Attaining Health While Enjoying Real Food

This post is a re-formatted version of the 8/21/14 Wellness Newsletter I wrote for Bucks County Community College. I hope you can use the tips here to help kick start your health at work or school this fall! For more detailed tips on meal planning and organizing a meal schedule, see my posts on Food Prep: Fall Food Prep and Spring Food Prep as well as my Real Food Budget Tips.

Enjoying Real Food as Fuel with Small Lifestyle Changes

photo 2

Are you always tired and unmotivated? Do you get headaches and body aches? Have you tried countless diets that don’t work? I’ve got the solution for you!

Sound familiar? In the fast-paced, media driven society we live in, its often easy to fall victim to advertisements from supplement and food companies and books on fad diets that want you to think their products  are the miracle you’re looking for. You know you are smarter than this!

Instead of drinking meal replacements and protein shakes and spending your hard earned money on supplements, consider  getting back to basics with your diet, and enjoying food as you attain better health.

I am sure you’ve all heard it before, but the better you eat the better you feel. This does not mean counting calories, being restrictive, and eating bland food though. It does mean …brace yourself… making small lifestyle changes . As creatures of habit, change is scary. However, did you know it takes only 2-3 weeks of effort to change a bad habit into a good one?

In the nutrition textbook we teach from at Bucks, Nutrition is defined as “the plants and animals we eat”.  Consider how much of your diet doesn’t fall into this definition! Then consider why… What are your go to excuses for why its just so hard to eat well?

When making changes, always remember you don’t need to, and shouldn’t, go on an all-or-nothing diet. A healthful diet is flexible where you make healthy choices most of the time and don’t feel guilty for having a treat or going out for dinner once in awhile.

Examples of small habit changes:

Grocery shopping rules:

  • Always have a list
  • Limit the amount of packaged foods purchased
  • Reduce amount of meats purchased
  • Read the ingredient list on a packaged food first,  not the calorie information!
    Fall Food Prep

Make daily checklists for what you need more of

  • Fruits & veggies (work to 5 servings)
  • Water (without additives) 9-13  8 ounce glasses

Prep food ahead of time

  • Pick 2 days per week to plan and prep dinners ahead
  • Pack lunches for work early in the week
  • Have emergency snacks (see below)
  • Make a large batch of oats for a quick breakfast
  • Hard boil eggs to add to meals/snacks


Make meal rules for your family

  • Always eat breakfast (something is better than nothing)
  • No eating while standing up
  • No eating in front of the TV or computer
  • Eat as a family at least 2 times per week (or more if its already 2)
  • Limit meals that aren’t homemade to 2x per week

Emergency Snacks for Work or School


  • Whole grain/flax crackers + jar of nut butter & real fruit preserves
  • Plain Instant Oat Packets (add below)
  • Nuts or Trail Mixes
  • Roasted Soy Nuts or Chickpeas
  • Unsweetened Dried Fruit: raisins, dates, mango
  • Real Fruit & Nut Bars: Clif Kits, Larabar, KIND, ProBar, Raw Revolution
  • Homemade energy bars like these:

wrapped date nut bars or 20140118-203227.jpg



Cooking Tip:  Fall is a great time to get out your crockpot so warm meals are ready when you get home!
Add ingredients for any soup, chili or stew recipe at once and set on low for 6-8 hrs.
{ Try my spicy 3 bean chili, potato leek & kale soup, veggie & bulgur soup, sweet & spicy white bean soup}



2 thoughts on “Attaining Health While Enjoying Real Food

  1. Pingback: Ditch the fad supplements and find a RD! | Eat Real Live Well

  2. Pingback: Ditch the fad supplements and find an RD! | Eat Real Live Well

Leave a Reply