Your adult brain is very happy to have easy tasks. Imagine if you had to remember how to tie your shoe each day or how to put the toothpaste on the toothbrush. We setup brain shortcuts or pathways that make daily tasks a no-brainer. When it comes to changing habits, these pathways can become difficult to rewire, adding more of a challenge to making eating and exercise changes.
The next time your brain wants to default to the drive-thru dinner it’s used to or skip making lunch before you head to work, try these habit change tools to help your brain create new, healthy habit pathways.
Make the new thing obvious: Put your lunchbox out on the counter every night. Pack it then or put the car keys in it so you will have to notice it in the morning. Your brain will remember to fill it when your eyes see it.
Make the new thing something you actually want: If you’ve failed eating changes in the past because you are tired of tuna but that’s what you always turn to when you’re “trying” to eat healthy, make meals that actually entice you! Healthy eating does not have to be bland or boring. Think of some of your favorite dishes. Search for healthier recipes or work with a registered dietitian to learn how to make your favorite meals work with your health goals.
Learn your real motivators: The thing that helps you make lasting healthy eating changes might be different than other motivators in your life. Being healthy for family is very important, but it might not motivate you to make your lunch instead of grabbing a vending machine snack. Since health changes are slow, you’ll need some immediate gratification to keep you moving. Try paying attention to the money you save weekly from less meals out and put it towards a bigger purchase like new walking shoes or a tablet. Journal your daily energy levels on a scale of 1 to 5 and see how it improves with better nutrition and regular exercise. It might not be the 50 pound weight loss goal you want, but these quick wins will keep you going.
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Turn slow cooker to low setting. Add half of the onion and bell peppers to the bottom of the crockpot.
Place chicken on top of onions and peppers. Then add remaining ingredients except for the tortilla chips and yogurt. You may need to add more chicken broth to reach the desired consistency of your soup.
Cover with lid and cook for 6 hours on low.
Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and put on a plate. Shred chicken with a fork and stir back into soup. Serve with crushed tortilla chips and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
Approximate nutrition information per serving: 420 calories; 9 g fat; 584 mg sodium; 38 g carbohydrate; 9 g fiber; 0 g added sugar; 46 g protein
Burrito bowls are delicious, filling and customizable. For people with diabetes, the carbohydrates in a typical burrito bowl, like you might get at Chipotle or Qdoba, can add up past your ideal amount for a meal. Here are a few tips to build a bowl best for your blood sugars at these restaurants or make one yourself at home.
Choose beans over rice, or ask for just a light amount of rice. Both have carbohydrate, but a good portion of the carbohydrate in beans comes from dietary fiber. Fiber doesn’t raise blood sugar and helps keep you feeling full longer.
Pick a lean protein. Chicken or lean beef are good options. At home, try it with grilled shrimp or slow cooked pork tenderloin.
Add veggies. Lettuce and grilled or sautéed veggies are your typical options at the restaurants. At home, try creative options like sliced jicama, shredded cabbage or zucchini.
Choose a fat. The options are typically sour cream, cheese or guacamole. If you have a weight loss goal, choose one of these. If you are making your bowl at home, try swapping sour cream with plain reduced fat Greek yogurt. It tastes like sour cream but retains more of the protein from milk and less of the fat.
Spice it up with a salsa of your choice! If it’s available, squeeze the juice of a lime wedge all over the bowl meal. It brings out the flavor of the ingredients without adding additional salt.
For people with diabetes, a balanced snack that has protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates can help decrease hunger pains between meals and help reduce blood sugar swings. Here are 5 options for healthy snacks for people with diabetes or prediabetes:
Greek yogurt with berries: look for a Greek yogurt with at least 10 grams protein per serving and no more than 15 grams carbohydrate per serving, like Chobani Less Sugar.
Beef stick and 2 to 3 cups popcorn: this hearty snack is perfect for those who want more to eat in a snack. Popcorn is lower in carbohydrates than other salty snacks like pretzels, crackers or chips. These 1st Phorm protein meat sticks come in 4 flavors and have 20 grams of protein. The breakfast sausage flavor makes a great morning meal on the go, paired with an apple and handful of almonds or pistachios.
Cheese and crackers (done right): 15 Triscuit Thin Crisps with 2 slices cheese and 2 slices reduced sodium deli turkey. Be sure to get the Thin Crisp Triscuits. If you have the regular/square kind, the serving size 6 crackers.
