“You know what Claire, you should have become a nutritionist”- My Mimi
…this is what my Mimi said to me after I told her I made gluten-free bagels with 5 ingredients all totaling 145 calories per bagel. And in thinking, studying food and nutrition does sound inviting. For the past couple of years I have taken an interest in healthy eating, healthy habits, and working out, so learning more about all of that in a major and/or job would be exciting! HOWEVER, teaching is still my calling, BUT I do think that eating healthy and working to stay fit are things that make me feel happy! I think that healthy eating and habits are not easy. You have to want it and you have to put in the time!
I want to dedicate some of my tips and tricks for trying to stay healthy. Having said that, I want to emphasize a couple of points first:
- I’m not saying that you should listen to me whatsoever…I mean again…I am not a nutritionist (even though according to my Mimi I am! *Mimi if you are reading this, I LOVE YOU!*). These are just things that have worked for me!
- I’m also not saying that I am a fitness expert. I hate running, do the same workout like four times a week, and more often than not have to drag myself to the gym. I’m not the perfect workout buddy, but I enjoy the after feeling of working out.
- I’m not a crazy health-nut. Yes, I like to eat healthy, but that’s mostly for the weekdays and then on the weekends I eat more junk food! If I ever feel like ice cream, I try to find another healthy substitute to crave my sweet tooth….but usually that doesn’t work and I go to Oberweis or Dairy Queen with Joel.
Now that the disclaimers are over, here are some of my tips!
Exercise in any way that you can/like
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t”- Elle Woods
Last summer I bought myself a Fitbit and still love tracking my steps. My goal everyday is to receive 10,500. According to Fitbit, 10,000 steps is equivalent to 30 minutes of a daily exercise which is what the CDC recommends. Some ways I like to receive my steps are:
- Watching Netflix while on the elliptical
- Running/Walking on the treadmill
- Walking around the lake or neighborhood with Joel
- Dancing during my drama classes
As you can see, not all of my “step intakes” are exercising….they are little movements I like to do throughout the week to keep me going! When you find some movement that you like to do, keep at it! Exercising doesn’t have to be tedious and repetitive: it can be fun & ever-changing.
There are yummy substitutions out there
I like to eat healthy and feed my body with good, clean things! I wouldn’t say I “watch” what I eat or that I am dieting, but I always make sure I’m supplying my body with foods that are good and not loaded with sugars and fats. The past year, I have substituted little foods in my daily menu and I already see/feel the difference. Here are some of my favorite and still yummy substitutions–the calorie differences are quite amazing. What I love about these substitutions is that they are not hard and honestly better than the real deal.
1.) “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light”
At only 35 calories per 1 Tbsp, this butter tastes like the real thing, minus 100 calories. As the title of the product suggests, you will be astounded to know that it’s not actual butter. I use this mainly on bread, pancakes, and vegetables, but I also have used it for muffin and cookie recipes. Not only does it taste good, but it’s easy to spread too!
2.) Greek Yogurt
DID YOU KNOW THAT REGULAR LOW-FAT, PLAIN GREEK YOGURT ACTUALLY TASTES LIKE SOUR CREAM MINUS THE CALORIES!?! Well, now you do!! I do not suggest just straight up eating this yogurt plain for breakfast (as it is sooooo bitter), but I would suggest using it instead of some of your dips. I love using greek yogurt instead of sour cream and ranch dressing. You can put plain greek yogurt on tacos or add some dill, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper to make your own healthy ranch dip! Greek yogurt is also a healthy substitute for butter and oil in baking:)
Want a low-carb sandwich option? Instead of putting your deli meat on bread….put it on a cucumber! Cucumbers are super yummy, low calorie (15 calories), and nice and fresh for the summertime. All you have to do is cut a cucumber in half, scoop out the seeds, and put your deli meat & toppings of choice inside. I love putting a greek yogurt spread I made (2 Tbs of greek yogurt, 2 tsp dill, 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt) and turkey!
4.) Sparkling Water
I discovered my love of La Croix last summer & I’m soooooo happy I did!!!! I have to admit, it took me a week or so to really crave/like La Croix, but since then I’ve been so happy. La Croix and other sparking water brands (Bubly, Perrier, etc.) are a super delicious and refreshing substitute to pop. If you’re ever craving something sweet, definitely have one of these. I have been drinking La Croix for so long…the lemon and lime flavors taste like pop to me! DEFINITELY give them a chance! Alsoooo 0 calories versuses 150 is amazing.
I. LOVE. POPCORN. It is my favorite snack and all my students know that!!! Popcorn is a low-calorie option to greasy chips (~100 vs. ~200). There are so many different kinds: you can make your own on the stove-top (my fav), you can make it in the microwave (super quick&easy), or you can buy popcorn pre-made (in SOOOO many yummy flavors… my favorite right now is BBQ).
6.) Ground Turkey/Ground Chicken
Since last August, I have been trying to cut out my red meat intake. Don’t ask me why, just ask my how. Since then, I have been feeling a lot healthier and do not really get stomach aches anymore. At the beginning, I tried to cut my red-meat intake to about once a week, then once every two weeks, and now I’m trying to only have it once a month. I never really had that much red meat from the beginning, so I feel like I only had to watch my ground beef intake. I’m a taco queeeeeen and still am, but choose to have chicken or fish instead of the beef…and let me tell you….it all is delicious!
I have loved replacing ground beef with ground turkey. When making burgers, taco meat, meat loaf, I have found yummy recipes with ground turkey that taste even better than beef. One pound of ground beef is about 1,500 calories and one pound of ground turkey is about 800. Isn’t the calorie difference amazing?! My new favorite is Marianos’ Ground Chicken, Feta, & Spinach Burgers ❤ ❤ SOOOOO GOOD!!! Turkey bacon is delicious too and so is turkey sausage and chicken sausage!! I’m so happy there are so many great recipes out there for ground turkey and ground chicken!
Try new things!
In my attempt to stay healthy, I have tried so many new things to keep this exciting and new:
- Trying new exercises–yoga classes, treadmill, hiking, etc.
- Making gluten-free bagels, fried avocados, and overnight oats
- Researching all that I can do with my Fitbit & increasing my goal
- Creating a “Talk Healthy To Me” Pinterest Board
So with all of this, I just challenge you to try new things! You never know… you might love turkey bacon more than regular bacon. You might become obsessed with a new cycling class. Challenge yourself to try something new that makes you feel good:)
Thank you all for reading one of my longer posts and waiting so long for this post. I wanted to make sure it was just right. I am Miss Declaireing Happiness and I am deCLAIREing that even though becoming a food nutritionist is not my calling, I feel happy when I’m working towards staying healthy and fit. BUTTTTTTTTT ice cream&dessert also make me happy too:)