dog looking at cookie healthy eating hack

46 Healthy Eating Hacks to Enhance Your Well-Being in 2017

46 Healthy Eating Hacks for 2017

A popular question that we often ask of ourselves is “How can I eat healthier?”  Knowing that taking the first steps towards this goal can be difficult, we turned to the experts for advice. Using their input, we have outlined 46 Healthy Eating Hacks to help you get started.

 

  1. Swap White Rice for Quinoa as a Dinner Side

white rice and quinoa

The organic tri-color quinoa grain from Bob’s Red Mill is a blend of white, red and black quinoa. It’s 100% whole grain and brings iron, fiber and complete protein to any meal.

Cassidy Stockton
Bob’s Red Mill
http://www.bobsredmill.com

  1. Start your Day with a Serving of Oats 

oats

Scientific studies have concluded oats contain a special kind of fiber called beta-glucan that is especially effective in lowering cholesterol.

Cassidy Stockton
Bob’s Red Mill
http://www.bobsredmill.com/

  1. Make Whole Wheat Pizza Crust 

whole-wheat-eat-pizza-dough-1

To amp up the health factor in your homemade pizza, use 100% stone ground, whole-wheat organic flour.

Cassidy Stockton
Bob’s Red Mill
http://www.bobsredmill.com

  1. Prepare Your Own Food 

red-house-eat at homeMany of us don’t know how bad our diet is because we don’t prepare our own food. Tip: Eat at home. Find a great recipe site and gradually become your own personal chef. Cooking at home is not only addictive, but will save you money as well. Leftovers can often make a great lunch for the following day!

Rob Batot
Owner of Sensational Seasonings
www.sensationalseasonings.com

  1. Eat without Distractions

     

No Distractions

Have you ever sat down to watch TV with a bag of chips and finished the entire bag without realizing it. Tip: Eat without distractions. This works well with meals too. If can you can sit down for dinner with your family, you’re more likely to eat slower and have a greater chance of not overeating. Try it!

Rob Batot
Owner of Sensational Seasonings
www.sensationalseasonings.com

  1. Mindful Eating Over Mindless Eating

Chew on This

Have awareness of what you put into your mouth. Don’t inhale your food but chew it at least 15-20 times.  Sit down when you eat and no that does not mean in front of the computer or TV!

Karen Brennan, MSW, NC
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate)
Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC
http://www.trufoodsnutrition.com/

  1. Use Chopsticks to Slow Down the Eating Process

chopsticks_chineseb

Using chopsticks to eat meals instead of forks or spoons slows down the eating process. This allows the body to recognize how it is feeling during the process of digestion, and when it is full, as to prevent overeating, and increase the appreciation of all the elements of the meal.

Sarah Lisovich
Senior Editor and Content Strategist at CIA Medical
https://www.ciamedical.com/insights

  1. Balance your Meals

Plate-Balance-your-meals

Fill half of your plate with vegetables (cooked or raw) and the other half split between a clean (hormone & antibiotic free) protein and a small portion of whole grains (not necessary every day). Be sure to include a serving of healthy fat (see #8 for proper portions).

Lisa Jubilee
Nutritionist and co-founder of Living Proof Nutrition Strength Pilates in midtown Manhattan
http://livingproofnyc.com/lp/

  1. Double up and Freeze it

When cooking meals, double them up and store half in the freezer.  Freeze meals, rice, cauliflower rice, orange and lemon zest, quinoa etc… to make life simple.  Buy glass storage containers and labels so that they are easy to find when you need them in your freezer.  If I am chopping onions or herbs or some other vegetables and know I will need more later in the week, I chop more and put the extra into baggies for later.

Karen Brennan, MSW, NC
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate)
Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC
http://www.trufoodsnutrition.com/

  1. Make Portion Control Automatic 

35662-Perfect Portions Control Containers

If you’re done with counting calories, weighing and measuring your food, the Perfect PortionsTM portion control containers are easy to use.  You fill up the containers based on what food group is labeled on the outside and use them to control how much of each food group you eat, making it easier to eat a well balanced diet.

  1. Eat Meals on Smaller Plates 

plate-serving-sizes-2

Eat your meals on smaller plates if trying to lose weight.  Make your salad and veggies the bigger portion of your meals if trying to lose weight.

