2018: The Year of Healthier Choices

Making healthier choices isn’t as hard as it seems. Actually, you’ll probably find that by making some healthy swaps that you enjoy the healthier choices over the unhealthier ones. It’s a lot of trial and error. Trying new things and discovering what you like, and what you don’t. If you told me a few years ago I’d actually enjoy kale chips and Brussels sprouts, I would have thought you were a crazy person. But, I learned that I love them! And the trick is all in the way that they’re cooked. But, it’s not a slam dunk every time, you just gotta try new things, then stick to what you like. As with anything else, forming a new habit takes a little bit of time, so once you make some healthier swaps ... stick with it a bit! I’ll bet you’ll be happy you did!

Breakfast

There are a ton of great swaps you can do for breakfast. Cereals don’t keep you full for long, and usually lead to a crash. Same with donuts and other sugary items. So, instead, here are some great breakfast alternatives ....

Egg muffins

These are amazing, and you can make them so many different ways! They also hold up in the fridge for days or you can freeze them.

Ingredients

  • Four extra-large or five large eggs (or more if using egg whites) with salt and pepper
  • Optional: shredded cheese
  • Chopped cooked or fresh veggies
  • Choice of meat (optional)


Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Grease your muffin tins or use cupcake liners
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with salt, pepper, and stir in the cheese, if using. Add veggie and/or meat mixture to eggs and stir
  • Ladle egg mixture into muffin tins, filling to 1/4 inch below the top
  • Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the tops just start to lightly brown

I also like to make egg white “burritos” on the go: Just use four egg whites with spinach and seasoning, and roll it up in foil. That’s it! These are great for any time of day in my opinion.


Lunch

For lunch, if you’re not prepared, it can be tough. It’s easy just to run out and grab fast food or to eat a frozen meal. No matter how “healthy” or “light” a frozen meal claims to be, it’s not very much of either.

My swap is to keep tools at work. Ezekiel bread is great, and can be kept in the freezer. Bring in a jar of almond butter, and some lower sugar jelly or honey – and BAM – a healthier, more filling PB&J sandwich. And way cheaper than going out! Finish it off with a fresh fruit or a side of veggies and hummus, and you’ve got a great lunch!

Dinner

And for dinner, crockpot/Instant Pot meals are great! You prep it in the morning, so when you get home it’s done. Because if you get home and nothing is ready ... and you’re hungry ... you’re more likely to make worse choices. Like order a pizza or eat a whole bag of chips (guilty).

My favorite thing to make in the crockpot is shredded chicken. Dump in several chicken breasts and I like to use a packet of fajita seasonings. Leave it, come home, and shred it. That’s it! Then use it on rice, in tacos, on top of a salad...there are tons of options!

The New Year is here! Let’s try some new things! 2018 will be our best year yet!

For more healthy snack ideas, check out Snack Smarter, Snack Deliciously.

​You may have heard radio personality, Amanda Valentine, on B-105's Afternoon Show on weekdays from 3-7 p.m. She also publishes a blog titled Weight a Minute. Amanda has struggled with weight issues her entire life, but in 2012 she started her weight loss journey and now she's lost over 100 pounds. What started as a three-month New Year's resolution challenge with co-workers has evolved into a passion for healthy living. Amanda is excited to share her healthy living tips, tricks, and information with Healthspirations.