How to Fuel your Workout

If you have been following me on Instagram at @paleoish_fitbusymom then you will know that I am all about eating Paleo, or kinda, lol.  See there are no Paleo police out there to catch me from doing it WRONG.  All I know is that my body functions the best on this type of email plan so it is easy for me to look up meal plans and recipes that fit my needs because of the Paleo title..

Here is what Beachbody has to say about it.

Eat before you work out. Don’t eat before you work out. Eat only carbs after a workout. Don’t eat carbs…ever. The mixed messages in the media about how to fuel for and recover from a workout, run the above gamut and then some. Add to that the numerous extreme diet trends, and you’ve got even more (mis)information at your fingertips.

As a Paleoista, I’d like to set the record straight by going back to basics. Way, way back—like a couple million years, to be a bit more precise! Since our ancestors were athletes in their own right, we can look to them to mimic the food groups they consumed and model an eating plan accordingly. The goal is to eat with a focus on local, seasonal veggies and some fruit, wild fish instead of farmed (or canned), grass-fed meats, and a good dose of healthy fats.

Don’t worry—I’m not going to suggest you take up hunting, throw away your clothing in favor of a loincloth, and take up barefoot running. I’m Paleo, but I’m no cavewoman! What I do suggest is that you eat a variety of whole foods from farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and even your own backyard, and steer clear of processed, packaged items that are high in salt, sugar, bad fats, and assorted chemicals.

As we exercise, our nutritional needs change and the more we provide our bodies with clean, high-octane fuel, the better we can expect them to perform.

But how do we make full use of those foods? It depends on what you’re doing. What I eat when preparing for a long day of Ironman training is vastly different than what a client might eat for an epic strength-training session and still different from how you could prepare for a short bout of intense cardiovascular activity first thing in the morning. Let’s break it down:

How-to-Fuel-Workout-Paleo-Style

1. Strength Training
Strength sessions done in a fasted state first thing in the morning can potentially help the body to release maximal levels of HgH (growth hormone) which allows the body to recover, repair, and refuel for the next workout. This can also happen later in the day if you do them roughly an hour after eating a lean-protein meal and follow it with a similar lean-protein meal about 45 minutes to an hour after your strength-training session.

Examples of lean-protein meals: Sliced, lean pastured turkey breast or an egg white omelet. (Save the yolks to eat later. They’re good for you!)

 

2. Shorter Duration Morning Cardiovascular Activity
Training first thing in the morning in a fasted state has been proven to help the body become more efficient at utilizing fat as a substrate. Even for those who don’t necessarily need to lose weight, Paleo practitioners believe functioning on fat as your fuel throughout the day provides for improved mental focus, balanced energy levels, and less cravings for sweets, as the latter is typically representative of a blood sugar crash in disguise.

If you haven’t tried working out in the morning without eating first, do so in a controlled environment. Start with something as simple as a 30-minute cardio session the first couple of times to see how your body reacts. You can build your way up to longer bouts of activity over time. Just be sure to give your body the opportunity to adapt. Don’t go out for a two-hour run in a fasted state if you’ve never tried it before and have been relying on carbohydrate gels up until now.

Afterwards, be sure to eat a proper Paleo-inspired breakfast focusing, as most Paleo plates do, on eating a hefty portion of a variety of veggies, balanced out with some wild proteins and a good dose of healthy fat. As your workout duration increases, begin to add some Paleo-friendly starches like yam, or a higher glycemic fruit, like ripe banana, to your breakfast to help your body recover.

An example of a post-cardio Paleo breakfast: An omelet made from two or three cage-free eggs then cooked in coconut oil and placed on a bed of leafy greens with avocado.

 
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3. Longer Cardio Sessions
If your workout stretches beyond two hours, begin to include more starch. (Contrary to popular belief, we do not need starch at every meal; we need it only when we’re going to be moving our bodies.) About two hours before a long workout, eat a meal that has a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. No need to overthink it—just have some yams (check out my signature Paleoista Baked Yam ‘fries’) with some easily digestible protein, such as couple of soft boiled eggs, or a homemade smoothie, such as this one.

Also keep in mind that it can sometimes get tricky to fuel with natural foods during long training sessions or races such as marathons or Ironman competitions. Subsequently, you may need to include some not-so-Paleo items, like carbohydrate gels. But the rest of the time, if the bulk of what you eat is real, unprocessed food, eaten in proper ratios, you’re hedging our bets for success.

To recover from a longer session, first hydrate, then eat something similar to what you ate pre-workout. Return to normal Paleo eating as soon as your body lets you know it’s time.

