Sometimes the hardest part of preparing a lunch or dinner meal is figuring out what you’re in the mood for. When in doubt, my go-to is a quinoa bowl full of my favorite foods. In this case, I put together chickpeas, kidney beans, carrots, and celery. A simple combination that satisfies my craving for a healthy, filling lunch that keeps me happy all afternoon.
To top it off, I put together an easy dressing with ingredients I had on hand. I love balsamic vinegar and with a dash of salt, pepper and oregano, I was able to add just the right amount of flavor.
Although this recipe does contain some sugar and dairy, it is still a healthy wheat-free dessert option. The zesty lemon citrus hits the spot and the grab-and-go nature of the bars is perfect for an after noon snack or post-dinner dessert.
As a health coach and cookbook author, I provide weight loss and healthy eating tips every day. When someone is struggling to lose weight, it’s very common for me to suggest removing his or her “trigger” foods from the house.
For me, that’s anything that contains chocolate — chocolate chip cookies, ice cream bars, etc. I believe in the saying “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to junk food.
What people often forget is that “out of sight, out of mind” can also work against us. If your healthiest food is hidden in the back of the pantry or refrigerator, or isn’t even in your house, you’re less likely to eat it.
Having healthy options in your refrigerator or pantry and having them readily available can help you make better choices.
Losing weight isn’t always easy, but keeping your pantry and refrigerator stocked with these six foods can help:
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and collards provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, K, and B6. They’re also rich in foliate, potassium, and calcium. A salad loaded with leafy greens and other fresh vegetables is a great way to fill up without a lot of calories.
Keep it interesting and find other healthy ways to incorporate leafy greens into your diet like juicing, adding them to soups and omelets, or topping a healthy flatbread. Try making your own kale chips for a savory and healthy snack.
People often steer clear of nuts when they’re trying to lose weight due to their high-calorie and -fat count. However, adding a small amount of nuts to my diet actually keeps me satisfied longer and allows me to eat less overall.
Enjoy a small handful every day for a dose of healthy fat. Try adding walnuts to a healthy cookie recipe, use almond meal in your muffin or bread recipes, or sprinkle pistachios over your afternoon salad.
Seeds such as pumpkin, flax, sunflower, chia, and sesame are not only rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fat, but they also provide a satisfying crunch to salads, cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt.
Fresh fruit is a healthy and natural way to curb your sweet tooth. I love kiwi, watermelon, and just about any type of berry: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
Try adding berries to your morning oatmeal or using them in baked goods. Does that midafternoon lull have you searching for a candy bar or cookie?
Have one piece of fruit or a half-cup of berries instead — it’s sure to keep you satisfied.
Dried fruit, although high in sugar, can find its way into a healthy diet. In fact, I’ve found that it can help when trying to lose weight, as it can be a great alternative to other sugary treats.
A small handful of dried cherries or a sprinkle of plump raisins on your salad or mixed into some plain yogurt can help keep you from feeling deprived when on a weight-loss diet.
With their abundance of high-quality protein, eggs can keep you full longer, helping you reduce your overall food intake. Although an omelet or scramble is a great way to start the morning, eggs can also be added to lunch or dinner.
Try adding a hard-boiled egg to a salad, or make healthy cookies with egg whites, banana, and oat flour as your base.
For more on healthy eating, check out my video course: A 14-Day Clean-Eating Program: How to Kick-Start Weight Loss in Two Weeks.
To me, a warm, hearty stew screams “winter.” As soon as the weather turns chilly, I am pulling out my soup, stew and chili recipes and creating new ones with the season’s best produce. For stews, I love going to the farmer’s market for fresh, local vegetables to combine in one healthy dish.
This White Chicken Stew is a favorite. It is hearty, yet healthy, and full of lean protein. The vegetables along with the beans and chicken create an amazing balance of taste and texture. The meal will leave you and the family feeling warm, happy and satisfied. It’s also easy to make extra servings for delicious (and easy) leftovers.
Everyone’s looking for a magic weight-loss pill, but maybe we should be looking for the one food that can help us lose or manage our weight instead.
Take a minute to watch my video below (in previous post) for the one food I believe can help you on your way to reaching your goal weight! If you want more info about what to eat for weight loss, check out my video course: A 14-Day Clean Eating Program: How To Kick-Start Weight Loss in Two Weeks.
I love food! So when I needed to lose weight, I couldn’t find a program that would satisfy my need for great-tasting food. Every diet I tried offered bland meals that always left me wanting more.
It wasn’t until I developed my own clean-eating program that the meals satisfied me and the weight came off — and stayed off. Even though I lost 40 pounds on my clean-eating diet and reached my goal weight many years ago, my food choices today still adhere to the same principles I developed to lose the excess weight — eating clean, wholesome, and lip-smacking-delicious food.
Although I still enjoy a glass of wine, piece of chocolate, or after-dinner dessert on occasion, here’s what a typical day looks like for me.
8:30 AM: Breakfast
I usually wake up around 6 a.m., get my kids ready for school, and then work out. I rotate between group fitness classes, yoga, or running by myself.
Once I’m back home, I like to refuel! A smoothie made with almond milk, fresh berries, and a scoop of protein powder has me starting the day off right.
