I love trying new restaurants, eating new foods, and on occasion am a terrible snacker… with a huge sweet tooth. As much as I would consider myself to be (or to have recently become) a huge foodie, I also care about the type of food I am eating. I aim to have a healthy lifestyle of working out and eating right but, as any college student/ any person in general knows, it becomes less easy as you get more busy. So, finally, I have developed a few ‘healthy hacks’ that help me stay on track ( and have the energy) to lead a healthy and busy life.
I am a BIG fan of coffee ( I typically drink mine black or, on occasion, with almond milk) but, I have found starting my day with a glass (or 2!) of hot lemon water wakes me up and makes me feel great all day. It becomes easy to get addicted to a morning routine consisting of coffee but, I have found the results from the antioxidant-filled lemon water to be very similar if not better. The reason I prefer this to caffeine is that it refreshes my body for the day. Instead of becoming jittery I feel cleansed… it sounds weird, I know, but, try it for yourself it really works! Starting my day with this drink gets me on the right track to make healthy choices all day long!!
(Pro tip: I love mine EXTRA lemon-y so, I cut 3-4 slices of lemon and place them in a mug. I then pour the hot water right over the top. It allows the juice to mix with the water much quicker and becomes very flavorful. If you don’t like it as sour (which I would argue helps to wake up) you can place the lemons, instead, directly into the hot water for a drink that is slightly less tart.)
RX PROTIEN BAR
These are my ABSOLUTE favorite! I have tried nearly all the flavors from the RXBAR brand but, nothing compares to the chocolate sea salt (black wrapper). As previously mentioned I have a HUGE sweet tooth but, mainly centered around chocolate. I love these bars because, as listed on the label they are made from only 4 ingredients (+chocolate and sea salt for this particular one), but they taste like a dessert. Only 210 calories, they are a great item to throw in your bag when life gets hectic and you find yourself either (A) skipping eating or (B) opting for something quick, which typically tends to also be unhealthy. Killing 2 birds with 1 stone… I am able to eat healthy and conquer my sweet tooth craving with one bar.
(Pro tip: I always stock up on these bars whenever I come across them… and luckily for me they have begun to be carried everywhere (Walgreens, CVS, Starbucks, Grocery…etc.) Another helpful idea is buying in bulk when you remember in advance. Instead of spending the $2-$3 when you conveniently find them you can buy a package of 12 for $20 on Amazon (approx. $1.66 per bar… which adds up) click to buy !)
SWEET POTATO TOAST
Compared to the previous tips… this trick is actually a recipe hack. Who doesn’t love a warm piece of bread with dinner every once-in-awhile?? Everything in moderation is okay but, by substituting a slice of bread with a slice of sweet potato not only do you save yourself from non-nutrient carbs but, you are able to get vitamins from an extra vegetable. With a little salt and pepper, some olive oil, and time spent in the oven, sweet potatoes become a tasty side to any dish, as well as quick AND easy!
(Pro tip: Turn your avo-toast craving into a vitamin filled treat by opting for sweet potatoes!! I typically cut a sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick slices, put them on a cookie sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper, and let them bake on 375 till they are golden brown. In the meantime I cut a medium sized avocado in half, slice it long ways into thing avo pieces and (once out of the oven and cooled) place 3-4 on each sweet potato ‘toast’. I then top them each with thin slices of radish, some arugula, a little lemon juice and salt and pepper for tasting. So yummy, so healthy, and most important SOOO easy!)
CHIA SEED PUDDING
This last recipe is inspired by my summer spent in Los Angeles last year. The office where I interned was located on Melrose right across from Melrose Place. Every day for lunch I, along with other interns, would stop at Alfred’s Coffee (or Tea) stores. Our go to drink was a matcha latte with almond milk but, my go to snack was chia seed pudding. Coming back home to Chicago, I would crave this tasty (and healthy treat) so I learned how to make it. Simply, you buy chia seeds and combine with almond milk, vanilla and agave. You let sit over night and (VOILÀ!) you have chia seed pudding!! This is also a great ‘healthy hack’ for busy mornings. Making it the night before creates an easy breakfast by taking a few spoonfuls and adding fruit!
(Pro tip: I love to add fruit and some granola to mine for a bit of sweetness and a bit of crunch. When I would have them in LA they would pre package and let the fruit sit with the chia seeds incorporating the flavor in the pudding itself. Once the pudding sets up… divide into individual servings and add sliced strawberries, blueberries, kiwi (or any other fruit of your liking). In the morning top with a little granola for the most delicious and, again, healthy treat!)
Measurements for chia recipe in photo below!!
Although eating healthy when life gets busy can seem like a daunting task, it can be made simple by preparing, substituting, and finding alternatives to your worst cravings! I hope you enjoy my simple daily tricks to stay healthy and have energy to make it through even the most hectic week!
Cant wait to share more soon!