Monday, December 9, 2013

Easy Nutrition Tips from Graduates and Grandmas

We are having lots of fun with our Nutrition Challenge.  This week's winner was Kristin McPhie...

Logging food into My Fitness Pal has been an eye opening exercise.  Calories add up fast, and so do carbs and fats!  Which is why the following tips from some of our challenge competitors are always welcome.

Brooklyn (recent college graduate): 
Brooklyn works full time and usually eats lunch at her desk, so she is forced to pack a meal each day that is healthy and filling.  

1. Have a substantial breakfast. It goes a long way to keep you full throughout the day.

2. Snack on veggies first, fruits second.

3. Do not drink diet soda! Keep a refillable water bottle with you all day. You will crave sweets and salty snacks less.

4. If you NEED a treat, try to stay under a 150 calorie threshold... like 20 chocolate chips.

4. Incorporate small amounts of fats like cheese or peanut butter with your veggies and fruits to keep you satisfied longer.

Colette (a very YOUNG grandma!):
I, with reservation, submit some ideas that have worked for me. I will say that I love to learn about nutrition and eating healthier.  I'm sure if I lived in the middle of nowhere with no friends or family or Chickfila Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milk Shakes, I would do better at practicing what I know good nutrition is. A few things that have worked for me:

1. Create your own "fast food".   I have a shelf in my fridge with easy access to healthy choices--already washed and sliced peppers, broccoli, carrots (I love raw yams sliced thin too), string cheese, yogurt. I even have single-size pre-made salads from Sprouts or Trade Joe's for hungry teenagers after school. I only keep good choices on this shelf and it's the easiest shelf to see when you open the fridge. This way I can  see when it needs to be restocked.

2. I try and keep good "shelf" snacks available too--raw almonds, favorite crackers, etc. When I buy a large quantity, I will bag them in single serving sizes to make it easy to grab and easier to control the amount consumed.

3. When I am trying to lose weight, I have found calorie counting to be key (I use the Livestrong app). There is nothing worse then thinking you are making a good choice only to find out it was no better than what you thought you were sacrificing.

4. I Fill up on good choices before I am faced with bad.  Grabbing a hand full of almonds before heading to that wedding reception or a small green salad from the fridge before meeting friends for dinner always makes it easier to stick to the decisions I wanted to make before facing all that on an empty stomach.

5. When I get a large size of fresh spinach from Costco, I immediately bag it into small baggies and put the whole thing in my freezer. I then throw a handful into about everything I make.  It thaws so fast if cooking and I love the frozen for smoothies.
--My breakfast of choice lately is: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop protein power, 1 handful of frozen spinach, 1/2 C frozen berries.

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