Healthy Meal Planning

Exercise is a major component to staying fit and active as you age, but healthy eating becomes more and more important the older you are and the slower your metabolism processes calories.  Eating healthy can be better accomplished when you have a meal plan to refer to, so we’ve developed sample meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as healthy snacks.

Breakfast Morning snack Lunch Afternoon snack Dinner
One egg, one piece of whole wheat toast, banana, green tea, water Yogurt with granola Low fat turkey sandwich, carrot sticks,
an apple, and water
A handful (no more than 23) almonds Spaghetti with whole wheat pasta, salad with 1 tbsp olive oil, glass of red wine
Breakfast burrito in whole flour tortilla, bowl of mixed fruit, milk, green tea, water 1 ounce of cheese, apple slices, two walnuts Tuna with one tbsp mayo, 1 slice whole wheat bread, five or six taco chips with guacamole ¼ cup cottage cheese, ½ cup pineapple 5 ounce salmon steak, ½ cup rice pilaf, 1 cup steamed broccoli
Breakfast smoothie made with 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup of vanilla yogurt and ½ c. orange juice,
1 hard-boiled egg, green tea, water
one orange or nectarine Chicken salad: five ounce chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots, other veggies to taste and 2 ½ tbsp of low-fat dressing Fruit salad:
Mix together ½ cup each of pineapple, grapes, cantaloupe, and choice of berry.
Two ounces of salmon, spinach salad, two ounces of feta cheese, chopped tomato, five olives,
One poached egg, one slice whole wheat toast, one tbsp peanut butter, green tea, water one orange or nectarine Two tacos: Corn tortillas, five ounces of low-fat ground beef, seasoned, one ounce cheese, lettuce. One apple Five ounce turkey breast, steamed green beans, sliced peaches.

You will notice that these suggested menu incorporates green tea instead of coffee. Try to wean yourself off coffee which contain caffeine which is bad for you. try instead to acquire the taste for green tea which is a much healthier alternative. It is an acquired taste for some but you will be surprised at how quickly you get used to the taste.

Also drink as much water as you can through the day. try to drink at least 8 glasses. If you have a desk job, put a pitcher of water on your desk in the morning and drink it through the day. If you are on the road, then make sure that you have bottles of water with you at all times.

Healthy Cooking

While there may be some monumental changes you are trying to make in your life to improve your health and fitness, something you can do that requires very little effort at all is to focus on healthy cooking.  Healthy cooking does not have to be difficult or expensive.  In fact, there are some relatively simple changes you can make to your everyday cooking habits that will make them healthier.

The first thing you should do to introduce healthy cooking to your kitchen is buy a very nice, big bottle of extra virgin olive oil.  Cooking in olive oil not only improves the flavor of the foods – everything from eggs to chicken – but it also provides you with a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids instead of partially hydrogenated, heart-stopping fat.  Cooking in olive oil is a heart healthy cooking choice.

The second thing you should do to  introduce healthy cooking to your kitchen is to ditch the salt.  Salt seems to be the seasoning of choice, because it’s easy, uncomplicated, and always there.  It also has a bad habit of giving you high blood pressure.  To cook flavorful foods without relying as much on salt, either grow or buy herbs.  You can grow herbs in your kitchen window with very little effort.  When you are cooking chicken, add some rosemary, thyme and garlic instead of salt.  The flavor will be amazing.  When you do use salt, make sure you choose an iodized sea salt, and use it sparingly.

Another healthy cooking change you can make is to stop frying everything.  Steam your vegetables, bake your meat, broil your fish.  Don’t assume that everything tastes best breaded and dropped in the deep fryer.  Experiment with different flavors and cooking techniques.

Wherever possible, switch from processed white flour products to whole grain products.  You can buy whole grain spaghetti and macaroni, bread and dinner rolls for not much more than you would spend for the bleached white flour versions.  Whole grains contribute to overall better health; white flour products add fat to your belly and empty calories to your plate.

Finally, switch to fat free milk.  If you drink whole milk or 2% milk, you may want to transition slowly to fat free milk.  If you have a child under the age of two, you should keep whole milk in the house for them; the fat content is whole milk is beneficial to their developing brains.  After age two, however, fat free milk provides the same calcium and vitamin D without the unnecessary fat and calories.

Try making a few changes at a time until they become habits.  Soon you will realize that healthy cooking is easy.  It is something you can do without making major changes in your lifestyle.