This is for the picky eaters.
This is for those that just don’t love healthy foods.
This is for the one that doesn’t like salads and veggies.
This is for the girl that doesn’t like complicated recipes.
This is for you if you are struggling to eat healthily!
This is for the person that wants their food to taste good.
Let’s stop beating ourselves up for failing to cut out processed foods and sugar for 30 days with no cheats. Stop treating your body like it is a robot. Stop beating yourself up! You have a personality and a unique way that you respond to food physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If you are the type of person that binges when you try to cut sugar cold turkey then don’t try to do that. If you are a person that after tasting one Oreo needs to eat a whole sleeve then stay away from them. You are unique and what works for one person may not work for you.
It’s ok to try different approaches to becoming a healthier person, but try not to beat yourself up or feel guilty and bad if it doesn’t work for you. You are not a failure. You are more than the food that you eat.
So examine your personality and your tendencies. It helps to write down the things you have tried that didn’t work. It might be a long list, don’t let that discourage you. Try to find common threads and try to figure out why these “diets” or approaches didn’t work for you. Brainstorm ideas of things you respond well too. Jot down anything you have accomplished in life and ask yourself what drove you toward success in that endeavor. You can draw from these experiences and apply them to your fit life journey.
For example, if you find that you enjoy exercise when you are in a group of people, or with a trainer, but you hate working out alone then try joining a weight loss accountability group or getting a nutrition coach rather than trying to go at it alone.
Interested in starting an exercise program? Check out my FREE Beginner Strength Training Program for Women!
What is Healthy food?
There’s a lot of advice out there, so let’s keep it simple.
The goal is to eat TONS of veggies, plenty of fruits, whole/real food, nothing processed, no sugars, little to no grains (depending on who you ask), and avoiding foods that trigger negative effects on YOUR body.
We won’t go into more detail than that because from here everyone has a different opinion.
Now I said that this is the goal when it comes to eating healthy but for most people (almost everyone), eating like this 100% for the rest of your life is probably not going to happen. AND THAT’S OK.
We aren’t robots who can be programmed to eat only certain things because they are the best choice for our body. Oh, if only we could! But that’s ok. There’s more going on here because we have minds, emotions, likes, dislikes, and desires.
Let’s be honest with ourselves about the things we enjoy to eat and why we don’t like certain foods even though we know they are healthy.
Let’s also recognize that we are living, breathing, and changing human beings that are capable of trying new things and capable of doing something we may not want to at first and saying no to some things we want because we know instant gratification isn’t always the best for us. This is important if we are going to eat healthy when we don’t want to!
Bear with me. I don’t want you to cut out sugar for the rest of your life or eat salads every day for lunch. I won’t even tell you that you must meal prep every Sunday.
Today I have a series of problems you may relate with. I am giving you some simple solutions to try.
Start Small. Try new things. If you hate something, move on.
Recognize your personality, your lifestyle, your likes and dislikes and embrace your ability to change and evolve into a healthier person each and every day.
7 Problems and Their Solutions
Problem #1: You don’t like to cook or you don’t know how
Keep it simple. Just because you don’t like to make recipes with tons of ingredients and don’t want to be in the kitchen for long amounts of time doesn’t mean you can’t be healthy and make some basic things.
Opt for already cut and washed veggies and fruits.
Let go of specific amounts and start eyeballing things. Just toss a handful of spinach and a pinch of seasoning and stop worrying about specific amounts when cooking (not so great for baking). You can get away with this when skillet cooking and using a crock pot. Instances, where this isn’t great, are some oven recipes and definitely the instant pot. Always follow the recipes for the instant pot as it matters how much liquid you use.
First, Peruse the Freezer section at your grocery. Find fruits and veggies that are field to frozen with no added ingredients.
My Favorite Freezer Items
- Broccoli Crowns
- Riced cauliflower
- Spiralized butternut squash
- Mixed berries
- Mixed Tropical Fruits
Next, check out the fresh produce for already prepped or easy to prep options.
