healthy food

Some Tricks To Help You Stay On Track During Summer

Let’s face it, summer means long days and warm nights, perfect for get togethers and BBQ’s with friends and family. So what do you do when you’re faced with the option to stick to your diet or splurge and eat a bowl of artichoke dip and half a loaf of french bread? Don’t worry friends, I’ve come up with a plan of attack to make the decision to stick to your diet guns easy.

  • Step 1: Make sure you bring something to the pot-luck or BBQ that is delicious and diet friendly. This serves 2 purposes, first if all else fails you can simply eat your dish and not feel bad about your food choices, and second by providing a healthy dish you are exposing your friends and family to delicious healthy food which could spark their own transformation.
  • Step 2: Steer clear of the chips and dips! Holy calories batman, and empty ones at that! Opt for homemade salsa and guacamole or hummus with veggies if you must. Be careful with portion sizes, these types of foods encourage grazing, before you know it you’re scraping the bottom of the bowl of red pepper hummus and just consumed 500 calories.
  • Step 3: The grill is your BFF, and here’s why. Grilling lean meats and vegetables is one of the healthiest ways to prepare food since there is little oil needed. On that note it’s probably a good idea to pass on the Sweet Baby Rays drenched ribs, and the cheddar jalapeno stuffed bacon wrapped cheeseburger. Still make healthy choices, stick with chicken, fish, veggie kabobs, lean beef etc…
  • Step 4: Mind your manners at the bar. This is a slippery diet slope to be on. Of course you want to enjoy a few drinks with your friends on a hot summers’ night, but again this is a quick way to rack up empty calories. Also alcohol has a way of slowing down digestion making it very hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food. I’m not saying don’t drink, just be mindful of the 150 calories per beer or glass of wine. There’s a neat website called, Rethinking Drinking, that shows calories per drink and type.
  • Step 5: Enjoy strawberries as dessert instead of strawberry shortcake, have a slice of watermelon or cantaloupe to quell sugar cravings. Tis the season for fresh fruit, so take advantage of it.
  • Step 6: Host the party! This lets you dictate a large portion of the menu, and when people ask what they can bring you can give them suggestions that align with the rest of the diet-friendly cuisine.
  • Step 7: Try out some new recipes, or better yet try some old recipes with a paleo twist like this Paleo Potato Salad. Prepare for your friends to be impressed at your culinary prowess.
  • Step 8: Go bunless, this seems like a no brainer, ditch the empty carbs.

So there you have it, I think it’s a pretty solid game plan for sticking to your diet when you’re around lots of yummy food. Heck you might even convince a few people to change their eating habits.

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite paleo recipes!

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Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail.

The quotation above from basketball hall of famer, John Wooden, really strikes home, and has proven to be true time and time again. This week was my first attempt at preparing a weeks worth of meals on Sunday night. Drumroll please…It was very successful! I took a shopping list of diet acceptable foods and went to Costco. Let me tell ya, I LOVE Costco! They are a fabulous company that values their customers by listening to their wants and needs. Costco has rapidly expanded their selection of organic foods which makes me happy. One hundred and sixty eight dollars later, I’m ready to prep. I enlisted the help of my mom to help cut down on the prep time, so together we made about 25 meals in two and a half hours. This is a small representation of what we made, there was a 5 pound bag of broccoli that I forgot to pull from the freezer and a 6 pound turkey breast used in salads. I whipped up some healthy and hearty turkey chili to eat on for the week (see the stock pot?) which was amazing, and did not taste like diet food. I’ve posted the recipe at the bottom for you to enjoy.

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So why on earth would I fill my fridge with stacks of tupperware and ziplock baggies*, the same reason all the successful health conscious people do it, to actually save time and energy not having to worry about what you are going to eat. By preparing your food ahead of time you can easily make healthy food choices, rather than having impulsive food breakdowns which can lead to the double cheeseburger nightmare. Not to mention that I now have more time in my day overall to focus on other important tasks.

*side note, I need to find a more eco-friendly way to transport some of the smaller food items rather than in disposable ziplocks. I’ve tried washing them, but it is too time consuming. Leave me a comment at the bottom with possible solutions 🙂

This year one of my goals it to adopt the life principle of not sacrificing the happiness of the future me by taking the easy way out now. Taking a couple of hours out of my week to set myself up for success has had a huge return on investment. I’m looking at it as making deposits into my life account to assure a wealthy and healthy future. I will be continuing to prep on Sunday nights, and as it turns out several of my co-workers liked the idea so much that they enlisted my help on getting them started prepping meals for the week. I’m finding out that healthy lifestyles are contagious, everyone wants to be successful.

Turkey Chili Recipe:

1 package of 93/7 ground turkey

1 8 0z can tomato sauce

1 14.5 oz can organic black beans

1 14.5 oz can organic pinto beans

1 14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes

2 tbs taco seasoning

1 tsp onion powder

2 cloves garlic (pressed)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Simply brown the turkey, add spices and canned goods. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer you let it simmer the better it will taste. I added red chili flakes to it at the end to spice it up a bit. This recipe makes about 10, 1 cup servings weighing in at about 159 calories per serving. I slice up 1/2 an avocado and put it on top for added yumminess.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to leave a comment below on remedies for my ziplock bag dilemma!!