I speak often about the importance of food in healthy living. The food we consume is important and affects the way we perform and feel every day. This holds true for all people, but, is even more relevant for people who have chronic illnesses and IBD like me.
In a world saturated with media pushing junk food, mounds of sugar and salt, and the importance of choosing convenience over nutrition, it can be extremely challenging to make healthy decisions for our diet! So, today I wanted to share my four top tips that help me stay on track of healthy eating.
1. Meal Planning
I am sure you have heard of meal planning before and have shrugged it off with a simple “I don’t have time for that” or “I don’t need to do that”. But, I am here to report that meal planning has been SO valuable in my journey with healthy and clean eating. One of the number one reasons why people don’t eat healthy is because they find it inconvenient. So, this is the perfect way to eliminate that problem.
If you plan your meals all at once at the beginning of your week you will:
- Save yourself time throughout the week. No more worrying about what to eat every night after work.
- Reduce your risk of eating unhealthy foods because of lack of convenience.
- Ensure that you have all your ingredients on hand for your meals.
- Plan nourishing, filling, and well balanced meals. By planning meals in advance you can ensure you are getting all of your nutrients and proper servings.
There is two ways of doing meal planning. Both forms are effective, but it really depends on your personality, budget, and lifestyle.
- Meal Planning BEFORE Grocery Shopping: By doing so you can plan our your meals for the week, make a list of groceries, and get only what you need once at the store. This is particularly helpful if you are trying to stick to a budget and eliminate any possibility of food waste by only grabbing what you plan to eat.
- Meal Planning AFTER Grocery Shopping: If you are someone who is quite self disciplined and likes to go through the grocery store and grab whats on sale or in season, this may be right for you. I tend to do my meal planning this way. I like to see what I can find that week and then get inspired to make meal plans surrounding those ingredients.
Either format works and can be very effective, it is really just dependent on your discipline, personality type, budget, and lifestyle.
2. Having Healthy Quick Options On Hand
Even if we meal plan to the max, things come up, and this can effect our healthy eating habits. You suddenly have to work late to finish a deadline, a friend asks you to come to a fun event after work and you only have 30 minutes to eat and get out the door, your sick or really tired and don’t have the energy to cook. This is real life after all. So, when these things happen I like to turn to one of my favorite companies; Live Fit Foods.
Live Fit Foods offer balanced, freshly chef-made frozen meals delivered right to your door. They offer meals for everyone ranging from vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, keto, weight loss, and more. I personally get the gluten-free meal box and I can rest assured that it will allow me to eat a healthy meal that fits my dietary needs.
I like to keep some of these stocked in my freezer for when I need a quick dinner or lunch. So, I can still have a convenient meal ready for me, without sacrificing on nutrition. I still prefer to eat a good home cooked meal, but if I need it, Live Fit Foods is a perfect option.
I loved the food and concept behind the company so much that I helped my grandfather set up an account to order some meals for him. He lives alone and cooking all the time can be tiresome for him, so he likes having these options a few times a week. He is very picky about having a yummy meal, and he had nothing but great things to say about the meals. He said they were flavorful, delicious, and filling.
Another friend of mine is a busy student who just recently moved away for her graduate degree. She is living in a new city, working long days in graduate school, and finds it hard to cook all the time. I suggest she try Live Fit Foods and she loves it. She finds it extremely helpful to have on hand, especially during exam and test seasons.
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about Live Fit Foods and their company. I love that it is locally made in London, Ontario and ships to Ontario and Quebec (with the hopes of expanding soon). I also love that they offer food for ALL people and ALL DIETS. I find that a lot of meal delivery services are not great when it comes to dietary needs, but Live Fit Foods definitely is.
If you are interested in trying some meals for yourself, you can use my code NATHALIE20 at checkout to get $20 off and be sure to use this link when you make a purchase. (By purchasing through the affiliate link you allow me to make a little money back for my refferal😊)
3. Stocking the Cupboard & Fridge With Staples
Beyond meal planning it is important to make sure that your cupboards and fridge are stocked with any staples for your diet. I like to make sure that I have the following on hand all the time to make sure that I am set. By having these back up items and pantry staples, you ensure that you never run out of staples, and therefore have one less excuse for not eating healthy!
- Healthy snack options at the ready
- Larabars (only 5 ingredients in each bar)
- Fruits and veg cut up
- Peanut butter (perfect for a sweet treat with crackers for a salty and sweet combo)
- Frozen fruits and veg for smoothies, ice cream, and easy steamed veggies with meals
- Nuts and seeds (Great for munching, baking, or making things like my homemade granola)
- Bulk Baking Essentials (Gluten Free Flours and baking supplies)
- Nut milk in the fridge (and backups in the pantry)
4. Meal Prepping / Making Extras
The final important step in maintaining my health eating is to do some meal prepping throughout the week. Typically every Sunday we have a large meal, so with that dinner we will cook up a lot of extra vegetables and usually some form of grain. Throughout the week, this makes it easier for me to pack a healthy lunch. A go-to lunch for me is some rice, lots of veg, and some chicken for protein. Meal prepping does not have to be a long and daunting process, rather if you just think of making extra for dinners, it can make everything easier throughout the week with both your lunch and dinner prep. When you make your meal plan, I also recommend you think of how you could take some ingredients from some meals and add them to the next nights meals, etc. This will stretch your cooking even further and make for less hassle throughout the week.
Overall, those are my 4 top tips for staying on top of healthy eating. I hope that you found it helpful and learned something new that you can apply in your life. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the post I did on enjoying mindful eating.
QUESTION: HOW DO YOU KEEP UP WITH HEALTHY EATING?
Leave your thoughts in the comments down below or on my latest Instagram post.
If you liked the post make sure to share it with a friend and subscribe to my blog to get email updates every time I post. Also be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life.
Your trusty, gutsy gal,