My Favorite Fresh Produce
- Shredded carrots
- Washed and ready to eat baby spinach
- Washed and ready to eat broccoli crowns
- Chopped sweet peppers
- Butternut squash or sweet potatoes already peeled and cut into squares
Here’s the key with fresh produce. Don’t go crazy when you are first delving into this. If you buy too much it will probably go to waste and you will feel overwhelmed when you look in your fridge. Pick 1-2 new foods and if you enjoy them stick to those 2 options the next few times you hit the grocery. Once it’s a part of your everyday life, try another 1-2 foods.
Finally, make sure your kitchen is stocked with a few healthy essentials for tossing into the skillet or crockpot!
My Favorite Proteins
- Egg Whites
- Turkey Bacon
- Turkey Sausage
- Ground Turkey
- Tuna filets
My Favorite Fats
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Almond Butter
My Favorite Grains and Seeds
- Brown Basmati Rice
- Sprouted Grain Bread
- Chia Seeds
My Favorite Treats and Convenience Foods
- Dark Chocolate (70% or darker)
- Maple Syrup
- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Granola Mixes
- Greek yogurt
- Whipped Topping
- Almond Milk Creamers
- Corn Chips
My Favorite Spices and herbs
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Chili Powder
- Mrs. Dash mixes
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
My Favorite Beverages
- Almond Milk
- Coconut water
- Cashew Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Sleepytime Chamomile Tea
- Rooibos Tea
You don’t have to be a great cook to throw chicken and salsa in the crockpot! Read the bag of rice, follow the instructions or follow your instant pot instructions for rice because it is amazing and easy! BOOM!
Problem #2: You don’t like vegetables
Cook those veggies!
Even though some of the nutrients are lost when cooked, it’s fine to cook your veggies if it means you’ll actually eat them as opposed to not. Cook them In the skillet, in the instant pot, or in the oven, remember it doesn’t have to be complicated. Add a healthy oil, coconut or avocado would be great and add some seasonings. I am a fan of skillet cooking anything and everything.
Pick a new vegetable at the grocery this week and make sure you have a healthy oil such as coconut (it adds amazing flavor), olive, or avocado. Throw some oil and that veggie into the skillet with a seasoning of your choice. Keep it simple with garlic or use a Mrs. Dash combo if you aren’t sure what you like. I like to keep a lid on the skillet for a bit if I’m cooking something that needs to soften like broccoli or sweet potatoes. Once it is soft I remove the lid and let it get a little overcooked in spots (just don’t start a fire!). Voila, it’s ready. You did it. Pat yourself on the back! Remember if you don’t like one veggie move on to the next, don’t get discouraged. Not all vegetables taste the same!
Hide those veggies in something!
Put them in an omelet. I love hiding spinach, onions, peppers, and tomatoes in my omelet.
Don’t start crazy. Start with one veggie, cook it in the skillet to the softness you can handle if the texture is a problem for you. Then add eggs and/or egg whites to the skillet and possibly some ground turkey or turkey bacon. Finish it off with some seasoning (again, choose a Mrs. Dash mixture if you aren’t sure!). Feel free to add cheese at the end if you like. I also enjoy hot sauce on my omelets! Side note, for the perfect omelet, make sure you have a non-stick skillet or oil in the skillet, put a lid on it and when it is cooked almost all the way through flip it!
Try different veggies, if you hate spinach in your omelet don’t eat spinach in your omelet. What one person likes, you may not and that is ok.
Blend them up!
Try adding half an avocado to a protein shake. For a creamy chocolate shake start with Ice, add half a banana, almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, almond butter, a touch of honey, protein powder of your choice, and half an avocado!
Problem #3: You enjoy unhealthy foods
Don’t make anything off limits. Let’s start incorporating a few veggies and fruits into your days and watch the process slowly move the needle. The more nutritious foods you eat, the less you will desire the least nutritious foods. Nothing you love is EVER off limits.
Ask yourself what you really want and be careful not to go crazy. My husband jokes that when he goes out to eat or there are treats at work that he hears my voice in his head saying, “don’t go crazy.”
