What I Eat - Part 4

I'm sure the way I eat will change slightly several more times in my life (definitely once I'm cooking for more than one person or aren't dancing/teaching as much).  But for now I eat a mostly whole food, minimally processed diet.  I avoid things with long ingredient lists that are full of chemicals and artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.

I buy organic most of the time, but definitely for the things I eat most frequently (see my grocery staples list below) and for the "dirty dozen".

I try to eat have at least 2 vegetarian meals on most days.  Organic meat is expensive (or rather, non-organic meat is overly cheap), but for me it's important and worth it...so I just eat less.

I try to eat a varied diet.  Eating the same thing day after day can deprive you of nutrients.  So I change up the fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein sources I buy each week.  I make a point to replace my romaine lettuce with spinach for a week at least once a month.  I try to eat salmon and tuna regularly too.

Every week I buy my staples (all organic...because I eat them so regularly):

skim milk
pink lady apples
romaine (or spinach)
red bell pepper
yogurt - Fage 0% (not organic, but I wish it was!) & Wallaby vanilla

And then I decide what meals I'm going to prepare for the week.  I'm so busy! If I don't plan ahead, I would end up eating out more which is expensive and not as healthy.  Going to the grocery store at the beginning of each week is a PRIORITY!  I always make time for it.

For breakfast I usually have something with fruit: oatmeal, overnight oats, yogurt, a smoothie.  Sometimes I'll do a whole wheat English muffin with some sort of nut butter (cashew is my favorite).

For lunch and dinner I typically eat the same thing (or some variation of it) for the whole week...I pick a salad and then another recipe to try out.  I eat a salad just about everyday...it's the easiest way for ME to get more vegetables in my diet.  I often make some sort of salad “topper” to eat over a green salad…chicken salad, tabbouleh, a cold bean salad.  I take a little help from Whole Foods too.  I love buying their Broccoli Crunch salad (broccoli, raisins, onions, a little bacon, and mayo), chopping it up over romaine, and adding chicken.  And I ALWAYS make my own dressing...easiest thing in the world!

I make sandwiches and omelets a lot.  Both are quick, easy, and healthy.  Any time I make soup I freeze some, so that's always a quick week night option as well.  

I don't snack that much, but I do pack them to take to the studio with me.  That way, after I teach I have something to hold me over until I get home to make dinner.  Snacks for me include fruit (apple a day), hummus with carrot sticks, sometimes cheese or yogurt, and coffee.  Yes!  I drink a lot of coffee, which I try to make it unsweetened most of the time.  I try not to have processed starchy/sugary snacks...no granola bars (or any other type of bar), crackers, chips, cookies.

The one thing I have to be careful of is my sweet tooth.  I would eat something sweet at the end of every meal if I let myself!!  I think that's one of the reasons I drink coffee...even when it's not sweetened there is something dessert-like about it.

I try to model my healthy lifestyle everyday (especially to all the kids at the studio).  It's well known that I run, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and carry water with me everywhere.  But I also make sure people realize that I don't eat "perfect" all the time.  I eat healthfully MOST of the time so that when I do have dessert, or pizza, or something fried it's no big deal.  And I never let my food "philosophy" get in the way of life...I don't mind having non-organic milk if that's whats available.  And if it's my only choice (although that's rarely the case) I'll eat fast food.

I eat the way I eat because it makes me FEEL good.  And because I want to be healthy...not just thin.  So many people eat to stay skinny, which puts the focus on all the things you shouldn't eat.  But when you eat for health, it puts the focus on the things you should.