Low Calorie Foods Essential to Weight Loss

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With obesity on the rise and posing one of the most single most severe health problems in the country, it is no wonder that so many are trying to lose weight through any means necessary. There are countless fad diets, diet food delivery programs, fitness regimens and weight loss plans that swear to give you fast, noticeable results, but, when it comes to dieting, there is no such thing as an easy solution. The best way to achieve permanent weight loss is by eating fewer calories than what your body burns throughout the day. Obviously, incorporating fitness helps as well since it burns calories and helps off set the calories in versus calories out.

Foods and Beverages That Aid in Weight Loss
Although it is important to cut down on calories consumed, it is also just as important not to restrict calories so much so that you are hungry all day and causing the body to burn muscle for fuel. In order to avoid this, you will not only have to restrict calorie intake, but will also have to incorporate certain foods into your diet that aid in weight loss simply by consuming them. Yes, that’s right, there are actually certain foods that are low in calories, low in fat and contain plenty of fiber. These foods help keep you full longer, speed up your metabolism and assist in digestion. They help prevent overeating and make calorie restriction a much easier goal to accomplish.

Water
Water is the key component to losing weight, keeping it off and doing it in a healthy way. Water helps the kidneys and liver function properly so that your food is digested and fat is burned efficiently when consumed. If you do not consume enough water, your kidneys will have a difficult time processing protein and your liver will have to jump in and help. One of the liver’s main functions is to process fat in the body. If it has to do another job to help out the kidneys as well, fat burning will be inhibited. In addition to being a necessary tool for digestion, water also helps keep you full in between, before and after meals. By drinking one to two glasses of water prior to each meal, you will get full quicker and consume fewer calories.

Greens
Green vegetables such as romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach kale and other leafy green vegetables contain a variety of nutrients critical to weight loss, especially an abundance of fiber. Fiber helps keep you full longer, hence helping you consume fewer calories at each meal. Leafy green vegetables also fight free radicals and improve muscle recovery after exercise. Incorporate a leafy green vegetable to each meal of the day by adding a green salad prior your main meal. This is an easy way to add fiber and cut caloric intake with a healthy, pre-meal food.

Whole Grains
Whole grains are important, especially when they are consumed and substituted for starches or white foods such as white bread and white rice. Some examples of whole grains are brown rice, whole grain cereals, quinoa, whole oats, and bran. Each of these foods, when eaten in small quantities at each meal, can help prevent the body from storing fat by helping move it along in the digestive system. This results in less fat storage and increased weight loss. Whole grains also provide a similar benefit to leafy greens and water. They help keep you full longer, preventing snacking between meals or overeating.

Lean Protein
Lean protein such as white meat chicken, lean turkey, fish and extra lean meats all assist in weight loss. They do so by assisting your body with the muscle building process. After exercise, it is suggested that you consume a high protein meal or snack in order to help rebuild muscle fibers and help muscles heal. High protein meals and snacks are also more filling than sugary, carbohydrate filled post-workout favorites such as granola bars, cereal bars or pasta.

Fruits
Fruits contain many vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the body to function. When it comes to fruit, however, it is important to choose the right foods in order to prevent insulin spikes and unnecessary fat storage. Fruits contain plenty of sugars, and although they are natural sugars, they will still have an impact on your blood sugar level and cause spikes in the body’s insulin levels. These spikes can cause you to feel hungry when you should not be, they can make you feel fatigued and can have an overall negative effect on mood. In order to consume fruits that will benefit the body and assist in weight loss, it is important to consume mostly low glycemic fruits. Some examples of low glycemic fruits are cherries, berries, grapefruits, plums, apples and pears. In addition to ensuring most of your fruits are low on the glycemic index, it is also important to eat fresh fruit and avoid juices or dried fruits. Juices do not provide all of the nutrients that the skin and meaty portions of the fruit contains. Dried foods typically have plenty of added sugars and some of their nutritional value has been depleted.

Low Fat Yogurt
Plain, low fat yogurt, such as Greek yogurt, is high in protein and calcium. This combination helps increase metabolism and break down fats during digestion. Research suggests that those that incorporate low fat yogurt to a balanced, low calorie diet plan maintain more lean muscle mass while losing weight.

