Meal Planning Strategies and Solutions Based on Your Tendency and Situation

Meal Planning Strategies and Solutions Based on Your Tendency and Situation

Meal planning and prepping take effort, skill and time, which makes it a bit challenging. The good news is that strategies and solutions exist to suit everyone’s needs. Let’s dive into your tendencies and your situation and how you could leverage them to your advantage. Below I make suggestions based on your tendency. If you don’t know what your tendency is, please read this blog post first.

Upholders – Since upholders readily meet expectations and get things done, they would do well with a meal planning service. Everything from the recipes to the grocery lists is done for you which can save you a lot of time. There are many options and a few of my favorites include Super Healthy Kids Meal Plans (done by registered dietitians and family friendly), My Happy Plates (a local company, includes grocery delivery service), No More to Go (has 3 options: cooking-for-2, gluten-free and family).

Obligers readily meet outer expectations that others impose but struggle to meet the inner expectations they want to impose on themselves. Therefore, they must find creative ways to set up some external accountability. Meal prepping partners or groups can keep obligers motivated and can be a ton of fun. Who wouldn’t enjoy cooking with your friends or neighbors and drinking wine while prepping your meals? Your group can meet weekly like in this plan or you can select a few freezer meals that can be pulled out at any time. Here is a great done-for-you meal prep party plan that includes recipes and all.

Furthermore, obligers tend to be motivated to do things that benefit others. These ideas could help:

  • Have a reoccurring dinner date with a friend where you take turns cooking.
  • Commit to bringing a home cooked meal to a neighbor or friend. Double the recipe so you can eat it too.
  • View the responsibility of meal planning and prepping as something important you want to role model for your children.
  • Make a pact with your bestie that you can’t do X until you’ve meal planned and prepped for the week and ask them to hold you to your word.

Questioners like to do the research, decide for themselves, customize things to fit their needs and act with good reason. Questioners will do well if they’ve already made their mind up to meal plan and prep. If they haven’t, they might need to explore why meal planning is important to them. Done-for-you meal planning services could work well, but it is likely questioners will want to customize it to their style and preferences. They will only stick to it if the plan is logical and efficient, which could simply take a little trial, error, and tweaking to suit their needs.

Rebels – do best when they take it one day at a time. They may want to keep a stocked kitchen and have several meal ideas that can be thrown together in a pinch. Having a loose plan, such as 3-4 meal ideas for the week is better than having a specific dinner for a specific day of the week (which could also be true for some questioners and obligers).

Hate to cook?Clean-eatz is perfect for those who just want someone to cook for them. Another idea is to trade services with their friends that do enjoy to cook. For instance, a mom of young kids who likes to be in the kitchen but doesn’t have the distraction-free time to do so could pair up with a mom who hates to cook but would love to play with the kids.

Cooking for one? Cereal for dinner again? You can do better! It’s really easy to slack off at dinner time when you only have your own mouth to feed. Using the above strategies like inviting a friend, cooking for someone else or having a meal prep party might work well for you.

Hate leftovers? When cooking for one, finding the right recipes is important. You probably get turned off by most recipes you see because you’d be eating the same thing for DAYS. I really love this roundup of healthy single-serving meals and I think you will, too.

Food for thought:

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to meal planning and prepping, but it’s an important part of healthy eating. Without at least a little forethought, you’ll be eating cereal or fast food most nights. Thinking about your unique style, situation and needs can help you find the strategies that work. This will take some trial and error. The important thing is that you keep making an effort to choose nourishing foods that meet your health goals. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it may look different each week, but what matters is that you are putting in the effort continuously. That’s when you finally find your groove. Just don’t give up.

Creating your own meal planning process

Creating your own meal planning process

In March, we are delving into the subject of meal planning by breaking it down into a series of blog posts. Last week, you learned the significant differences between a done-for-you meal plan and the process of meal planning.