Karen Brennan, MSW, NC
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate)
Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC
http://www.trufoodsnutrition.com/

  1. Use your Hand to Find the Right Serving Size 

Food Portions LP.jpg

I like sharing the idea of using your hand side to determine portion sizes. This has been getting more popular as we have been seen how imperfect calorie counting is.

  • Your hand size correlates pretty nicely to your body size and can help in finding the right serving sizes. For protein a serving size would be the size and width of your palm.
  • For carbohydrates you would want to go for a cupped hand sized portion.
  • For veggies your fist size makes a good serving.
  • For fat a thumb sized portion works well.

At each meal aim for one portion of each if you’re female and two servings of each if you’re a male. With veggies, you can have as many as you want.

Jamie Logie
www.regainedwellness.com

  1. Prepare the Night Before 

vegetables-prepare-night-before-preparation

Gather all your smoothie ingredients for the blender the night before so that in the morning, all you need to do is blend it and go.  Same thing with your crock pot- put it all in the night before and then in the morning, just turn it on.  You can make frittatas and baked oatmeal or baked egg dishes all in advance so that you can make sure you eat healthy breakfast.

Karen Brennan, MSW, NC
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate)
Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC
http://www.trufoodsnutrition.com/

  1. Invest in some Products that Make Food Preparation Easier

PicMonkey Collage-grilling options

By keeping meal preparations simple, you’ll find that it is easier to prepare and cook meals.  The Ronco Ready Grill allows you to grill delicious meals in minutes.  You can even cook frozen food right from the freezer to save time.  In fact, many folks don’t realize that frozen food retains the most nutritional value, because it is frozen at the peak of freshness. Grills are great for reducing the amount of fat you eat because when it is released, it drains away from the food.

Another easy option for grilling is to use the non-stick microwave griller pan.  This handy pan allows you to grill by using the microwave.  You could try the Micromaster Microwave pressure cooker if you prefer to steam your meals.  The unique pressure cooker allows you to easily cook meat, rice, chicken, pasta, beans, etc in the microwave.  This method helps retain all the nutrients in food.

  1. Plan your Meals a Week in Advance

calendar-week-advance

A basic tip that will help with eating healthy is to meal prep. Sit down on Sunday and plan out all of your meals for the entire week. I like to make meals that will create two days of leftovers, as well. This takes care of three meals in one basically. Come up with 2-3 ideas for healthy meals. Get all of your groceries that you need for your meals and prep everything on Sunday. Now, when you come home from a long day of work, the food is already prepared for you. You won’t have the notion of “I’m too tired to cook or I’m too hungry to cook”.

Dr. Matt Tanneberg
Sports Chiropractor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in Phoenix, AZ
Arcadia Health and Wellness Chiropractic

  1. Eat a Quick, Nutritious Breakfast 

healthy-breakfast

Why is breakfast important?  Eating a healthy breakfast that is loaded with the required nutrients will kick start your metabolism which will set the pace for the entire day. It will also improves your concentration and productivity levels which means you won’t be spacing out at your 9:00 am meeting. Something as simple as oats/muesli with milk or a peanut butter toast with bananas on top should do the trick.

Tehzeeb Lalani
NYU Class of 2011 (B.S. Nutrition and Food studies)
Mumbai-based Nutritionist and Health counselor
Proprietor, Scale Beyond Scale
www.scalebeyondscale.com 

  1. Incorporate Alkaline Foods into your Diet 

PicMonkey Collage-alkaline foods

Alkaline eating alters the body’s pH through a diet rich in fruits, legumes and vegetables and low in meat, dairy and alcohol to detoxify, brighten skin and aid weight loss. With alkaline eating, you are not only giving your stomach a rest from acidity, which can cause many different autoimmune responses in the body, but you are giving your stomach and intestines a rest in general.

Just think of all the work that your digestive system does on a daily basis.  For it to continue working at a healthy level – processing foods and transforming it into vitamins, minerals and energy, it needs to be taken care of the way you would any other system in your body.

Incorporate these delicious, high-alkaline foods into your daily diet now:”

  • Avocado – “Great to add into salads or to enjoy as a snack!”
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Almonds, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts
  • Lamb
  • Wild Game
  • Bananas

Anna Castellani
Founder of Forager’s Market
http://www.foragersmarket.com/

  1. Eat a Bite of Protein First, Every Time you Eat

“The first bite is Protein” will mitigate the insulin response, which tells your body to store fat!