10 AM: Breakfast
I used to be a huge coffee drinker, and although I still grab a soy or almond latte about once a week, I often choose a cup of dandelion tea. I get the roasted variety and it actually tastes a little like coffee.
12 PM: Lunch
By the time lunch rolls around, I’m usually ready for a healthy but hearty meal. If I have the time, I’ll make a large salad, which usually contains dark leafy greens like kale or spinach, a healthy carbohydrate like roasted sweet potatoes, and a healthy fat like avocado. I also enjoy making my own salad dressing. It’s one of those things that only takes two or three minutes but tastes 10 times better than bottled dressing.
3 PM: Snack
Like most people, I tend to experience a midday lull, and if I don’t have a healthy snack on hand, I’m afraid I might run down to the corner store for a chocolate bar. That’s why I always bring a healthy snack with me to the office. My go-to snack is a homemade trail mix made with all my favorite ingredients: almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, dried apricots, figs, and coconut flakes.
6:30 PM: Dinner
Weeknight dinners always seem a little more hectic than lunch. After picking up my kids from after-school club or sports, I empty lunch boxes, get showers and baths started, finish homework, and make dinner. Luckily, both my husband and I are big fans of stir-fry. My favorite is my shrimp and snow pea stir-fry, but I also make it with ginger chicken or salmon. I like how easy stir-fry is to make, and I love that it gets my husband and kids to eat more vegetables than they would otherwise.
8 PM: Dessert/Snack
Kids are finally in bed and have stopped making excuses for why they have to get out of bed and come find me. I’ve always been a “snacker,” and although I’ve tried to forgo any after-dinner eating, I’ve always found it extremely difficult.
Instead of struggling to skip an after-dinner snack, I try instead to find healthy alternatives like a yogurt and fruit bowl made with plain yogurt, honey, vanilla, and warm blackberries.
To get more healthy-eating tips from me, check out my online course with mbg, A 14-Day Clean Eating Program: How To Kick Start Weight Loss In 2 Weeks.
As originally published on mindbodygreen:
Since the new year began, many readers have reached out to ask how they can lose weight in a healthy way. That’s why we’re re-sharing this piece by best-selling author and weight loss expert, Dawna Stone. It has inspired thousands of readers over the years. And if you’re looking for a more detailed action plan, check out Dawna’s new course A 14-Day Clean Eating Program: How To Kick Start Weight Loss In Two Weeks. It’s simple, straightforward and, most importantly, effective.
In my 20s, I was fat, exhausted and desperate to lose weight. Even though I was 40 pounds overweight, I was much more concerned with fitting into the clothes in my closet than I was about my health.
I had gone from being an extremely fit teenager to being a somewhat fit college student to a 40-pound overweight working woman. I still remember turning down company get-togethers and blind dates because I was so uncomfortable with the way I looked. Desperate to lose weight, I tried just about every diet available.
Unfortunately, none of them satisfied my craving for good food. On each weight loss attempt, I’d lose a few pounds only to give up and gain all the weight back and then some.
It wasn’t until I realized that fad diets weren’t a viable solution for me that I started to work on a solution. After years of failed attempts to lose weight, I finally found a way to drop all 40 pounds and keep it off for good — in fact, I’ve been at or near my goal weight for nearly 20 years!
The solution wasn’t about depriving myself of treats or starving myself. The solution was simple: clean eating.
I started by eliminating excess sugar, processed foods and artificial sweeteners. I also quit eating anything with chemicals or preservatives.
When I finally found a way of eating that had me dropping the pounds quickly and allowed me to eat good food (like fish tacos with mango-avocado salsa, kale and maple-roasted sweet potato salad, 3-bean chili and even gluten-free, dairy-free triple chocolate brownies), I knew I’d found my weight loss silver bullet.
I know what it feels like to be overweight and unhappy but I also know what if feels like to finally fit into a smaller size pair of pants and smile when you step on the scale. I wish everyone who is struggling with their weight and feeling hopeless, like I felt, could know what it feels like to finally lose all the excess weight.
I know what it’s like to lie in bed and cry, thinking you’ll never lose weight. I know what it’s like to turn down invitations because you have no clothes that fit. But I also know how great it feels when the weight starts melting off.
If you’ve just about given up on ever reaching your goal weight, if your tired of depriving yourself of good food and if you’re tired of seeing the number on the scale creep up rather than down, clean eating may be just what you need to jump start your weight loss and once and for all reach your goal weight.
Now that I’m in my late 40’s, I believe the most important benefit of being a healthy weight and eating a clean diet is countering disease and keeping your body working well and healthy. But I can’t lie: I also love the feeling of fitting into my skinny jeans!
Whether you pick up a copy of the, The Healthy You Diet, (and/or join me for my video course The 14-Day Clean Eating Program) or embark on another clean eating program, I hope you’ll give clean eating a try.
You have nothing to lose but your excess weight!
Photo Credit: Sheri Kendrick
As originally published on mindbodygreen.
As a certified health coach and author of an award-winning weight loss book and cookbook, I always get asked for quick tips on how to lose weight. Check out the short video below (in the previous post) for my ideal day of eating for weight loss.
If you want even more info about the relationship between food and weight loss, check out my course A 14-Day Clean Eating Program: How To Kick Start Weight Loss In Two Weeks.