Veggies and Greek yogurt ranch dip: to make this high protein dip, mix 1 packet of ranch seasoning (like Simply Organic) with 2 cups plain Greek yogurt. Serve 1/2 cup of the mixed dip with your favorite veggies and Harvest Snaps pea crisps.
Mug cakes made with protein powder make the perfect sweet snack or small meal when something sweet just sounds good. Try this the next time it’s late and you don’t know what to make for dinner. Top it with low sugar vanilla Greek yogurt, like Dannon Triple Zero, for an even more filling meal.
Costco is known for bringing in the trendiest “health” foods so consumers can buy them in bulk at a better price. But, not all items that look healthy are the best choices, especially for people who want to prevent or manage diabetes. The following options are perfect for busy evenings when you haven’t prepared anything in advance and want to avoid drive-thru meals. Here are 5 options from Costco for making quick to cook meals for you and quick meals for your family.
Grilled chicken patties on sprouted grain bread: these chicken patties are fully cooked and packed with 20 grams of protein. Serve them on toasted Angelic Bakehouse 7 Sprouted Grain bread for an additional 5 grams protein and 3 grams fiber per slice. If you are getting bored with typical healthy recipes for chicken, try one of these options using the grilled chicken patties. Make it California style with toppings like avocado, lettuce, tomato and lemon pepper seasoning. Make it Buffalo style with Franks Red Hot sauce, blue cheese crumbles and bibb lettuce.
2. Organic Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Breast from Vicky’s Kitchen: if you love cheesy, broccoli casseroles, this is a healthier, higher protein option. This low-carb dinner option is also gluten-free for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance. These are stuffed with broccoli, cheese and wild and brown rice, not white rice like most convenience foods! Just wrap them in foil and bake according to package directions. Easy clean up too! Make this quick to cook meal into a sheet pan meal. Just add quartered red potatoes and asparagus spears that have been tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper to the sheet pan with the foil wrapped chicken.
3. Green Chili Shredded Chicken & Riced Cauliflower Bowl from Don Lee Farms: this quick meal is perfect for the very busy evenings or late meals. It’s low in calories and carbohydrates for a meal, so you might want to add a piece of fruit and yogurt on the side.
4. Plant Based Beef Burrito Bowl from Tattooed Chef: a quick dinner option for those following a vegan diet, this bowl has 7 grams of fiber and more protein than many ready to eat vegan meals at 16 grams. Need a meal to take to work? Keep one of these in your office freezer as a backup!
5. Marinated Wild Alaskan Salmon with Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice: w I love salmon when it’s cooked perfect or seasoned just right. I often fail to do that on my own! This marinated salmon solves that problem. These salmon fillets are individually wrapped and quick to cook in the oven. Pair them with Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice 90 second packs. Watch your rice portions depending on your meal plan needs. Finish your plate with steamed broccoli, Brussel sprouts or green beans.
All information contained on this site is intended for informational and educational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to a medical condition. Please contact your physician with any questions and concerns about your medical condition
In a large sealable bag, add chicken and juice from jalapeno jar.
Seal bag and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight or at least 3 hours. This can also be prepped to this point and frozen in the bag for up to 3 months.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees). Brush off the grill if needed and lightly coat grates with oil to prevent sticking.
Place chicken pieces on grill and cook with the lid closed 6 to 8 minutes.
Open grill lid, flip chicken using tongs and grill with lid closed another 6 to 8 minutes. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, your chicken is done. Let it rest 5-6 minutes before slicing to keep it juicy.
This light, low-carb meal was created on a very hot Missouri day and therefore requires no oven, stovetop or anything else that requires heat!
Makes 2 servings
2 zucchini, spiralized or chopped
1 large tomato or 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp Italian dressing
1 fully cooked deli rotisserie chicken
3 tbsp pesto sauce
Combine zucchini, tomatoes and dressing in a large bowl; stir to coat veggies.
Remove skin from breast portion of rotisserie chicken. Using a fork or your hands, pull chicken pieces in small chunks, or large chunks and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cup total). Save the rest of the chicken for another meal. Put chicken pieces in a bowl and add pesto sauce. Stir to coat chicken.
Divide veggie mixture evenly in 2 bowls. Top with pesto chicken. Garnish with parmesan cheese or fresh basil if wanted. Serve.