The Bottom Line
While there are many foods that assist in weight loss, as previously mentioned, there is no magic pill or food that will shed calories without effort on your part. The keys to effective, permanent weight loss are simple. You will need to eat less calories than what you burn, either through calorie restriction and/or exercise and you will have to incorporate healthy, nutritious foods into each meal and snack you consume. Ideally, you should aim to consume less than 20% of your calories from fat each day. The remainder of your calories can be evenly distributed among proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The benefits of exercise are abundant. It not only burns calories, but also keeps the body’s metabolism working long after exercise is complete. This helps burn more calories and fat even while you are sitting at work or sleeping.

Healthy Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

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Deciding to start a family and getting pregnant will be one of the most exciting moments of your life.  At the same time, it can also be a bit daunting since the nine months prior to your baby’s birth are so critical to his or her development.  Many expectant moms wonder what to eat, what to avoid, how much to eat and how often they should eat.  Some think they need to be eating twice as much as they did before getting pregnant, and some have no idea at all how to change their eating habits in order to properly accommodate their growing babies.

 

Pregnancy Diet Basics

The key to a healthy pregnancy diet is plenty of variety, including as many different types of foods as possible.  Eating many different types of foods will ensure that your baby is getting all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients he needs to grow and develop.  In the first few months, nausea may be an issue, and may inhibit you from eating certain foods.  To prevent nausea, it is best to eat small meals spread out throughout the day, and include foods such as crackers or breads to ease the discomfort.  Ginger has also been known to help fight nausea, and it is a healthy food permitted during pregnancy.  The nausea usually subsides at the end of the first trimester, and makes it a little easier to add variety to your pregnancy diet. This is the time when you should take advantage of the relief, and incorporate as many healthy foods as possible.  Remember, though, that being pregnant does not mean you need to eat twice as much as you ate before.  All your baby needs is approximately 300 extra calories per day. This can be just one more meal per day or two extra snacks.  Combined with prenatal vitamins and a healthy diet, the extra 300 calories will be more than sufficient to ensure your baby grows and develops into a healthy, happy baby.

 

Healthy Foods to Eat While Pregnant

For a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, an expectant mom’s diet should be balanced, nutritious and include plenty of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and fiber.  A little sugar is allowed here and there as well but should be kept to a minimum.  Below is a detailed list of smart food choices while expecting.  Incorporate these tips into each day, and your little bundle of joy should be born as healthy as can be!

 

Water

Even when not expecting, it is important to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water per day to ensure proper kidney and liver function.  Water also helps with digestion.  During pregnancy, water not only helps hydrate you and keep the digestive system working at its peak, it can also help alleviate many of the side effects associated with pregnancy.  Water can help deliver healthy nutrients to the baby through the blood flow, it can prevent excess fluid retention and it can also prevent urinary tract infections which are common during pregnancy.  In addition to the above benefits, water during pregnancy is also critical in order to continuously help replenish the amniotic fluid.  Amniotic fluid is replaced several times throughout the day through water that is stored by the body.  Ensuring you are drinking plenty of water will help ensure your baby is continuously getting a new, fresh environment in which to thrive.

 

Fiber

Foods high in fiber are important during pregnancy because they help alleviate constipation.  Constipation is a common side effect of pregnancy, and it can become very bothersome as a pregnancy progresses.  Some foods that can help ensure you get your daily dose of fiber include:

Bran cereal

Beans

Broccoli

Leafy green vegetables (Swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, kale)

Prunes

Pumpkin seeds

Almonds

Apples

Pears

Berries

Citrus fruits

 

Dairy

Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for a growing baby’s bones.  In order to ensure you are getting at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, you should eat three to four servings of low fat dairy products each day.  This can include:

Low fat milk

Low fat, low sugar yogurt

Cottage cheese

Pasteurized cheese

 

Iron

Iron is an essential nutrient, especially during pregnancy, because it is critical in hemoglobin production.  Hemoglobin is what helps red blood cells carry oxygen through the blood stream.  During pregnancy, the blood volume in the body increases by up to 50 percent.  This means the body needs extra help moving the oxygen through the blood stream and to the growing baby.  Expectant moms should consume about 27 milligrams of iron per day.  It is important to consume iron from plant foods, as well as from meats and animal products.  Three to four ounces of meats, poultry and fish, or about the size of a deck of playing cards, should be sufficient to provide you with the 27 milligrams iron needed daily.  Good sources of iron from both groups include:

Dark meat turkey

Chicken breast

Halibut

Lean beef

Pork loin

Soybeans

Tofu

Spinach

Lentils

Chickpeas

 

