Start your Healthy Lifestyle with 3 Food Diary DOs

Three Food Diary DOs

Start Your Healthy Lifestyle out with Food Diary DOs

Last week, I wrote about something I am very passionate about – Living a Healthy Lifestyle. Often there comes a point in our life where you find yourself asking “how did I get to this point in my life, am I even happy right now?” For me, I asked myself this question when I finished my MBA and Dietetic Internship. My two-year program became a blur and I was starting to question what I was doing with my life. I wasn’t healthy like I promoted myself to be and I wasn’t as happy as I thought I was. Something needed to change to get my health back on track and the first thing I knew I wanted to work on was my nutrition (shocker, I know).

The first step I took to working on my nutrition was starting to track my food. I used, and still continue to use, MyFitnessPal. This was and still is the best step you can take to start living a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, I believe it’s only fair to let you know the DOs when it comes to food tracking since it can be a dangerous activity depending on how you go about it.

Three DOs When it Comes to starting a food diary

DO start off by just tracking what you normally eat.

When it comes to starting to track your food, you might think you need to change everything and instantly become healthy. Thinking about changing everything is exhausting and can end up backfiring on you. When you first start tracking your food don’t make changes to your diet. Instead, log everything and look at your nutrition overall. Having a log of the foods you eat over the course of a week can offer some extra insight. From there you can zone in on what foods are common in your diet, what foods aren’t so common, and how they are contributing to your overall health – which brings me to my next DO.

DO look at your nutrients.

When I use MyFitnessPal I jump from two screens the most – my actual food diary and my nutrients nutrition. I find it extremely important to understand how your diet holds up when it comes to your macronutrients. {Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein.} Our body survives on the nutrients we provide it so it becomes important to look at our nutrients as a whole. Are you lacking in protein? Have an overconsumption of carbohydrates? If you are interested in more than macronutrients, the screen also shows your micronutrients as well.

DO write notes throughout the day

Ever notice you’re ready for bed at like 5 pm only to realize you haven’t eaten since 10 am? When it comes to tracking your food, one thing I always like to do is make notes on my food diary. I usually note when I am extremely tired, feeling sick, have a headache, or feeling anything really. Our nutrition is so important that it really can affect our overall health for the day. During my first part-time job there were days I skipped lunch and thought nothing of it but then it came to driving to my next part-time job and I was hard to stay awake. I was able to make the connection of not having enough fuel in my body due to skipping lunch. By creating notes in my food diary I was able to see patterns and make changes for the better and see improvement.


At first it might seem like a chore to track your foods, but in the long run, it can help you get a better understanding of your nutrition. To this day, I frequently go back to tracking my food for a week or so just to do a “macro check” on myself. I also continue to learn more about myself with my extra notes throughout the day.

Take that step to creating a healthy lifestyle and start tracking your food to learn more about your nutrition. As a Registered Dietitian, I work with many clients trying to build a healthy lifestyle and my first approach is starting with a food diary. I have seen great results when clients truly focus on their nutrition.

Now, my question for you today is: what is your DO when it comes to tracking your food?

Leave a comment below or share on social media with #FoodDairyDOs

And…Stay tuned for next week’s – The DON’Ts for tracking your food!

Food Diary DOs

 

It’s Time to Focus on a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle

Happy and healthy lifestyle

It’s time to focus on living a healthy and hAPPY lifestyle

So you have probably heard me say “healthy lifestyle” once, twice, or actually multiple times. We live in a world where diet, detox, cleanse, and clean are all keywords that are attached to nutrition. I refuse to use those words and instead I choose to say healthy lifestyle. As much as nutrition is vital to being healthy there are also other components like physical activity and mental health. Put all these together and you now have created a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Defining a Healthy and hAPPY Lifestyle

When you ask someone what a healthy lifestyle means to them you will probably get many different answers. To some, it may mean only eating healthy foods and not eating out. Others might say it is making sure to stay active and make only good choices. Now if you ask me what a healthy lifestyle means, you might be shocked by my response.

A healthy lifestyle to me is living a lifestyle that has a healthy and happy balance of nutrition and exercise.

There might be days where I eat well-balanced meals every meal and have a nutritious snack at 2 pm as well. But I also have days where I skip a lunch because I am in a meeting and then I run to the snacks in my office and eat M&Ms instead. Is this something I am proud of? No, but life is not 100% perfect and your lifestyle won’t be 100% perfect either. So finding a healthy balance between good meals and bad meals are important.

When it comes to exercising, many people have different views as well. To live a healthy lifestyle, you have to get active. That can mean you participate in yoga, CrossFit, group classes, or you get to the gym as often as possible. Doing something outside of your daily life and trying to get your heart rate up is an important component of living a healthy lifestyle.