Meal planning on your own terms will help you build a sustainable habit that supports Well Balanced eating in the long run. No process is perfect and creating one that fits your needs is key. To do this, you have to jump in and go for it, learning and adapting to what you need along the way. Here are some things to keep in mind as you dive in.

Be flexible. Know it’s good to have a plan, and it’s okay to make a different choice at the last minute. Don’t beat yourself up for this. Trust that you can make a wise decision, even if it’s not quite what you planned.

Start simple. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated or fancy. Pick a protein-rich food, a veggie (or two) and a complex carbohydrate. Round it out with a bit of your favorite healthy fat and call it a day. Combination meals, like chili, come in handy because they can include all this in one dish.

Jazz it up on the weekends. Have a little fun, try a new recipe or make your favorite fancy meal when there is extra time. While you are at it, make double the amount you need so the leftovers can last through the week or go in the freezer for another time.

Build off what you have. Take stock of what is in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. What can you add to your inventory to make a Well Balanced meal? Have canned beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce? Pick up the rest of the ingredients for chili.

Get inspired by the season. A stroll through the Farmer’s Market gives Lucy the inspiration she needs for a meal. Farmers often have great ideas and tips for cooking with veggies. Whether trying a new veggie or looking for a new way to enjoy a staple, ask your friendly farmer.

Go with what’s on sale. When you need to follow a budget, let the sales guide you. Are strawberries on sale? Load a bunch in your cart and think outside of the box to incorporate them in creative ways. A quick search online can help.

Food for thought: What do you need most when it comes to a meal planning process that will work for you?

Go Further with Food – National Nutrition Month

Go Further with Food – National Nutrition Month

Every March the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month. The focus of NNM 2018 is Go Further with Food, which emphasizes the importance of making wise choices for your individual needs and reducing food waste by planning ahead.

Going further with food means meal planning, not meal plans.

Lucy and I often get requests for meal plans, and while we love to help you get Well-Balanced meals on the table, we feel strongly about helping you unleash your own meal planning powers. The key differences between meal planning and following a meal plan are flexibility, personal preference, and intuitive focus.


Meal plans can feel rigid. If you go off the plan you might feel like you are failing. Meal plans can’t possibly predict when you will have a long day at work or when a friend asks you to join her for dinner on a whim.  They also don’t know what your budget is, what’s on sale or in season, or what’s currently in your kitchen.

Personal Preferences

Many things influence your food choices – from your culture and upbringing to your current mood. No generated or done-for-you meal plan is going to pinpoint exactly what sounds good this week or nail a plan that has you wanting to follow it to a T.

Intuitive Focus

Meal plans are often built around a calorie level or macronutrient goal but don’t allow room for intuitive choices. For instance, a meal plan doesn’t change on days when you need more fuel after an extra tough workout or your appetite is just not up-to-par for some reason or another. Only your body can tell you those things and if you are too concerned about following a plan – you could miss out on those important cues.

Don’t get me wrong, a meal plan created by someone else can be useful. It can give you inspiration or new meal ideas, a glimpse into what a Well-Balanced week could look like or get you started off on the right path. Ultimately, our goal for you is to be able to confidently make your own well-balanced plans and decisions that suit you. Plus allow for flexibility and intuitive eating.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we will be sharing a series of posts centered around how to go further with food. We’ll cover ideas and strategies for having a plan, a backup plan, and knowing what to do if all else fails.

Food for thought: Do you plan ahead?

If you are highly organized and prepared in the kitchen this series is not for you. On the other hand, if you’ve struggled to stick to a meal plan or if you’re ready to start taking baby steps toward planning, you’ll find an idea below and more in the weeks to come.

Take the first step

If you typically don’t think ahead about what you will eat, you can start with this simple task. Take out a piece of paper while you are having your morning coffee and jot down what you will be having for dinner. Writing it down will solidify it and doing this in the morning while you are fresh will ensure you have plenty of mental stamina to make a wise decision. Once you get the hang of it, perhaps you can decide on more than one meal at a time, but for now, just focus on dinner for the upcoming evening.

