You may have heard that flat abs are made in the kitchen, and strong abs are made in the gym. This is some of the best and most accurate fitness advice I have ever heard. For me, eating well takes more effort than getting a workout in at the gym. It may not be that way for everyone, but the daily food choices you make have a HUGE impact on reaching your fitness goals.
If you have read my articles before you know I don’t promote diets or crazy calorie restrictions. They aren’t a way to live and they just mess up your metabolism. With some preparation, a few good basic recipes and healthy snack ideas you can LIVE a healthy lifestyle and maintain your results.
A few people have asked me what some of my favorite healthy recipes are, and when to eat what types of food.
Some food rules to follow:
1. Never dip below 1,200 calories a day. IF you do, your body will slow its metabolism down to cope and start chipping away at your muscle for energy.
2. Eat a good breakfast. Eat within 1 hour of waking- coffee doesn’t count as a meal. 🙂 Trust me I love my coffee to, but eat something with it.
3. Don’t go longer than 3 hours without eating. If you are not hungry for a big meal eat a 100-200 calorie snack. This will keep your blood sugar stable and prevent energy crashes and cravings!
4. Eat ALL of your food groups. Carbs aren’t evil – your body needs them for energy. Stick to whole grains when you can though.
5. Watch your drinks. You probably think I mean limit your alcohol which I do b/c it is empty calories, but also limit juices, sodas and even what you are adding to your water and coffee. These calories add up so use good judgment!
6. No food is ever on the “can’t have” list. The minute you tell yourself you can never have a donut again, you will want it like you have never wanted it before! Eat a treat once in a while. For me that means I get a little bit of chocolate every day- usually 2-3 squares of it. That satisfies me, and I don’t feel deprived.
Here are some snack ideas that I love, are healthy and easy to make:
1. Greek yogurt, fruit, non salted nuts and a drizzle of honey. Lately I have been putting some pomegranate seeds on top – very yummy! This is a great post workout snack b/c it has protein to help those muscles repair and simple carbs to replenish your energy stores.
2. Hummus and carrots or other veggies.
3. Boiled eggs and whole grain toast.
4. Peanut butter protein balls- they have dark chocolate! Here is the link : http://www.fitsugar.com/Protein-Ball-Recipe-30418497
5. PB and banana 1/2 sandwich (one pice of bread) on whole grain. Make sure the peanut butter is natural – no palm oil just peanut butter!
Here are a few of my healthy lunch or dinner ideas:
1. Chicken taco soup in the crockpot (made with Greek yogurt) – love this during this cold weather. http://www.muscleandfitnesshers.com/recipes/creamy-taco-soup
2. Stir frys! Mix brown rice, frozen veggies of you choice, some wild Alaskan salmon (they have them in pouches in the tuna section) and a little soy sauce and you have a healthy quick meal.
3. Turkey sausage, Kale and pasta soup. Another winter favorite, just make sure the pasta is whole grain and the sausage is made only from turkey or chicken sausage will work as well. http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/01/spicy-sausage-kale-and-whole-wheat-orecchiette-soup/#_a5y_p=1148487
4. Chicken Marsala. If you have a littel extra time try this recipe – so yummy! Just add a salad – watch the dressing or some steamed veggies
5. Fish and veggies! Fish is a very important part of a healthy eating plan. Here is a great salmon recipe – remember to add a side of veggies and brown rice or whole grain bread!
Make healthy eating a lifestyle not something to dread. What are some of your favorite healthy recipes?