Whole Grains

Whole grains are high in nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, iron, folic acid, niacin and vitamins B1 and B2.  In addition to providing so many essential nutrients, these foods are also an important source of energy for mom and her growing baby.  It is important to consume about 28 grams of whole grains per day.  Some examples of foods expectant moms can eat to get a proper daily intake of whole grains are:

Brown rice

Oats

Popcorn

Barley

Quinoa
Oatmeal

Whole wheat bagel, pita or English muffin

Whole grain pasta

 

Healthy Fats

Fats are essential to every diet, but it is important to eat a variety of healthy fats, especially during pregnancy.  Healthy fats improve digestion in the mother, and they have also been linked to a reduced autism risk in babies.  Healthy fats should make up about 30% of an expectant mother’s diet and should preferably consist of monounsaturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids.  Some healthy fat choices include:

Olive oil

Avocado

Nuts and seeds

Peanut oil

Canola oil

Salmon

Sardines

Eggs

 

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/07/02/eating-healthy-fats-during-pregnancy-may-reduce-baby-autism-risk/

 

Prenatal Vitamins

Last but not least on the list is ensuring you take a prenatal vitamin each day during pregnancy.  Prenatal vitamins give the body and the growing fetus all of the necessary nutrients that may not be consumed through a healthy diet.  If possible, it is recommended that women planning to become pregnant in the next year begin taking prenatal vitamins early.  Taking a prenatal vitamin at least one month prior to conception, including one with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid, can help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in the unborn fetus by up to 70%.  Since prenatal vitamins can sometimes cause nausea, it is best to take them just before bed with a small snack and plenty of water.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_seventeen-things-you-should-do-before-you-try-to-get-pregnan_7171.bc?page=1

Weight Loss and Weight Management Tips That Really Work!

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In our society, it seems everyone has been on a diet at some point in his or her life.  With celebrities seemingly shrinking a way, it is no wonder there is such a focus on physical appearance and being as skinny as possible.  With such a focus on weight loss, it is no wonder that fad diets such as the master cleanse, the cabbage soup diet and the HCG diet continue to gain a following years after they have been proven to be an unhealthy way of achieving weight loss goals.  Losing weight, especially with some of these fad diets that promise instant results, may be easy, but the difficulty lies in maintaining the weight loss once you are off the diet and back to the real world.   If you are one of the many that have tried fad diets, lost the weight and gained it back within months or a year, you are well aware of the many pitfalls that come with losing weight the wrong way.  With that said, there are many ways to achieve your goal weight in a safe, healthy way and finally learn how to eat in order to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

 

Introduction

So, what are they keys to successful weight loss and weight maintenance?  It is much simpler than expected, but it takes a lot of will power, determination and discipline.  By implementing the tips below, you should be well on your way to achieving the body you have always wanted and maintaining your weight, even if it means splurging once in a while on delectable dinners, drinks and desserts!

 The Basics

In order to understand weight loss and weight maintenance, you will first have to understand why most individuals gain weigh to begin with.  Each day, your body requires a certain number of calories in order to maintain your current weight.  On average, women need approximately 1,200 – 1,700 calories per day to maintain and men require 2,100 to 2,500.  These numbers vary depending on height, weight and activity level, but tend to be the norm.  Although these are general guidelines, this number differs in every individual and has a lot to do with lifestyle.  If you are active, your body will require more calories than someone who is sedentary.  If you want to lose weight, you will need to eat fewer calories than the amount you burn each day.  It is a very simple math equation.

In order to understand how weight gain happens, you have to understand that one pound is equal to approximately 3,500 calories.  This means that, if you eat 3,500 calories per week more than your body requires, you will gain at least one pound per week.  If you want to lose weight, you will have to eat less calories than you burn.  To lose weight, you should decrease your caloric intake and create a deficit.  Creating a deficit of 3,500 calories per week or 500 calories per day, will help you lose 1 pound per week.  You can cut 250 calories per day by eliminating a soda at lunch and dinner and cut an additional 250 calories by not eating that chocolate cookie after lunch.  It is not difficult to do but definitely takes some thought and pre-planning.  If you opt to, you can also burn 500 calories per day instead of cut your calories.  Go for a 5 mile run, swim for an hour or jump rope for 45 minutes and you will torch the extra 500 calories per day you need to burn.  By creating a calorie deficit of 3,500 to 7,000 calories per week either through exercise or by eating less, you can lose 1-2 pounds a week and reach your weight loss goals.  In order to maintain it, all you need to do is ensure that the calories you consume are not greater than those you burn.

