Maintaining Healthy Habits Post Nutrition Challenge

Many of our members participated in January’s nutrition/Whole 30 challenge.  Now that February is over, how many of you have continued to follow the healthy habits that you learned?  How many fell back into their old ways?

One common complaint people have when they switch to whole food diets is that there is so much cooking involved.  If you need to eat on the run, it’s difficult to stop at a restaurant or store for a quick snack or meal.  So here are a few suggestions that I have incorporated to make eating whole foods easier with my hectic schedule:

1) Plan meals at the beginning of the week.  If you look ahead at your week, figure out what recipes or foods you want to cook and try to get all of your shopping done in one trip.  I find if I don’t plan ahead, I have to make repeat trips to the store.  It’s much easier to just get all of the shopping done on one trip.  I’m sure most have you have figured out if you search for Paleo recipes online there are millions of choices now.

2) Buy meats that are on sale and freeze in smaller portions.  If I see meat on sale, I’ll buy a larger amount at one time and then take it home and freeze it in portions that we will use later.  You can buy these awesome little bags made by Ziploc that are designed to freeze individual portions of meat.  You will save money, save time when defrosting the smaller portions, and will have less waste.

3) Cook large portions of foods that can be stored for lunches throughout the week.  Dishes like crock pot roasts (pork or beef), brisket, pulled pork or chicken are easy to separate into lunches.  You can even make your own microwavable dishes by freezing smaller portions to take with you to work to defrost.  You can do the same with sides.  Make larger dishes of vegetables, sweet potatoes, or a big salad that you can portion out into your lunches for the week.

4) Keep whole food snacks on hand.  Nuts, fruit, jerky, coconut chips, plantain chips, etc. are all great snacks for on the go.  If you have something in your bag or purse you will be less tempted by the donuts that your co-worker brought in (hopefully!).  I keep single serving packets of almond butter and Lara bars in my gym bag for emergencies!

Adopting a whole food lifestyle can be overwhelming in the beginning but if you develop a routine it can easily become a part of your life!   There are several people at the gym that have been eating this way for years now so don’t be afraid to ask for advice from some of the more experienced members!

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