blanced diet

Cleaning up your diet is the key for fitness. Being a gym rat and Zumba teacher, there is hardly a day that I do not go to the gym. My body is use to burning a high amount of calories a day, and gaining a certain amount of calories a day. However being on the 60 day challenge leaves me hungry… all the time. Luckily for us, I never keep track my calories during a 60 day challenge—the goal is to eat clean, and eat the food our bodies truly need to maximize health.

So what can you eat for meals on the challenge?  As much as I don’t like the consistency of eggs, I eat eggs for breakfast during the challenge. They are full of protein and are fast and easy for a frazzled morning.  Adding peppers, mushrooms, and other vegetables will also give you a fuller feeling, and add those much-needed vitamins. For those who have a hard time with breakfast foods, I find having a smoothie helps. I take a handful of frozen berries, a fourth cup of full fat yogurt, and about a half cut of unsweetened almond milk (add or subtract the amount of milk to make the constancy just the way you like it—I put less milk in my snack smoothie than my morning smoothie making it more of a sorbet constancy). I also add flax seeds or chia seeds to add fiber—which makes you feel more full over time. For lunch, having some grass-fed meat in a salad is good. With my sickness, I can’t eat raw vegetables, so I do a warm salad or sauté some vegetables in coconut oil. For dinner, I like to use our rice cooker to steam some fish and vegetables.

The best way to keep meals different is to mix up the types of protein every day, and pairing it with a different vegetable.  Having different snacks also help; I like having a granny smith apple with natural, no sugar added peanut butter. For those who can have nuts, nuts are a good snack and can be added to salads and to crust a protein. I use almond flour to makes crusts during this time. If you add a bit of melted butter to almond flour, it makes a good crumble crust. A good dessert is to make with the almond flour crust are mini apple crumbles— I make the crust, put it in a muffin pan, and pop them in the oven while I am boiling some granny smith apples in a bit of water, cinnamon and nutmeg. After the crust is stiff I pour the apples into the mini pie shells and bake a bit until the mini pie-crumbles stay together. Beans are another food you can add to a meal to make you feel more full. There are also black bean brownie recipes that taste like a moist, chocolate “normal” brownie. I have also made coffee drinks and other desserts with pureed pumpkin.

During the 60 day challenge I love to think of foods in a different way and try them in different recipes.  Just because it’s a diet, doesn’t mean we have to give up everything we like about food, it is just finding solutions to a healthier path. Let me know if you would like the exact recipes for anything mentioned. AND let me know if you have a favorite recipe that promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Heather Martin

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