Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Top 10 Practical Tips/Tricks to Healthful Eating

CrossFit King of Prussia is commencing a clean eating challenge starting April 1 and lasting the entire month. Some people will choose to eat paleo, primal, Whole30, or a combination of any of these, but the main point is to be more conscious of eating healthful foods instead of unhealthful. What is going to get you not only feeling better throughout the day, but also performing better in the gym and at work? What is going to help you maintain energy levels and be able to play with the kids when you get home? What is going to prevent those midmorning or afternoon slumps where you feel like you could just take a nap at your desk? Besides the basic things like cutting out grains, sugar, starch, and eating more meat, vegetables, and some fruit, there are some other tips and tricks I've learned along the way that can help you get on track. Here are just some I thought of off the top of my head. If you have any, feel free to post to comments!

Top 10 Practical Tips/Tricks to Healthful Eating
10. High Percentage Chocolate - Need to fill your chocolate craving or sweet tooth? Get 85-95% cacao bars and know there is a ton less sugar in them than milk chocolate. If you are being really strict though, go the 30 days without even the dark chocolate.
9. Water - This should be obvious, but get off the soda, juice, diet (fill in the blank) and learn to drink water. Add lemon juice or go for sparkling water for some style. Avoid the sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and yes, even aspartme.
8. Spaghetti Squash - If you miss a good old side of pasta, grab a spaghetti squash and follow these directions. Be prepared to be amazed as to how accurately it looks, feels, and generally tastes like the real thing without the carb crash afterwards. I'm a fan.
7. Coconut  - Use coconut OIL for anything you'd use vegetable oil or butter for, like frying. Use coconut MILK for a source of good fat and as a substitute if you're staying away from dairy. I like to use it in smoothies. (don't get the "light" kind, just go for the real stuff, usually with a Thai label) Use coconut FLOUR to make Coconut Pancakes. Or, Mike F.'s favorite, Pumpkin Muffins. You can definitely find coconut milk at any grocery store in the Ethnic section, and usually can find coconut oil and coconut flour. Whole Foods definitely has all three.
6. Jerky - a great way to have protein ready for you on the go. Here's how to make your own with just an oven. Mix with some nuts/seeds and dried fruit, and you've got yourself a snack pack to grab and go. Or a Paleokit.
5. Steam - Get those frozen or fresh veggies, throw them in a tupperware with some water, and in the microwave for a few minutes. BAM, steamed vegetables. No excuses for healthful carbohydrates.
4. Lettuce - Use in place of buns or tacos. Or use lettuce to make deli meat wraps for a quick snack or lunch. It fills you up more than you might think and you won't have those slumps due to sugar spikes from bread. Also, how easy would it be to fill up some tupperware with salad in the fridge, then throughout the week throw in leftover meat or deli meat for a lunch the next day? Pretty darn easy!
3. Almonds - Grab a handful for a quick snack or grind up some almonds in place of bread crumbs (almond crusted tilapia fried in butter and lemon juice = heaven!) There are also a ton of almond flour recipes floating out there. Keep grinding away and you can make your own almond butter. Not quite as "peanut butter-y" as sun butter (sunflower seeds) but better than peanuts!
2. Fish Oil - Check out this article and figure out how much you should be taking. Unless you're having salmon 3 times a week, you should be taking fish oil. It's worth it.
1. Eggs - Your best source of quick, cheap protein. Fried, scrambled, omelet, over easy, deviled...the list goes on. Still eating oatmeal, cereal, or English muffins because you don't have time for breakfast? Change it up and start your day right by taking Egg Muffins to work. And don't be afraid of the cholesterol and saturated fat, eat the yolks!

I know you have lots more tips and tricks, so let's here them!


  1. Chris, great stuff. One thing to add is a fast food tip. What if you have no choice but to eat out? People may or may not know it, but you can get a pretty darn healthy meal at most Chinese places if you ask for your meal to be steamed. For example, Chicken and Vegetables (steamed) or Beef and Vegetables. Use lemon to add flavor and maybe a tiny bit of soy sauce and you're good to go.

  2. I live in a college town, so when it comes to eating out paleo it gets kind of tough. I've found that the best options tend to be barbecue or steak places. Skip the sauce and load up on the fresh vegetables and you're good to go.

  3. We hardboil at least a dozen eggs a week - that way whenever you're hungry, don't have time, need something quick you have an already cooked egg ready to go.

