In case you’ve missed the last two weeks, I am reflecting on some goals I created for 2017. Check out my previous posts to see what I have been focusing on this year!
Goal 3: Eat healthier foods
Similar to physical activity, I didn’t feel like I was doing the best with my diet at the start of this year. In the peak of nursing, I was always hungry! And although I wasn’t eating terribly, I didn’t always make the best food choices. There were several nights where my bed time snack was a whole bag of movie theater style popcorn. And I was not up for sharing! Just ask my husband. At the start of the year, I decided that it was time to make a change to the types of foods I was eating and serving my family. Obviously, my goal of eating healthier foods was pretty vague, but I have since refined it.
New Goal: Consume 5-6 servings of fruits/vegetables per day
As I evaluated my family’s diet, I realized that we weren’t consuming nearly enough fruits and vegetables each day. My focus is now on choosing meals and snacks that incorporate a variety of these types of foods. These days, my guiding principle is to “eat a rainbow.” This means choosing a variety of different colored, whole foods to include in our meals. The more color the better!
So far this year, we have made significant changes to our lunches and dinner. To save money, Tommy and I choose to take our lunch to work each day. In the past, our lunches mostly consisted of PB & J sandwiches, chips/pretzels, granola bars, and either an apple or orange. Our lunches have changed significantly. Most weeks we are now enjoying salads, switching up our toppings to keep things interesting, and a variety of fruit.
Our salads might include any of the following: romaine or green leaf lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, carrots, sweet bell pepper, corn, ground turkey or beef, baked or grilled chicken, and black beans.
We take time each Sunday afternoon to prepare our salad ingredients. This helps with lunch prep during the week so that everything is ready to throw into our lunch containers. We also wash and store our fruit for the week which saves us time and ensures we have fruit readily available for snacks.
In addition to improving our lunches, I have also enjoyed trying new foods and recipes for dinner. A new favorite favorite meal of mine is roasted vegetables served over brown rice or quinoa. This meal super easy and I can always add variety by simply switching up the vegetables or adding smoked turkey sausage for extra protein. I typically include green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, and red potatoes. Some days I made zucchini or sweet potatoes. Like I said before, the more color, the better.
Overall, I am happy with the changes we have made so far this year. I think focusing on one aspect of our diet, increasing fruits and vegetables, has been a good starting point and has allowed for the change to be sustainable in the long run. Nowadays, there are so many diets and nutrition fads that require drastic changes in a short time period. In my opinion, changes like that are usually not sustainable. I have found that focusing on this one thing and trying to do it well has been a catalyst for inspiring other healthy eating habits for our family and allowing us to explore and enjoy new flavors.
What are some ways you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet?