Ahhh….the clocks have moved forward, the mornings are full of light and the evening sunsets are pushing back the dark and only getting better as we head into summer.
It’s time to re-evaluate some of those pesky bad habits that may have found themselves back in our daily eating habits. We want to feel healthy, look healthy and be ready for summer 2021!
There are a few simple things that I like to do to keep myself in check when it comes to being the best, healthiest version of me that I can be and I’m going to share them with you here:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You can never have too much water. It’s what flushes your system of toxins, keeps you slightly satiated and gives your skin that plump, firm texture. It can even prevent you from getting headaches. I also notice that when I’ve overindulged with too much coffee or alcohol, my skin starts to feel quite dry. While there’s no exact guideline for what the right amount of water to drink for each individual is, it’s safe to say that drinking 64 oz. or more a day is a good idea. I like to put a full pitcher of water out on my counter in the morning and by the evening, I’d better have finished it off. To make it a bit more tasty, I’ll flavor it with a few slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber. Sometimes I’ll muddle a bit of rosemary or ginger into it.
- Swap out some high calorie items for lighter ones. I have a few calorie hacks that I love using regularly and actually even prefer the taste of. I love substituting fat-free Greek yogurt for any dish that calls for heavy cream or sour cream. I’ve moved away from using dairy milk and now regularly use fat-free almond milk. Instead of using a whole egg, only use the egg white. I often make an omelette using 1 full egg and 1 egg white (I’ll save the yoke to make something with later; no waste). Make your own salad dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can’t even believe how high in calories some of the bottled dressings are. I love using salsa on my lunch salads as a “dressing” especially if they have black beans, avocado and some chicken in them. If you’re a pasta lover, it may not be the ultimate answer but try replacing any traditional pasta with zucchini noodles. If I’ve made a meat or seafood based red sauce, I’ll ladle it over steamed spinach or sauteed broccoli rabe. If you haven’t tried cauliflower rice, this is also a great option as a base for sauces. For those of us who love our wine, try pouring yourself only a 1/2 glass of white wine and making a spritzer with seltzer water. You can do this with red wine as well! It’s really a thing. It’s called a Tinto Verano. You can throw in an orange slice to make it fancy.
- I’m a big believer in adding more volume to dishes by including more vegetables. They’re good for you and are low in calories. Load up an omelette with all veggies. If you’re making rice, you can cut back on the amount and add tons of chopped vegetables. Instead of doubling up on the meat in your taco, try adding some sauteed vegetables like zucchini, mushroom, red pepper, black beans or avocado.
- Eat smaller portions. You can eat almost ANYTHING you want as long as you’re not eating a heaping portion of it. Sometimes, I’ll serve entrees on salad dishes just to make sure I portion out a smaller amount. Your stomach doesn’t immediately register what it’s eaten until some minutes later. I feel like my stomach literally doesn’t feel full until a half hour after I’ve eaten. I try to eat slower so that I can enjoy my meal (especially if I cooked it) and also make sure I know how full I am before jumping in for another serving and then feeling stuffed.
Try some of these easy tips to get a jump start on your spring season!