My Weekly Healthy Eating Plan For One
Healthy eating, also known as "clean eating", can be pretty confusing these days. There's the vegan crew, who says that anything less than a purely animal product free diet will doom you to a lifetime of bad health and even early death. Then there's the Paleo crew, who have based their ideal diet on the foods that our early ancestors ate: meats (including red meat), fish, veggies, and fruit but no grains and no dairy. As the list of different types of diets gets longer every year, I've tried to make things more simple for me. If I have to keep up with a bunch of steps, restrictions, or rules, I know from jump that I'm not going to stay consistent with a routine, even if it's healthy eating. This is a list of foods like to have on hand every week to make it easier for me to eat clean my way.
A vegetarian slow-cooker meal
My bestie gave me a copy of the Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook for Christmas which inspired me to make a slow cooker vegetarian meal as one of my meal choices for the week. Slow cooker recipes save me a lot of time since all I have to do is dump the ingredients in my Crock Pot and turn it on for a few hours. Afterwards, I have a delicious vegetarian meal that makes up a week's worth of lunches, which makes it less likely that I'll order a Vito sandwich with Jalapeno kettle chips from Jimmy John's while I'm at work...although the thought is still very tempting.
A lean meat
This meat is usually chicken, but I've written before about my favorite brand of salmon that I like to have on hand as well. My chicken is usually seasoned with Lawry's (of course!), rosemary, and maybe some garlic. Since oven fried chicken is a thing, that's probably what I'll do with my next batch of weekly chicken since I've been craving some fried chicken due to the interns at my job tempting me with their daily Popeye's runs.
Salad/Smoothie greens + salad toppings
I've found that buying salad/smoothie greens on a regular basis keeps you honest. Those things will go bad with the ultimate quickness if you don't hurry up and use them up in a daily smoothie or salad. As far, as salad toppings go, I love goat cheese, nuts, and berries like strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I'm also collecting recipes for homemade salad dressings because I'm starting to hate store bought ones, which I think are either too thick, too sweet...generally too much.
Frozen fruit (for smoothies)
My favorites are any kind of frozen berries, especially raspberries or blackberries. Frozen mango is also great for a change now and then. Of course, I prefer fresh fruit, and I use it when I can.
Broccoli and kale are my staples. I love to sautee my broccoli with a little olive oil and soy sauce. Like with the fruit, I prefer fresh vegetables, and I'm working on my collard cooking skills because who doesn't like to come home to a big bowl of sauteed, seasoned collards?
Every morning, I throw half a cup of oatmeal in a Tupperware with a cup of water and let it cook in the microwave while I shower. After I'm dressed, I put butter and agave nectar in my oatmeal and pack it to go so I can eat it when I get to work. It usually holds me until about 10:30 when I have my mid morning snack.
Healthy Snack Options
Speaking of snacks, this is an area where the struggle can be quite real. It's hard to reach for an apple when what you really want is a bag of cheddar and sour cream chips. I like to combine protein with fruit so that snacks are more satisfying. Right now, my favorites are grapes or apples with slices of cheese and bananas with either almond or peanut butter.
Flat bread pizza ingredients
Anyone who knows me knows that I can never turn down pizza. It's my all time favorite food, but too much pizza can be a major setback in weight loss goals. I like to use Flat Out Flatbreads and fresh toppings to make a healthier version of pizza that kills my cravings. After I put pizza sauce, cheese, and my veggies and meats on my pizza, I put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. These pizzas are also great for diabetics since they aren't made with a lot of carb-y dough.
What are some of your healthy eating staples? How do you make healthy eating easier for yourself?