Weight Loss and Weight Management Tips

So, now that you understand how and why you gain and lose weight, here are some tips to help you succeed and achieve the weight loss and maintenance goals you have been striving for.

 Drink Water

This may seem easy and mundane but it is the easiest weight loss tip to implement into your life.  It is suggested that you drink eight to ten glasses of water per day or a total of 64 ounces.  This recommendation has been suggested by physicians and dietitians for years, but it has recently gained popularity with regards to weight loss.  By drinking one to two glasses of water before each meal, you will feel full faster and help cut your portions, usually by one quarter to one third.  This can help cut calories, leading to healthy, maintainable weight loss.  To maintain your weight, continue to consume water throughout the day and before meals.

Get Moving

It is no surprise that exercise helps you lose weight.  The problem for most individuals is finding the time to fit exercise into today’s busy lifestyles.  On average, 30 to 45 minutes of moderate exercise, such as fast walking, jogging, swimming, hiking and jumping rope, can burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories.  The actual number varies depending on intensity and physical size.  By fitting at least 30 minutes of exercise into your day, you can burn 1,400 to 4,200 calories per week.  This can lead to a weight loss of one to two pounds per week.  Fitting 30 to 45 minutes of exercise does not have to be impossible either.  You can go for a brisk walk at lunch and then another walk after work.  If you are traveling, a workout video in your hotel room can give you quite a workout as well.  If you have kids and are busy running around from school to practice, go for a jog around the football field while they are practicing and get your own workout in.  The key to fitting in exercise is making time for it.  Remember, you do not have to do all 30 to 45 minutes at once. If it is easier, you can do 15 minutes of push-ups, sit ups, lunges and squats before work, go for a 20 minute walk at lunch and finish the day with a 20 minute walk or light jog after dinner. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and any exercise is better than none.

 Fill Up on Vegetables, Fruits & Protein

Often times, people on a diet fail because they cannot fight the feeling of hunger they feel when they cut calories.  Cutting calories does not have to mean eating less though.  By making smart choices, you can actually eat more and still consume fewer calories. Eating the right foods is crucial when it comes to losing weight and maintaining weight loss.

The three most important food groups to eat are vegetables, fruits and protein.  Vegetables can be eaten on an almost unlimited basis.  Snack on vegetables throughout the day and fill up on them before reaching for the chips or cookies in your desk drawer.  You may still want a cookie, but you will most likely eat less of them after starting off with veggies.  Before lunch and dinner, start with a small salad dressed in balsamic vinegar and a pinch of healthy olive oil.  Vegetables tend to contain plenty of fiber, helping to fill you up and prevent you from over eating during the main course.

Try eating a fruit for breakfast and then add protein such as yogurt or a hard boiled egg to round out the meal.  Top it off with some fiber in oatmeal or high fiber cereal.  The fruit will give you the natural sugar and energy you need to start your day and the protein and fiber will help keep you full through lunch.  Making sure you eat a balanced, healthy breakfast will be the key to prevent those mid day work binges on the lunch room treats.

Plan Your Meals

If you are the type that will reach for the first thing you see when you are hungry, it may be helpful to plan your meals ahead for the week and prepare them in advance to keep them handy.  To get the week off to a good start, grill several chicken breasts on Sunday and pack them individually to take with you for lunch each day.  Make some grilled vegetables, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bean salad and quinoa to have as a side dish.  You can also pack your sides so, each morning, you grab your chicken, pick your side and you have a healthy lunch that takes less than a minute to put together.  If dinners are your pitfalls, make dinners over the weekend and freeze them individually.  When you get home from work, all you have to do is pop them in the microwave and heat them up.  Not having to wait 30 minutes to an hour to eat while you cook will help prevent grazing and ensure you have a healthy meal.

Watch Your Liquids

Most people do not realize the number of empty calories they consume each day drinking soda, juices and alcoholic beverages.  One can of soda has an average of 140 calories and 30 grams of sugar.  Drinking 3 cans of soda per day, one with each meal, can add up to almost 3,000 calories per week.  Simply by cutting out soda, you can lose one pound a week, without changing anything else in your diet.  Juices have similar calorie content and, often times, even more sugar.  Just because it is 100% juice does not make it healthy.  Ideally, it is always wiser to eat the fruit instead of drink its’ juice.  Not only will you get the nutrients, but you will also get the substance, helping making you feel full.

