Monday, March 18, 2013

How I eat "healthy"

I'm horrible at commitment, mostly just to goals I make (and this blog). But for the next couple of weeks (or for as long as I have things to share/decide to) I'm going to commit to passing on some my nutrition "secrets". It never hurts to start our week out with some reminders to eat healthy and stay active, right? 
Before I tell you anything I just have to give you a little disclaimer, I am not a professional! Someday hopefully I will have the credentials to back up what I have to say, but for now I am just going to tell you things I have learned from my own personal experience. 
Learning to eat healthy doesn't happen overnight. The number one thing I'd like you to take away from anything I tell you about nutrition is that eating healthy should be easy. If you are on some crazy diet and you are always left hungry and frustrated, it isn't a good diet (in my personal opinion). Let things be natural. And I don't encourage quick weight loss tricks.
Eating healthy is a funny thing, as a Nutrition student some of what we learn is how hard it is to get people to overcome the mindset that eating healthy is expensive and impossible. Alex and I aren't perfect eaters. We eat plenty of things that aren't healthy for us, but we try our best to keep that to a minimum. (Mostly just because we feel crappy after eating something bad for us).

The thing that makes people think that Alex and I eat super healthy is this: we eat fruits and vegetables. As soon as someone sees us eating some sort of fruit or vegetable for a snack or meal or whatever they say, "omg, you guys eat so healthy! How do you do that?"

Source // recipe
Well here are some tricks we have learned:

1. Buy fruits and vegetables! You can't eat them if you don't buy them.
It took us a really long time to learn how to buy fresh produce and not have it go bad before we could eat it. Sometimes we still buy a bag of lettuce and 2 weeks later have to throw most of it out because we didn't eat it in time.

Our staple fresh produce items are:
bell peppers (all colors)
lemons / limes
and some type of lettuce

2. Only buy enough to last us for a week. Sometimes they last a little longer depending on how healthy we eat that week, how much we bought, and how long they stay fresh. I am super picky about bananas so after they start to get spots I peel them and put the in the freezer for future smoothies.

3. Cut everything up ahead of time. We try to cut all of our veggies up as soon as we get home from the grocery store, sometimes it is when we make a meal or salad. It just depends on how lazy we are being. This makes it super easy to throw together a salad at any time. The hardest part of eating veggies is the convenience factor. Is it easy to throw together? Do I have to chop a bunch of stuff just to make myself a quick salad for lunch? Usually if it will take awhile I will opt for my go to unhealthy options, like a bowl of cereal.

Recipe: Feta cheese, craisins, sunflower seeds, hard boiled eggs, spinach, kale, and broccoli.

4. Try to eat everything before it goes bad. This is where being cheap and on a budget comes in handy. There is nothing I hate more than wasting money on food. I might as well just throw my money straight into the garbage. When we buy produce we try our best to eat it all. I love it when we run out of a fruit or vegetable, it means our money was not wasted.

5. Learn what you will and wont eat. Sometimes we try to buy certain items because I know they will be good for us, like avocados, but time and time again we buy them and they go bad. I love avocados, but we just don't seem to eat them fast enough. When we do buy them it is only 1, if we eat it super fast I will maybe buy 2. But I don't buy them every week, because we don't tend to eat them consistently. Don't just buy things because someone told you it is healthy. If you aren't going to eat it, it is just as unhealthy as not buying it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try new things, but start out just buying one or two. If you find you like having them around and they never go bad, by all means, buy more just be mindful.

6. Frozen veggies are a good option. People tend to think just because something is frozen means it is more unhealthy. Not true. In fact, it can mean the opposite. Frozen vegetables are actually picked closer to the time they are ripe, so they end up having more natural nutrients from the plant and soil in them. Fresh veggies are often picked early so that they last longer, and ripened in boxes. Sometimes they are even sprayed with CO2 (for non-organic, non-farm fresh options) to help them ripen after being picked. The only reason I prefer to buy fresh veggies is because we seem to eat them more often.

Come back next monday to find out what types of things we avoid.
How do you add more vegetables into your diet?

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