Happy planning!

The 5% Swap for Heart Health

The 5% Swap for Heart Health

If you are a regular reader or current client you know, fat is our friend. Although a little can go a long way, it absolutely deserves a spot on your plate. You also know that we want you to embrace more natural foods and limit processed foods. Keeping those things in mind, how do we include fats that will protect our heart health? Let’s dive in and find out.

What does the research say about fat and heart health?

Randomized clinical trials have shown that replacing 5% of your calories from saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat (omega-6 fatty acids) reduces total and LDL cholesterol. This swap is associated with a 9% lower risk of CHD events and a 13% lower risk of CHD deaths. That equates to just one simple swap a day!

Swap it, don’t eliminate it

It’s important to note that it’s not enough to just decrease saturated fat in our diets because when saturated fat is replaced by simple carbohydrates, like sugar or white rice, no benefit is seen. Switching from a regular cookie to a fat-free cookie is not heart healthy. Nor is swapping out steak for white pasta.

Okay, so what DOES this 5% swap look like IRL?

If you eat somewhere between 1600 to 2000 calories per day, you’ll want to replace 9 to 11 grams of saturated fat with 9 to 11 grams of omega-6 fatty acids to reduce your cholesterol levels and lower your risk. One simple swap a day can take care of this. Think about some processed foods or sources of saturated fat in your day-to-day diet that don’t provide a lot of nutrients and health benefits. Replace one of those items each day with an ounce of nuts or seeds as they are the best natural sources of omega-6 fatty acids in whole food form. Another idea is swap out buttered toast for avocado toast.

Swap Out (food – amt of sat fat) Swap In (food – amt of omega 6)
1 Bojangles biscuit – 8g of saturated fat 2 TBS peanut butter – 4.4 g omega-6 fatty acids
1 doughnut from Dunkin Donut – 6-11g 1-ounce pecans – 6 g
1 cup of ice cream – 10g 1-ounce sunflower seeds – 10 g
1 Honeybun – 14g 1-ounce pumpkin seeds (pepitas) – 5.8 g
1 TBS butter – 7.2 g 1 cup sliced avocado – 2.4 g

Where NOT to get your omega-6 fatty acids from:
Omega-6 fatty acids are very prevalent in processed and junk foods like vegetable oils, margarine, chips, and cookies, but of course, I can’t confidently recommend those for heart health. (Occasionally enjoying your favorite things is perfectly acceptable in our book, but right now we are talking about the healthiest thing we can do for our heart every day.)

Note: Omega-3 fatty acids are still important, too.

You probably know that omega-3 fatty acids are heart healthy. The beautiful thing about natural food is that it usually contains a package of nutrients. Plant-based foods include both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both are important in lowering your risk of heart disease and contrary to what you might hear, research indicates that increasing both types is helpful.

Food for thought:

Often times meat, eggs, and dairy can get blasted in the media because of their saturated fat content. These foods deliver many nutritional benefits and aren’t necessarily the first things that should go in your diet if you want to be heart healthy. Moderate portions (think of them like a side dish on your plate) are part of a Well Balanced eating plan. We encourage you to look first at the processed foods in your diet. If there is room for improvement, replace a processed food with a serving of natural plant-based fat.

What will you swap for heart health?

What does Pinterest have to do with my body image?

What does Pinterest have to do with my body image?