Lastly, you might have noticed is said healthy & happy. I believe making sure you are happy is essential. You can spend hours meal prepping the most nutritious meals or spending hours in the gym but my question for you is – does that make you happy? If it does awesome, keep it up! Personally, I get miserable thinking about meal prepping my lunches for the week. So I keep it to a minimum. If you aren’t happy, everything can seem like a chore and you will end up getting annoyed and forgetting about trying to live a healthy lifestyle.


5 Small Healthy and Happy Changes you can make today

Healthy and Happy Changes You Can Make

If you are always on the go or life is just overall chaotic, it can be hard to think about making changes to living a healthy lifestyle. Trust me, I understand that. Here are 5 small and easy changes you can make to start living a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Park at the end of the Parking Lot

If you live in the midwest, you are probably laughing at me right now. I know if it’s cold out we all want to park in the closest spot possible. But hear me out. If it’s cold out and you park at the furthest parking spot you most likely are going to power walk as fast as you can to the office or store. Which means your heart rate will get higher than if you walk normally. Those extra 2 or 3 minutes power walking can help spark the desire to become active.

Drink Water

Starting the morning with a glass of water can help jumpstart your day by waking up your mind and metabolism. Carry a waterbottle with you wherever you go. You’ll be amazed by the amount of water you will end up drinking when you are carrying a constant reminder to drink.

Self-Reflect

Ever take a second to sit in your office chair and ask yourself am I actually happy? Taking time for self-reflection is a great way to learn more about yourself and what truly makes you happy. Buy an inexpensive journal and every night right down some of your thoughts. You might be surprised with what you find out about yourself.

Buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables

How many of you currently have uncut fruit and vegetables in your fridge that probably is going to go bad soon? We all say we are going to cut it tomorrow – trust me, I am so bad with this. One small change I made to help increase my vegetable intake was buying them precut. Not only does this save me time but I can grab ‘n go my way out the door. *Bonus Secret of mine: Check out the salad bar for a mixture of fruits and vegetables already cut. Hello, tomorrow’s snack!*

Eat something for Breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and there is so much research to show it helps increase your metabolism and helps you start to lose weight. I’m not saying you need to have an elaborate breakfast every morning. I would love to have that every day but my schedule doesn’t allow that. Choose a protein and complex carbohydrate to help you start your morning and leave you satisfied. Some of my favorite breakfast items are a mixture of hard boiled eggs, whole grain toast with cream cheese, avocado toast, greek yogurt, chocolate milk, banana with peanut butter, and oatmeal. Get creative and find something that works into your timeframe that you have.

A Challenge For You 

It takes time to start changing your habits so pick at least one thing from the list above and try to incorporate it into your daily life. When it becomes a habit try another tip and so on. Start making the change to living a healthy and happy lifestyle.


Do you have additional tips to add to the list? Comment below or tag #Nutritioninchaos on social media to share with others.

The 5 Best FREE Apps for Living a Healthy Lifestyle

My top 5 FREE apps to help live a healthy lifestyle

With the amount of time we spend on our phones these days, why not utilize FREE apps to help live a healthier and happier 2017.

5 Free Healthy Apps

MyFitnessPal

Living a healthy lifestyle starts with putting nutrient dense foods into your body. The best way to look at your diet is to track it. MyFitnessPal makes it easy to track your food items by having a large database, allows you to scan the product’s barcode, and allows you to input your own recipes. When it comes to tracking your diet, it is important to look at your macronutrient breakdown. Focus less on the calories and more on fueling your body with nutrient dense foods that offer great benefits.

Not about the calories, about living healthy

Fooducate

Ever wonder if something is a good source of fiber or potassium? Fooducate has a feature called “Food Finder.” Within this feature, you scan your food products barcode and a grade will appear on your screen. Based on the nutrient content of the product the grade can be good or bad. The best part about this feature is that it explains why it got the grade that it did. Plus, the app also provides healthier alternatives. Learning more about your food items becomes important when trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

Nike+ Training ClubFree fitness app

During the winter, it can be hard to get motivated to head to the gym so why not stay at home and do a workout. Nike+ Training club offers guided workouts that you can do at home, with little to no equipment, or in a gym. Not sure where to start when it comes to strength training, check out the apps 4-week bodyweight only program to help learn basic form. With workouts focused on interval workouts, you are sure to sweat and get stronger in no time, all in the comfort of your own home.

