10 Tips to Make Eating Healthy at Home Easier • The Blonde Abroad
While I normally try to eat quite healthy and stick to a pescetarian diet, I got into the bad habit of eating my feelings during quarantine…
I’ve been actively cleaning up my diet and have adopted an exercise plan, too, with the help of Best10 (head over to my Instagram Stories to hear all about my experience and results!).
I’m a big believer in making any switches or changes easy—that way I’m much more inclined to maintain them.
Whether you’re wanting to make some lifestyle changes or looking for a few tips to eat healthier, I’ve got a few “hacks.”
These are my key tips and tricks to make eating healthy at home easier!
1. Keep Your Pantry Stocked
You know that saying, “don’t shop on an empty stomach”? Take that and translate it to your pantry! When you’re hungry and looking for something to munch on, it’s so, so, so easy to turn to those quick snacks that aren’t so good for you.
With that in mind, make sure to keep your pantry (and fridge) stocked with plenty of healthy options and quick fixes: fruits and veggies, string cheese, an assortment of nuts, cans of tuna.
2. Swap Your Dressings and Oils
An easy fix that can cut unnecessary calories without sacrificing flavor is by swapping your thick salad dressings and oils with things like vinegar or mustard.
Yes, Thousand Island and Ranch dressing might be delicious, but have you ever read their labels to see what’s actually in them or the nutrition content?
Things like red wine vinegar provide a really nice tang on some dishes, and mustard can go a long way as a condiment!
Play around with different varieties to see what you like. If you really *really* want dressing but are looking for a better option, check out Bolthouse Farms. The dressings have less sodium and are lower in calories than most other options.
3. Start Pickling
Never in my life did I think I would be one to pickle things, but I’ve been taking the time to slow down, and get into activities I never thought I would…pickling being one of them. And I’ll let you in on a little secret—I love it!
From pickling onions to peppers and all sorts of things, there are endless “toppings” you can pickle to add a nice zing to your meal.
I like to start the pickling process of several different items at a time, so they’re all on hand and I can quickly throw them onto a dish to add some brightness. Just like swapping dressings and oils for things like vinegar and mustard, adding pickled veggies is a great way to add flavor without a ton of calories.
A personal fave is pickled red onions for fish tacos—talk about yum!!
4. Utilize Spices
Bring on the spices! I know that walking through the spice section at the market may be overwhelming to some, especially if you didn’t grow up with a lot of the flavors and you don’t know how to use them.
My advice: don’t buy a ton of spices at once. Get a few and start playing around with them to understand what dishes they work with best and figure out what you like.
Some of my favorites that add a lot of flavor are curry powder and hot sauce (though I make sure to opt for ones that are sugar-free!).
5. Meal Prep
Love it or hate it, meal prepping is a fantastic way to stay on target with your nutrition goals—and save time.
Whether you work from home or in an office, if you’re able to set aside a day of the week (perhaps a Sunday) and prep some dinners or lunches for the week, it makes eating healthy during the week so much easier.
Plus, there’s way less chance you’ll swing by a fast-food joint since you’ll already have food prepped.
6. Mix Up How Often You Cook
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t enjoy cooking every night. Don’t get me wrong—I love to cook and bake, but when it becomes something on my to-do list, it feels more like a chore and I don’t take as much pleasure in it.
Fortunately, Meyer is a fantastic chef, and this makes it easy to split up cooking duties. That said, my go-to tip when it comes to meals, and this relates to the above, is to mix up how often you’re cooking!
This doesn’t necessarily mean cook dinner one night and order in the next, but rather batch cook when you can, portion out a meal so it can go in the freezer, and have things on-hand that are easy to make, so it doesn’t feel like you’re spending a ton of time in the kitchen every night (unless you truly want to!).
For me, I find that when I am able to take breaks from cooking or mix up how often I cook, it’s much more enjoyable.
Also, think about incorporating the same ingredients in different ways. For example, say on Monday night you grill some fish or chicken. The next day you can use it on a salad or in a wrap.
7. Make Your Own Essentials
You can easily make your own salad dressings, curries, granola, protein bars, plant-based milk, and more, for less than you buy at the store, and without any added preservatives, gums, or oils.
Pasta sauces can have so many preservatives and sodium, along with added sugars—try making your own in batches and freeze!
Same with curries — packaged curries and powders can have a lot of unnecessary ingredients. Make it from scratch and freeze for later!
Plant-Based Milk + Creamers
8. Don’t Buy the Bad Stuff
You know that saying “out of sight, out of mind”? While it’s a bit of a cliché, it’s a pretty solid tip.
Yes, there are definitely days when I can’t get sweets off my mind, but if I don’t actually have them in the house, I have to actively go out and get them, and to be honest, that’s usually too much effort.
I’ll opt for an alternative like a banana with peanut butter, make a smoothie, or pop a Propel packet into my water.
9. Shop at a Farmer’s Market
A lot of times you can find the products that you normally buy at the store at a Farmer’s Market but it’s made with fewer preservatives! Things like thinking honey, fresh bread, granola, and sauces.
Plus, you’ll find tons of fresh fruits and veggies, while supporting your local community.
10. Plan Out Your Meal Times
Oftentimes when I get engrossed in a project, I will accidentally skip a meal…only to be ravenous a few hours later.
I’ve found that actively planning out my snacks and meals and setting a timer on my phone helps to keep my blood sugar stabilized, which prevents those mid-afternoon crashes (and, in turn, reaching for something sugary).
EatWise is a great app to set reminders in your phone to tell you to eat.
Keep in mind that these eating times don’t have to be full meals—simple snacks like a handful of nuts, a protein shake, Greek yogurt with berries, fresh veggies and hummus are wonderful to keep your energy up.
Last, but certainly not least—make sure to stay hydrated!
It can be easy to not drink enough water throughout the day, so I’ve found that getting a large water bottle with markings serves as an excellent visual reminder to drink more and get those ounces in!