Making Healthy Eating Resolutions That Stick
Using Practical Tips to Eat Better, Every Day
Happy New Year!
Have you made intentions to eat more healthfully in 2020?
Shaping up your nutrition is a great goal, whether you have committed to eating less sugar or to follow a more plant-based diet.
But I also know how challenging it be for these high-minded commitments to stick in the long-term. Resolutions get easily challenged by daily life, and even though today is only two weeks into the new year, I am aware that some of good intentions may already be crumbling.
So how do you strengthen your commitment to healthy eating, so that it’s not just something that exists as an ideal, but is actually something that gets done, making a substantial difference in your health?
One powerful action you can take is simply to acknowledge the realities of your lifestyle, and to analyze whether your specific nutrition goals were out of step with the demands of the rest of your life. Then, you can scale your goals to match your life, instead of compete with your exist priorities.
In other words, be realistic.
For example, something that I hear frequently is that many healthy cookbooks are not realistic about most people’s work situations. Maybe you don’t have a refrigerator or microwave at work, and you need to keep your lunch at your desk. Or maybe you have a schedule where you really need to bring both breakfast and lunch, and you can’t figure out what meals would travel well and keep well. Or maybe the only healthy recipe idea you have in your mental repertoire is a salad, but it’s simply not practical for you to pack and carry the components of a salad separately.
I threw this idea out there to my Facebook group, Habits First, and here was what they said they were looking for:
- “I’d love to hear ideas about meals that travel well (i.e., can be eaten hot or cold, not too soupy for carrying in a work bag, etc.). I am also interested in meals that can be made with small substitutions – like your curried lentil bowl, but with options for substituting in other proteins, or additional vegetables, etc. Just ways to make something simple-ish that can be mixed up so it doesn’t get too boring to have prepped meals!” – Erica
- “I’d like to see both breakfast and lunch ideas. Also snacks that travel well.” – Nancy
- “I would like meals that are easy to serve as both vegetarian and with a meat option.” – Simone
- “I do like to see lunches that don’t need to be reheated for when I’m traveling.” – Sarah
So today, I’m going to dive into a few meal ideas that will help you plan and execute meals that are easy to prepare, pack, and eat without re-heating. Some of the meals are from the Fit Smart Fast Cookbook, while I’ll be linking to other blogs for some of the recipes.
Overall, I hope this jumpstarts your creative engines, so that you feel well equipped to make your healthy eating intentions stick on a day-to-day basis!
Fast, Portable Breakfasts
Some of these aren’t even recipes – just a throw-together of ingredients.
- Berry Blast Smoothie – Fit Smart Fast Cookbook
- Two hardboiled eggs with rice cakes and nut butter
- Yogurt with berries and nuts
- Make-Ahead Egg Muffins – Delish
- Sweet Potato Banana Nut Muffins – The Real Food Dietitians
Keep in mind that these breakfasts are flexible in terms of ingredients. If you wanted to make the Berry Blast Smoothie with raspberries one week and blueberries another week, that’s totally an option!
Same for items like the Make-Ahead Egg Muffins. You can vary up what you’re putting in the muffins – maybe sometimes they’re egg whites with turkey and spinach, and maybe other times they’re whole eggs with cheese.
No Re-Heat Lunches
For these, you’ll need an insulated lunch bag with ice packs, like this one.
- Mediterranean Power Salad – Fit Smart Fast Cookbook
- Greek Salmon Salad – Fit Smart Fast Cookbook
- Roasted Cauliflower Burrito Bowl – A Pinch of Yum
- Lemon-Chili Shrimp Quinoa Bowl – Skinnytaste
- Buffalo Chicken Bowl – 40 Aprons
- Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken – Ambitious Kitchen
- Turkey Meatballs – Our Salty Kitchen
- Paleo Tuna Salad – The Movement Menu
- Lentil Tabbouleh – Feasting at Home
Finally, just a reminder that snacking isn’t something that I like to see clients doing all day long. In other words, when I say that nuts make a good snack, I don’t mean leaving an economy-sized bag of trail mix in your desk, tempting you every time you slide open your drawer.
Snack when you’re hungry, not when you’re bored, and you’ll be amazed at how fewer calories you consume per day. And when you use snacks like the ones below for those hungry moments, you’ll see that it’s not just quantity, but also quality that matters:
- Rice cakes with nut butter
- Nuts or trail mix with popcorn
- Yogurt with berries and/or nuts
- String cheese with fruit or baby carrots
Remember, the only way that healthy eating habit change will stick is if it is realistic and sustainable. Use these recipes as a launching point to build your healthy recipe repertoire, and keep tinkering with ideas for make-ahead meals that fit easily into your lifestyle and satisfy your palate – all while moving you closer to your health goals!