 

Active by PopSugar

Like Nike+ Training Club, Active is an app that offers both videos and guides for fitness. Choose from workouts that target certain areas or do a full-body workout. There are also workouts that can be followed for cardio exercises as well. No matter your workout schedule, there is always something to choose from on the Active app.

Waterlogged

You always hear people talking about drinking enough water, but do you know if you are really drinking enough water? Waterlogged is a water tracking app that makes it easy to see how much you have had to drink for the day. You can add your favorite water bottle amounts to your home screen. That way tracking your water bottles is just a click away. Remember, if you are active it is extra important to stay hydrated to ensure you are achieving optimal performance.


Technology doesn’t always have to be the enemy. Utilize these FREE apps to help you start living a healthy lifestyle today! Do you love an app that isn’t on the list, comment below and let others know about it!

 

#7 MGM: Explore Your Cooking Skills

explore your cooking skills

#7 MGM: Explore your cooking skills

As our worlds get chaotic, it becomes harder to get into the kitchen and cook up a delicious meal. For some, there is not enough time in the day to cook meals. Others do not believe they have the skills to create different dishes. Whatever your reason is, it is time to change that. Right now, I rarely am in the kitchen cooking my meals, something that I am working towards changing and inspired this week’s Mighty Goal Monday – Explore your Cooking Skills.

 

This week’s Challenge: I challenge you to get into the kitchen and explore your cooking skills by cooking at least 2 different meals.

 

Why it is important to explore your cooking skills.

Many individuals believe that it’s too late to learn how to cook, but that is not the case. It is never too late to learn how to cook! You never know what you can do until you step out of your comfort zone and that is the same for cooking. There are great benefits to exploring your cooking skills.

Just the basic cooking skills can make a difference

You do not need to be a gourmet chef to create a great family dinner. Boiling water, chopping up vegetables, and cooking grains appropriately are very basic cooking skills that are used in many recipes. You don’t have to get fancy with everything. Start small and build up your skills as you become more comfortable in the kitchen.

There is always something new to learn

Ever start something new only to get bored with it six months later? Cooking is not like that. No matter what your cooking skills levels are there is always something new to try when you start to get burnt out. There will always be new recipes to try or a new popular skill to learn.

Cooking allows you to control what is in your meals

Cooking is essential when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle and helping with weight loss. When you eat out, you do not exactly know what is being put into your meals. Yes, you know most of the ingredients but do you know how much salt or butter they are using in the recipes to add more flavor? By working on your cooking skills, you can learn to mimic some of your favorite restaurant recipes and put a healthy spin on them.

 

Where to Start

Not sure where to start? Check out some of the resources I look at when I have a question about cooking.

Kitchen Cheat Sheets from BuzzFeed

Kitchen Cheat Sheet Guide on Basic Cooking Skills from SodaPic

Spoon University offers great recipes for beginners and college students that are trying to eat healthier and not burn anything in their dorm rooms.

Pinterest and Youtube are great for finding specific information on skills that you have and how you can accomplish them.

Already a great cook but just don’t have the time?

You already might have great cooking skills, but you might not have the time to use them. If that is the case, maybe think of alternatives that you can do to make more time for cooking.

Make time in your Google Calendar

Google Calendar now offers the goals features which can be great to plan time for family dinners. Once you answer the questions about your specific goal, Google Calendar automatically sets the time and dates that work best in your schedule. This is honestly one of my favorite features of Google Calendar now.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh is a meal delivery service that does the prep work for you. I recently got the opportunity to try this amazing program. After a long day at work, I came home to a box filled with materials for three meals. Each meal’s materials were in their own box and the recipe booklet was included. I was able to cook my meals in about 30 minutes and enjoy all the delicious and fresh flavors. They offer great packages and take the meal prep out of the picture so you just have to focus on cooking. A Win – Win in a chaotic life.

No matter what you end up cooking this week, just remember to have fun and never stop learning something new to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Let the #MightyGoalMonday community know what you cooked this week!

Do not forget to share your achievements, tips, and/or comments with me and the #MightyGoalMonday community. It is much easier to accomplish goals when you have others completing the same goals.

Share your #mightygoalmonday accomplishments and tips

 


#6 MGM Recap -Make Time for Lunch!

This week, I was able to sneak away from my computer long enough to enjoy my yogurt and peach outside on a bench. This week was challenging for me to take time away from my work, however, I made it possible by taking mini breaks to enjoy snacks and a portion of my lunch outside. Just because your week is busy does not mean you can’t step outside for five minutes at a time throughout the day. Continue to stop and enjoy your lunch as time goes on and hopefully you will be able to truly take a quality lunch break.

