Guest Blog Spotlight: Passport Flavor’s Tips to Restart Your Health in the New Year
Local Guest Food Blogger Lexi (Passport Flavor) has some excellent tips to help you start your new year off on the right foot! Follow her blog at passportflavor.com and find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram @passportflavor.
How to Restart Your Health in the New Year
The holidays are hard. Life gets busy and it’s easy to neglect the habits that keep us eating and feeling well. This January, restart your healthy habits, as well as create some new ones. Try these three tips and take steps to become your best self in the new year!
Meal Prep Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It jump-starts your metabolism and should keep you feeling satisfied until lunch to reduce unnecessary snacking. It is also the easiest meal to skip. Cold winter mornings and late nights will tempt you to sleep until the last alarm goes off. This increases the chance of skipping breakfast, which is detrimental to your healthy eating habits. While lunch is not as commonly skipped, it is a popular meal to order takeout, especially for those who work in an office setting. By meal prepping breakfast and lunch, you can ensure that your day starts off right! A full belly fuels a hard-working mind, setting you up for success in the workplace.
Tips for Meal Prepping
- Utilize as many appliances as you can when preparing food. For example, have one meal going in the slow cooker, while you are hard boiling eggs for breakfast in the pressure cooker. If it is easier, prep for half of the week on Sunday, and prep for the rest of the week on Wednesday.
- Start small and simple. Until meal prepping is habitual, it is okay to start with prepackaged items. Buy items such as ready-made salads, hard boiled eggs, and canned tuna and beans. With time, it will become easier for you to make these at home and move on to more complicated recipes. Until then, be mindful of sodium content and carefully inspect prepackaged nutrition labels.
Be Mindful of Sugar Consumption
Sugar is addictive. The more you consume it, the more your body craves it. Processed sugars especially, lead to excess weight gain and increased risk of preventable diseases. With that said, your body needs sugar, but it is important to be mindful of how much, and what type of sugar you consume. Natural sugars from fruits and vegetables are better for your body to digest, as opposed to processed sugars in most yogurts and sodas. The American Heart Association (2020) recommends no more than 25-36 grams of sugar per day, so read nutrition labels carefully when purchasing prepackaged foods.
Tips for Sugar Consumption
- Create your own snacks. For example, instead of buying granola and yogurts, make your own! Find and make a healthy, naturally sweetened granola recipe and store it as directed. Buy plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt and top with your favorite berries, and homemade granola.
- Have natural sugar substitutes available in your pantry or fridge for when you need them. Dates, honey, maple syrup, agave, and fresh fruit can be kept on hand to add to smoothies, baked goods, and other recipes that would benefit from sweeteners.
Go Meatless Once a Week
Research has linked excessive meat consumption with an increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. According to Mayo Clinic (2017), the recommended serving size per meal is a 3 oz, lean portion of meat. Not only are there health benefits to eating less meat, it is more budget friendly. Consuming more legumes, such as black beans or pinto beans, will provide you with the nutrients you need, and reduce your grocery shopping bill.
Tips to Go Meatless
- Substitute ground meat for lentils. There are dozens of recipes on Pinterest that use ground lentils as a substitute in tacos, chili, and other recipes that require ground meat. Lentils are packed with potassium and fiber, making them a heart-healthy food. You can also check out the recipes available on Stauffers’ own website!
- Substitute chicken for tofu. When cubed, tofu can be sautéed and used instead of chicken in a vegetable stir fry, and other similar dishes such as chicken tikka masala.
New Year, New YOU!
With these three tips, hopefully you have found some inspiration to push your own “restart button” and embark on a new healthy journey for the new year. The amazing selection of healthy products from Stauffers helps fuel many of my own recipes that I post frequently to my blog and social media. Check them out for inspiration anytime you need a new idea!
As always, you can see what’s On Sale now at Stauffers, and plan your meals for the week. Happy New Year!
Lexi, Passport Flavor
How much sugar is too much? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/how-much-sugar-is-too-much.
Meatless meals: The benefits of eating less meat. (July, 2017). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/meatless-meals/art-20048193