Week #4 of the Healthy Challenge. Fill our house with healthy food and get rid of the your temptations.
Welcome to Week #4 and congratulations on making it this far. It has been pretty easy, hasn’t it? In case you are new, the Healthy Challenge is about taking baby steps to change our lifestyle to finally be healthy. We are now onto week #4. Fill your house with healthy foods.
If you are new, start here with a physical from your doctor. Then you are ready for Week #1 – journaling. Week #2 is about starting to get active. Week #3 the challenge was to drink more water and stop any soda drinking. Now we are adding another layer, healthy food. All of this is leading to meal planing and calorie cutting. I am taking it really slowly, but there is a reason to my madness. The biggest complaint I hear and feel myself is how overwhelming meal planning and dieting can be. It is all-consuming. You have to think about every food you eat. You cannot come home after a long day and throw something together. You have to plan it, measure it and know how many calories you are eating. It is a lot of work. So I am taking baby steps so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. That is the reason we are going slowly and not just jumping right in.
So this week is about getting a plan for the food in your house. First, get rid of anything unhealthy. Get rid of the potato chips, the cookies, donuts, whatever you have. Let’s start in the pantry.
This is what I want to have in my pantry:
- Flavored vinegar
- Healthy oil
- Canned beans
- Crushed and diced tomatoes
- Whole grain pasta
- Whole wheat flour
- Low-sodium chicken and vegetable broth
- Dried Fruit
- Healthy protein bars
- Light coconut milk
- Tomato Paste
- Baked Tortilla Chips
- Natural Peanut butter
- Sweet Potatoes
In my refrigerator:
- Cut up vegetables like carrots, red pepper, cucumber
- Some type of low fat milk
- Greek yogurt
- Heart healthy butter
- Mustard (I like to have Dijon and whole grain)
- Reduced fat cheese
- Pickles (Low sodium, if you can find it)
- Maple syrup
- Hot sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Eggs or egg substitute
- Tuna fish
- Low sugar jelly
In my freezer with:
- Chicken breasts
- Chicken thighs
- Whole wheat rolls
- Chicken Sausage
- Ground Turkey or very lean ground beef
- 1 or 2 pre-made healthy dinners
- Simply Marinara Sauce (or your favorite low calorie marinara)
These are just a starting point. My freezer is stocked full of meat and fish, but I cook for a living. Keep as much lean protein and fish on hand as you want. The idea is that if you have nothing else in the house then the above list, you can make a low calorie meal. It is a minimum, a starting point. Flavored vinegar is absolutely my favorite ingredient. I no longer buy salad dressing. I love eating a huge salad and simply sprinkle on some flavored vinegar and just a touch of oil onto my salad. It is so simple. I don’t need to make salad dressing. If you don’t like canned beans, cook your own and keep them in the freezer. The same goes for chicken stock. I try to make my own when possible, but I always keep a carton on hand.
Set yourself up for success by stocking your house with healthy food. It will make meal planning or that last-minute meal so much easier. So take this week’s challenge with me. Get rid of anything unhealthy you cannot resist and fill your kitchen with healthy food.
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Happy Healthy Eating,