New to Mighty Goal Monday?

Find out more about why I started this blog series and what other MGM’s you have missed and can start at any time.

Together we can accomplish small but MIGHTY weekly nutrition goals.

I received a complimentary box from Hello Fresh but this post is not sponsored and all thoughts are my own.

#6 MGM: Make Time for Lunch

MGM: Make time for lunch

#6 MGM: Make Time for Lunch

As our lives get more chaotic and we are trying to squeeze more into our days, lunch is usually a meal that gets rushed. There are times where I am working on my computer charting and next thing I know it’s 2pm and I still haven’t had anything to eat. This is a bad habit to get into and an even harder habit to break. Which leads me into this week’s Mighty Goal Monday – Make time for Lunch.

This week’s challenge: Make your lunch and enjoy it at least three times this week.

Trust me, I know life is busy and sometimes it’s just easier to eat your lunch in front of the computer. It wasn’t until earlier this week my boss came up to me and said, “You don’t have to eat your lunch in front of the computer, you can take a break if you need it.” This was my eye opener.

Why we need to Make time for lunch

Nourishment for your body

It’s obvious we need food to survive but when it comes to lunch time, I feel that many people go into the grazing mode and eat over a longer period of time. Sometimes the food items we snack on are not really nutritious . It doesn’t matter if you are working at home or working a desk job, it is still extremely important to consume a nutrient dense meal. Choosing to have a meal that contains all the food groups will help ensure your body is being properly nourished.

Mental Break 

You always hear how important it is to take mini breaks throughout the day to refocus on your work. Cue your lunch break! This is a great time to get a mental break from your day. When you take time out of your busy schedule to take a lunch break, you actually are doing yourself a favor. When you take a mental break, you will return to work more focused and productive, a WIN-WIN for everyone.

Make your Lunch

Sometimes it can be hard to pack a lunch for work and you are forced to either go out or eat something the office has, which is not always the best option. This week I really want you to try your best to make your lunch for at least three days.

Prep your lunch 

Instead of feeling rushed in the morning to pack your lunch, prep your lunch the night before. Gather the cold items you plan on packing in the morning and put all other products in your lunchbox already. If meal prepping is your thing on the weekend, Awesome! Make sure you have it all together so you can just grab and go on your way out the door.

Find Inspiration 

Lunches do not have to be boring. These are some of my go-to’s to spice up my lunches.

Bento Boxes – Bento Boxes originated from Asian restaurants where they served samples of several menu items at one time. Creating your own version of bento boxes for lunch will ensure that you have a food item from all food groups. Check out these classic bento box recipes to find inspiration for something new.

Crockpot Dinners – Except this time you are really making them for lunch. Thanks to the Mini Crockpot, you can now make crockpot meals for lunch. Find your favorite crockpot dinners you enjoy and simply move them to your lunch meal. Not sure what to cook, check out these crockpot meals from other Registered Dietitians.

Enjoy you Lunch

Get away from your computer 

If you’re anything like me, you may spend a majority of your days sitting in front of a computer. If this is the case, make sure to get away from your computer on your lunch break. Not only will this prevent you from continuing to work, but your eyes will also thank you. Giving your body a break from your computer can do wonders.

Socialize with Others 

If you don’t take a lunch break, you lose the opportunity to socialize with others. Going to the lunchroom is a great way to learn something new about your co-worker or learn something new that doesn’t pertain to work. You may be surprised what you learn.

Get outside 

Fall is my favorite time of the year because it is so nice out. Just because you work in an office or at home, does not mean that you can not go outside to eat your lunch. Find a table near your office or walk down the street to a local park to enjoy your lunch. Being outside also provides you with fresh air and the ability to really escape your work for the moment.

 

Share what you are ENJOYING for lunch with the #mightygoalmonday community.

Do not forget to share your achievements, tips, and/or comments with me and the #MightyGoalMonday community. It is much easier to accomplish goals when you have others completing the same goals.

Share your #mightygoalmonday accomplishments and tips


#5 MGM Recap – Get Active!

In the Chicagoland area, this past week’s weather was beautiful. I was trying to make every excuse possible to get outside more. However, with my busy schedule I was only able to get in one run outside but to me that was better than nothing. Since my days were very busy, I worked on getting in short exercises spread out throughout the day. This is one goal I will continue to work towards every week and hopefully, increase as I plan my schedule better. Hope you were able to get active this week and will continue to work on the goal as well!

New to Mighty Goal Monday?

Find out more about why I started this blog series and what other MGM’s you have missed and can start at any time.