Alcohol is an even bigger culprit.  One margarita can have as many as 700 calories and almost 100 grams of sugar.  In addition to the high caloric value, alcohol can also lower your inhibitions, causing you to eat more and make poor choices when it comes to good.  If you have to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, it is better to keep it to a minimum and enjoy alcohol sparingly on weekends.  If you are going to drink, it is helpful to know what to drink in order to minimize the calorie intake as well. Light beers, a glass of wine, a glass of champagne or vodka and soda can be some of the least damaging drinks to enjoy.  Most of these options have 100 or less calories per serving and have minimal sugar content.

Eating Healthy: It’s All About Choices

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Eating healthy may come easy to some but, for most of us, it is a difficult task to accomplish with all the temptation that surrounds us on a daily basis.  There are the notorious office potlucks, the ever easy fast food drive through, a quick microwaveable dinner and the unavoidable holiday parties that we encounter year after year.  When you throw in a full time job and kids into the mix, eating healthy and making good choices for meals can seem impossible.  Believe it or not, there are ways to eat healthy and make it convenient.  The important thing to remember is to incorporate foods you love so you don’t feel deprived and find healthier ways to make them.  Below are some examples of foods and meal times when temptation and convenience may get the best of us.  Immediately following these examples, you’ll find ways to solve the problem and make better, healthier choices for yourself and your family.

Breakfast

Breakfast is the meal that is skipped by more children and adults across the country than any other meal of the day.  The mornings tend to be so busy and rushed that there’s hardly time to grab a cup of coffee.  Because of the lack of time, we tend to rely on unhealthy options such as bagels, donuts, toaster pastries and sausage sandwiches.  These options are laden with carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. They are also missing the key ingredient to keeping you full until lunch, protein!

How do you eat healthy in the mornings and have time to drop the kids off before work?  Start with quick, healthy options such as the ones below:

Shakeology (my personal favorite!)

–whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter

–an apple and Greek yogurt with honey

–whole oats with dried fruit and chopped nuts

–a handful of almonds and a string cheese

–your favorite yogurt with granola and favorite fruit

All of the options above have the perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to give you the energy to start your day and help keep you full until it’s time for lunch. Most can also be eaten on the go.

Lunch

Lunch is also a meal that is rushed, either because it is only 30 minutes, you choose to work through it and sneak out of work early or you run errands and opt for a fast food burger in between.  Eating a healthy lunch doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen the night before preparing it.  There are healthy lunch options you can take with you and also some you can pick up at your favorite fast food restaurant.  Instead of a greasy double cheeseburger, opt for:

–an apple, string cheese and a protein bar

–a veggie burger

–a grilled chicken sandwich sans mayo with mustard instead

–a grilled chicken salad with balsamic dressing

–Believe it or not, a kid’s meal from any of the popular fast food chains. Kid’s meals tend to have smaller portions (mini burgers) and offer healthy options for sides such as sliced apples.  If you’re desperate and not in the mood for a salad, this can be an option.

All of the options above are available at just about any fast food restaurant and most cost less than $3.

If you’re the type of person that snacks all day long, carrying a small lunch box with you throughout the day, while at work or running errands, is a great way to avoid temptations.  Fill it with plenty of water, nuts, fruit, string cheese, whole wheat crackers and dried fruit.  This way you’ll have food on hand when the hunger pangs begin and you won’t be tempted to reach for those tempting mall pretzels or sugar filled cinnamon rolls.

Dinner

When it comes to dinner, there are endless options for healthy meals that taste as good as options you find in a restaurant. All you need to do is find healthy ingredients to make them with.  If you’re craving tacos, make them at home with ground turkey.  Less fat, just as much protein and a fun family dinner you can make together.  If fried chicken is one of your favorite meal time staples, try baking it instead. Opt for breasts since white meat has less than half the fat of dark meat and use whole wheat or panko bread crumbs for a healthier alternative.

Dessert after dinner is almost always a must and one of our biggest diet pitfalls.  Luckily today there are many varieties of desserts that offer low fat, low sugar options.  Many of our favorite ice cream flavors are available with half the fat.  If you want milk and cookies or a slice of cake, make them at home and use applesauce instead of oil and eggs to lower the fat content.

No matter what you’re craving, if it’s unhealthy, there’s most likely a healthier option out there waiting for you to find it.  All you need to do is make the choice to live a healthier, happier life by choosing to eat the right foods.

Shakeology: The Fields

This gorgeously-produced video segment brings Shakeology from the highest cliffs and densest jungles to a screen near you. Follow “Ingredient Hunter” Darin Olien through Peru as he pieces together the REAL magic that goes into Beachbody’s #1

 

To Purchase Shakeology you can purchase HERE


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