How to Make Eating Healthy and Fun

We all want that perfect body but hate the idea of eating chicken and broccoli every single day in order to achieve that look. We have all been there and done that; the health kick. You wake up one morning and decide you are going to eat healthy and exercise and shed those pounds that just somehow appeared over the months and years....and then the cravings come. You want that chocolate cake with ice cream and brownies and whipped cream with a cherry on top and anything else on your "bad food" list you've created. Just like all of you, I have been there and done that as well... too many times to count, but I will share my tips on how to get past the "kick starts" and move onto a nutritious lifestyle! 

Put variety into your daily meals

The best way to keep cravings away and to stay on track with your nutritious eating habits, is to put variety into your meals. When I was competing in body building I was on a very strict diet that had me eating chicken and broccoli and protein shakes almost daily. The cravings were constant, and I never enjoyed eating. The more I learned while getting my nutrition degree, the more I realized I was not getting to my goals in the correct way. I was very restrictive, I did not have a variety of nutrients going into my body and I always felt like I was missing out. Now I have learned ways to still eat healthy, enjoy life and feel good about myself!

How I put variety into my meals:  My go-to lean meats are chicken breast and white ground turkey. In order to keep variety into my meals I find it easiest to pick a type of food and mix one of those protein options into the dish. My favorite is Mexican, so to keep my cravings down on the enchiladas and chalupas I season my meat with a low sodium Mexican seasoning and add it into a cauliflower rice bowl or a lettuce wrap! If I were feeling an Italian night, I would add white ground turkey to some spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Whatever food night you are feeling, there is a way to make it healthy and enjoyable!

Swap the carbohydrates for vegetable substitutes

My weakness is carbohydrates. I’m not saying carbohydrates are bad for you, but the one’s most of us enjoy and crave are not the most nutritious. For example, I love all the bread and bakery items along with all of the delicious pasta entrees that you can order just about anywhere. Most of those options are filled with additives and sugars and flavorings that only harm the body. However, there are many vegetables that can replace those carbohydrate filled dishes and taste just as good! My favorite substitutes for noodles are zucchini, spaghetti squash and cauliflower. If you are a pizza lover like me, you can now swap out your regular crust for cauliflower crust and it’s amazing! Try making it homemade or you can buy cauliflower pizza at most of your local grocery stores in the healthy market section. My favorite brand is Caulipower Pizza, it comes in 3 flavors or you can buy the crust alone and add your own toppings!

Most people's excuse for their unhealthy eating habits are due to not having enough time in their daily routine to cook a nutritious meal. Fast food places are the downfall of nutritious eating and have made it so simple to choose processed foods with little to no nutrients in them over a nutritious meal just because of the convenience. 

How I stay on track: In order for me to avoid the temptation of grabbing a quick bite at a fast food restaurant or buying heavily processed snacks, I prep my snacks for the week. There used to be a time in my life when I would go to the grocery store and buy celery and carrots and nuts and berries, but they would just go to waste because I wouldn’t make the time to prepare them. Now I make it a habit to slice my celery, portion out my carrots, make my own trail mix and whatever else I have to do to make these healthy options readily available to me. Once you make the healthy option just as convenient as the heavily processed option, you’ll be able to make the smart choice much easier!

jeff carr