#4 MGM: Increase Your Water Intake

Mighty Goal Monday - Increase your water intake

MGM #4 – Increase you water intake

Staying hydrated is essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, I know it can be challenging to not only know how much you should be drinking but also to make sure you reach the recommended amount on a daily basis. There are days, I can tell I am not well hydrated because I usually am in a fog for the rest of the day. But there are also days where I know I am never letting go of my water bottle. Meaning that I know I need to work on being more consistent. (FYI, I’m always working on completing the Mighty Goal Monday challenges as well.)

This week’s Challenge: Increase your Water Intake by Drinking at least 70% of your recommended intake at least 5 times this week.

Let me explain.

Some of you may believe that the recommended amount of water is always 8 cups. As time has gone on, that recommendation has since changed. What I learned and practice in my Dietetic Internship was individuals water consumption should range from 30mL/kg body weight to 35mL/kg body weight. Now that can be confusing if you are not calculating nutritional needs on a daily basis like I am.

*Please note that this is a general range for individuals if you have a medical condition that requires more or less water intake go off your medical doctor’s recommendations.*

Here is an easy way I like to look at it.

There are 30mL in 1 ounce (and 8 oz equals 1 cup) Since the minimum amount of water you should be consuming is 1 oz/kg body weight, you can calculate your minimum water intake by determining your weight in kg.

A Simple Calculation

Your weight in pounds/2.2 = your weight in kilograms(kg).
Your weight in kilograms = the minimum amount of water in ounces you should be consuming
To determine the number of cups you should be drinking, take your ounces divided by 8.

Confused, please contact me and I can help you understand it better.

Again, for this week’s challenge, I want you to increase your water intake by consuming 70% of your minimum amount of water at least 5 times this week. You can do it!

Water & Your Body

I am sure you have heard before that your body is mostly made up of water, about 60%. Which means it is important to replenish your fluid levels throughout the day to compensate for your losses. Water loss in the body occurs through urination, sweat, fecal matter, and even respiration. Without enough water within your body, problems could occur. Water is essential for maintaining every system within the body, as well as, carry nutrients from your body. On top of this, water is also needed to help prevent constipation. So if you ask me, water is pretty essential in our bodies.

Dehydration

“If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.” – This phrase is very common in the medical field and is true. By the time your brain sends out thirst signals, your water levels have already be depleted, causing dehydration to occur. When dehydration occurs it is possible to become light-headed, dizzy, or confused. If these symptoms occur, especially while being active or outside, please take some time to drink some water to replenish your depleted water stores. Additional health consequences can occur if dehydration is an ongoing problem.

Benefits for staying Hydrated

Improve your workouts.

Maintaining a good hydration status is important when wanting to improve your performance. Drinking water before, during, and after a workout can reduce fatigue from occurring, as wells, improve your endurance.

Boost your Mood and Brainpower.

Drinking water is important when it comes to your brain. If you notice yourself starting to go into a fog, whether it be through mood or thinking, drinking water can help. Studies have shown when dehydrated, there is a negative decline in both cognitive thinking and overall moods.

Ways to increase your water consumption

Carry a water bottle with you

Always having a water bottle (especially a reusable water bottle) is necessary if you are always on the run or sitting at a desk. When you have it on you, you are more likely to drink water opposed to not having a water bottle at all. My water bottle collection is always growing and I feel empty if I don’t have one with me. My favorite water bottles are Tervis water bottles because they are durable and double insulated. (I’ve had my Tervis cup for over 6 years now and it’s still my favorite one to carry!)

Try different alternatives to water

I am not talking about drinking soda or coffee. Instead look for sparkling waters or flavored waters. When choosing alternatives to water, make sure there are no calories or sugars as water does not have either. LaCroix is a great sparkling water brand that offers a large variety of flavors.

Infused Water

Adding real fruits can be a great alternative to plain water. I bought this pitcher and fell in love with it. It is so easy to make a large batch of infused water and have it throughout the week. My favorite fruits to infuse are strawberries, watermelon, lemon, lime, and orange. Another refreshing combination is cucumber and mint! The best part about infused water is you can make them whatever you are in the mood for or whatever extra fruit you might have. The possibilities are endless.


Overall, staying hydrated is essential when it comes to living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Start this week off strong with a large glass of water with breakfast, on your commute into the office, or with your morning workout.


Do not forget to share your achievements, tips, and/or comments with me and the #MightyGoalMonday community. It is much easier to accomplish goals when you have others completing the same goals.

Share your #mightygoalmonday accomplishments and tips

Together we can accomplish small but MIGHTY weekly nutrition goals.


