How To Develop A Healthy Eating Plan:
A healthy eating plan ensures that your giving your body the right amount of nutrients.
It’s important to plan healthy meals to avoid gaining extra weight or developing heart disease or diabetes.
Finding the right eating plan can be difficult at first,
But with the right tools and information you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
A healthy eating plan includes a mix of fruits, vegetables, carbs and protein.
Sticking to a healthy eating plan has so many benefits:
More energy throughout the day
lowers the risk of diet related diseases
My Healthy Eating Plan
In February I switched to a plant based diet, I eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can, some carbs as well.
And I also get a ton of protein from plant based sources like beans, tofu, and nuts.
At first it took a lot of planning and researching to learn how to eat the right foods to nourish my body.
But now that I know the right foods to eat, I can find the right recipes to build a healthy meal plan.
Related: My favorite recipes
Here’s how I accomplished my healthy eating plan:
It helps to reflect on the actions that you currently are taking and reviewing whether they are helpful or hurtful to your overall health. My goal when switching to a vegetarian diet was to learn how to lose weight effectively, feel better and look healthier. Your goals may be different than mine but your diet is going to play a huge part in any health goal you make. This was a slow process for me, and still is. But I’ve learned so much and become so much healthier and happier along the way.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What are you lacking in your diet right now? should you eat more fruits? should you eat more vegetables?
Where could you be cutting back on calories? Do you drink juice and soda? Do you drink energy drinks?
How much are you eating at meal times? Do you have a meal schedule? Or do you eat whenever you want to?
How do you plan your meals? Do you make whatever you want? Or do you find nutritious recipes to prepare?
Think about the healthy actions you are already taking. The healthy foods you and your family are already eating can just be reinforced more often. I found that me and my family really enjoy oatmeal, and bananas and apples. So take that knowledge and apply it to your healthy eating plan.
Here are some important questions:
What fruits do you and your family already like?
Are there vegetables that you and your family already like?
Would you be willing to try new fruits and vegetables?
Learn from the pro’s. Don’t expect to become an expert overnight. When I switched my entire diet I had to learn all new recipes and ideas for preparing plant based meals. Start from scratch, find new recipes online, buy a recipe book or get recommendations from a dietician.
Here are some places to find good recipes:
Find healthy recipes on Pinterest and save them to your board.
Follow health advocates on Facebook and Instagram for recipe ideas.
Google food specific recipes, like “zucchini recipes”
Buy a vegetarian or vegan recipe book. ( check out: Tiny & Full and/or Thug Kitchen)
While grocery shopping I make sure I stick to my list of healthy ingredients. The only time I get something extra is if there are fruits and vegetables on sale and I know we’ll eat them. Some of my favorite produce items include: zucchini, cauliflower, green onions, red onion, sweet potato and spinach. I find that these vegetables can be used in multiple different recipes.
Here are some tips for the store:
Beans: buy and prepare a big batch of beans to add in tortillas and salad through the week.
Fruit: buy fresh or frozen berries for oatmeal or yogurt, bananas for smoothies, apples, oranges.
Vegetables: buy celery and carrots for snacks, peppers for tacos, lettuce and spinach for salad. I also love zucchini, cauliflower and green onions.
Nuts and seeds: get a variety of nuts and seeds for yogurt and oatmeal.
Eggs: make ahead and freeze for breakfast sandwiches.
Brown rice, quinoa: good to pair with vegetables.
Beverages: plant based milks, spring water. I don’t buy juice unless It’s OJ and I’m making a smoothie.
I like to find a day when I have little obligations to prepare my fruits and vegetables. Washing, chopping and storing the produce takes time. This will ensure that your produce is there to last. (check out my post on keeping your produce fresh longer). Make a few meals a head of time that way you also have grab and go options prepared.
Here are some tips on preparing your food:
Make sure to label each container with the date
Prepare breakfast sandwiches ahead and freeze them for a grab and go option.
Or prepare a batch of these spinach and cheese muffins
Make your own bars and cookies to avoid eating unhealthy versions
Prepare small baggies of fruit and vegetables for grab and go options.
Put together bags of nuts and berries for a healthy snack.
Chop up vegetables to put on top of salads and burrito bowls.
Prepare a batch of overnight oats and top wit fruit, nuts and seeds.
Prepare your salad and burrito bowls ahead in containers.
Make a big batch of veggie loaded chili to eat through the week or freeze some for later.
Any food that is leftover can be stored individually and put in the freezer for a grab and go option in the future.
What healthy eating plan do you follow?
Or if your just getting started, what healthy plan are you trying to develop?