"...what a person accomplishes in life is directly correlated with the people around them." - John Berardi

Friday, November 4, 2016

10 Simple Steps to a Whole Food Lifestyle (Part 3)

How did the snack prepping go? So far, so good? You're still with me if you're reading this, so that's great! 

I have said this before, but these steps have been designed to be simple and hopefully easy to start doing right away. I hope you are finding that to be the case. We are keeping it real. Nothing fancy. At all. I want you to see the tools and approaches my family use every day, to make whole food eating sustainable as a lifestyle. Your health and those in your family are worth it, so let's figure out a way to make this work!

Now that you have some ideas on how to work with snacking and acquired some good fats & oils, let's move on to the next step!

Step 3: Cook at Home (One Meal at a Time)

Start simple if you never cook. Decide right now which meal(s) you are going to make at home for the next 2 days. Once you've made it through the next two days, see if you can plan out which meals you will make or pack from home for the upcoming week. I keep my meal planning SUPER SIMPLE as you can see in this previous post. Regardless of the meal you choose, focus on some type of protein, quality fats, and veggies first.


Let's say you chose breakfast to make for your first meal at home. Here are some ideas:
  • Fry up a few eggs in some coconut oil in the morning for breakfast or scramble them with a little bit of cheese on top. As you get more adventurous, throw some veggies & meat in scrambled eggs and top with fresh avocado slices (my favorite!). 
  • Make some egg muffins or more traditional ones like these or these, that you can eat for days! 
  • Try out this Grain-free Granola with some yogurt or coconut/almond/regular milk. 
  • If you're into smoothies, whip up a quick green-protein smoothie, which can easily be taken with you, if you are on the go and in a hurry in the morning. 
  • Eat your lunch or dinner leftovers for breakfast. I know of many people who enjoy leftover soup for breakfast. It is really just "Meal One" of the day. Eat whatever works for you that is real food!

If you work, go to school, or are not home during the middle of the day, pack a lunch. And do it the night before you need it. These stainless steel containers are my favorite. This habit has definitely improved the quality of food my husband is eating for lunch. I'm the one who packs it, 95% of the time. When I take care of it the night before, I don't have to worry about getting up and doing it before he leaves for work, which is almost always before I get out of bed. He eats better and my beauty sleep isn't interrupted... :) Win, win! Ok, on to the lunch tips:
  • Whenever possible, make extra dinner the night before, so leftover lunches are easy! If you don't have leftovers, or are still learning to cook...
  • Pack a salad loaded with diced veggies, maybe a few nuts or seeds, olives, boiled eggs, and meat you cooked or from a can, along with the new olive oil you bought & some balsamic vinegar (roughly 1 tbsp olive oil with 1 tsp balsamic vinegar). Or try a fun homemade salad dressing like this one to skip the added sugar and low-quality oils. I really like this chop salad too; it's loaded with flavor!
  • My husband also loves what he calls "snacky lunches." Those consist of something like a few pieces of jerky, cut up veggies, a piece of fruit, mixed nuts, and maybe a couple of squares of dark chocolate... something like that. This ensures he has some protein, quality fats, & vegetables. I see the fruit and chocolate as an added bonus :D 

For dinner, it can be so, so simple. 
  • Grill, roast, or pan fry a piece of meat, roughly the size of your palm (per person). Serve it with steamed, roasted, grilled or raw veggies.
  • I also love an easy stir-fry, which usually take less than 30 minutes to prep and cook. This Chicken Pad Thai is one of my favorites!
  • You can't go wrong, especially in the cooler weather, with some soup for dinner. I've been craving this Zuppa Toscana lately! Many soups can be started by throwing the ingredients into the crockpot in the morning and will welcome you home with a dinner that's ready.
  • Here are some other crockpot recipes I enjoy and make life easier.
And if you so choose, throw together an easy fruit salad to end the meal with something naturally sweet! Bonus Tip for the Day: Saving the fruit for the end of the meal can really help curb cravings for other sweets. Pretty cool!

Like I mentioned earlier, whenever possible, make enough so that lunch (or even dinner) is taken care of for the next day (or so). Now that I stay home with kids, it is still just as good of an idea, so that lunch time isn't as stressful and we get way better nutrition into our bodies. When you put in the effort to make some nutritious food, why not enjoy it and the saved effort for another meal (or two).

There we have it! Let me know your thoughts and questions and I'll see you for Step 4!