 Don’t get me wrong; I love Pinterest. I think that it is a brilliant place to share creative ideas. I truly cannot imagine life without this excellent resource; however, I’ve noticed Pinterest is sometimes a trigger for body dissatisfaction. Lately, I’ve been reading The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash, Ph.D. I am addressing and reevaluating my body relationship and body awareness. Yes, even us skinny gals can have body image issues.
[Sidebar: I’ve decided to fast from Facebook during the Lenten season to spend that time with my creator instead of browsing mindlessly. Since I’m not banning all social media, I’ve spent a little more time on Pinterest & Instagram (@WBN_RDs)]

In this workbook, I’ve learned we all have what the author, Dr. Cash, calls Private Body Talk. In our private body talk, we have stories running through our mind – often unconsciously – about how we look. He uses the word ugly, which I truly hope none of you are calling yourselves because you are uniquely beautiful. The book goes on to explain that we each have different triggers, assumptions, and beliefs about our body image. And why wouldn’t we… What with all the perfect flat tummies and perfect booties depicted on Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media outlets. I mean seriously, who are these people with perfectly sculpted abs?! We may think “what are they eating or doing to look that way?” Or “I need to get more strict about my diet so I can have a body like that too.”

Good news, there is a tool to help.

My favorite part of the workbook is the emphasis on mindfulness. It goes into a lot of detail on increasing our mindfulness specifically around body image stories. I modified an idea in the book and created a new tool to start to notice and address these negative body image stories. It’s the TTE method:

  • Thought
  • Trigger
  • Emotional effect

First, is noticing the body image conversation or thought. Example: you look at a photo of yourself and think “Wow, look at that fat face.” Which may spiral into a barrage of negative thoughts about other aspects of your looks you do not like. The next step is to identify the trigger. In this case, it was looking at the picture. For many, simply stepping on the scale is the beginning of a downward spiral into self-sabotaging thought patterns. Such as, “why do I even bother? I’m always gonna be fat.” The last step is recognizing the emotional effect these thoughts have on you. It does not feel good or motivational when someone calls us mean names. That usually hurts and feels shameful. How is it different for you to speak like that to yourself? We’ve shared before how words matter. Whether spoken aloud or in our minds, these have a profound impact on our behaviors and choices.

Food for thought:
I don’t actually blame Pinterest for body image concerns; however, I recognize those pictures of all the perfect airbrushed bodies can lead to negative internal chatter. That’s when I choose to log off and get centered in my own truth:
“I value feeling good. I have a healthy mind and healthy body to match.”

What are your big triggers?

What’s your truth?

You are more than a number on the scale and you matter.
If you need someone to talk about body image or to make more healthy lifestyle changes, we are here to help. Just click here to start the conversation.

Ask these 4 questions before you quit

Ask these 4 questions before you quit

Photo by Alex Woods on Unsplash

Monday, Feb 5, 2018

When we start a new project or challenge it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of doing something new or different. Then we may hit a roadblock, get off track or just get bored and it starts to fizzle.
Were you invigorated to start a few new healthy habits in the New Year? Now you find yourself off-track and bogged down with to-do lists, chores, an illness, or just feeling tired. It happens! Life gets busy and often we are our own biggest critic.

In a recent teaching at Grace Church, in Chapel Hill, NC, I got a great reminder from the pastor to revisit the basic questions to reignite the energy and get back on the road to feeling happy and healthy.

1. What’s your why?
Why is this goal important to you? How will you feel when you’ve accomplished this goal?

2. What is true?
Maybe you did not have time to batch cook for the work week, but you did go grocery shopping and purchased the foods that make you feel better. Your inner critic may try to call that a failure, but what’s true is that you took steps toward a Well-Balanced life. Instead of thinking about what did not get done, sometimes the best thing we can do is just keep going. Step-by-step. Each better choice empowers you to do more of the same.

3. What is MY responsibility?
It’s easy to get caught up in the mom duties, covering for a sick coworker, caring for your partner, or an aging parent. First, we need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of our loved ones. When you take care of yourself first you have the energy to take care of others.

This may include learning when to say “no, thank you.” Such as declining the invite to volunteer for another fund-raiser at school or working overtime for the 3rd week in a row. When we say “yes” to everyone else we, in turn, are saying “no” to ourselves.