Sue Rose
Author, Claim Your Best Body – The Easier Way!
Claim Your Best Body – The Easier Way!

  1. Eat your Antioxidants 

PicMonkey Collage-fresh fruits and veggies

Shoot for 6-9 servings of vegetables and some fruit each day. It’s easy to consume when you plan to eat some at each meal.
Example: ½ cup fresh fruit at breakfast or morning snack (1 serving), 2 cups lettuce or raw spinach (2 servings) + ½ cup shredded carrot (1 serving) + ½ cup chopped tomato (1 serving) at lunch + 2 cups cooked broccoli at dinner (4 servings) = 9 servings

Lisa Jubilee
Nutritionist and co-founder of Living Proof Nutrition Strength Pilates in midtown Manhattan
http://livingproofnyc.com/lp/

  1. Choose Quality Protein

focus on quality

100% certified organic (antibiotic and hormone free) poultry, 100% grass-fed or grass-finished bison & beef, wild Alaskan salmon, pasture-raised, free-farmed or certified humane eggs, organic tempeh and hemp or pea protein powder are a few examples.

Lisa Jubilee
Nutritionist and co-founder of Living Proof Nutrition Strength Pilates in midtown Manhattan
http://livingproofnyc.com/lp/

  1. Always Grab a Bite to Eat before Heading Out to a Party

Why it’s important- We all know the terrible feeling of being extremely famished at the end of the night. Why would we want that for ourselves? A light dinner at home, (a sandwich for instance) goes a long way in helping you enjoy the night and allows the alcohol to enter the bloodstream at a slower rate.

Tehzeeb Lalani
NYU Class of 2011 (B.S. Nutrition and Food studies)
Mumbai-based Nutritionist and Health counselor
Proprietor, Scale Beyond Scale
www.scalebeyondscale.com 

  1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate 

water in cup

Water makes up 60-70% of your body weight. It is necessary for every function of the body, which is why we can only survive a few days without it.  The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter (about 4 cups) of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace your lost fluids.

Daily Intake Guideline: Consume 1 oz. for every 2 pounds of body weight.

Lisa Jubilee
Nutritionist and co-founder of Living Proof Nutrition Strength Pilates in midtown Manhattan
http://livingproofnyc.com/lp/

  1. Stay Hydrated- Are You Really Hungry or Thirsty? 

hungry or thirsty water-1

Why is it important to stay hydrated?  Oftentimes, we tend to confuse our thirst signals with our hunger signals. This means that the solution to curbing a false hunger signal is as simple as hydration.

Keep a bottle of water with you and sip on it at regular intervals so that your body knows exactly when it’s hungry.

Tehzeeb Lalani
NYU Class of 2011 (B.S. Nutrition and Food studies)
Mumbai-based Nutritionist and Health counselor
Proprietor, Scale Beyond Scale
www.scalebeyondscale.com 

  1. Drink More Than One Glass of Water with your Meal

water glasses 8

It’s not just about eating until you feel full. Tip: Try to drink more than one glass of water with your meal. You’ll feel full sooner and eat less.

Rob Batot
Owner of Sensational Seasonings
www.sensationalseasonings.com

  1. NEVER Drink Sweet Drinks 

Sweet drink
Sweet drink

Drinking sweet drinks – even if it’s natural fruit juice – sends insulin into the bloodstream, causing fat storage as well as many other disease states.

Sue Rose
Author, Claim Your Best Body – The Easier Way!
Claim Your Best Body – The Easier Way!

 

  1. Flavor Your Water with Different Fruits 

Detox fruit infused flavored water. Refreshing summer homemade cocktail
Fruit infused flavored water. Refreshing summer homemade cocktail

Instead of choosing sugary beverages, spice up your water using different types of fruits. In order to make water more enjoyable, let them soak in a pitcher with various berries, melons or any fruits of your liking. One of my favorite things to do is to squeeze lemon in to my water. After using this method it is hard to go back to normal water.

Tyler Read
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
www.ptpioneer.com

  1. STOP Buying Unhealthy Snacks at the Grocery Store

Tip: Stop buying unhealthy snacks at the grocery store. Think about it, if you don’t have them at home, you won’t be tempted by them. Instead grab an orange or an apple when you have the munchies. Even a spoonful of peanut butter will satisfy your cravings.

