Left Photo

Left Photo

Middle Photo

Middle Photo

Right Photo

Right Photo

Monday, August 27, 2012

WHAT WORKS FOR ME: Eating

Recently I've been asked by several people what I do to stay in shape, maintain my health, make good choices, etc. so I decided to do a series of posts sharing what works for me.

I want to go right ahead and throw this out there first:
I am not a dieter.
I am not trying to be a size 2.
And I am not trying to lose weight.
I am trying to maintain my health physically, spiritually, and mentally.

First and foremost, we do not eat prepackaged meals in our house.  At least, not often...at all.
I attempt to eat "clean" for the most part.  Some people argue that doing so takes too much time, organization, money, and planning, but it's really not that hard.  I'm a busy person and I manage to have a decent meal on table the better half of seven nights a week.

Here is what I do:
1. Plan a menu Sunday evening and ensure I have all necessary ingredients for the meals I want to make.  If not, I go ahead and find a substitution I have on hand or run to the store.  This cuts down on a need to rush to the store midweek.
2.  Purchase bulk items (chicken breast, etc.) and bag them individually to freeze.  This way, I just have to reach into the freezer and take out what I need for the next evening.
3.  Keep fresh fruit and veggies on hand at all times.  As soon as I get home from the store, all fruit and veggies get washed, cut, prepped however they need to be for easy snacking.  This makes them just as convenient as a cookie/bag of chips midweek.

Honestly, a breast of chicken takes 5 minutes to grill and a frozen pizza takes about 10.
Think about it that way.

As stated before, I'm not trying to lose weight; I'm not fixated on being a certain size.  I'm more concerned with feeling good and keeping my insides healthy.
I don't deny myself many things and I definitely don't withhold food, but I do try to put healthier choices at reach so that most days I avoid the sugars and sweets.
Everything is okay in moderation.
So on occasion, I have a donut or a piece of pie.  I just make sure not to have it every day.

Treats should be just that...treats.
We aren't dogs.  We don't have to reward ourselves with food.

Some items I purchase as healthier choices:
  • fresh fruit/veggies
  • whole wheat pastas, breads,wraps
  • deli meats and cheeses
  • Riceworks chips
Here is an example of what a typical lunch looks like for me and my schedule:
Being a teacher, my schedule is a little crazy.  I have to be at work at 7:30, my lunch period is at 10:30, and my first break from students is at 11:35.

So this is what I typically eat:
7:00 Breakfast: banana, coffee
10:30 Mid-morning snack: greek yogurt/V8/fruit
11:35 Lunch: Wrap&chips/Leftovers/etc.

I try to eat a snack at 10:30 because going from 7:00-11:35 is too long without food.  It really is best to eat 6 small meals a day.  Eating my lunch at 11:35 as opposed to 10:30, means I can wait until 5:00 or so for dinner because that is when my husband gets home.

All in all, I really try to make healthier choices.
I avoid soda altogether, even diet.
All of my starches are whole wheat.
I avoid adding excess mayonnaise, butter, etc. to my food.
I eat fresh/frozen veggies and fruit when snacking.
I start my morning with healthy carbs as opposed to bowls of cereal.

When I do have cravings, I simply watch the portion size of my snack.
Portions are defined on the outside of a box and really should be followed.

Here is a great rule of thumb:

What Goes Out (Exercise) > What Goes In (Food) = Loss/Maintenance
What Goes Out (Exercise) < What Goes In (Food) = Gain

If you have any questions or want specifics, please leave a comment/question below and I will respond!

6 comments:

Feel free to leave me some love. It makes my heart smile.