4. What matters most?
As Pastor Kendrick says, do first what is most important. Have you ever had a sick family member at the hospital? It is likely you found yourself making time in the evening and on weekends to visit your loved one. We make time for what is important to us. It’s okay to make time for our own health and wellness needs because they matter. It may mean blocking the 4 o’clock slot on your work calendar so you can leave by five to make it home in time to cook dinner. Or maybe you dedicate the first 5 minutes of your lunch break to meditation or prayer time.

Food for thought:
As you read this, remember you are on the road to feeling good and Well-Balanced.
You already know what you need to do to reach your goals, which step above will take you where you want to go?

If you need someone to talk about goal-setting or how to make healthy lifestyle changes, we are here to help. Just click here to start the conversation.

It’s not your fault, it’s your tendency

It’s not your fault, it’s your tendency

Have you ever really wanted to do something, like create a new habit, but try as you might you inevitably let yourself down? It’s a frustrating cycle. You want something, so you work for it but fail. Still wanting to form the habit, you try again this time with a little less confidence because of your past attempt that didn’t work out. That lack of confidence can hinder your performance, and you fail a second time. And on it goes.

What if I told you that your failure wasn’t your fault, it was your tendency?

Years ago, when I was completing my internship, I was labeled by my preceptors as a self-starter. I wanted to become a dietitian, and I knew I needed to gain approval of my preceptors to graduate from the internship. I loved learning about nutrition, and I was held accountable for my work through evaluations and deadlines. I didn’t know it then, but the fact that I had someone else evaluating was a major key to my success.

Fast forward to the present. I still love learning new things about nutrition, and I am still a “self-starter,” but finishing something is a different story. For instance, I buy a lot of books and eagerly read through the first chapter or two vowing to myself that I’m going to read a little bit each week. Inevitably, something always comes up that I do instead. Even though I want to read the book, it feels much more natural and compelling to complete the latest task my client requests or help a friend solve a problem. So, the book sits there unread for weeks, months, years even.

It wasn’t until I started a book club that I could finish a book I wanted to read.

Why can I read a book for a book club but not on my own?

Because of my tendency.

The four tendencies and how they can change the way you think about yourself.

According to Gretchen Rubin, people fall into one of four tendencies depending on how they respond to expectations – you know the things you can’t avoid, nowadays known as “adulting.”

Finding out what tendency you fall under can break you free from the cycle I mentioned above, see yourself in a different light, and help you accomplish the things you want to (or need to) do in life.

The four tendencies:

  • Upholders meet inner and outer expectations. They love rules, having a clear plan and are self-motivated and disciplined. Just tell them what needs to be done, and they’ll lead the way.
  • Questioners meet expectations that make sense to them. They need to see purpose and reason in anything they do. If you make it clear why something is important, chances are they will get it done.
  • Obligers meet other peoples’ expectations easily but struggle with inner expectations. The must be held accountable by a friend, coach or boss to get things done. They thrive when they have a sense of duty and can work in a team.
  • Rebels defy both outer and inner expectations. Above all, they want to be free to choose and express their individuality. The best way to motivate them is to give them the facts, present the task as a challenge and let them decide without pressure.

Perhaps you can quickly identify yourself in one of these categories. You may also want to take the quiz to find out for sure.

When you know your tendency, you can see yourself in a new, more positive way.

After finding out that I will always gravitate toward meeting outer expectations (like from my internship director and preceptors that were grading me), I suddenly knew how to succeed and why meeting the needs of my clients and friends is so easy for me to do. I stopped blaming myself for being lazy or unmotivated. I stopped feeling like such a failure because I couldn’t achieve my goals. Knowledge is power, and now that I know I’m an obliger, I can set up external accountability (like a book club) to follow through with the things I set out to do.

Food for thought. Tell us in the comments below:

Have you been beating yourself up over something that you couldn’t accomplish?

What will YOU do differently now that you know about your tendency?


