5 Ways to Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

Hi Guys!

Happy Sunday! It's a cold and windy day here with rain on the way, so no better way to relax than cozy up and blog!

Outside of cooking, I own a softball training facility where I help young women become well-rounded athletes who hope to play at the collegiate level. Aside from physical training, parents often ask me about their nutrition and ways to keep their athletes healthy! I love to provide cooking classes, health tips, and basic knowledge to these girls to help them make great choices in their everyday diet. Here are the top 5 things I tell them when introducing a clean diet:

1.) Don't call it a diet. When we use the word diet, it implies something is wrong, or

something needs to be restricted or drastically adjusted. Mentally, it adds pressure to the person "dieting" and, in my opinion, leaves far more room for failure to fall back into poor food choices.

2. Add color. Make healthy food fun! I LOVE adding color to my meals. As a mom, it

definitely helps encourage even the picky eaters in the house. We eat with our eyes first, and when something is bright and vibrant, we are attracted to it! For example, try some chicken with sautéed spinach, and purple fingerling potatoes. Tons of color, fun to plate, and super good to eat!

3.) Little bit of this, little bit of that. Add variety to your plate! I see a lot of people meal prep, which is a great way to stay organized, but it can get easily boring. Having chicken,

broccoli, and rice everyday can be doable, but could potentially lead to a weekend of binge eating and indulging in all those flavors you were craving all week! Dress up your weekly dinner with different flavors and mix it up a little bit! Instead of chicken, broccoli, and rice, try some turkey, veggies tossed in your favorite vinaigrette, and orzo!

4.) Increase protein. Protein is satiating and filling. If you want to eat healthy and cut

calories, increase your protein throughout the day. you will fill fuller, more satisfied, and less likely to snack after your meal. You don't have to load up on meat either, you can increase your protein in your side dishes! Eggs, dairy, broccoli, almonds, lentils, brussel sprouts....all contain protein and can help make great sides!!

5.) Try something new. You never know what you like or don't like until you try it! Even then, spices and seasoning can mask even the most unfavorable flavors. For example, 1 of

my kids hates mushrooms. Like, hates them. He LOVES ramen and Asian foods. Last night I added shiitake mushrooms to a stir fry and he didn't even notice they were in there. The

Asian sauce I mixed up worked like a charm.

In my adventures of cooking, I've learned to open up my comfort zone and found new foods to try, new seasonings, and new flavors that I absolutely love now. For the foods that have failed me, I am thankful for 3 dogs who wait patiently for me to "accidently" drop them from the counter. ;)

Happy Eating!!

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