Healthy Eating Tips
Exercising and following a well-balanced diet is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. What types of foods you store in the fridge and cupboards to meal prep can affect your healthy eating habits. Karina Beverly Ho, a registered holistic nutritionist, and with an athletic background in gymnastics and circus acrobatics offers her healthy eating tips to reach your optimum performance.
She says, “If you are starting a new workout program, it’s very likely that you will feel hungrier than before since you will be burning more calories than you previously were. Therefore, It’s very important to have healthy options in your kitchen, so when you get hungry or need a quick snack before/after your workout you go for a healthy snack, versus an unhealthy one. Keep lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your fridge, nuts, and seeds in your cupboards and premade snacks/meals! Some snacks that are quick and easy include hard-boiled eggs, almond butter, and fruit on top of rice cakes or whole grain bread, fruit and nuts on Greek Yogurt, or avocados and whole-grain crackers.”
With food prep, she says, “Pre-cut vegetables make it easy to make a salad, and pre-cut fruit can be thrown into a smoothie or on top of Greek Yogurt. You can also store frozen vegetables so it’s quick to steam them or make a stir fry, or frozen fruit so it’s easy to make a smoothie! Pre-boil some eggs for a quick and easy snack. Some filling foods that also give you some healthy fats are almond butter or avocados that you can easily eat with fruit or on whole-grain toast. Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and cashews or seeds, such as pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds can be thrown on top of most meals as well.”
“Storing fruits and vegetables with a paper towel keeps them fresher. Keep a piece of paper towel in the bag or box with your produce or line your drawer with a paper towel, which helps to absorb moisture and keep your produce fresh. Some vegetables with stems (green onions, asparagus, kale, and herbs) will keep longer if you store them with the stems in a glass of water. Keep your unripe avocados in the fridge, and take one or two out at a time to the counter to ripen. Once it’s ripe you can put it back in the fridge to keep even longer. If something in the fridge is nearing it’s expiring date, throw it in the freezer for another time! You can pre-chop your fruits, vegetables, and herbs so they are ready to go before tossing them in the freezer. Storing meats in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them can take the stress out of having to cook it right away if you’re busy,” she says.
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Before going on that hike, run or picnic, she recommends the following, to eat some simple, carbohydrates to give you energy, without making you feel too full. “Fruits and vegetables are great choices here – such as bananas, oranges, grapes, carrots, cucumbers or bell peppers. You can also have whole-grain toast or whole-grain crackers. Avoid meat or anything protein-dense, as well as fatty foods such as nuts before you exercise, as they make you feel more full.”
Karina follows her own advice, “I buy and eat as many whole foods as possible while limiting my intake of packaged foods. I shop at the farmer’s markets as often as I can to buy local produce and meat and to support the local farmers. The produce is local, organic and seasonal, which makes the fruits and vegetables extremely flavourful, which always encourages me to eat more of it! When I get home I’ll pre-cut the veggies so it’s easy to throw a salad together, and I’m a big fan of cooking large meals so I have leftovers for the next days! My fridge is always full of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and prepared meals. I always have some vegetables in the freezer and cans of black beans for those times was I’ve been too tired to go to the grocery store, and need something quick to cook For me, being prepared with available healthy options is KEY when it comes to maintaining healthy eating habits.”
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