Hey guys, long time no speak. Here comes the “I’ve been so busy omg how could I forget you” spiel. Anyway, I’ve been making the move over to a healthier diet (since I have no time at all to exercise), and I wanted to share some of my tips with you all. I’ve been trying to only buy healthy groceries, in an attempt to make myself actually eat healthy food, and it’s definitely working. Here are some of meal/snack tips that I’ve picked up over the last two weeks.
The most important meal of the day, so I hear, yet historically my least favorite. I hate waking up early so I find it nearly impossible to eat breakfast. Naturally, I’ve been trying to make myself eat breakfast, since it jump starts your metabolism and makes early morning shifts/classes more bearable.
My favorite breakfast thus far is yogurt with granola and berries. I always thought this looked kind of gross, since I’ve never eaten yogurt much in the past, but alas I have found the best kind! I eat either the Yoplait French Vanilla or Harvest Peach yogurt with the Bear Naked Maple Pecan granola, and either blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or all three! I promise you it is super delicious and also really filling. If you don’t like Greek yogurt (I don’t), these two offer just enough sweet, I think. I will probably eventually try to switch to the light versions, but for now I’m already a little afraid of yogurt so I’m going with the classics. Also, if you want a healthier alternative to the granola, you can try a low-fat crunchy cereal or sliced almonds.
Also, I thought I’d mention quickly that I’m not necessarily going for the lowest calorie options at the moment. I’m trying to mostly eat raw and organic food. Eventually I’ll probably care more about calories and carbs and that kind of thing but for now I’m trying to just eat really healthy, vitamin-rich foods.
One other thing I’ve been loving for breakfast if I feel like I need some meat/carbs is a breakfast sandwich. I’ve been using croissants this week (even though they’re pretty awful for you), and just cooking an egg, a few strips of turkey bacon, and adding some sriracha. It’s a really delicious and protein-filled breakfast. Sub in whole grain bread or just do an open-faced sandwich to cut on the carbs.
Lunch is pretty important for me, since I’m rarely at home for lunch. This means that I have to pack it the night before, otherwise I end up eating something on campus. I eat lunch French-style. I like having a lot of little things. There are two main types of lunch that I usually pack for myself. I sometimes do organic peanut butter on Reduced Fat Triscuit crackers or a sliced apple. Other times, I’ll just roll up some slices of turkey into a ziploc bag and bring those. I usually bring some fruit with me, so grapes, apples, or strawberries. If I have them, I’ll bring some cherry tomatoes or sliced cucumber as well. Sometimes I’ll throw in some cut up cheese, a pack of almonds (Emerald do cool 100-calorie packs), or a bag of popcorn. Popcorn is actually a surprisingly healthy, and if you’re too lazy, Skinny Pop is really good and it’s pre-popped.
Dinner is seriously a toss-up. I haven’t actually made any admirable dinner foods yet, so I’ll skip this section until I actually have advice. One thing I’ve had this week, though, is the Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese. It tastes just like Kraft and it’s all organic.
Again, fruit is your best friend. The yogurt with berries and granola works really well for dessert as well. Sometimes I’ll make myself a chai latte or cup of tea. It really depends. Sometimes I reach for the Chips Ahoy. No one’s perfect.
So probably my favorite section is snacks. I love munching throughout the day, and I usually eat a bunch of small meals and don’t actually eat lunch and dinner separately. I really love eating hummus as a snack. All of the Sabra varieties are really delicious. I like dipping cherry tomatoes or carrots into hummus, because I am all about the crunch. Crunchy vegetables are a good alternative to chips or crackers if you are a crunch person like I am. I also love the Skinny Pop. Sometimes I’ll cut up an apple and dip it into peanut or almond butter.
I know this whole juice/smoothie thing is a thing, but I pretty much can’t be bothered to buy that many vegetables/fruits if I’m going to just use them for one meal. I really have been trying to drink more tea (I’m a recovering coffee addict), and I actually am liking it. I’ve been making a cup of the Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Spice Tea before bed, and mixing in a little skim milk (I’m British at heart). I also love Tazo’s Organic Chai Tea concentrate. It’s so convenient! I just pour a little over ice into my water bottle, and add some milk and I’m ready to go.
So, as a college student, I have to eat out a lot. I’m rarely in my apartment, so if I forget to pack food, I basically have to choose whatever’s around. I have a few tips for you to navigate tricky restaurant menus. The first tip is that Tex-Mex is always a good place to start. Chains like Chipotle, Moe’s, Barberito’s, and Qdoba all have relatively healthy options. Chipotle is my personal favorite, just because all of their food is locally sourced and really organic. Most of the calories in a burrito come from the tortilla, so ordering a bowl or a naked burrito is always a good option. On top of that, I usually pile on the veggies and even some guacamole, because avocados are super good for you in moderation. The cheese and sour cream are the only place where you really get calories, so you can pretty much order whatever else you want there.
If you’re a coffee addict like I am, you should try to sub in tea every once in a while. Sometimes you don’t even need to add sugar, and you can add milk like I do to get back some of that coffee feel. I, again, like the Tazo teas, but pick whatever your taste buds fancy. I personally don’t really like tea that tastes like leaves and grass, so I go for the fruitier, floral, and spicy ones. I love the Sweet Cinnamon Spice, the Passion Tea, and the Organic Chai. If you go to Starbucks, they usually have a big selection of Tazo teas, and Starbucks makes a killer green tea latte. Get it with skim milk and enjoy. So good.
Another dessert-type food to reach for when your eating out is frozen yogurt! Fro-yo bars offer tons of flavors, with varying amounts of fat and sugar, as well as a billion toppings. I usually go for the tart or taro flavor, and I add graham cracker crumbs, strawberries, and sometimes chocolate chips. Super delicious stuff.
I hope this post was helpful for you guys! I’m just sharing my experience from the past few weeks, so feel free to leave comments with some other suggestions! I really am enjoying this new healthy diet. It’s kind of satisfying, plus it makes you feel great! Here are a few things that I used as inspiration when I was trying to create my meal plans, and you might enjoy them (Evelina‘s video, Bethany‘s video, and Pinterest!)