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Each meal should contain half fruits and vegetables, 1/4<sup>th</sup> grains, and 1/4<sup>th</sup> protein.

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Eating Healthy for a Week

Author: Melissa Lahti

February 4, 2014

Week 5 ~ Challenge

I always say I am going to start eating healthy, well today is the day for me. This was probably a resolution for a lot people this year and many may have even already blown it. My task for this week is to eat healthy for the entire 7 days, three meals a day. This will be a challenge since I don’t usually eat three meals a day, I will have to plan the meals out and take lunch with me on the days when I have school or work. This will hopefully be the beginning to many more healthy meals in my life.

Results

Healthy Eating, an everyday habit.

The main key to eating healthy is planning, planning, and planning!  If meals are not planned, you will be scrambling to get meals at the last minute and end up eating whatever is fast and convenient.  This greatly increases the chance of eating fast food or processed food. If each meal is planned out ahead of time, it will be the fastest solution for you when you are hungry and tired since it will be planned already. This takes some discipline on your part as you will need to do this at least once a week to plan for the entire week or at the end of the day for the next day. For me planning out meals once a week works better because life seems to get in the way too much of the time. If I can just sit down sometime during the weekend and plan the entire week I will actually do it.

The next step is to make sure you write out the entire plan. Planning things out in your head does not make it official and you will not feel obligated to follow the plan. If you write out your plan on Saturday night, this will give you time to shop on Sunday and be ready to start the week on Monday with a wonderful healthy breakfast. When writing down the plan make sure to write out all three meals for each day. If you only write down plans for dinner and think about eating oatmeal every morning, you are less likely to actually eat breakfast, as opposed to planning out a full breakfast like oatmeal with added fruit to make it interesting.  Then you will actually buy fruit to cut up and add to the oatmeal and you will be looking forward to breakfast.

I personally love to have smoothies for breakfast. This can be very time consuming as you have to cut everything up and get it all together. Time is something I don’t have in the mornings but I came across a great idea this week. The idea is to get everything ready ahead of time, place each portion individually into a Ziploc, and freeze it so in the morning you can dump it into the blender and viola! You can have a fresh smoothie in the time it takes to blend. Did you know that broccoli tastes great in a smoothie? It is one of my favorite ingredients as you can barely notice it’s there and it contains tons of much needed calcium.

For me lunch is pretty much always on the go but I have found that once again if there is a plan and I take something with me it will keep me from buying fast food, grabbing something from the vending machine, or even worse not eating. Not eating will actually lower your metabolism and your body will start storing fat in preparation for starvation. Skipping lunch is also a bad idea because your body greatly needs energy at this time of day. Not only that, it will cause you to eat more at dinner time which is the worst time to eat the majority of your calories for the day.

With that said, dinner should be your most nutrient rich meal of the day. By nutrient rich I mean foods that contain more vitamins and minerals than calories. The majority of your calories should be eaten during the day and not at night when we tend to slow down and relax not burning the calories we just consumed. We also need to avoid things that contain empty calories, such as soda. This is especially important at night since the calories that don’t contain nutrients tend to be converted straight to fat if not burned off immediately. How many of you order a soda every time you go out to eat? That soda you ordered just added about 500 calories to your meal. I can attest that if you start ordering water instead, it will become a habit and you will no longer crave the soda. Make it a habit to order water and it will greatly improve your health in many ways.

Now I encourage everyone to get out there and plan out your meals for the week. Make sure you plan for all three meals and use it as an excuse to experiment with new meals and to be adventurous and try new things. Have fun and enjoy your food.

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