So I have a slight obsession with taking traditional dishes and trying to find healthier tweaks to make. I know what you’re thinking... “oh like sugar-free, gluten-free, oil free, and basically taste-free brownies?? No thanks!” Yeah I’m with you on that too. If I’m going to have a brownie it’s going to be an amazing and make it worth it. (I’m probably shooting myself in the foot though because I’m sure at some point I’ll post one of those recipes). To me, if what I’m eating doesn’t taste at least somewhat good than it’s not something that is going to satisfy me. I’ll probably be looking for something else to eat in about 15 minutes. Finding foods you truly enjoy and look forward to eating is one of the magical keys to sticking with a healthy routine long term. Okay, maybe not magical but it works well and I have hundreds of clients that would agree. When a client first comes to me looking to lose weight and get healthier I always inquire about different diets they have tried in the past and whether or not they’ve worked. Their history of “dieting” is usually summed up with restrictive diets, meal replacements, foods that taste like card board and mentally preparing themselves to embrace hunger (that one is my favorite). Now, don’t get me wrong these things can all work to help someone lose weight but it’s not doing much to help support long term health. One of the first things I’ll do with a client is give them a list of meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks) and tell them to pick out all the suggestions that seem appetizing. We work through meal ideas and recipes (usually simple ones) until we have a list of about 3-4 staple go-to’s for each meal. Go-to’s meaning they enjoy it, they know how to prepare it and shop for it. This definitely takes time to build up but they key is that they are eating meals that they enjoy. They look forward to lunch instead of dreading it and mentally preparing to be unsatisfied. Below is a great lunch idea I use as one of my go-to’s. Instead of mayo I use plain Greek yogurt to make it a very lean high protein meal. And BONUS it’s SO EASY. I prepare it in the beginning of the week, usually takes about 15 minutes and can get a few lunches out of it. I’ve even prepare this one in the morning before work, that’s how simple and quick it is.
*Side note on hunger: if you’re physically hungry that is your body telling you it needs something. It’s a sign that you need to reassess your overall diet including timing of meals. If you want to learn more... Read this!
Healthy Chicken Salad
2 cans canned chicken (drained)
3 oz. plain Greek yogurt (instead of mayo) healthy swap
½ cup sliced grapes
2 tbsp dried cranberries
Cracked black pepper and salt to season
Directions: Put everything in a bowl and mix it together (told you it was easy). I will usually throw it on a bed of spinach and sprinkle a few walnuts on top for an extra crunch.
Try it out and let me know what you think!