Check out what my “go to” favorite items are that guarantee success in planning healthy meals. If I have one or two items in each category, there is no doubt I can create a balanced meal! Practice 80/20 when shopping. 80 Health/20 Fun, because if you aren’t having fun, what’s the point?!
Fruits – I prefer what’s most portable and stays fresh longer because I am always traveling throughout the week! Frozen is a GREAT option here because you can thaw or smoothie it up!
Frozen berry blends
Vegetables – I aim for variety if possible, but I do have my favorites. Frozen is another great option here – frozen produce can actually retain nutrients much longer than fresh!
Romaine lettuce, Spinach or blends
Protein – also try to aim for variety here with leanness in mind. I try to reduce saturated fat and increase omega fatty acids, plant based protein and legumes/beans etc. sources
Fresh chicken breasts or tenderloins
Morningstar Farms frozen burger patties or nuggets (quick meatless Mondays!)
Low sodium canned black beans
Low sodium canned kidney beans
Low sodium canned garbanzo beans
Whole Grains and Other Carbs – goal is fiber here! Don’t fear carbs – they should account for half of your daily energy!
Whole or steel cut oats (ditch the packets!)
Cereals (look for whole grain in ingredients and aim for 10g sugar or less)
Potatoes and sweet potatoes (starchy yes, but loaded with potassium and other beneficial nutrients, so don’t count them out)
Seeds of Change microwavable rice packs
Whole grain bread
Whole wheat tortillas
Tortillas chips (because guac)
Whole grain frozen waffles
Dairy – low-fat is still being recommended, however, full fat products in moderation are not going to make or break you. Plant based sources are also becoming more popular. You do not need to avoid lactose unless you have an intolerance, and you don’t need to avoid the milk proteins unless you have an allergy.
Greek yogurt (aim for more protein than sugar & use your own mix-ins)
2% Milk (I alternate between regular and soy)
Fairlife chocolate milk
Sharp cheddar shredded, sliced and stick cheese
Peanut Butter (aim for one ingredient – peanuts!)
Almond butter (aim for one ingredient – almonds!)
Canola oil/butter blend
My Treats – pick a few favorites and cut the rest. This is the 20% of your routine you can have fun and be indulgent!
Oreos (addicted to getting the latest flavor)
Arctic Zero ice cream, but lately switching to the dark side (Halo Top)
Keurig cups (3-5 cups (cups meaning 8oz…) of coffee daily is OK, just don’t chalk full of sugar)
Clif PB filled bars
Nutrigrain Blueberry Almond Bars
Special K Parmesan Sesame Crackers
Frozen meals for snacks or lunches with sides (watch sodium on these)
Things You Don’t See Much of…
Donuts and other baked goods
Snack and trail mixes with candy pieces aka “healthy junk”
Frozen appetizers, pizza or pre-fried frozen foods
Lunch meat or meat snacks
Cheese dips or spreads