I always hear that eating healthy is hard because it’s expensive, time consuming and labor intensive. Well, it really doesn’t have to be. I know, it’s easy for me to say because I’m not working anymore and have a lot more free time than I used to. But actually, I’m finding that I just didn’t make the time. Same goes for exercise. We can make excuses for anything but once you start, it becomes easier and easier and more a part of your daily routine. Plus you feel better and that makes you want to continue.
Here’s what I’ve found to be my faves:
- Snack: We’ve discovered the veggie tray from Sam’s Club is perfect for snacking. Of course, you could buy each individual item but it’s so much easier to buy it like this and it tastes super fresh. It comes with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, snap peas and cherry tomatoes with a greek yogurt ranch dip and is perfect when you want a snack but don’t want anything too heavy before a meal. Veggie trays, not just for parties anymore!
- Lunch: Chicken salad sandwiches. We buy the rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, cut it up and I add Kraft olive oil mayo, creole mustard, a chopped up boiled egg, onions, celery (whatever you like to add to your tuna or chicken salads), a little salt and pepper and there you have a quick and easy and healthy chicken salad to make sandwiches with or to eat with crackers.
- Snack: I like Belvita or Nature’s Valley breakfast bars. They are a perfect mid-day pick me up.
- Lunch: Another option I like is to make a couple of meals on the weekend and then take them to lunch throughout the week. One of my faves is lasagna. Easy to make, and easy to take with you. Lasagna is extremely versatile. You can put whatever you want in them and you can make as many as you want and freeze them for later. I recently made a ground turkey lasagna (recipe on the blog) and it was amazing!
- Snack: Granola bars. My fave is the Kind bars and the flavor I like the best is the blueberry vanilla and cashew fruit and nut bars.
- Lunch: The easiest and probably most tried-salad. I like to grab a Tupperware container and throw all the veggies I like into it. I add romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, sometimes the chicken salad that I talked about earlier or just baked chicken cut into strips. Salads can be whatever you want. Add a low fat dressing of your choice on the side and you’ve got a great and satisfying lunch.
- Snack: Thanks to Pinterest I’ve found a tasty dip for fruit. Depending on what your fruit of choice is (mine happens to be Honeycrisp apples at the moment), slice fruit and then add them to this great dip made with greek yogurt (I like Dannon light and fit vanilla greek yogurt), peanut butter (or an almond butter), honey and cinnamon. Trust me, you’ll love it!
- Lunch: If you’re ever in the Uptown New Orleans area and get the opportunity to have food made by Green To Go (@greentogonola, 400 Poydras, 504.460.3160), don’t pass it up. As I said before, I’ve recently stopped working but when I did, I worked part-time at a boutique on Magazine Street. Gia the Green To Go lady would come by Wednesdays and Fridays with lunch, mostly salads, wraps and hummus. All fresh and homemade. We looked forward to those days because we knew we were going to get something healthy and tasty to eat and the best part was she came to you. No one had to leave to go find lunch. From watermelon salad to chicken caeser wraps to beet hummus, Gia has something for everyone. My personal fave is the Barre 3 salad with tuna, cannelloni beans, kale, carrots, parmesan and a caesar vinagrette that is out of this world and vegan friendly.
- Snack: Fruit. Best snack ever and you can’t go wrong. Just pick what you like. Top choices right now since it’s summer-watermelon, cherries, strawberries, apples, oranges/satsumas or any kind of berry.
- Lunch: Soups-also easy if you’re buying them already made or you can make your own and freeze the leftovers. I just made a shrimp and corn bisque in the crockpot (recipe on blog) that my husband loves. It’s cheap to make and easy to transport.
Snacks: Nuts or trail mix- I’ve posted my favorite before. The Wild Roots trail mix I’ve only found at Sam’s Club and it’s a hit in my house. I’ve also discovered a brand of dark chocolate covered nuts at Walmart called Nature’s Harvest that is the perfect sweet treat when you have a sugar craving.
Lunch: Wraps.This can also be a great lunch option for those on the run or a good make ahead meal for the next day. Since I’m pregnant, I’ve been staying away from deli meat but you can fill a wrap with anything you like or just veggies. Chicken salad, tuna salad, turkey, the sky’s the limit! And they’re good and portable to take on the go. If you are in the New Orleans area my favorite places to get a wrap other than Whole Foods is City Greens (www.eatcitygreens.com), Fresh Bar (www.freshbarnola.com) and the Pita Pit (www.pitapitusa.com).
Snacks: Not sure if this classifies as a snack but my favorite treat to indulge in during my pregnancy (and even before) is Pinkberry. Oh how I love frozen yogurt! It’s one of the hottest summers here in Louisiana and short of staying inside all day long, the second best thing to cool you off is some kind of frozen treat. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good snoball but it’s not the healthiest option. Pinkberry has a new coconut non-dairy flavor that is so good I didn’t even know it was non-dairy. The best part is putting your favorite toppings on it. I usually go with fruit and sometimes Nutella. Go crazy! If there’s no Pinkberry in your area, I’ve found these fruit and veggie popsicles (I know it sounds weird) that are perfect anytime. Found at your local grocery store, Outshine Fruit and Veggies Popsicles are made from real fruit and vegetables so you don’t feel bad about eating sweets!
Lunch: Panera-Whenever I’m in a hurry and want something filling but comforting I go to Panera. Most of them have drive thru windows or rapid pick up that let’s you buy it before hand and just run in and grab it. It’s better for you than fast food with options like kale caesar salads with chicken or a vegetarian summer corn chowder. It’s really one of the best options for those that are on the go or really whenever you’re in the mood for good food.
Hope this helps. Of course, these are just my suggestions and there are tons more out there. What are some healthy options that you like to eat?