As part of our #fitnessisalifestyle campaign, I am going to create small nutrition challenges that you can work on each month! The goal isn’t perfection here.. it’s just to become a “little bit better” than you were yesterday. This is how we create new habits and lasting change. Let’s use each other for motivation and new ideas!!
The challenge for MARCH is:
CHOOSE A ‘BETTER’ TREAT
Finally.. the good stuff 😉 We’ve talked about protein, veggies and water but, let’s be real, who doesn’t love something sweet?! This is real life and if we try to force ourselves to give up the things we really want then cravings for that food will only get stronger and stronger until we cave. The key is finding a good balance and CHOOSING SOMETHING BETTER! What makes a ‘better’ treat? Real, whole food ingredients, minimally processed and being lower in sugar.
Check out the ingredients from some Safeway brand chocolate chip cookies.
Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks (Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Dextrose, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Vanilla), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Raisin Paste, Butter (Made from Milk and/or Cream, Salt, Annatto [for Color]), Palm Oil, Sugar, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Powdered Eggs, Baking Soda, Salt, Monocalcium Phosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavors.
What is ‘raisin paste’ anyway? And ‘powdered eggs’?? ‘Natural and artificial flavors’? No thank you! Read ingredient lists on the foods you purchase (or better yet, just buy whole foods that don’t need ingredient lists!).. this is where I start whenever I’m looking at a new food item. Do you know what each of the ingredients are? Can you pronounce them? Chances are good that if you can’t pronounce it… your body doesn’t know what to do with it. From there you should check out the nutrition facts like total carbs / sugars and fats. I will usually compare several, similar items to find the best option.
What’s BETTER? A quick google search for ‘paleo desserts’ will pull up many delicious options using all REAL, WHOLE FOODS. And while these are still treats and should be consumed in moderation.. anything you make at home would be BETTER than the cookies above. Try these Sweet Potato Blueberry Muffins or these Oatmeal Banana Muffins!
Side note: I’m not 100% Paleo, but I usually search for recipes this way as the results come back with much cleaner ingredients.
No time to bake or cook? I get it. A piece of this Dark Chocolate or a couple Cocoroons can be a great after dinner treat to satisfy that sweet tooth. Or, even BETTER… try some simple frozen berries with coconut milk / greek yogurt or a quick Chia Seed Pudding.. these can also hit the spot! The key is to have these items on hand so you’re always prepared.
This is all fine for home, but what if you’re at a party? Do you throw your clean eating habits out the door for a generic cookie or cupcake that doesn’t even taste that good? For me.. It’s not worth it. I will either just make sure I’m full on other healthy food that’s there or bring a dessert to share so I know I can have something. It’s all about your goals and what’s important to you.
This may all seem daunting at first, but it gets easier with practice. This is NOT an overnight switch. Do a little internet search for some healthier treat ideas, ask your friends what they do (uh, Diablo Community anyone!?, start a Pinterest board.. one recipe at a time will get you there. Start being more aware of what you put into your body.. It really affects what you get out of it.
And as always, let’s post some pictures of you crushing this challenge on Facebook and Instagram with #fitnessisalifestyle and #diablocrossfit.
Written by: Coach Jennifer Ismar