Boredom, stress, anxiety, and emotional eating can trigger mindless eating and excessive food consumption leading to weight gain and health problems. Your current state of confused mind coupled with the feeling that there’s just a little too much work and responsibilities happening might delay your good intentions of starting healthy living. However, there are practical and effective ways that you can start doing today to reset your lifestyle habits such as eating more whole foods to nourish your body, increase your energy level, improve your mood and repair your body.
You can eat healthy meals without putting too much effort and time like giving instructions to your cook or ordering healthy food delivery meals. However, it is important to learn how to create your own healthy foods so you get used to the habit without depending too much on others to prepare everything for you. This is a very important skill that can save you from developing health problems as long as you live.
I am sharing the most effective eating strategies for health and weight management based on the research that has worked for me, my clients, friends, and family. When it comes to easy meal preparation, you can always consume healthy, unrefined, whole foods by giving some time to plan and prepare until you can incorporate the healthy habits into your lifestyle.
Ensure that you have enough supply of your healthy foods at home
Your grocery shopping behavior will depend on your schedule, household food consumption, and preference. You might need to do two to three times of grocery shopping for fruits and vegetables, but you now have the option of doing your grocery shopping online, saving you time and effort. Prioritize buying healthy foods and save money by eliminating foods that your body doesn’t need such as processed foods (bacon, hotdog, savory snacks, cookies, sugary drinks, canned meats, and chips), unrefined and high-sugar carbs (white bread, pastries, and instant noodles) and fatty meats (beef and pork with large cuts of fat).
To begin your shopping, fill up your cart with fruits and vegetables. Always keep in mind that you need to eat more veggies during your meals and two to three servings of fruits a day. You can also get frozen fruits and vegetables for your healthy smoothies and quick-cooking meals.
Get your supply of healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, and seeds (sunflower and pumpkin seeds).
Buy fresh coconut juice and you can consume this right after a workout or whenever you crave sweet drinks.
Make your food preparations at home simple, fast and convenient
You can always search for healthy recipes online that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Then you can be more creative in making your own version of meals based on your taste and food preference. I am sharing some of my favorite healthy meals and snacks that I’ve been having since the pandemic to manage my health and weight and continue improving my fitness level. Keep in mind that you need to apply portion control to avoid weight gain and other health issues. With practice, I was able to master and prepare these recipes in 15 minutes or less.
Lettuce, fresh lumpia, or wheat tortilla wrap with protein – saute garlic, onion, tomato, and your protein for the day (lean ground beef, shrimp, chicken, or tofu), then add some spices, herbs, salt, and pepper.
Shiratake/konjac meals– If you are trying to lessen your carb intake use shiratake rice or noodles to combine with your favorite viand and vegetables. It only takes a few minutes to cook the shiratake rice/noodles. You can just blanch (immersing the food in boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes then immediately plunging into an ice bath) bok choy, broccoli, or kale.
Overnight oats and chia pudding– Mix a tablespoon of chia seeds, 1/2 – 1 cup of milk, oatmeal, and your favorite nuts, seeds, or fruits. Put the fridge overnight and you can have this as your breakfast or snack.
Fruit and veggie smoothie – Use a blender to mix 1/2 cup of your favorite fruits (banana, strawberries, papaya, or melon), celery stalk, kale, or kang-kong leaves, cucumber, and a glass of water, milk, or coconut juice). You can use fresh or frozen fruits and veggies for your smoothies.
Trail mix – combine equal amounts of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits in one container. You can have a handful of this once a day for your snack or dessert.
Veggie omelet – mix pre-boiled sweet potato, egg, onion, tomato, garlic, spinach or kale, and left-over chicken or beef, and cook everything in a non-stick pan.
Healthy pizza– use whole wheat or whole grain bread or tortilla wrap. Combine your favorite healthy pizza ingredients such as tomato, onion, spinach, shrimp, lean ground beef, left-over roast chicken, and cheese. Use the toaster oven and bake for 5 to 8 minutes.
Boiled snacks- You can boil these healthy foods ahead of time and easily grab and reheat them for your snacks: corn, saba banana, sweet potato, and/or boiled egg.
Steamed fish and veggies– It takes less than 10 minutes to steam your favorite fish- salmon or white fish. You can also steam the fish together with your vegetables.
Roast chicken salad- mix lettuce with boiled egg, cheese, boiled or pan-fried chicken (or left-over roast chicken), tomato, almonds, and natural yogurt dressing.
Avocado and egg toast– Use whole grain or whole wheat bread with your sunny side up or poached egg and avocado slices.
Fruit snacks– for sweet cravings, combine Greek yogurt or natural peanut butter with your favorite fruit such as berries, apple, mango, or banana.
Chia pancake– prepare a healthy pancake mix the night before (chia seeds, oatmeal, whole grain pancake mix, egg, salt, and olive oil). Cook the pancake mix the day after using a non-stick pan or a toaster oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
To be consistent, you need to practice and become more interested in healthy cooking by challenging yourself to make your own healthy recipes. You can also start your food journal to be more aware of your food intake and to keep your motivation strong.