Rob Batot
Owner of Sensational Seasonings
www.sensationalseasonings.com

  1. Stick to Perimeter of the Grocery Store when Shopping

shop-the-perimeter grocery

When you are shopping at your local grocery store, try to stick to the perimeter of the store. If you dive into any of the aisles, you will typically find processed food that haves lots of sugar, fat and salt. The perimeter is where you’ll find your perishable items like meats, vegetables and whole grains that are unprocessed.

Tyler Read
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
www.ptpioneer.com

  1. Get Majority of Carbohydrates from Fruits and Vegetables 

fruits and veggies

Try to get the majority of your carbohydrate sources from fruits and vegetables. Preferably these fruits and vegetables should be organic.

Tyler Read
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
www.ptpioneer.com

  1. Have Healthy Snacks Easily Accessible in the Kitchen

 eat clean foods

Have your healthy snacks such as fruit and vegetables easily accessible and within plain sight in your kitchen. If you hide them in your vegetable drawer, chances are you’ll never touch them again, but if they are staring you in the face on your counter, it is much easier to make the right choice on what to eat.

Tyler Read
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
www.ptpioneer.com

  1. Choose Healthier Alternatives 

healthy foods-1

Tip: Choose healthier alternatives. Ditch the chips and fries for baked kale and oven-roasted brussel sprouts. The key is the seasoning. You’ll get more satisfaction from these healthy sides than you think.

Rob Batot
Owner of Sensational Seasonings
www.sensationalseasonings.com

  1. Distract Yourself during Cravings

The typical food craving lasts about 15 minutes, so if you’re craving a food that isn’t in your plan for the day, distract yourself for 15 minutes to see if the feeling doesn’t pass.  Even if you do end up eating it, using this mindful approach will make the experience feel more positive and within your control.

Dr. Kelly Baez
Licensed Professional Counselor and health consultant
http://www.fitshrink.com

  1. Use Fun and Colorful Products to Keep Water and Healthy Snacks Handy

32828-Snackeez Duo Snack & Drink Cup

Staying hydrated is another component to keeping you healthy.  The Snackeeze Duo snack cup and drink can hold 12 oz of your favorite beverage and at the same time keep the temptation at a minimum by keeping healthy snacks handy.  You can hold six ounces of a snack inside the flip –top lid.  It’s a 30 piece set, so now you can keep one at work, at home or at the gym.

  1. Use a Steamer to Cook Vegetables 

33553-Convenient 2 Tier Red Microwave Steamer

If you cook your vegetables, use a steamer. If you cannot stand eating vegetables raw, the best way to cook them is to use a steamer because it lets the vegetables maintain more vitamins and minerals compared to other cooking methods such as frying them or roasting them.

Tyler Read
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
www.ptpioneer.com

  1. Try Substituting Lettuce for Buns, Wraps, and Tortillas

hotdog lettuce

Try eating a hamburger or a hot dog sometime with a piece of lettuce instead of a traditional bun and see if you don’t end up having a whole new eating experience! I always knew I liked hamburgers, but I have gotten to where I like hamburgers so much better now, that I can savor the meat and cheese with pickles and other veggies without the bun.

You can still pick it up and eat a lettuce-wrapped sandwich, but I prefer to eat it with a fork and knife. That means I eat my burger, hot dog, taco, sandwich, etc. more slowly, so I’m not as quick to grab for seconds! Lettuce wraps are great for tacos, sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, and more!

Jessica Bowman
Owner of The Failed Dieter
http://thefaileddieter.com/

  1. There’s Sugar in Sushi?  Here’s How to Remove it

sushi-2

Just how healthy is the sushi we are feeding our children or eating ourselves? It’s loaded with sugar! And you thought it was healthy. Remove sugar from sushi using a Rice Cube. It compresses plain rice to make sushi in seconds. Kids love it and use it worldwide and now eat healthy sugar free, GF sushi.

Ross Patten
Inventor of the Rice Cube
http://www.ricecube.net

  1. Ditch your Food Seasonings in Favor of a Low-Sodium or Salt-Free Seasoning 

Eat Less Salt

A large percentage of the population consumes too much salt. Tip: Ditch your food seasonings in favor of a low-sodium or salt-free seasoning. You get more flavor into your food by using more seasoning without adding as much sodium to your diet. Salt-free seasonings will help you avoid sodium altogether.

