Diet and Nutrition – It’s a New Year!

The beginning of the year gets us prepped to reboot the healthy lifestyle by kicking some bad habits, getting off the couch and start moving!

Do you skip breakfast or frequently order takeout?  Do you feel jittery from the coffee overload and are you counting potato chips as part of a viable diet plan?

Here are a few ways to kick these unhealthy habits:

*Eat Breakfast Every Day- Breakfast provides your body with the fuel it needs to make energy to keep you focused and active throughout the day.  By fueling your body regularly, this will help you from possibly making unhealthy decisions later in the day based on hunger.

The key to a healthy breakfast is balance:  lean protein, whole grains and fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables.  You might choose oatmeal, sliced almonds and berries or crust-less quiche with mixed vegetables, low-fat cheese and a slice of whole wheat toast.

*Cut Back on Caffeine- Excessive caffeine can interfere with sleep, can make you jittery and can cause you to lose energy later in the day.  Limit regular coffee to 3 cups or less per day and be careful of what is added to the coffee.  You can ramp up unwanted calories quickly by adding flavored creamers and sweeteners.

*Pack Your Lunch- By meal planning, stocking the fridge with the right foods and meal prepping once a week, you set yourself up for success.  Grocery shop, wash all produce and divide it into single servings so you can grab and go each day.  Preparing a week’s worth of lunches on the weekend is a good idea:  bake chicken, chop veggies, steam rice.  Include a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrates (not the processed foods).  Some examples are whole-grain bread with lean turkey, one cup of veggies and a piece of fruit.  Also, try a salad with veggies and baked or grilled chicken with a piece of fruit.  Sometimes you can do mini-meals if you don’t have a lot of time for lunch.  This could include a high protein, low sugar, greekyogurt with whole wheat crackers and low-fat cheese or hummus with chopped carrots.

*Enjoy more fruits and veggies – These add color, flavor and texture, plus vitamins, minerals and will ramp up the fiber intake for our day.

*Cook Dinner at Home- Again, meal prepping on the weekend cuts down on the amount of time preparing meals after work.  Simply prep, cook and store meals in the freezer until you are ready for them each night, then just heat and serve.  Make a batch of soup to portion out for lunches and dinners, bake a whole chicken to slice for sandwiches, wraps and casseroles.

I hope you use some of these ideas to start your year with healthful meals and I hope you have a healthy, happy 2016!

Be Well,

Sherry Jenko, NDTR and Wellness Coach

(adapted from eatright.org)