We’re 3 weeks into 2020! But wait… are you having some holiday hangover? If you are still feeling stuck and can’t seem to bring yourself back into your health routine, this post is for you as I share with you some of my quick and healthy eats to feel good from the inside out in no time.
This isn’t necessarily about losing weight, but it’s more of cleaning up your diet and easing gradually into a healthier eating habit. And even if it’s not the holidays, it’s good to always keep a balanced diet without depriving yourself of the food you love.
A key thing for me is reducing or eliminating refined sugar and processed food while loading up on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and lean proteins. Apart from food, I also hydrate myself with lots of water and try to get enough sleep. After all, everyone is sleep-deprived during the holidays! Am I right or am I right? So here’s what I typically eat in a day when I’m at home. And if I’m not, I would either pack something to eat like snacks, or order similarly when eating out.
My favorite meal of the day! If you have been following me in my Instagram, you will notice that a lot of my food posts are for breakfast. I mean, who doesn’t love breakfast right? Eating a full breakfast also helps to balance out your sugar levels so you don’t crave so much throughout the day. My top pick is of course my GREEN SMOOTHIES which has the fab four – proteins, fat, fiber, and greens.
- PROTEINS – I add a couple scoops of my favorite plant protein (THIS BRAND) to give me that feeling of fullness. Consuming proteins in the morning also helps with weight balance and helps curb your cravings.
- FATS – I love adding avocado or nut butter which also helps with satiety, while also helping control cholesterol levels. Whole nuts like almonds, walnuts, also have healthy fats and make the best smoothie toppings.
- FIBER – If you want to cleanse or detoxify, fiber is something you want to load up on! It can come from good ol’ traditional oats, or seeds like chia seeds and flaxseeds which you can add into smoothies. I also add fruits & veggies like cucumber, kiwis, rock melon, pineapples, zucchinis, cauliflowers, berries, which are low-sugar but high-fiber.
- GREENS – If you’re not a fan of munching raw lettuce, then adding them to smoothies is your next best option. Spinach and kale are my usuals as they tend to be tasteless when blended with the fruits and veggies. Just make sure to wash them really well, or better yet, pick organic as these greens top the Dirty Dozen list which are quite high in pesticide residue.
GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPES TO TRY:
Next to smoothies, my next go-to breakfast for post-holiday recovery is CHIA PUDDING. If you’re new to it, it’s simply chia seeds soaked for at least 3 hours or overnight with liquid –usually milk. The chia seeds bloom when mixed with liquid and turn into this pudding-like consistency which makes the most delicious, healthy low-carb breakfast you can have. You can then top it with your favorite fruits or nuts, and even granola or yogurt.
Chia seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, lots of antioxidants, fiber, iron, and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, or what we call the “good” cholesterol that protects against cardiovascular disease. So they are perfect if you are trying to recover from all the feasting during the holidays!
CHIA PUDDING RECIPES
Lunch for me is usually half a plate of vegetables, a third of lean proteins, and a good amount of healthy fats, bean & legumes, and healthy oils. I also sometimes add grains in the form of brown rice, quinoa, or gluten-free / wholemeal pasta. I’m all about balance and moderation. I still consume meats but lean more towards free-range poultry, grass-fed meat, fatty fish like salmon, and seafood.
What you see below is a typical plate for me when I’m at home. Prepping your salad ingredients is key so you don’t have to cut them up every single time you want to eat. I slice up big batches of tomatoes, cucumbers, and pre-wash my greens and store them in airtight containers. I also make my own salad dressing and store them in mason jars. And for proteins, I bake or grill a big batch which I can easily add to salads, or pastas.
You can also find in my fridge or pantry: olives, sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, pepitas or pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, coconut flakes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar– which I throw into my salads. These don’t just add flavor but give you tons of nutrients and anti-oxidants.
TRY THESE EASY HEALTHY SALADS THAT I LOVE!
I’m a huge snacker! Snacks to me is as important as your next meal. When I don’t snack, I end up binging and being quite irritable actually! So I really stock on whole foods, and healthy snacks to get me going through the week. My go-to healthy snacks are:
- GRANOLA WITH YOGURT – I make my own granola at home like this maple granola which is so good! Topped with coconut or greek yogurt and some fresh fruits.
- HOMEMADE MUFFINS – The options are endless! My current faves are these banana blueberry coconut crumble muffins, and zucchini cheesy muffins.
- BANANA BREADS – This is an ultimate kid-friendly snack as well, and a healthier alternative to your favorite breads. Try this super-moist banana bread which is one of my boys’ faves!
Now if I’m not in the mood for baking, I usually have veggie sticks like CARROTS, CELERY or CUCUMBER or fruits like APPLES, PEARS which go perfectly with nut butter (almond or peanut butter). I also love DATES, which are low-carb and high-fiber and can satisfy your sweet cravings without packing on the empty calories.
Eating something light for dinner helps you have better digestion, and hence, better sleep. It also keeps you from feeling too bloated and waking up feeling sick to your stomach (quite literally!). My last meal for the day is usually meatless, but that’s just my preference. And instead of meat, I would have quinoa and beans/legumes for some protein boost.
Here’s one of my fave easy salads which my husband Donnell also loves. This has cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, quinoa, four-bean mix, onions, and with my fail-proof dressing of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon, honey, salt and pepper. You can add also tuna, smoked salmon, or even boiled eggs if you want some more protein. And if you really can’t do away with starch, then you can have some wholemeal pasta or croutons with it.
HEALTHY EATING doesn’t have to feel like the ‘hunger games’. And it’s not about restricting yourself, but instead it’s finding alternatives and healthier options for you to be able to enjoy and celebrate food.
If you still need more help in planning your meals for a healthier new year, you can also download these FREE RESOURCES with lots of tips and healthy recipes to get you going.
I wish you a healthy new year and I hope these tips have given you some ideas as well. As always, share below if which of these you would love to try and send me some feedback if you ever do.
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