegetables and don’t cook them in time. Find a recipe, make a plan, and stick to it. Add extra vegetables (think peppers, broccoli, onions, and greens) to whole-wheat pasta dishes, or simmer them in some extra virgin olive oil. Your body will thank you!
- Make extra food for the week
You know that recipe you just prepared? Make a little extra to store for busier weeknights. It’s harder to make healthy choices when you work late, have to pick up children from sports practice, and are hungry with an empty fridge. Keep prepared vegetables, fresh fruits, and leftover meals at the ready so healthy meals are only a microwave cycle away.
- Make smart substitutions
Extra virgin olive oil can pass for butter or vegetable oil in most recipes, and whole-wheat pasta should always replace white pasta. Same goes for white bread. Be smart in the carbohydrate sections of the grocery store: look for labels that may be deceiving. “Multi-grain” is not the same as whole wheat. Multi-grain breads and pastas are often loaded with multiple sources of stripped, bleached grains, which is not nearly as healthy as whole-wheat breads and pastas.
Instead of processed, breaded chicken & fish, go for boneless, skinless chicken breasts and fresh seafood. And, of course, opt to dine at home more often than ordering take out or stopping at restaurants. When it comes to eating at restaurants, moderation is key.
- Have healthy desserts on hand
Often, we prepare a healthy, filling meal, only to start craving sugar at bedtime. If you know you have a sweet tooth after dinner, have health-conscious desserts at the ready. A simple option is dark chocolate almond clusters:
Simply melt 10 ounces of dark chocolate, and place teaspoon-sized dollops of the melted chocolate on a baking sheet. Place a few almonds in each dollop, drizzle a little more chocolate on top, and then place in the freezer for 10 minutes! Easy.
Make these tips regular parts of your routine, and you’ll see results in no time! As always, feel free to consult with me at Lifestyle Chiropractic, and we can make a nutritional plan for you to follow and incorporate into your daily life. Healthy choices can be made habits, and shouldn’t be seen as a chore.
Best of health,
Dr. Chad M. Hoffman