At AFPA we are always striving towards one common goal: to be the best we can be. In order to achieve this, we work towards improving our body and mind with an active lifestyle and a balanced diet. We are always looking for new ways to inspire our readers with fun and stimulating ways to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine. But, let's not forget the importance of cleaning up our diet with a meal plan that fuels and satisfies! In today's post we are going to delve a little deeper into the importance of making better decisions with your meals and help you to start feeling fit inside and out!
There are many benefits to planning your meals. You'll see changes in your body, energy and it will even save you money over time. However, when you're balancing a full-time work schedule, keeping up with your fitness routine and maintaining a social life, planning wholesome meals can feel impossible. We can all admit that eating out for a majority of your meals or giving in to your cravings can feel all-to-easy with a hectic schedule. However, even with a busy schedule, you can still find time to give your body what it needs and really wants.
Put 'Health' Back into your Diet with a Healthy Meal Plan
Maybe it's just us but we can't help but have a little fun with our diet. In today's post we wanted to provide you with a few of our favorite healthy meal options, along with a few common excuses we hear far too often. Well let's put an end to those excuses and help you find a healthy option for every meal! Even if you're not feeling savvy in nutrition or reliable resources, we have selected a few of our favorite options for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
1. "I Don't Have Time for Breakfast"
Solution: Plan ahead the evening before. We are all busy, but putting just 5 minutes aside every night to pack your breakfast for your on-the-go meal will jump start your metabolism in the morning and leave you feeling satisfied for much longer. This will also prevent you from 'cheating' later in the day.
Here are a few of our favorite on-the-go breakfasts:
- Fruit & Yogurt Parfait: Delicious and healthy? What could be better? Pack a serving size amount of either fat-free or Greek yogurt (the best options for weight loss) with a side of fruit. Mix the two together in a container and voilà! You have a breakfast that not only satisfies, but is super easy to make.
- Avocado Toast with Egg: Two slices of toasted bread (we love Ezekiel sprouted grain) with smashed avocado, crush black pepper and two eggs (any style). If you're too busy to make eggs, the avocado and sprouted toast should be enough to hold you over until a light snack before lunch.
- Juice: Sorry, we aren't talking about a cup of orange juice, we are talking about fresh and organic juices! This is one of the best ways to start your day and can help you feeling energized all day long. This recipe is quick and can even be made the night before!
2. "Everyone Meets for Lunch"
Solution: Just like you go to Pilates on Monday or out for a cocktail on Friday, learn to balance your week with different rewards. While it may be hard to resist going out to lunch with your co-workers start to think of ways you can connect with your co-workers outside of the cafe or nearby restaurant. Find someone else in your office that wants to stay on track and plan your lunch meals together and when you want to escape from the office think of healthy alternatives for lunch like a local organic cafe or restaurant with healthy options. When you keep eating-out to a minimum (similar to a reward) you'll be more likely to stay on track for the remainder of the day.
Here are a few of our favorite easy-to-pack lunches (as well as a restaurant option):
- Quinoa Salad: This is great because you can get really creative with your favorite vegetables. One of our quick and delicious favorites? Dice up a tomatoes, red onion, avocado, kale and carrots.
- Turkey, Tuna, or Veggie Wrap: Pick your favorite, add veggies and a light spread (like low-fat mayonnaise or balsamic dressing) with a whole wheat wrap for a quick and wholesome lunch that will keep you fuller, longer.
- Whole Foods Cafe: If you opt for eating out that day Whole Foods Cafe provides a great environment for enjoying a meal with your co-workers with options that will help you to stay on track. Right now we are loving sweet potato kale soup, steamed vegetables and brown rice for a balanced meal.
3. "I'm too Tired to Cook Dinner"
Solution: All you need is a quick option. It's easy to arrive home and indulge, but consuming an unhealthy dinner can be one of the worst decisions that you can make with your diet. Since you typically won't have much physical activity late in the evening, it's important to stay-on-track during dinner time; opt for one of these easy and healthy choices.
When you're too tired to cook an elaborate meal:
- Hearty Salad: Sometimes throwing together whatever fruit, veggie or protein source into a large salad can be one of the most delicious options any night of the week.
- Whole-Grain Bowl: One of our go-to's is mixing a serving size of quinoa with a variety of different veggies and a splash of salt and pepper. Delicious and satisfying.
- Crock-Pot Inspired Dinner: Too tired to cook dinner? Before you leave the house put your favorite source of protein (beef, chicken, etc) into a crock pot with carrots, sweet potatoes, brown rice and a few different spices - and make sure it's on low if you won't be home for a long-period of time. This requires little-to no effort and is healthy and delicious.
Still Not Satisfied?
We are huge advocates for snacking! Unfortunately, we don't suggest that you reach for a candy bar or bag of chips (however, everything in moderation people!) In order to have a balanced diet you need to be sure you're giving your body fuel every 3 hours. Pack healthy nuts, fruit, veggies, bars: Kind or Lara Bars, just to name a few of our favorites. Keeping a healthy snack on hand will help you to feel fuller, longer and prevent you from making bad diet decisions.
Did you enjoy today's post? Hopefully we inspired you to stay on track and clean up your diet! Have any other healthy favorites to add to the list? Share with us in a comment below and subscribe to our blog for future posts that will help you to feel healthy inside and out!