Healthy Lifestyle: Family Style.
Chapter 2: Developing a healthy lifestyle for you and your family through meal preparation.
I will start out this post with something I hear way too often… How are people sticking to a healthy lifestyle when it comes to eating when you have to cook different food for your husband and kids?
I want to say upfront that eating healthy is hard! It takes preparation, will power and a sense of discipline. Even if you cook most or all meals at home it’s still hard! However, it can be done. No matter how much you have going on, what budget you are on, eating healthy is possible with a husband and kids who tend not to be on board with “healthy”.
First, things first. I need you to get out a piece of paper and a pen. I need you to write out these words. I HAVE NOT BEEN LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND I AM READY TO CHANGE. THE REASON I AM READY TO CHANGE IS____________.
Next, I need you to commit from the beginning to start reading your nutritional labels. To start just focus on the first 2 ingredients on bags and boxes. Anything with sugar being in the top 5 ingredients, you should not bring into your house.. Try and buy whole wheat or whole grain. Avoid corns – This means no chips, no cookies, no sugar loaded cereals.
Let’s talk about food and preparation in general and how you create your grocery list.
I promote preparation because I know if you don’t prepare you WILL fail. We do this in all other areas of our lives, why would we think we can ALWAYS make good food choices without preparation. We are all human, therefore we cannot.
How do you prepare? Well, you start out by developing a plan. If you are not used to eating healthy you need a guide-book, something that tells you what you can and cannot eat. I know, I know. You don’t like being told what to eat. Clearly. You are what you eat and that’s why you are in this predicament to begin with, right? I need you to say out loud. Right, acknowledge that there is a problem, I have not been living a healthy lifestyle and I am ready to change because____. Now get over yourself and let’s begin.
It does not matter what guide-book you use for your food preparation, however I prefer ones that help you identify clean eating items, preferences, give examples in each category and then give you a sample meal plan. If you know what is recommended with each meal you have an idea what to buy and cook.
Sample meal plan:
Meal 1: Protein, veggie, carb, fruit and a fat
Meal 2: Veggie, protein
Meal 3. Veggies and fruit
Meal 4. Veggie, carb
Meal 5. Protein, veggie, fruit
How to Food Prep:
The base of my food prep is to grill and bake.
Grill as many veggies as you’d like along with as much protein as you’d like on the grill on Sunday evening. Then place veggies and meat in portable containers for the week. You can also use the meat to top salads. For breakfast I prefer fritattas or bakes so that you can do the same thing. Bake and divide for the week. For snacks, you would place items like Greek yogurt, humus in containers and cut up fruits and veggies so they are ready to go. In my opinion this is the best way to ensure that you have your food ready. You might have to spend a little money up front to buy several containers, but it is well worth the money. Plus, it guarantees you will be saving money eating this was.
There is NO reason that your entire family should not be eating the SAME foods. If your husband is not on board with eating healthy politely ask him to go and buy as well as make his own food.
With kids this may take some time, especially if they have been eating chicken nuggets or corn dogs and fries every night. I understand they are kids, however as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner we are checking cholesterol in obese children as young as 3 years and starting cholesterol medication on children as young as 8. Your children can have heart disease just like you. You MUST intervene as the parent. If there is no unhealthy option, they have no choice but to eat healthy. Same for you right? If it’s not in the house, you can’t have it.
I have specific plans and programs to further help with food prep and portion control. Please contact me so that I can help you with your specific needs.
And as always, diet is only part of the equation. You must get up and move, even if it’s for a few minutes a day to complete the healthy lifestyle equation.
Let me COACH you into the new life you have waiting for you!
The Fit NP