If you what you really want is Oreos and milk, don’t eat the whole sleeve of Oreos and a humungous glass of milk. Just eat a couple and enjoy each dip and sip. Don’t go crazy. Ha!
If what you want is an ice-cold Coke, get the smallest size instead of the largest and enjoy every single sip. Don’t order a fry at the drive-thru as well. Don’t grab a candy bar when you check out at the gas station. Ask yourself what you really want.
If what you really want is to go to Olive Garden and enjoy your favorite pasta and the breadsticks, don’t order their dessert and a soda. Skip dessert and drink water. Order your absolute favorite dish. Enjoy it, but don’t stuff yourself silly. Ask yourself what you really want.
If you take a bite of a cupcake and it really just doesn’t taste very good, toss it.
Related Post: Diet Hacks for Weight Loss and a Healthy life
Even if it isn’t the best choice for your body, that doesn’t mean you are a bad person for choosing it and that you’ve failed. Nobody can eat perfectly and when you try, it can cause you to feel like a “failure” or a “bad person.” This just isn’t true.
Problem #4: You are busy
Meal prep. You hear it all the time, so I’m not trying to be cliche but here are a few ideas.
- Egg bake (My personal Favorite). Oil a 9×13 pan and add eggs and anything in them you enjoy. Personally, I love pre-cooked turkey sausage, pre-cooked turkey bacon, spinach, sweet peppers, sweet onions, and sweet potatoes. Bake approximately 20 min at 400 (depending on your oven and how many eggs you put in it.)
- Cut up things ahead of time so you can easily throw them in the skillet for a sauteed skillet meal. Cut up onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. Better yet just buy everything cut up if you have the funds to pay extra for it to already be done (I love buying shredded carrots, cubed butternut squash, and broccoli ready to eat)!
- Taco Bowls. Make a big batch of taco meat, chicken or beef, and a batch of rice ahead of time. Make sure you have anything you love for your taco bowls in the fridge such as avocado, cheese, lettuce, or tomatoes. These make great quick lunches or dinners!
Invest in a meal prep service like Blue Apron that cuts down on prep time. There are many out there. Blue Apron is the one I like the best. Or you can invest in a complete meal prep service that actually gives you cooked meals, already completely done. I haven’t used one personally but I’ve had an Ice Age meal and enjoyed it!
Problem #5: You are lazy and uncreative
Eat meals on repeat. There’s NO shame in eating the same thing on repeat. I am lazy in the kitchen!! Personally, I find myself drained at trying to think of new things to eat all the time.
Our Personal Family Game Plan
- Egg bake most work mornings
- Sauteed veggies or sweet potatoes with egg whites and turkey bacon for either breakfast or lunch
- Taco bowls/burritos, beef or chicken, every week for lunches or quick dinners
- Stirfry for dinner once a week
- A favorite soup (chicken noodle, veggie soup, and chili) in the instant pot (easy easy easy and quick!) once a week
- I may try one or two new recipes each week but not every week
- Quick snacks and desserts include Greek yogurt, granola, almond butter, apples, bananas, clementines, and cheese and grapes
Problem #6: You have cravings
Eat pizza. Eat ice cream. Eat brownies. Eat chocolate chip cookies. We eat these things, guys. Refer to problem #3 for more. Don’t go crazy.
Problem #7: You feel sick after you eat
Figure out what makes you sick. I’ve talked about this in my how to get a smaller waist post. I did an elimination diet to figure out what was making me bloated and sick to my stomach for years. It changed my life!
If you struggle with feeling sick after you eat or with bloat, do yourself a favor and try an elimination diet. I tried to give you lots of ideas according to the kinds of things my family eats but if certain foods bother you, just don’t eat them. I really need to avoid wheat and dairy so I limit these in my diet.
Find what works for you and your family and use those solutions, save the others for the future and remember this is a process and it is not connected to whether you are good or bad and it does not dictate your worth as a person.
If you would like more help with start to live a fit life, check out my 25 day Fit Life Challenge!
Interested in starting an exercise program? Check out my FREE Beginner Strength Training Program for Women!