Ever wonder “what does a health coach eat?” Well, we’re just like everybody else. We sometimes indulge with chocolate or cheese. (Yes, we eat chocolate!) Occasionally, we add a few extra items to our grocery carts or must switch to Plan B for dinner.
At the end of day, you have to find what works for you! Here are some tips to help you, straight from the health coaches.
Grocery Shopping Tips
Never go hungry! When you shop on an empty stomach, may be more tempted to venture to the bakery or down a snack aisle. You could add items to your cart that you had no plans to buy.
Avoid busy times. Find out when your grocery store restocks its shelves. Shopping during that time could save you from returning for an out-of-stock item. (Fun fact: If you shop along the perimeter of the store, you can fill your cart with fresh, healthy foods and avoid the stuff you don’t need.)
Always make a list. Plan a few breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for the week. This will help you stay focused in the grocery store, and it may help keep your budget on track. Try to include a few larger meals each week, then use the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. And remember: Every meal doesn’t have to be elaborate. Think simple.
Meal Planning Tips
Write it down. Pick one day each week to decide what you’ll have for each meal. A weekly planner can help you stay organized.
Make larger meals. Cook larger meals at the beginning of the week, then reheat and eat that food a few days later.
Be prepared. Cut fresh veggies for the week so you can easily toss together a salad or enjoy a healthy snack.
Think about variety. Make your plate colorful. Incorporate various fruits and veggies so you get different nutrients with each meal.
Go meatless. Meatless Monday, anyone? Focus on swapping meat-based proteins for veggie-based ones such as beans, lentils, nuts, or soy products like tofu.
Stock up. Keep the fridge, freezer, and pantry stocked with fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, peanut butter, yogurt, cheese, eggs … and chocolate!
Eggs, fruits, yogurt, and English muffins are among our favorite breakfast options. For a lighter breakfast, pair yogurt and fruit, then add a bit of granola for extra crunch. You can add more protein by mixing egg whites, veggies, and cheese.
Leftovers from dinner can take the guesswork out of packing a lunch. Busy days are perfect for quick lunches like soups and salads.
- Salads. Those veggies you prepped can be used in a satisfying salad.
- Soup. Make a big pot and freeze any leftovers for later.
Dinner is often the most rushed meal. But a little planning, a slow cooker, and precut veggies can help you pull together well-balanced meals.
- Stir fry. Pair chicken, shrimp, or ground turkey with any veggies left over from the week. Add brown rice to complete the meal.
- Chili. Try it on a Meatless Monday or add your choice of lean protein. A slow cooker can save the day if you are in a pinch!
Think about your snacks as mini meals. Try to pair a carbohydrate (such as fruit, a veggie, or crackers) with a fat or protein (like peanut butter, cheese, or hummus). Doing so will help slow your digestion and make you feel fuller, longer.
Fruits, veggies, crackers, nuts, pretzels, and cheese are popular with the health coaches!
Daily Must Haves:
Chocolate and cheese!
Surprised? Don’t be! Having low-calorie snack options like mini dark chocolate bars, frozen fudge pops, or string cheese can help curb your cravings.
Health coaches aren’t perfect. We use shopping lists, meal planning, and indulging (a little) each day to help us stay on track. You can do it, too!