Guest post by: Kaeti Lindsay, Registered Dietician
Is busy your middle name? Do you constantly look up at the clock and realize you haven't eaten all day? Does it result in your forgetting to care for yourself and your health? It is my hope that after reading this post, you will no longer have your hectic schedule to blame for not prioritizing your nutrient intake.
The media likes to highlight the latest diet tips, the “easy-out” and the “quick-fix”. Though appealing, they’re sending mixed messages. I want to show you how going back to the basics, is all you need to know to succeed, but also inform you of how to use that basic knowledge to quickly influence your food choices when time is not on your side.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid added sugars
- Choose lean meats (fish, skinless poultry and 93% lean beef selections)
- Eat more dairy (non-fat and low-fat options)
- Avoid trans-fats
- ½ of your grains, should be whole grains
How to Put it into Practice
Do not keep junk in the house. If unavailable, you don’t have to worry about testing your self-control. The radio, television, and grocery stores are constantly enticing us with junk food. Lean on what you CAN control and avoid bringing it into the house all together.
- Don’t use your kids as an excuse to buy the junk, because they probably don’t need it either.
- Intentionally plan your grocery shopping for after a mealtime, when you are less likely to grab an unhealthy snack.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. In most super-markets, this consists of produce, the bakery, meat/seafood and dairy. Yes, the ice cream and desserts can also be found on the perimeter, but are usually a clear cut-off from the dairy and can still be avoided.
Set meal and snack alarms on your phone. Scheduled eating is critical. It tells your body when to expect food, and therefore, when to turn on it’s metabolism. You need 3 meals and 1-2 snacks daily. Sticking to this schedule will ensue all of your meals are metabolized effectively, rather than hanging onto your waistline. Your body may get confused if receiving a meal at an unusual time, which may result in poor metabolism.
Ponder before you wander. After your meal or snack alarm goes off, the hard part sets-in. Making selections can be difficult. The goal is to think about your meals and snacks ahead of time, to minimize the risk of making a bad choice. You want to make sure that each meal contains a lean protein source, fruit and/or vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or non-fat dairy source. This seems hard, but think about a turkey sandwich.
- Bread: Whole grain
- Turkey: Lean protein
- Lettuce on the sandwich, or a side of fruit or carrot sticks: Fruit and or vegetable
- Skim milk or low-fat yogurt: Dairy
- Snacks can be healthy too. Make sure you’re including a healthy fat or protein here as well. Having a high-carb snack, without fat and/or protein can lead to high spikes in blood sugar. Good snack options are shown below:
- Cheese and crackers
- Apple and peanut butter
- Carrots and low-fat ranch dressing
- Cheese Stick
I hope these tips and tricks are beneficial and easy to understand. Remember, do not overcomplicate it. Stick to the basics and be mindful of your selections and portions and you will be successful.
More about Kaeti
After graduating from the University of Georgia, with a bachelors degree in dietetics, she went on to complete her dietetic internship and masters degree at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). After passing the exam to become a registered dietitian, she began working at UAB's Pediatric Pulmonary Center as a trainee until she landed my first "big girl" job at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). Although Kaeti continues to work at CHOA, she has begun pursuing her passion of helping families through private nutritional services. Check out all of her services here.