A Beginner’s Guide to Healthy Eating

As a companion to my previous post, I’ve gathered all of my favorite healthy recipes – both tried and on the list to try – and a few tips for healthy eating to help you make 2019 your healthiest year yet!

Disclaimer, IΒ DO NOT DIET and I certainly won’t be telling you to! I don’t believe that they work for anyone as they’re usually so restrictive, unappetising, and labor intensive (meal prep, finding unusual ingredients, etc.) that they aren’t sustainable past the number of weeks they outline. Honestly, who is going to permanently give up chocolate, or coffee, or dairy for the sake of appearances?! Not realistic. I am however, a huge proponent of healthy eating and eating small portions in combination with regular exercise. It’s so much more enjoyable as you can eat whatever you want, the meal choices are endless and it’s easier than you think to develop into a permanent lifestyle change. Keep those things in mind as you scroll!

As you move along your health and fitness journey this year, understanding which foods to avoid, which are ok, and which you should be eating the most of will become more natural. Similarly, knowing how to substitute ingredients in meals to make them healthy/healthier will also become second nature and is a big part of what will give you long-term results both physically and mentally!

Bowls

Macro bowls, power bowls, buddha bowls, the only thing you’ll ever eat again ’cause they’re that darn good bowls, whichever name you prefer, these are my favorite things to eat and a crave-worthy way to load up on all things nutritious and flavorful! If you’re new to healthy eating, startΒ here! Easy to assemble, loaded with good nutrition, and always enough for leftovers! Literally perfect.

The three bowls pictured above are my recent favorites – I’ve only stopped eating the Turkish Egg and Quinoa bowl because I’ve run out of ingredients for it!

Half Baked Harvest – Turkish Egg and Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Minimalist Baker – Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Feasting at Home – Healthy Yummy Mexican Breakfast Bowls

Stick to the recipes if you’re new to this and as a rule, homemade is almost ALWAYS healthier than store-bought. Specifically in the case of the turkey chorizo used in the third recipe above.

Protein-packed substitutes

I always love finding ways to replace meat with a protein-packed substitute for a significantly healthier and lower fat/lower cholesterol meal. Quinoa, barley and other whole grains, as well as legumes such as black beans and chickpeas make great meat replacements that will fill you without leaving you feeling greasy and gross like meat does.

The enchilada recipe is so good – stay true to the recipe, even down to the pomegranate arils, and I promise you are in for such a treat! These tacos were literally the only thing I could eat while pregnant with Lilly (aside from ice cream and organic pop-tarts😜), and finally, once I made the switch from beef to grain/veggie burgers, I never looked back!! TIP: replace frozen fries with homemade sweet potato fries.

Half Baked Harvest – Spicy Poblano, Black Bean, and Quinoa Enchiladas
She Likes Food – BBQ Cauliflower & Chickpea Tacos.
COOKIE + Kate – Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers.

Healthy breakfasts

When you start the day off with a satisfying, filling, and flavorful breakfast, other healthy eating is likely to follow! If you’re pressed for time in the morning, or just hate the thought of cooking when you’re half asleep (like me!) give some overnight recipes a try! TIP- use honey or maple syrup in place of sugar.

Sweet

Overnight oats are a fantastic way to have a homemade, healthy breakfast straight out of the fridge every morning with little more effort than just reheating – if you choose! Oatmeal based breakfast cups are also a sweet and filling start to the day – I’ve tried almost all of these baked breakfast cups and couldn’t possibly choose one as a favorite! I always add more fruit than required though πŸ˜‰, also try these. Birch Benders protein pancake mix (from your local grocery store) is mine and Lilly’s new obsession! Protein, yes, but also the fastest way to have a hot breakfast on the mornings that you have a little time to spare. I always add vanilla extract and cinnamon to taste and will also throw in fresh fruit.

Flavor the Moments – German Chocolate Chia Overnight Oats.
She Likes Food – Healthy Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Cups 6 Ways.
Birch Benders – Protein Pancake & Waffle Mix.

Savory

Breakfasts that can be made in large batches and frozen until ready to eat are a night-owl’s saving grace. Grabbing one of these protein-packed burritos out of the freezer and warming them up while you get ready is just about the only an early-morning snoozer like myself is able to get any food before lunchtime. Classic avocado toast is delicious, full of healthy fats, and can be topped with literally anything and everything to make a decadent and healthy breakfast. Lastly, egg cups are another grab-n-go breakfast that delivers your morning dose of veggies, dairy, and protein all in one. OR, pour the ingredients into a hot pan for an omelette. TIP- use fresh, organic, high-quality ingredients and limit overall dairy for lower fat meals!

COOKIE + Kate – Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos.
The Kitchn – 11 Easy Ways to Fancy Up Your Avocado Toast.
Well Plated – Healthy Breakfast Egg Cups.

Smart snacking

Snacking is usually where I get in trouble! I do minimize the damage by pouring my snacks into ramekins to keep my portion size very small, and don’t go back for seconds. Chances are good that if you’re constantly wanting to snack, you’re mistaking hunger for thirst. Drink a few glasses of water and next time, remember to be consistently drinking water all day long!

Smoothies packed with fruits, grains and nutritious coconut water, lemon juice and spices are a palate-pleasing snack. It’s been awhile since I’ve made these oatmeal energy balls, but I love having my pantry stocked with healthy foods that I can graze on and these are great for just that! One of my family’s favorite snacks is hummus with veg. This is a tasty way to get your raw veggies in and hummus is so delicious you’d never know it was full of protein (yay chickpeas)! You don’t have to be this extra with your mid-day hummus snack, but I did want to show you a variety of healthy dipping choices.

Sweet Peas and Saffron – 5 Frozen Smoothie Packs.
Well Plated – Energy Balls | The Ultimate Recipe Guide.
Pepper Delight – Hummus Platter.

Tips

  • Drink a glass of water each hour of the day.
  • Avoid the candy/packaged pastry/potato chip/frozen TV dinners at the grocery store.
  • Read labels – the fewer ingredients, the healthier (less processing).
  • Avoid fast food restaurants like the plague!
  • Take a 30 minute walk before settling into the couch for the night.
  • Avoid emotional/boredom eating! (replace eating with FaceTiming a friend, tidying-up, coloring, reading, taking a shower, exercise, or drinking water instead).
  • Use smaller plates, bowls, and ramekins for snacks to keep portions small.

Making positive changes in your eating habits and incorporating exercise into your daily routine are guaranteed to improve your life. I have a friend who believes both of these combined are the cure for everything under the sun – I don’t disagree with her! You will be amazed at how much better you feel physically and mentally after making healthy eating and exercise a lifestyle.

πŸ–€Mia

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2 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to Healthy Eating

  1. These meals look great! Blood sugar is my big issue so I normally go for more protein and almost zero grains. I did whole grains for years, but once I hit my late 40s, I had to give those up too. I actually feel better when I eat lean meat than when I eat grains. Everyone is different though and I agree with your philosophy regarding not dieting, but just eating healthy small portions.

    Great post!

    βŒβ­•οΈβŒβ­•οΈ,

    Misty Ann

    Like

    1. Hi Misty Ann! It’s all about eating healthy, clean foods and in small portions! Lean meats are great because they are not high in saturated fat, or calories like red meat. Yes, we are all wired differently and require different diets – that’s important to note as many of the trendy diet regimens do not take that into consideration. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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