Monday, April 24, 2017

Life Chat: Weekly Eats

Throughout all my attempts at healthy eating I've realized one main thing: I prefer convenience. Don't get me wrong, I do love to cook yummy dishes from scratch when the creative bug strikes, but I find that seems to be less and less these days. At the beginning of the year when I tried to search out new healthy recipes, compile a shopping list and cook multiple dishes every day, I became overwhelmed, burnt out and eventually gave up. As I'd currently prefer my meals to be simple to prepare and not time consuming, I'm now trying a new strategy of replacing my unhealthy snack and prepackaged food chain with some simple and healthier options.

Since I started keeping track of my meals with the My Fitness Pal app, I noticed that I was consuming more calories than necessary. This week I just walked through the grocery store and purposely chose whatever sounded good that was super easy to prepare andrelatively low in calories and sugar per serving.

I'm fairly pleased with these items and want to share them with you.

Breakfast: this has been my usual breakfast for quite a while and since it is hearty and filling and satisfying taste wise while being reasonably low in calories I just kept it. Blueberry Eggo Waffles are my favorite and they also come in a whole grain version. Bacon is delicious and surprisingly low in calories for just 2 pieces. If you eat it in moderation you don't have to be too concerned about the sodium and fat content. These hash browns are Alexia brand and are delicious! They're super easy to whip up; just line a baking sheet with foil and spray with an olive oil cooking spray and cook in a preheated 400° oven for 30 minutes.

Some other breakfast options I love include cereal. Instead of getting the super sweet ones I like Honey Nut Cheerios and Honey Bunches of Oats. They still taste good but have less sugar than other options, and other important nutrients like fiber and iron. For a super speedy protien packed breakfast on the go I will sometime drink a Bolthouse Farms Mocha Frappuchino. The have much less sugar than the average frap and much more protein, plus they taste great! Bolthouse makes many other beverages including fruit juices and chai tea.

Lunch: for lunch I like to graze on a number of snack items to make up a meal. One of my most favorite finds this week was Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt in Vanilla and Toasted Coconut & Vanilla. I had previously thought I'd never like Greek yogurt because I had tried the plain stuff and didn't care for the flavor at all. I decided to give this brand a shot and they taste great to me. They have only 80 cal and 7g sugar while having 12g protein. I like to eat them with berries.
I would also have a low fat string cheese and a slice of cracked wheat sourdough bread. When it comes to drinks, it's very easy to go over your daily sugar allotment, so many seemingly innocent beverages have a ton of sugar! These unsweetened teas from Pure Leaf have been a godsend. My favorite is the black with lemon which is 0 cal and has less than 1g sugar from the natural lemon flavor.

Dinner: for dinner this week I thought I'd go super simple and get some salads from Bistro Bowl and Taylor Farms. I thought I might get tired of eating salads every day but so far I did not. The wide variety of flavor options makes it less boring tastewise and I loved just being able to open the container and eat it. I'd also have tea or water to drink. Next week I will definitely be getting some more of these salads, and well as a few other dinner items to mix it up. They weer also fairly economical at $2.99 per bowl.

Snacks: I would sometimes get hungry a couple hours after having dinner and need something before bed. Instead of having chips or sweets in the house,I would usually eat another serving of cereal, string cheese, bread or berries and still come in within my daily calorie allowance. This daily meal plan was satisfying for the most part and sugar cravings were minimal.

That brings me to another great feature of the My Fitness Pal app. It lets you know how many calories you need to consume to lose weight based on your own personal stats, and it shows you each of your nutritional goals and where you are in achieving them for the day.

This makes mindful eating super simple, right? If you are like me and want to fuel your body better but want meals that are easy and still taste good, I hope these tools and tips help! Would you like to see my weekly eats and stats become a regular feature here on ThriftyPolished? Check back next week to see what food items I try next!

What are your favorite fast and easy health consious foods? Any tools that have helped you eat healthier/lose weight? Please share in the comments below!

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