If you haven’t read the Four Tendencies or Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, we highly recommend that you do. Lucy and I have been so enlightened by these books that we’ve thoroughly woven Rubin’s concepts into the way we teach and think about well-balanced living.

Debunking the myth: all things are good in moderation

Debunking the myth: all things are good in moderation

Monday, January 22, 2018
Ever catch yourself thinking “oh I shouldn’t…” or I just can’t have one [insert food with no brakes]. Yep, we’ve all been there. It varies depending on a person’s taste preference and often what they grew up eating. A few I hear commonly include, potato chips, cashews, ice cream, cheese, or bite-sized Oreos. No matter what, there are certain foods that are just harder to eat in moderation.
Last year, Kristen and I read a great book called Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin in our book club. The book is all about making better habits. In an article, by Rubin, she talks about the concept modernization and abstinence. Some of you (like me), may already be rolling your eyes because the idea of abstaining from any food sounds terrible. That likely means you are a moderation all-star!
The snow day cookies
A friend of mine was recently telling me a story about moderation.  She explained after eating a homemade chocolate chip cookie at work, “my tummy and my mouth were arguing,” because her mouth wanted another cookie but her stomach felt full. My friend goes on to tell me about the sweet, chewy, chocolatey goodness of the homemade cookies. She reports savoring each bite only to find herself still wanting more when she was done. This is a familiar experience for many of us; however, it is rare that this happens after eating celery or an apple. What’s that about?!
Effects of sugar on the brain
It’s scientifically explained, in this fascinating TED education video: How sugar affects the brain. When we eat foods with refined sugar or simple carbohydrates (think white rice, pasta, potatoes, etc), those foods create a chemical release (dopamine) that feels good and may lead our brain to tell us to eat more. Our brain is designed to keep us alive and in case there is a famine, it will ensure we “stock up” when energy-dense foods are available.
Empowering abstinence
At the beginning of the year, Well-Balanced Nutrition did a 2-week challenge to eat only from the Well-Balanced plate, which does not include added sugars. Our plate does include fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and dairy, which all provide the energy our brains need. For me, this was an experiment to break the habit of always wanting a treat after lunch and dinner. What I didn’t expect was to feel empowered by choosing to abstain from added sugars. It is exhausting to constantly battle that voice “should I eat the cookie or shouldn’t I?” It was nice to have the decision already made when I chose to take a break from processed sugar.
Food for thought:
In the challenge, I learned, not all foods are good in moderation. Some foods create a trigger that makes it hard to stop even if I’m not hungry anymore.
What are your triggers? If you’d like to become a more balanced eater, we recommend starting to recognize what foods or situations cause you to overeat.
If you’d like to talk with a friendly expert on making (and breaking) habits, let us know. Contact us here.
This is not to make you move, but to help you feel supported