Mighty Goal Monday #3 Recap

Were you able to eat a balanced meal for at least 8 meals this past week? A balanced meal contains all the food groups to provide all the nutrients your body needs. I hope you got creative and found a new recipe that incorporates all the food groups. I was loving my taco salads that I loaded up with veggies, beans for protein, cheese & yogurt dressing for dairy, thin pretzels for grains that I ate with salsa, and a side of fruit. As time goes on, I hope you find it easier to make balanced meals without even thinking about it.

New to Mighty Goal Monday?

Find out more about why I started this blog series and what other MGM’s you have missed and can start at any time.

 

#3 MGM: Eating a Balanced Meal

#3 MGM Eating a Balanced Diet

Mighty Goal Monday #3 – Eating a Balanced Meal

It’s no secret that most Americans (including myself) are not eating a balanced meal 100% of the time. I know there are days where I am struggling to get fruits and vegetables in my diet. (I am not perfect and one of the main reasons I started Mighty Goal Mondays – to help myself as well.) With Mighty Goal Monday #1 and #2, we worked on incorporating more vegetables and fruits into our diet. So it only makes sense to work on eating balanced meals more frequently.

This week’s challenge is to consume a balanced meal for at least 2 meals at least 4 days this week or consume at least 8 balanced meals throughout this week.

When you break it down this is about 40% of your meals, if you consume three meals a day the whole week. By starting with a small goal like this, you can focus more on the quality of your goals over the quantity behind the goals.

What is a balanced meal?

A balanced meal consists of consuming food items from all five food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. When you look at your plate, ½ of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, ¼ of your plate should be protein, ¼ of your plate should be grains, and you should have a serving of dairy on the side. These guidelines have been developed from MyPlate, the nutrition standards that replaced the Food Pyramid in 2011.

Why is it important to consume a balanced meal?

When it comes to consuming a balanced meal, the health benefits are amazing.

Variety of Nutrients 

Not only are you increasing flavors throughout your plate but you are also consuming a large variety of macronutrients(carbohydrates, protein, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Weight Control

By having a proper balanced diet, you are consuming the recommended amount of foods groups. You most likely are increasing your fruits and vegetables and decreasing your carbohydrate and fat intake. (Something that can be challenging at first but worth it in the long run.) With a balanced meal, it allows you to get a better control on your diet and increase your consumption of nutrient dense meals.

Decrease in Disease Risks

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Heart Disease are common medical conditions that exist today. With both of these diseases, a poor balanced diet can be a risk factor. Therefore, it becomes important to maintain balanced meals to help protect you from certain disease that can be associated with poor diets.

Easy ways to make your meals balanced

Bring back fruits and vegetables at the dinner table

In the 2015 Study of America’s Consumption of Fruits & Vegetables, it was concluded that the decrease in vegetable consumption is a result of the common vegetable dish being removed from the dinner table. When I was a kid, there wasn’t a family dinner that did not have a vegetable dish on the table. Something that back then I would dread eating but now something I make sure to incorporate at family dinners. This can be something simple like raw fruits and vegetables or steamed vegetables.

Make dishes that contain the right amount of all food groups.

Crockpot meals and new one-pan dishes are a great way to get a balanced meal. However, when making the dishes it becomes important to put more vegetables in dishes than the grains and protein. Something that might be hard at first but will help in the long run.

Here is a great resource of 30 Dinners from 30 Dietitians.

Get a plate or product to help you out

Portion controlled plates are a great tool when it comes to wanting to eat balanced meals and watch your portion sizes. I really enjoy portion sized tupperware since I am usually eating on the run. There are so many products out there that can help you reach the goal of consuming balanced meals.

So start this week off strong with figuring out what meals you are really going to focus on consuming balanced meals.


Social Media Mighty Goal MondayDo not forget to share your achievements, tips, and/or comments with me and the #MightyGoalMonday community. It is much easier to accomplish goals when you have others completing the same goals.

Don’t forget to use #mightygoalmonday and #nutritioninchoas on your social media posts so I can repost.

 

Together we can accomplish small but MIGHTY weekly nutrition goals.


Mighty Goal Monday #2 Recap

How did everyone do with Mighty Goal Monday #2? I personally find myself craving fruits more because of the natural sugar found in them. My sweet tooth gets the sweetness that I am looking for and my body is getting great vitamins and minerals. A WIN, WIN in my book. So personally, it was easier for me to increase my fruit servings. However, just because I increased my fruit servings I knew I still needed to maintain my vegetable servings from MGM #1. Remember as MGM continues, it is important to still build off the past posts.

New to Mighty Goal Monday?

Find out more about why I started this blog post series and what other MGM’s you have missed and can start at any time.

