Baby Got Back to The PilatesBarre
Back to Nutrition Basics
It’s that time of year again – time for teachers to go back to their classrooms, moms and dads taking their children back to school, and college students are starting to file in around campus. This time of year can be quite hectic getting back into our normal schedules which means nutrition may take a back seat when, in fact, making healthier food choices can help with all of the stress that goes along with going back to school!
Listed below are some helpful tips on keeping your nutrition up to par when you are on the go:
Start your day with a high protein, healthy breakfast!
Multiple studies have shown that starting your day with a healthy breakfast can not only increase nutrient consumption but reduce body weight, improve concentration, and increase your energy levels. A high protein breakfast will also keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Once school starts we may not have time to fix an elaborate breakfast, but these are some easy healthy, high protein breakfast options for those on the go:
- Low fat Greek yogurt (preferably unsweetened to save on sugar intake) with a KIND Bar – the Greek yogurt is full of protein, calcium, and Vitamin D. The KIND bar has healthy fats from the nuts/seeds, as well as, whole grains to keep your appetite at bay.
- A whole wheat egg wrap/tacos – you can either boil eggs ahead of time or scramble eggs in the microwave quickly (about 2 min or until solid). Put the eggs in a whole wheat tortilla or wrap and add a handful of spinach, some salsa, or a little low fat cheese for a healthy breakfast on the go!
- Overnight oats – the night before, place 1/3 cup rolled oats, ½ cup of low fat milk of choice (unsweetened flavors of course), 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, ½ sliced banana, and ¼ tsp cinnamon in a jar or Tupperware. Let it sit overnight then, voila – a healthy, high protein, high fiber breakfast to go!
Don’t forget your fruits and veggies!
Making sure to include colorful vegetables in our diet is important to getting essential nutrients our body needs. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been shown reduce oxidative stress on our bodies helping to reduce blood pressure, reduce our risk for Heart Disease and Diabetes, prevent some cancers, and lower our risk of digestive issues.
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Eating a more balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and lean protein can help improve energy, keep you feeling full, and reduce weight. You want to try to get at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day (equates to at least 2.5 cups per day).
Easy ways to add fruits and vegetables into your day include:
- Adding fruit to cereal or salads
- Use bagged salad or frozen steamer bags to add quick vegetable side to lunch or dinner
- Roast vegetables in the oven to use as a side or mix into any meal for a healthy boost
- Eat fruit or vegetables for a snack (more on that below)
- Add fresh spinach or kale and frozen fruit to smoothies
Keep healthy snacks on hand for a quick energy boost!
Some people aren’t snackers and that is okay! If you truly aren’t hungry I don’t expect you to force a snack in between meals, however, if you find yourself starved before lunch or dinner then a snack can be a good option to keep you from overeating at your main meals or reaching for the unhealthy option because it is convenient and you’re about to eat your hand.
Your snacks should be around 200 calories and consist of protein and high fiber to help keep you feeling satisfied. Snacks are not meant to fill you up but hold you over until your next meal. Trying to avoid snacks high in added sugars will also help sustain your energy levels.
Healthy snack ideas:
- 1 small apple w/ 1-2 tbsp natural nut butter
- 10-15 almonds w/ a small piece of fruit or ¼ cup dried fruit
- Low fat mozzarella stick w/ a small piece of fruit or whole grain crackers
- ¼ cup hummus w/ raw carrots (or veggie of choice) or whole grain pita chips
It is also important to make sure you are getting some physical activity, adequate sleep, and drinking plenty of water daily! Both will improve energy and help reduce cravings for unhealthy food choices.