Healthy Living For Beginners

Today’s lunch was odd, but tasty.

Looks Like Puke, Tastes Delicious

Sometimes the most disgusting looking food is the tastiest!

Today’s sandwich contained a mixture of:

  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 c. salsa
  • 1/4 c. black beans

I spread this guacamole-ish mixture on whole wheat bread and enjoyed it along with sliced white pepper (yes, white pepper!!!), grape tomatoes, and a sliced carrot.

Peppa + 'Mater + Carrot


So Good

Veggie overload!

Healthy Living for Beginners

Earlier this week I received an email from a reader who recently started trying to live a healthier life. She’s waving goodbye to fast food and an inactive lifestyle, but said she feels lost when she reads about healthy foods (like quinoa) that are completely foreign to her.

It can be overwhelming to change your lifestyle from a sedentary one to an active one. Just thinking about preparing your own food when you’re accustomed to eating out can be enough to deter people from taking the initiative to eat healthy.

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to flip a switch and change dramatically over night. Your new healthy life begins today, and you can work on perfecting your healthy lifestyle forever!

My best advice to those new to the idea of working out and eating healthy is to make little changes. Enough little tweaks to an unhealthy lifestyle can completely transform you into a health-conscious eater and an active person.

About a year after I graduated from college, I made a decision to incorporate more vegetables into my diet and stop eating frozen meals that left me feeling unsatisfied. This was a small change that I can honestly say completely transformed my diet and left me feeling more energetic and satisfied.

Here are some of my tips for those looking to start living a healthier life (with some pictures thrown in to keep you intrigued 😉 ):

  • Don’t fall into the “diet” trap: Don’t go to the grocery store and stock up on “diet” foods in an effort to eat healthier. A small frozen meal like a Lean Cuisine will likely leave you feeling unsatisfied.
  • Shop the perimeter: When you go to the grocery store, shop around the perimeter, where you’ll find fresh fruits and veggies and lean meats. I only venture into the aisles for essentials like bread and peanut butter. If I went up and down every aisle I’d likely end up with a cart full of Cheez-its and Oreos.

Fresh Fruit = Instant Satisfaction

  • Make a realistic exercise goal: If you’ve never worked out before, it may be unrealistic to think you’ll get in the gym six days a week right off the bat. Make attainable exercise goals, like going to the gym every other day or taking three group exercises classes one week.

Work It Out!

  • Ask those you love for their support: Living a healthy life can be very hard if your roommate or significant other is pressuring you to hit up the drive through for dinner or order a pizza. Explain your desire to change your diet and make healthier choices to them so they can support you rather than tempt you with indulgent dishes. They may even take an interest in healthy living themselves and want to join you for a workout!

Fitness is Fun with Friends!

  • Reevaluate your plate: Growing up my dinner plate typically looked like this: 40% meat/protein, 40% starch/carbs, 20% fruits/vegetables. Try to make vegetables and fruits the largest portion on your plate. I try to make sure 50% of my plate is covered by fruits and vegetables, which leaves half of my plate to divide evenly between meat and starches.

To avoid feeling like your whole life has been turned upside down, try implementing one of these tips a week. After all, slow and steady wins the race. 😉

Question of the Afternoon

What tips do you have for living a healthier life? Do you find it easier to eat healthy or keep up a regular exercise routine?

From Dinner to Lunch

Leftovers from last night’s chicken tacos translated perfectly into a lunchtime taco salad.

Taco Salad

I used spinach and shredded iceberg lettuce as the base and topped it with ground chicken, black beans, salsa and a crunched up hard shell taco.

Yummy Lunch

Hooray for Old Bay!

Today I was contacted by Dan from Old Bay who learned through the ol’ blog how much I LOVE Old Bay. It’s a delicious seasoning that I personally adore on any shrimp or seafood dish. Dan informed me of a neat contest where Facebook Fans of Old Bay could win some pretty neat prizes.

From Old Bay:

This year, OLD BAY wants to zest up your holidays and is offering all fans on their Facebook page an opportunity to win the ultimate Holi-Bay gift basket ($140 value) packed with tons of products, a $25 gift card and OLD BAY t-shirts, cups, tattoos and samples for you to share with your family and friends.

Celebrate the Holi-Bays Contest:

  • November 19th through December 25th, OLD BAY wants to hear from its Facebook fans* on how they use their favorite spice blend during the holidays – it could be whipping up an OLD BAY recipe, sprinkling it on a holiday favorite, using it as a holiday decoration or giving it as a gift.
  • To enter the contest, post a photo showing how you zest up your holidays using OLD BAY – (Entries are limited to one photo posting per week).
  • Each post will be voted on by the amount of “likes” it receives from fellow Facebook fan members.
  • The photo post with the most “likes” will receive an  “Ultimate Holi-Bay Gift Basket” ($140 value) that includes:

o   A $25 gift card, a steamer pot and fryer, tons of OLD BAY products, 5 sample packs of OLD BAY for you to share with friends and family, as well as some items for the ultimate OLD BAY fan – branded t-shirts, cups, temporary tattoos, and an inner tube for sledding (or relaxing in the water for those who live in warm weather all year round)! Please see image below.

  • One winner will be announced each week, starting the week of November 30th.
  • We will mail out all gift baskets upon receiving each winner’s address information.

*You must be a Facebook member and fan of OLD BAY’s Facebook page to enter contest

I absolutely love how they’re referring to the holidays as the Holi-Bays. I always appreciate a little creativity from the marketing department!