#2 MGM: Increasing your Fruit Intake

Mighty Monday Goal #1 Recap

Well, MGM #1 is in the books. How did everyone do?! Personally, I know I could have done better as there was a day during the week I didn’t have one single serving of vegetable! So I get it when someone says “I went the whole day and didn’t even realize it.” Which goes to show how little we think about our nutrition sometimes and how important it is to reverse that.

This week I want you to do your best (we are only human) to still work on adding more vegetables into your diet, as well as, incorporate this week’s Mighty Goal Monday.

Increasing your fruit intake

This week’s Mighty Goal Monday is: Increase your fruit intake.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, 80% of the U.S. population is consuming less than the recommended amounts of fruit. This is a HUGE percentage, but I definitely can see this in both myself and my clients eating habits.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend the following daily fruit consumption.

  • Women ages 14 & Up should consume 1.5-2 cups a day
  • Men ages 14 & up should consume 2-2.5 cups a day

This week, I challenge you to increase your fruit intake by 1 cup/serving per day.

Again, for some you this might be pretty easy to do, or you might already be getting the recommended amount everyday. Others (like myself) may struggle to reach the recommended amount each day which makes it important to put forth the effort to try our best.

How much is a serving?

Since it can be hard to determine how much is really a cup of fruit, here are some common fruit serving sizes.

Apple – 1 small apple (2.25” diameter) or ½ large apple (3.25” diameter)
Banana – 1 large banana (8” to 9” long)
Grapes – 32 grapes
Grapefruit – 1 medium grapefruit (4” diameter)
Orange – 1 large (3 1/16” diameter)
Peaches – 1 large peach (2.75” diameter)
Pear – 1 medium pear (2.5 per pound)
Plum – 3 medium or 2 large plums
Strawberries – about 8 large strawberries
Dried Fruit – ½ cup

Health Benefits of Fruits

There are so many great benefits to incorporating fruits into your diet. Not only can they help curb your sweet tooth with their natural sugars but they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Common nutrients found within fruits are Vitamin C, potassium, and  folic acid. By increasing your intake in fruits you also are lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes. All the more reason to enjoy fruits in your diet!

How to increase your fruit intake

Shop Smart

When it comes to purchasing fruits, look to see what fruits are in season or on sale at your local grocery store. Pears, cranberries, and pomegranates are all fruits that are in-season now. (Try putting pomegranate seeds on your avocado toast for extra flavor, it’s delicious!) Also, shop your local Farmer’s Market. Fall is a great time for a Farmer’s Market and the fruit is usually ready to eat right at that moment.

Buy pre-cut fruits

Constantly on the go? Look for pre-cut fruits in your grocery stores. Not only will this save tons of time but you can grab and go on your way out of the door! Fruit platters are a great way to get a variety of pre-cut fruits.

Creating dishes with fruits in them

You don’t have to eat fruit by itself. Make a fruit salad with all the fruits you enjoy. Mix fruit into your yogurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. Make a dessert packed with fruits!

Here are some of my favorite fruit recipes.

Homemade Applesauce – Since fall is a great time to go apple picking, I always make homemade applesauce. This is a great recipe from Healthy Ideas Place for homemade applesauce.

Blueberry Avocado Muffins – Gimme Some Oven

DIY Fruit Pizza – Mitzi Dulan, RD

Get creative when it comes to ways to increase your fruit intake!

Start the Week of Strong!

Social Media Mighty Goal MondayStart tomorrow morning off with a serving of fruit at breakfast and continue to increase your fruit intake by 1 cup each day. It might be challenging for some and easier for others but that is part of the journey. No matter where you are on your journey to living a healthier lifestyle, you can continue to make small improvements that lead to greater accomplishments.

Remember, it can be a lot easier to reach your goals when you have a support team behind you. So don’t forget to share your progress and challenges with the Mighty Goal Monday team!

I’ll make sure to repost every #mightygoalmonday or #mgm I see!

Together we can accomplish small but Mighty weekly nutrition goals.

 

#1 MGM: Adding Vegetables into your Diet

The time has come to kick off Mighty Goal Monday and to say I am excited is an understatement.

Adding vegetables into your diet

This weeks goal is: Adding vegetables into your diet

In 2015, Produce for Better Health Foundation published the Study on America’s Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables. Within this publication, it was reviled that the average American consumes only 57% of the recommendations of vegetables every day.

At first, I was shocked to read this statistic, but then I thought back to my own diet. Looking back at my past week, there were days where I had no vegetables at all. I’m not perfect but this was a wake-up call for me and inspiration for a Mighty Goal Monday!

