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What it Means to Eat Healthy
I’m sorry, but when I think of easy healthy meals a salad is not what I have in mind.
Nothing against salads, it’s just I’ve never really cared for them to the point where I’d pay for one intentionally.
I know many others have the assumption that eating healthy means going fully green and quitting all junk foods.
That isn’t necessarily true though.
I mean yeah eating lots of vegetables is good for you, but even vegans and vegetarians have to add things to their diet to get enough nutrients since they don’t eat animal products.
So what exactly does it mean to eat healthy and how can you start?
Healthy eating simply means having a balanced diet.
It means taking in the recommended amounts of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats), and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
It means eating less processed and fast foods, and more organic, homemade foods.
It also means eating the correct amount of calories each day for your size, and goals.
For More On Calories:
What it does NOT mean is that you can’t have chocolate or cheesecake ever again.
It doesn’t mean you can’t ever have fast food, or indulge in binge eating your favorite snacks.
It’s all about eating in moderation.
A goal of mine is to try to normalize the idea of eating healthy regularly and unhealthy occasionally. It seems we have it backwards.
I promise you I still eat cookies, zaxbys, chic-fil-a, and drink alcohol.
What I don’t do is have those things every day(on a good week😆), or even every week when I’m sticking to my plan.
I try to maintain a healthy diet regularly so that when I do have those things I don’t have to worry about getting fatter, or feeling awful about it.
So let’s talk about how to start eating healthy.
And remember, this doesn’t have to happen overnight.
You can definitely work your way up by maybe picking 2 days a week at first to eat better, and increasing the days as time goes by.
And don’t ever feel bad if you slip up.
It’s cool, just try to do better the next day.
Even with eating healthy, just as it is with exercise, the goal is not to be perfect.
It’s to keep trying and learning.
How to Start
The first step to eating healthy is monitoring the amounts of nutrients you take in.
That means reading nutrition labels, actually following the serving sizes, knowing the amount of calories the food has, and also knowing how much macros and micros the food has.
Nutrition labels are there for a reason. USE THEM.
Believe it or not, serving sizes are not as small as you think.
We just tend to overeat, so we think that they are.
Serving sizes are very important, and we should keep them in mind with all things that we eat.
You also will need to determine the recommended nutrient and caloric values for your body.
This can easily be done on google with a calorie and/or nutrient calculator, or you can use the ones below.
Once you’ve learned this, do your best to meet or get as close as possible to these values everyday.
Next, it is a good practice to plan your meals ahead.
It is very hard to eat healthy if your life is busy.
That is pretty much the reason why fast food restaurants are so popular.
Planning ahead reduces the chance that you’d need to eat fast food.
This could be done by meal prepping for a few days in advance, or simply creating a schedule so you know exactly what you are going to eat and when you have time to cook it.
This doesn’t mean there is nothing out there that you can grab on the go that is healthy.
All I’m saying is do you really think that if you’re pressed for time you’re going to try to look for something healthy?
I doubt it.
Meal prepping was a life saver for me when I started.
I used to buy food at work damn near everyday.
Once I started meal prepping and bringing my lunch I didn’t have to worry about buying food, because I already had some ready and waiting for me.
You’ll notice that I didn’t say eat this or eat that to eat healthy. That’s because there is soooooo much food in this world that can be deemed healthy if prepared correctly.
So if you were thinking I was going to tell you to eat only salads, and only veggies go ahead and delete that idea from your mind, because that’s not necessary.
Below I have listed my favorite go to meals that I eat very often, and have been eating since the beginning of my journey.
Easy Meals You Can Try Today
These meals are things that I like to eat. Everything being homemade.
I won’t recommend something if I’ve never tried it or if I don’t like it enough to eat it regularly, so you can do your own research on other things that you may like.
If you do try these meals out be sure to pay attention to the serving sizes, calories and nutrients in each item and make sure it fits in with your recommended daily intake.
- Turkey bacon or sausage, eggs, biscuit
- Protein pancakes or waffles, eggs, turkey bacon or sausage
- Whole grain cereal, fruit
- Whole wheat turkey sausage, egg and cheese sandwich
(You can eat regular bacon or sausage if you prefer, as I definitely did in the beginning, but if you do choose regular bacon definitely stick to the serving size on the package. it can be tempting to eat more because it’s so gooood lol)
- Baked hot wings and baked potato wedges or fries, seasoned to your liking, but be mindful of your sodium content
- Chicken and shrimp stir fry w/ brown rice, include any vegetables you like, and any kind of sauce. I like to use teriyaki sauce.
- Ground turkey tacos, with low calorie tortillas, salsa, sour cream, & your choice of veggies
- Bbq chicken flat bread, with cheese, black beans, onions, low/no sugar bbq sauce, low calorie flat bread, and your choice of other veggies
- Chicken fajita wraps, with green and red bell peppers, onions, and cheese, with low calorie or whole wheat wrap
I know a lot of people struggle with binge snacking, especially late at night, so here are some snacks that I love to eat between meals, or late at night.
- Dark chocolate
- Skinny Pop popcorn
- Homemade baked fries
- Carrots and ranch(yes I sneak ranch in there sometimes lol)
- Rice cakes (flavored or plain)
- Cheese sticks
- Chicken or turkey slices
- Shrimp cocktail
- Lays Stax chips (not the healthiest, but they have less calories than other varieties)
- 100 calorie or less snack bars (special K, granola bars, etc)
I hope these meal ideas help you out in some way.
If you need help with creating a meal plan learn how to here: How To Create Your Own Meal Plan.
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Drop a comment below if you plan to try any of these meals!