Quick & Healthy Meals and Snack Tips
by Brenda Schanhofer
Miron recently began an internal program entitled “Get Lost!” It encompasses weekly weigh-ins for all participants and different health-related topics are discussed at the meetings each week. The intent of the program is to share ideas on weight management and healthy behaviors, provide support and accountability and encourage commitment to long-range health goals.
One recent meeting focused on quick and healthy meals and snack tips. Below are a few suggestions from the meeting:
Plan ahead. Eating healthy will never be as easy as the drive-thru, but it can be convenient with a little effort and preparation.
- Prepare extra when cooking dinner to save for a quick and easy meal or snack when in a rush.
- Use snack-size bags to portion out nuts, fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks to grab on the go. This will help to eliminate the temptation to overeat (sustainability tip:store items in reusable containers instead of disposable plastic bags).
- Use a slow cooker. Seasoned chicken breasts cooked on low heat can be used for dinner or portioned out for future use in salads, wraps, etc.
- Prepare an entire box of whole grain rice, pasta, couscous, or other favorite side dish and store it in your fridge for use during the week. Toss in some veggies, chicken, turkey or even a little low-fat cheese for a full meal that combines all 3 food fuel sources: carbohydrates, fats and protein!
Dinner on the go. When all else fails, fast-food sub shops are a reasonable option. They may not contain the optimal healthy menu our society has made them out to, but let’s face it, we have to make this healthy approach to a busy lifestyle manageable. If this is the only option on a given day, go for it! Extreme restrictions on meal requirements can often be a barrier, not a benefit. Make the best choice possible from the options available!
Portion control. When choosing healthy snacks, remember: HOW much you eat is as important as WHAT you eat. So, at what point does a healthy snack become unhealthy? When is goes above 120-150 calories.
Some quick and healthy snack ideas that will satisfy your hunger:
- Low-fat or baked chips and salsa
- Nonfat yogurt with fruit
- Tuna/salmon pouches
- Hard boiled eggs with wheat toast
- Low-fat cottage cheese with sliced cucumbers, pineapple, peaches, apples or any fruit/veggie of your choice
- Hummus with whole grain crackers
- Peanut butter with whole grain crackers or apples
- Beef jerky
- ‘String cheese in a blanket’ (low-fat string cheese wrapped in sandwich meat)
- ‘Fruit cakes’- rice cakes topped with yogurt and your choice of berries (or other fruit)
For some additional ideas and recipes, check out EatingWell.com! Another great resource is Health Ambition’s “10 Light and Healthy Afternoon Snacks.”
Image purchased from iStock.
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