Taking your first steps to a healthy lifestyle is a lot more simple than you think. Here are my three basic yes and no’s of healthy eating.
No to Sauces
I’ve always been big on fitness and healthy eating. Once my roommate in college asked how I was able to keep my high standards while eating at the school cafeteria. What was my measuring stick for what was “clean” enough to put on my plate? After thinking about it for a minute I realized it was the sauce. I never put anything that was covered in sauce on my plate. Granted, that limited my options drastically but there are always other substitutes. I was able to cover carbs, proteins, and vegetables all without the unnecessary addition of a sauce that added no health value but instead just extra sugar and weight to your meal.
There’s a reason why your body feels better after eating a salad rather than after eating a rack of ribs. Yes, ribs might taste better to some but it also leaves you feeling lethargic for the next hour. Listen to your body and keep your foods fresh, clean, and sauce free.
No to (added) Sugar.
This goes along with the point above concerning sauce. Eating should be an enjoyable experience that leaves your taste buds satisfied. People think that getting fit means training your body to still function while you starve yourself with whole-wheat crackers and a celery stick every other hour. If all you’re eating is vegetables you’re doing it wrong. If all you’re eating are Big Macs you’re also doing it wrong. A healthy lifestyle is about balance. It’s about finding natural, healthy, but also tasty alternatives to the over-processed food brands that are advertised daily. Here’s a small step you can take in that direction: organic peanut butter. I love peanut butter. It’s delicious and can be put on anything. It’s also high in fat and has an insane amount of sugar added to it. Either go for a peanut butter with no sugar added or PB2. It’s a genius peanut powder that you add water to that contains 85% less fat than normal peanut butter and has no added sugar.
There are plenty of other non-polluted versions of awesome foods such as Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt (contains twice as much protein and has significantly less fat), organic almond butter, Unsweetened almond milk and much more. All you have to do is a little bit of research and everything starts falling into place.
Yes to Smoothies
I would hate to end this blog with another “No” so I’m going to end it with a “Yes”. Yes, do drink smoothies. As a matter of fact start every day with one along with whatever food you normally eat. It’s a great source of energy with minimal calories if you make it the right way. If you’re a veggie lover go for a veggie smoothie and if you’re more of a fruit person go for a mixed berrie smoothie. Personally I am a fruit fanatic so every other day it’s a delicious, vegan, protein smoothie for me. Here’s my recipe:
1.5 cups of Silk Coconut milk
1 serving of unflavored Protein powder (I use 2 scoops of Women’s Best Vegan protein)
2 Tbs of Chia Seeds
½ cup of Greek Yogurt (optional for some added protein)
With my recipe using plant-based protein powder and no added Greek Yogurt my shake contains 25 g of protein, 3 servings of vegetables, and plenty of vitamins from the frozen berries.
As you can see, eating healthy isn’t as bad as it sounds. Do some research. Explore what you like and don’t like. Tweak my smoothie recipe to meet your personal needs. Have fun with it and let me know what you come with in the comments below!