Many people wish they could eat a more healthful diet, but connecting that wish to reality can seem daunting, confusing and can ultimately lead to feelings of frustration. Making small changes in your choices can begin to set healthy eating habits in motion. March is National Nutrition Month, and East Bank Club dietitian, Sarah Calamita, gives us her top strategies for healthy eating success.
Sarah’s mantra is “Every bite matters.” Unconscious eating is a trap we can easily fall into when we stop paying attention to what we are consuming. Mindless consumption can happen multiple times throughout the day, without us even being aware of our choices. Over time these choices can add up to weight gain and feelings of discomfort.
A simple exercise to practice before every bite is mindful eating. Ask yourself, “Is this food I’m about to eat worth it?” If it’s mealtime and the food in question is a healthy balance of healthy carbs, lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats, then the answer is a resounding, “yes!” If you’ve had a full week of eating well and you want to treat yourself to a delicious piece of quality chocolate, again a “you deserve it” is in order. If you’re just eating something because it’s in front of you, taking a moment to think it through will help you make the right choice every time. This approach can help you steer away from the countless opportunities throughout the day to eat something that doesn’t really satisfy.
One of the most challenging moments of any healthy eating regimen is when you’re stranded in a situation with no healthy food options due to a lack of planning. For example, you’ve just finished your early morning workout, and then rushed to work without eating. You’re walking through the office feeling positively dizzy with hunger when you’re faced with a box of glazed donuts that seems to have your name on it. While donuts aren’t normally a choice you’d make, you feel like it’s the only option to stave off your crippling hunger. These moments of weakness disrupt our flow and can potentially set us on a binge, but they are easily thwarted with just a little bit of planning.
While healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated, it does require some thought. Sunday is filled with pictures on social media of people prepping food for the week – cooking large amounts of healthy food to have on-hand for upcoming meals. While this is a viable solution for some, it’s not always feasible to have the time (or inclination) to cook this way.
East Bank Club has made meal planning a snap through the creation of the Fit Meals line available in the Food Shop. Sarah worked hand-in-hand with the Club’s chefs to create a line of freshly prepared meals that are low in calories and sodium, high in protein and filled with flavor. There are two portion sizes to account for caloric needs (less than 350 calories and less than 600 calories), and a bounty of choices to satisfy all tastes, including grilled salmon paired with roasted carrots and rice, flank steak with roasted Brussels sprouts, and grilled chicken with sweet potatoes and green beans. The Club has recently added a number of new delicious Fit Meals, including the chicken caprese pasta bowl, the lentil couscous bowl, and the southwestern chicken bowl.
Grabbing a few of these meals after your workout will ensure you aren’t leaving your food plan to chance in the days to come. Eating the right balance of nutritious, fresh options keeps you on the right track and closer to reaching your goals.
Once you start down the road and make even one move in the right direction towards healthy eating, you are creating momentum towards your goal. “Small changes can make a big difference, from drinking more water to eating a healthy breakfast,” explains Sarah.
If you’re not ready to make a full commitment to healthy eating, here are ten starting points to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
East Bank Club | March 2007