July 18, 2015

A Little Bit Healthier

Using Small Substitutions to Increase Nutrition

Some of you may know that before studying Family Finance in school, I first studied Nutrition. I really wanted to be a Registered Dietician. It was a difficult thing for me to let go of that dream. However, I am grateful for the time I was able to spend learning from some wonderful Dieticians and Food Scientists.
It would be impossible for me to share everything I learned (and probably really boring), but I'd love to share my biggest takeaway:


Strict Diets are difficult to maintain, and some are just downright unhealthy. Diet plans can be a great starting point for weight loss, but often once people are done, they go right back to their old habits.

BREAKING NEWS: It's difficult to break a habit.
Wow! Shocker! 
When I read or hear things about breaking habits, I often hear how important it is to replace the bad habit with something good (or at least better).
Those who want to quit smoking are often encouraged to chew gum, brush their teeth often, exercise when they feel a craving, etc.

Focusing on Replacement instead of Restriction can also help us on a journey to an active lifestyle with better Nutrition.Here are some replacements, additions, or changes I've applied to help myself and my family eat and live healthier:

* Mix 1/3 whole wheat flour with 2/3 white flour (I pre-mix so I don't have to think about it when I'm cooking)
* Buy Whole Wheat Pasta (or white pasta with added fiber or veggies)
* Serve more side dishes with meals (fruits and veggies)
* Replace Ice/Water or Fruit Juice in Smoothies with Milk (easy way to increase dairy, though it will have more calories than Ice)
* Popcorn and tortilla chips have more fiber than potato chips.
* Dried fruit has more fiber than gummy candy.
* Use Brown Rice or ParBoiled Rice instead of White Rice.
* Don't keep treats in the house (at our house store bought treats are for holidays and events, if we want a treat we make brownies or cookies which means it takes WORK)
* Drink more water. (if you're feeling hungry grab a glass of water before you eat, you may find that you were really only thirsty)
* Add Lemon Juice to your water instead of reaching for Sugared or Artificially Sweetened drinks.
* Add some veggies to mac and cheese, ramen noodles, or other quick meals.
* Plan healthy snacks. When we're hungry it's easy to think with our stomachs rather than our brains.
           Smoothie ingredients (or pre-made frozen smoothies), lowfat yogurt, fruit, string cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, jerky, whole grain/low sugar cereal and other healthy snacks are a great way to combat those breakdown moments.
* Sit Less. Exercise can be intimidating but setting a goal to sit less is quite achievable.
* If you're going to have a treat, or a few, Relax and ENJOY. Beating yourself up doesn't invoke feelings of goodness, determination and progress.
* Never eat so much it hurts
* The easiest time to be hungry is when you're sleeping.

And my frugal tip for staying healthy:
Gym memberships can be expensive for a long time it was a luxury beyond my wildest imagination. Now it would be a significant financial sacrifice, and since I'm awkward and uncoordinated I prefer to work out from the privacy of my own home. YouTube has some great workout videos, and they're FREE. One of my favorite channels is JessicaSmithTV. She's great at cuing, gives modifications, and has tons of different types of videos and lengths. She does Pilates, Yoga, HIIT, Barre, Ballet, Kickboxing, and more...
This is the workout I did during naptime today.

What are some healthy replacements you've made in your diet and/or lifestyle?
I'd love to hear them, and I'm sure other readers would also.