I may be a nutritionist, but like you, I am also a regular person leading a pretty busy life. So just because I have a lot of nutrition science knowledge, I still have to navigate the complex world of food. To help keep my eating on track I have some ‘go to’ foods that help me stick to my healthy new year’s resolutions. I hope that these may help you in your quest to eat right in 2015!
Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is probably my #1 staple when it comes to smart snacking. It’s fast, easy, nutritious, and tasty. A cup on nonfat Greek yogurt packs about 24 grams of filling protein. I eat it for breakfast with fruit, as a mid-afternoon snack, and even for dessert. A 6-oz cup of plain Greek yogurt has just 100 calories!
Plus it has many other uses to add flavor and cut calories in recipes and dips.
Rotisserie chicken – As a busy working woman, I have to admit I usually don’t have time to cook elaborate meals from scratch. My solution? I look for healthy pre-cooked options that I can add to salads and sandwiches. The rotisserie chicken is one of my ‘go-to” options for lunch and dinner. At about $7 per chicken, it’s also fairly budget-friendly. For a lunch or dinner in under 10 min, I top some leafy greens with a few pieces of sliced rotisserie chicken, and some nuts or seeds, dried cranberries, and on occasion, a bit of goat cheese. I use just a bit of olive oil and lemon for dressing.
Oats – When I want a filling breakfast that will also give me energy to power up my day, I go for oats. Oatmeal was ranked as the most satiating breakfast food on the Satiety Index, developed by Australian researchers a decade ago, and it’s the third most satiating food overall. Avoid oatmeal with added sugar and boost the flavor and ‘fullness power’ of your oatmeal by adding in some sliced apples, berries or raisins.
Skim latte – I know all the research says that liquid calories don’t help to keep us as full as ‘food’ calories, but for me an afternoon skim late is a lifesaver. Of course it’s not enough if I’m super hungry, but most days a 3pm-ish latte is just enough to tied me over until dinner. Plus the little caffeine jolt helps to keep me going and the milk protein helps with satiety. At about 120 calories (per “tall” size), it’s a great alternative to caving into a 3pm doughnut!
Nuts – One of the biggest nutrition myths going is that you have to avoid nuts to lose weight. The truth is, nuts have been shown in multiple studies to help people shed pounds. Although nuts are calorie-dense and high in fat (mostly healthy fat), their protein content can keep you feeling full and often stave off a binge later in the day. Best way to have nuts? Try them with a glass of water. The volume that water adds to the stomach combined with the slow-to-digest nuts make a perfect quickie fill-up. Being hydrated can help with hunger management and nuts provide due of protein and fiber which is one of the best combos to tied you over.
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