Diet, health and fitness tips for average women. Site created and maintained by Ann Chihak Poff.

Tips on forming good, healthy habits

Two things I keep around at work and home: raw almonds and plenty of water.

A friend recently asked me if I had any tips on how to eat healthier. She may regret that she asked.

Just a reminder to my readers … I am not a doctor, nutritionist or personal trainer. This post and all of my posts are based on personal experience and my own research.

So here we go:

It takes time to break old habits and form new good habits.

Drink lots of water. I try to drink at least 64 oz. of water a day. Yes, you will pee a lot. But that’s the point. You are cleansing yourself.

I recommend keeping a food journal. My weight loss and healthy eating is most successful when I am tracking my food. I am not saying you have to join Weight Watchers. Though if you are asking for advice on losing weight I would definitely recommend WW. Regardless the food journal keeps you honest, accountable and makes you aware of what you are putting in your mouth.

Always eat breakfast. Eat something that will keep you full and satisfied. High protein and fiber foods keep you feeling full longer. My regular breakfasts are: oatmeal with fruit; Kashi cereal; Sara Lee Delightful bread toasted with a banana and peanut butter; light mutli-grain English muffin with a poached egg and a piece of turkey bacon. If you don’t have time for breakfast (I eat my breakfast when I get to work) at least grab a banana or apple for the car ride, bus ride, train ride to work.

Things I like to snack on: fruit; raw almonds; dates; raw veggies, cheese, roasted seaweed.

A lot of my lunches and dinners consist of brown rice and veggies.

Things I regularly eat are: brown rice; whole wheat pasta; beans–kidney, garbanzo, black beans; chicken breast; high-protein salads (blue cheese, chicken, kidney and garbanzo beans, tuna and a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar); fish; cheese; lots of veggies.

If you drink soda regularly, try to cut back. If you have four sodas a day, cut it down to two. Eventually you can cut soda (including diet) out of your diet all together. I rarely drink soda these days and have it more as a treat occasionally.

Read labels. Check on your intake of fat, calories, sodium, carbohydrates, protein and fiber. The more protein and fiber the fuller you will feel. (I am on a protein kick right now so I am gonna keep pushing that. Now, in the past and I will in the future as well.)

I personally hate cooking. But I have found easy things to make and eat, which are healthy and filling. I am an advocate of easy. I will have a Lean Cuisine occasionally. But I have cut back and started cooking more. If you can find simple and healthy meals you will feel better, too. Seasoned steamed and boiled veggies over brown rice are easy and delicious and filling. I have said this before, the best 20 bucks I ever spent was on a rice cooker at Target, which includes a tray for steaming veggies.

¬†And when you are ready, start introducing exercise. Start slow and easy … (That will be for another post another day).

2 Responses to “Tips on forming good, healthy habits”

  1. Nicole Says:

    Great tips Ann. Not that I”m a paragon of great eating, but my own are: -treat yourself: having been lucky to live and eat in Berkeley, as a vegetarian I had my choice of wonderful restaurants that offered healthy (vegetarian) entrees. It was a great way to learn and make habit of the fact that healthy eating can be scrumptious. -the power of grocery shopping: we make sure we’re not hungry when we shop, and we buy healthy ingredients. It seems pretty…rudimentary? but healthy food into the kitchen = healthy food coming out of the kitchen. Our pantry doesn’t contain some of the crappier things we used to purchase regularly, as a result, we don’t eat them. -from Emi, the power of snacking: Emi has a regularly scheduled morning and afternoon snack, like all toddlers. I now snack with her, and find that snacking really does even out my blood sugar/energy levels.

    I really agree with getting more protein into the diet. I’m a vegetarian, and a bad one, so my diet is pretty carb-y as a result. Lately, in part due to some great recipes from the book Eat and Run, I’ve been getting more protein into my diet, and it has helped to displace many of the carbs I would’ve been eating otherwise.

  2. Ann Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing, Nicole.
    It’s funny, the whole idea if you buy healthy foods at the grocery you will eat healthy foods at home. Yes, so simple. But those unhealthy items at the grocery look so good–especially those powdered doughnuts I always want to buy.
    I recently did a post on protein. I do eat meat. But my friend Gail doesn’t and she shared a list with me of non-meat protein items. Check it out: