This post was sponsored by Eat Smart as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
One of the things that I struggle with the most along my health journey is eating healthy. When I’m constantly playing a juggling act between taking care of kids, maintaining a home, running a business and always being on the go, it’s easy to let healthy eating habits slide and nosh on less than stellar options while falling into less than desirable eating habits. Healthy eating habits, not diets, are the ideal route when it comes to improving your nutrition and weight goals. Diets are restrictive and have such a negative connotation that I hate using that word plus the short term use of them often yields negative results in the long run.
Since this life is pretty much always crazy and moving ahead non-stop, I’ve found that following a few key tenets have been a lifesaver for keeping my diet clean, healthy, and wholesomely nutritious. Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be a huge hassle. With a few modifications, an open mind and a little extra awareness of what you’re fueling your body with, healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult. Your body will thank you when you are feeling more energized and clearheaded.
Below are a few effortless ways to easily implement healthier eating into your busy lifestyle:
Start with a Protein Packed Breakfast
I try to start every morning with a power packed lunch. I’m sure that you’ve heard the phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and I wholeheartedly agree. Proteins keep you full, refuel your body, and are great for muscle building. Proteins keep you full which lessens your chances of snacking on sugary and salty snacks and helps rev up your metabolism right from the start. Simple eggs or egg white omelets, yogurt parfaits, oatmeal with chia seeds, quiche, protein shakes or protein peanut butter pancakes are all great options to start your day off on a healthy note.
Have Veggies with Lunch and Dinner
Aim to fill half your plate with vegetables for both lunch and dinner. By loading your plate (don’t be shy — add several cups of veggie goodness), you’re fueling your body with vital nutrients and vitamins to keep your body running at it’s fullest potential. One of my favorite hacks for making this super easy is using Eat Smart salad kits! Eat Smart kits are perfect because they are loaded with leafy veggies, seeds, dried fruits, cheeses and other accoutrements that give these salads a completely satisfying and mouth watering appeal.
My favorite of their salads is their Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Kit. It’s packed with so many great superfoods: broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds and a sweet poppyseed dressing that complements and pulls all the flavors together. Simply mix the pouches together and you are all set in just a few minutes. Pair the salad with grilled chicken or shrimp and you have a wholesome meal ready in less than 15 minutes.
While the Eat Smart Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad is already “100% clean label”, by the end of 2018, Eat Smart will be the first brand within its category to commit to clean ingredients and labeling and even will contain a “100% clean label” for ALL of their products! Free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, Eat Smart products are a brand that I can stand behind. Be sure to pick up a few bags the next time you’re at your local Walmart. Be sure to sign up for the Eat Smart newsletter for exclusive offers!
Cook in Bulk
This is such a time saver and keeps your home stocked with lots of food ready to go for those times you are in a time crunch for dinner. I love some time on the weekend to prepare a large lot of food for the week. I often grill or pressure cook (an Instant Pot is a must have for busy families) extra chicken breast, roast veggies, make a big batch of yogurt, cut veggies for dip and make some small side salads (with quinoa or couscous) to have accessible for quick, simple and healthy meals.
Keeping healthy snacks packed, prepped and ready to grab are definitely something that helps so much with healthy eating. When I’m hungry, I have a tendency to eat whatever is easiest to grab and consume and many packaged snack foods are not the healthier options. I love prepping little bags/containers of veggies and dip/hummus or greek yogurt mixed with fruit. Being able to quickly grab a healthy snack options keeps me from over indugling in the chips and other high calorie foods.
There are so many amazing and awesome substitutes that can be made while cooking and baking. Swap out high fat salad dressings with vinaigrettes or greek yogurt inspired dressings. Swap the fried foods for baked. Applesauce can be a great substitute for oil while baking. Substitute whole wheat for regular flour in recipes. There are so many easy and simple substitutions that can be made that can result in big differences in the long term.
No foods are bad foods. It’s all about moderation. Putting a food on a “bad” list is silly and only makes you crave it more and make you feel bitter when you can’t imbibe in your favorite sweet treats or salty foods. Moderation is everything in life. Limit those treats, but never swear them off. If you’re living a healthy lifestyle (eating healthy and staying active most days), treating yourself to your favorite foods now and then isn’t going to be detrimental. In fact, it’s likely going to make staying on a healthy lifestyle track easier as you’ll still be able to enjoy your favorite things while still eating healthy a majority of the time.
What are your biggest nutrition and diet struggles?