  4. hey:

    i am also a fan of pecan encrusted tilapia. i dip the fish in egg, dip it in finely chopped pecans, and bake it with a spritz of coconut oil (you can get it in a spray can from gary's world of wellness).

    i also am a fan of coconut curry shrimp. it's delish. you need:

    a preheated oven to 425 degrees

    some shrimp

    some coconut flour, to which you've added salt, pepper, curry powder, garlic powder, and a little bit of turmeric (gives it a pretty color) and ground cumin, to your taste. i don't really measure anything, so start slowly and add more to taste. a little turmeric goes a LONG way. different curry brands taste differently and have different levels of heat to them. you can skip curry altogether (although if you do skip the turmeric also), or increase the heat by adding some cayenne powder too. up to you.

    an egg or two, beaten, depending on how much shrimp you have.

    dried unsweetened coconut flakes


    clean the shrimp if they aren't already (de-vein and remove shells), and rinse in cold water.

    dunk the shrimp in the egg, (do it all at once, don't be shy) and mix with your hands until each piece is coated

    dunk the shrimp in the coconut flour mixture, again mixing with your hands, letting it coat the pieces entirely

    dunk the shrimp back into the egg mixture, then roll them through the coconut shavings.

    bake on a flat baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil, @ 425 for about 12-15 until they are done.

    i usually make this with a mango salsa (chopped mangoes, onions, cucumber, a little garlic, and cilantro, salt and pepper) but they're delicious without it.

  5. Donkey can i come to dinner??

    Chris, you didn't mention olive you think using coconut oil is the better option??

    I can't wait to try spagetti squash. When the rest of my family has pasta night i usually do zuchinni with the homemade sauce, yum!

    does Trader sell coconut flour or just WF?

    lastly i think an important tip is to remind yourself WHY you're eating. When i remind myself I am nurishing my body, i swear the food tastes better. last night i threw together odds and ends of vedgies left in the crisper (almost time to shop again!) and a left over piece of meatloaf i made with pecan meal, and it was awesome!

  6. @ steph: for cooking, coconut oil is superior. olive oil doesn't fare well at high cooking temperatures, whereas coconut oil does just fine. if you don't want the noticeable taste of coconut oil (it's great for fish, egg,s nuts, seeds and veggies, not as awesome for all meats but i don't eat them so i don't know for sure) you can use safflower oil which is made for high heat (check the label). almond oil is also a nice switch for salads.

    and yes, you can come to dinner anytime!

  7. Hi Steph!
    TJ's does not carry cocnut flour :(
    Wegmans, Whole foods and I have ordered it online at Tropical Traditions

    Where is Su CASA?? Do you live near GAry's WOW?? I'm five minutes from there. I'll meet Steph at your house on Shrimp night!

  8. Steph - Giant in plymouth meeting has coconut flour :)

    Invest in a decent set up tupperware and stock up on plastic baggies!

    Prep ahead. If I cut and put in baggies fresh veggies for the week they are easy to grab in the mornings.

  9. Ok i have another question...

    I cook mostly with evoo. I use it to cook my eggs in the morning and saute vedgies and meat, or just a touch of it to grease the pan. Is that not a good thing??

    i have coconut oil, just been grabbing the evoo alot more often. i also have red palm oil on hand (its actually a stable in my husbands country) i need to try to get creative with it!

  10. Steph I know we talked about it, but cooking with olive oil is a no no. It oxidizes quickly and causes a ton of inflammation. Stick with coconut oil or animal fats.

    Everyone else, great tips!! Keep 'em coming...

  11.'re welcome anytime! i love that shrimp recipe.

    maybe i need to have a dinner party? i'm thinking about hosting a paleo/etc dinner party. everyone bring their favorite recipe.

    i live 6 blocks from the box.

    but next time i have a hankering for shrimp, i'll ping you...where?

  12. Steph,
    I rotate thru a bunch of different fats for cooking my eggs (and other things). I usually switch them weekly but I keep them all on hand. You may want to try some different ones on your eggs. I find that pastured butter and Goats Butter make the egg more tender. Sometimes I use tallow, bacon grease, coconut oil. Virgin Red Palm oil lend an off flavor to eggs but try it in other things. I'm becoming a huge fan of Goat butter. Save the EVOO for salads and such!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blog has moved, searching new blog...