So this week, I challenge you to add at least 1 cup/serving of vegetable each day. 

For some, you might already be enjoying 2-3 servings of vegetables a day and that is awesome! If that is the case, try to add one more serving, whether it be another side dish at dinner or a snack.

Others (like myself) might not even have one serving of vegetables a day. Therefore, just by increasing your vegetable intake by one serving you are starting to build a healthy habit that will be great in the long run.

Why Vegetables?

As I am sure you remember from health class in middle school, vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals you body needs. Different types of vegetables offer different vitamins and minerals. Making it important to eat a wide variety of vegetables. For example, your dark leafy greens are packed with Vitamin K, red and orange vegetables contain Vitamin A, and most vegetables are filled with fiber.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines really broke down the average intake of vegetables compared to the recommended amount. Not one age group in both men and female have an average intake within the recommended vegetable intake. Which means the average American could be lacking in important vitamin and minerals due to such a low intake of vegetables.

Great ways to add vegetables into your diet

Know your Vegetables – Everyone knows your standard vegetables: carrots, broccoli, spinach, potatoes, corn, etc. However, learning about new vegetables can help increase new ways of enjoying them. Below is a table for the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines that provides a great breakdown of all different vegetables.

Know your vegetables

Bulk up Crockpot Recipes with Vegetables – When it comes to making dinner, I understand it can be hard if you are constantly on the go. That is why I have always loved Crockpot dinners, especially when the weather starts to cool down. Nothing is better than coming home to dinner already cooking. When it comes to adding the vegetables into the crockpot, always add WAY more than what is recommended. It is so much easier to eat vegetables when they are cooking in your favorite crockpot meals.

Make your Own Veggie Dip – Can’t eat raw vegetables plain. No problem! Make your own veggie dip with Greek Yogurt! These are some of my favorite recipes that take less than 10 minutes to make. Not only are you making a dip that you will like, but you are also making a dip that is packed with protein! Win Win!

Easy Greek Yogurt Dips by Family Fresh Meals (3 different recipes)
Lighter Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip by Cooking Classy
Pantry Greek Yogurt Buffalo Ranch Dip by Cupcakes & Kale Chips

 

Now what? 

Social Media Mighty Goal MondayStarting this week, I want you to try to add 1 cup/serving of vegetables each day to what you are already consuming. It might be challenging for some and easier for others but that is part of the journey. No matter where you are on your journey to living a healthier lifestyle, you can continue to make small improvements that lead to greater accomplishments.

It can be a lot easier to reach your goals when you have a support team behind you. So don’t forget to share your progress and challenges with the Mighty Goal Monday team!

Together we can accomplish small but Mighty weekly nutrition goals. 

 

 

 

Mighty Goal Monday

Mighty Goal Monday Coming Soon

I am excited to announce I will be starting  one of my first blog posts series!

MIGHTY Goal Monday 

With September just a week away, now is the time to start something new and fun. Like myself, I know everyone is living on the go in a chaotic life. However, that is not an excuse to use when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. With this in mind, creating a blog series around small achievable goals came to mind.

I personally see better results when I set smaller goals that I can achieve. Turns out I am not the only person like that either. According to a study done by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, when it comes to losing weight sticking with smaller goals helped keep weight loss on track. Short-term goals become more manageable which ultimately leads to a great chance of success.

Social Media Mighty Goal MondayWhat to expect

Every Monday Morning, I will publish a new MIGHTY goal so you are prepared to start the week of right! These goals will be achievable throughout the entire week. For some they might be challenging and others might already be completing the goals. Do your best, these goals are meant to help you start, get back, or advance a healthy lifestyle. No one is perfect but starting small can help make a MIGHTY impact on your health overall.

Ultimately, I hope to build a community that is focused on helping one another help achieve the goals. Get your friends and family involved as well! Having a strong support team at home or the office also makes a difference.

Remember to share your progress and achievements through social media and Nutrition in Chaos website and social media platforms.

Together we can accomplish small but MIGHTY weekly nutrition goals. 


Mighty Goal Monday Posts 

9.4.16 – Adding Vegetables into your Diet 
9.11.16 – Increasing your Fruit Intake
9.18.16 – Eating a Balanced Meal 
9.26.16 – Increase your Water Intake
10.3.16 – Get Active
10.10.16 – Make Time for Lunch
10.17.16 – Explore your Cooking Skills
10.24.16 – Achieving Optimal Sleep
10.31.16 – Re-Evaluate your Diet
11.7.16 – Choose the Best the Option
11.14.16 – Try Something New
11.21.16 – Enjoy the Holidays