This is not to make you move, but to help you feel supported

Last week, in a delicious yoga class at the Hot Asana studio near Southpoint, our instructor offered props and said, “this is not to make you move, but to help you feel supported.“ This made me think of our goal at Well-Balanced Nutrition. When most of the environment around us promotes convenience food and unbalanced options, it is our mission to give you knowledge, tools, and support to make choices that will have you feeling your best, not just surviving the day. At the same time, we aren’t forcing you to make any changes and here’s why.
Want to vs supposed to
The USDA tells us we are supposed to do 30-minutes of physical activity every day. We are supposed to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables… Or is it nine? We’re supposed to get eight hours of sleep. And we’re supposed to be taking at least 10,000 steps. What is your gut reaction to supposed to?
Now on the flip side, I’m curious to know what you want to do? For instance, I want to eat well balanced because I feel better when I include a fruit or vegetable with each meal or snack. I feel well rested when I get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Luckily, walking is my zen time so physical activity comes naturally. I do these things because I want to.
I know from years of practicing dietetics that if somebody is told to change, but they don’t really want to, the change is less likely to stick. You have to make the decision for yourself. Sometimes, that means changing your perspective. I do this because I want to feel better, not because I’m supposed to do this. Other times, it could mean you are simply not ready to change and that’s okay.
Choosing the right “brain food”
If you want to make a change, choosing the right brain food is important. All forms of media we take in are what I call “brain food.” For instance, if you watch evening television and suddenly find yourself craving pizza, it may be due to a Dominos commercial.  While driving down the road you see a billboard for a giant juicy hamburger, it may trigger the brain to crave those foods. The people you spend time with, the places you go, where you buy food, the social media you enjoy, the books you read, the radio stations you listen to, the shows you watch, the recreation activities you do, etc. are all sources of brain food.
Ways we offer support
You can follow us on Instagram where we post some of our favorite meal ideas or little things we find fun or inspirational throughout our day or join our closed Facebook group where everyone shares recipes and supports one another. We offer accountability with our Healthy Habit Tracker and one-on-one sessions for personalized support. If you are ready, we are here for you. Even if you are just considering change, you know you can find some good “brain food” here.
Food for thought:
  • What are you feeding your brain and how is it supporting you and your well-being?
  • Who can you ask for support?
  • What books or resources will give you more knowledge?
  • Where can you find social support?
If you need more support or just want to talk about the next steps on your wellness journey, click here to schedule a free call with one of your friendly dietitians at Well-Balanced Nutrition.
2 steps to shake-off added sugar

2 steps to shake-off added sugar

Monday, Dec 18, 2017
But it’s a holiday! Birthday! Vacation! Or we’re celebrating! The fact is, there is always a good excuse to eat unbalanced food – especially sugar.
As we wrap up another year and holiday season, it is a good opportunity to press the reset button and take a closer look at our eating habits. Hopefully, you have been practicing mindful and intuitive eating this season and enjoying every morsel of those special holiday foods. Of course, when there are more celebrations around the corner it’s hard to stay balanced at each meal. Also, if you and the family found yourselves constantly on-the-go these past few weeks that may mean more fast food and less time to cook.
Let’s refocus and refresh
Step 1: Get honest with yourself. Ask yourself, “How much added-sugar do I really eat?”
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell. Maybe there’s a little bit of honey in your morning oats. A little added sugar in the salad dressing at lunch. A little more sugar in the bread of the half sandwich you ate with the salad. A little bit in the afternoon granola bar. Even if you don’t consider yourself “a sweet-tooth person“ you could be taking in more sugar than you realize. Sugar enhances the flavor of foods and entices our taste buds to keep eating. That is one reason why food manufacturers keep adding it to so many of our favorite things. Especially, as the nation went to low-fat or non-fat foods our pallets compromised by enjoying more sugar. Now we know, fat is our friend.
Important to note, at Well-Balanced Nutrition, we do not treat sugar as the enemy. The goal is to identify where sugar is sneaking into your diet so you can mindfully choose to eat it or leave it alone. This gives our taste buds the chance to reset and notice the natural sweetness of fruits, vegetables, cream (instead of sugar in the coffee), and even some whole grains such as oats are naturally sweet.
Here’s a video about the New Years Well-Balanced Challenge coming up on Jan 1. We hope you’ll join us on this exciting adventure!
Step 2: Clean it out.
If you decide to join our Well-Balanced Challenge and no sugar added journey we want to provide the parameters of success. In order to succeed, we need to clean out the cupboards and fridge of those foods that have added sugar. If you cannot bear to toss it out at least move everything out of reach. Perhaps putting foods into a concealed bag and a hard to reach cupboard. This step is crucial for your success. Many of us try to depend on willpower, only to later experience the call of the sugar monster at those unexpected hours of the day and night. By eliminating the temptations from your office and kitchen you can then fill in with lots of yummy natural foods that provide the fuel your body and mind needs. There’s even a 2-week meal plan to guide you on the journey!
Let us know if you have any questions or click here to join the challenge today.