Eating Healthy is a lifestyle— not a fad. MAKE IT FUN!

So I was reflecting the other day about why there are so many of us that want to change something but can’t even start because the implications we tell ourselves are so overwhelming we are exhausted before we get started! Did you get all that? 😉

So I thought I’d throw out some tips to changing your eating lifestyle in a not so intrusive way. Now I know there are a few that like the “all or nuthin'” approach, but many times that approach gets a bad rap in your mind because invariably it will add stress in other areas of your life that have taken priority longer.

Here is a few pictures to get the motivation going visually, and some tips that have helped me make changes in my daily food life that help the changes STAY changed and become my new lifestyle…

Eating more fruits and veggies when you have a craving to eat- whether you want salty- spicy- sweet… let the fruit, veggie or grain do the filling, then let the salty-spicy-or sweet do the talking!! If you like fruits and veggies alone, that is great and i do that often, but sometimes I really just want something rich- so instead of eating a whole bag of M&M’s when I want some chocolate, I slice up some fruit and sprinkle  just a few of them on top! Kills the chocolate want, and a fruit serving for the day! YES!

Here are a few snack ideas:
*Apple slices dipped in…. peanut butter and a few marshmallows, or chop the apple up and drizzle a little chocolate or caramel ice cream topping on them. Heck, add a few nuts and have an “apple sundae”!

*Baby carrots in peanut butter is super yummy.
*Slice a banana into a bowl and add a drizzle of ice cream topping and maybe a few chocolate chips or mini-m&m’s… YUMMO.
*Whole wheat, low fat crackers with fresh salsa has become one of my all time favs. YUM. Can you tell I love food????

For lunches:
Sandwiches are fun to change up— try no mayo or mwhip- just a dab of mustard- its awesome how much the flavor of the veggies on your sandwich come out when you aren’t masking it with a dressing. Not to mention the lack of fat! Love that! Here are some of my favorites:

* Good ol PB&J with lo sugar (not fake sugar… LOWER real sugar) jam/jelly or fresh sliced berries or bananas.
*Lean lunch meat (my fav is smoked turkey) with an array of veggies- lettuces, sliced bell peppers are always nice and cure the need for chips on the side for the “crunchy” factor, tomato slices, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seeds, pickles, etc. YUM.
*Scrambled egg sandwiches are yummy with a bowl of fresh fruit on the side. Good flavor there.

I LOVE my salad. It is quite convenient this year to have salad multiple times a day since I got brave and tried my hand at growing some in my garden… AWESOME! It is easy to grow- for the record!
Here are three of my favorites (there are endless ideas- share some!):
*FIESTA!!! 3 cups of salad, some Chili beans or black beans, Chile/Limon pumpkin seeds (soooo yummy), small sprinkle of cheddar cheese or soycheddar, about 2-3 tbsp fresh salsa, a broken up taco shell or a few tortilla chips, and a small drizzle of light Ranch dressing.

*Fruit by the Foot! 3 cups of salad or so, mandarine oranges, sunflower seeds, craisins or other dried fruit, chopped apples, pecans if I have them, and Annies Vegetarian Light Poppyseed dressing. Oh so good.
*Italian: 3 cups salad, grated carrots, garlic croutons, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and bell peppers, a few pepperoni or salami slices, olives, and a small sprinkle of cheese- parmesan, cheddar, low fat mozzerella, etc. and a dressing of your choice. If I have fresh herbs, a few strips of fresh basil and a balsamic dressing is super good. Talk about a party in your mouth! mmmmmm…..

So the changes don’t have to be BIG and SCARY and LIFE ALTERING!!!! AHHH! Right??? 😉 Just start by changing a few things. Want chocolate? Add a small amount to a healthier choice… having salad? Don’t smother it in dressing- dress it up into a PARTY for your mouth with the “light” version of your fav dressing better yet, try a new one that is low cal/low fat! Love sandwiches- opt out on the fatty dressings- it will taste sooo good and opt out on the chips and add some crunch to your sandwich or have whole wheat low fat crackers if you must. What are some of your EASY, yummy, healthy eating tips???