The first thing I like to do in the morning is drink a glass of water as I prepare breakfast for my kids. It makes me feel like I am starting the day off right. During a normal week for breakfast I typically eat fruit, bananas and berries, along with protein and fat, typically in nut butter, and pair it with oatmeal or muesli. Eating the same breakfast every single day can definitely get dull so on the weekend, or when I feel like I need a break from the usual I will have a bagel. Even though they can be high in calories, bagels to me are a comfort food. More often than not I will buy whole wheat, and it is a nice break from my normal breakfast when I need it.
Lunch almost always consists of leftovers, especially leftover dinner veggies, served on a big bed of lettuce. From week to week I will change up the type of lettuce I buy to keep it interesting. Lunch is my largest source of vegetables for the day. On salads I love to add boiled eggs to give them more staying power, and the eggs are a convenient snack for kids. At least when they are peeled that is! ;-)
Snacks tend to be an apple if I am in a rush, or whole wheat naan bread with avocado or hummus. For drinks I usually have a latte in the morning, tea in the afternoon or evening, and water throughout the day.
Dinner is where I change things up more and listen to what my body is telling me. Not so much that our dinners are that different from month to month, but it is where I like to incorporate new foods or old ones I have not had in a while. My routine with dinner is always to cook at least one vegetable. It doesn’t feel complete to me anymore unless I do that. If our main course is something small, or something I don’t want myself to have a large portion of, those are the days I like to cook 2 vegetables to serve with dinner.
Days that I feel like dessert, which who am I kidding is A LOT! I like to have a square of dark chocolate or lately one of my homemade granola bars. Many of these habitual meals and snacks replaced less healthy ones that I didn’t at the time realize were routinely in my day, but looking back they absolutely were! For instance I used to almost always have some chips in the late afternoon as a snack. Or when I wanted dessert it would be a cookie instead of a square of dark chocolate.
Recognizing the foods that sneak into your diet on a regular basis is very helpful in changing to new foods you can feel good about, and help you with your goals. After a couple of weeks of replacing one unhealthy snack or meal at a time with a better choice, it becomes second nature to you and you don’t miss it all the time.
I will still eat chips sometimes. I don’t intend to 100% cut out anything I like, because then I feel like I am missing out and am less content. However I no longer eat chips almost every day. Now when I buy a bag of chips I do what is better for my health and instead of buying the better priced large bag from Costco, I will buy the more expensive small bag of my favorite kind that won’t last very long, especially shared, and stick around to be eaten every day.
Finding tricks that work for you is what makes the biggest difference. Start small, replace one drink or snack with a better choice at a time. After that seems routine move onto another. When you do too much at once you quit because you feel deprived and unhappy about it. Another time to be careful is when you get sick of one type of food because it has been in your diet too much. Switch it up for another choice you can feel good about, to avoid falling back into the old trap. This is one that I need to be very weary of!
Going slowly one step at a time allows you to make good choices, as well as maintain your happiness in the process. What good is change if you sacrifice happiness in the process?
What is one type of “junk” food you used to eat almost daily, and what have you replaced it with?