Rob Batot
Owner of Sensational Seasonings
www.sensationalseasonings.com

  1. As Michael Pollan says, “Eat food, mostly plants, but not too much.”

This is best for you and the planet. When the noted author of, “The Omnivore’s Dilema”, refers to “food” above, he is referring to whole foods, not packaged, like food-like substances that comprise the majority of the typical American diet.

Lisa Jubilee
Nutritionist and co-founder of Living Proof Nutrition Strength Pilates in midtown Manhattan
http://livingproofnyc.com/lp/

  1. Use Recipe Websites

User recipe sites like allrecipes.com or apps such as yummly to make finding meals that you like easier.  Before buying that new cookbook, wait until it is in your library.  Some cookbooks I know I will only use a few of the recipes so I just photocopy them.  The cookbooks that I really like from the library I do purchase but at least I know I am going to like and use the recipes in it.  I have so many cookbooks that I’ve barely touched so now I always check cookbooks out of the library first.

Karen Brennan, MSW, NC
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate)
Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC
http://www.trufoodsnutrition.com/

  1. Where to Splurge/Save Money on Food 

dirty dozen 15 healthy foods

If you can’t afford mostly organic, and you are a meat eater then choose your meats organic and grass fed.  Use the clean 15 and dirty dozen list so you know what to buy organic and what you don’t need to in order to save money.  EWG.org is a great resource site to use.

Karen Brennan, MSW, NC
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate)
Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC
http://www.trufoodsnutrition.com/

  1. Rearrange What’s in Your Cupboards

Rearranging your cupboards can make it easier to choose healthy snacks over junk food. Keep your healthy snack options at eye level in the cupboard and keep sweet treats out of sight on a higher shelf and/or in an opaque container. This set-up can help quickly guide you to healthy snacks.

Molly Morgan, R.D.
https://nuts.com/

  1. Find the Right Diet for You

Dieting is not a sprint.  It is a string of marathons. Avoid diets that you don’t enjoy and would not be willing to maintain over the long run.  Cheat days and dropped diets plague healthy eaters.  Instead of forcing yourself to a strict diet that you find unsatisfying, first investigate the many different diets until you find one you feel comfortable sustaining.

Jared Heathman, MD
Houston psychiatrist
www.yourfamilypsychiatrist.com

  1. Avoid Tea/Coffee Immediately Post Lunch 

tea and coffee-2

Why it’s important: Caffeine spikes up the glucose level in a short time and causes a ‘crash’ or a drop in these levels soon after which makes you feel drowsy and lazy. Instead, sip on water continually which will keep you alert and energetic.

Tehzeeb Lalani
NYU Class of 2011 (B.S. Nutrition and Food studies)
Mumbai-based Nutritionist and Health counselor
Proprietor, Scale Beyond Scale
www.scalebeyondscale.com 

  1. Eat a Fruit 2-3 Hours Post Lunch

apple

Why it’s important: Helps combat afternoon energy slump, stabilizes blood sugar, fiber helps intestinal health, ensures you don’t overeat at dinner. Something as simple as an apple or a pear would work.

Tehzeeb Lalani
NYU Class of 2011 (B.S. Nutrition and Food studies)
Mumbai-based Nutritionist and Health counselor
Proprietor, Scale Beyond Scale
www.scalebeyondscale.com 

  1. Get your Kids to Spend More Time at the Dinner Table by using Question Cards

Use table topics or other question cards to make meal time more fun and interesting. This is one of my personal favorites that we have used for years.

Karen Brennan, MSW, NC
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate)
Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC
http://www.trufoodsnutrition.com/

  1. Avoid giving children foods and beverages containing sugar 

Child drinking water. Girl outdoors

 As much as possible, parents should avoid giving children foods and beverages containing sugar. A recent study found that sugar actually harms a child’s metabolism. Among the findings of this study: children will lose weight on a sugar-free diet eating the same number of calories. Children feel fuller sooner on a sugar-free diet.

Varda Meyers Epstein
Contributing Editor- Kars4Kids Educational Blog for Parents
http://www.kars4kids.org/blog/

We hope we have given you some healthy eating tips and tricks that that you can try.  We know it’s difficult to change eating habits, so remember to take it one day at a time.  Also keep in mind that even if you only make one healthy change, it still is beneficial to your body.  Don’t give up!  As a tiny, orange fish once said, “Just keep going.”

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