Hey y’all, so I think it’s been drilled into us enough that healthy eating is super important. The more junk food you eat, the “junkier” you feel, whereas healthier foods will give you energy and nutrients, and help keep you from getting sick. However, we all know, junk food tastes really good sometimes. We are in football season, which means football parties and football food, not to mention we have Halloween and Christmas and Thanksgiving coming up in a few months. All of these things generally mean there are some unhealthy food options in there. Luckily, there are ways to swap out unhealthy foods for healthy foods, and it won’t even be that painful!
Moderation is always what I use when it comes to healthy eating. I’m not big on dieting or diet foods, and I think the instant you cut something out of your diet completely, the more you crave it, or at least, that’s how it has always worked for me. So, rather than do that, it’s better to find a nice healthy balance. With these tips, you can hopefully do just that while enjoying everything the upcoming seasons have to offer.
- Try non-dairy milk options instead. If you’re noticing that you are having some stomach issues after drinking milk or you just want to try to get away from dairy in general, try almond, coconut, or oat milk. I’ve had all of the above, and since I can no longer have dairy in my diet really, I’ve found that all of the above make great substitutions and in my opinion, taste better than real milk anyway.
- Lessen the sugar in recipes. I know it may seem like it’ll be a huge deal to start changing recipes, but this is something I did last year for Christmas cookies, and they tasted the exact same, and were healthier with less sugar. Talk about a win-win!
- Try a lean white meat instead of as much red meat. Again, this is moderation, so don’t cut it completely from your diet, but definitely try swapping it out here and there. White meat is notoriously better for you than red meat, so see how you like it. An easy way to do this is to use ground turkey instead of ground beef in recipes. This is another thing that I think tastes better, so I try to swap it out as often as I can.
- Get your veggies in your smoothie. I used to be someone who had a strawberry banana smoothie with chocolate in it. Tastes delicious, but I definitely lost the health factor. Now, each morning I have a tropical smoothie with protein powder and some greens like spinach and/or kale. It still tastes delicious as the protein powder gives it an extra sweetness, and I can feel good each time I make one knowing I’m fueling my body rather than putting extra junk in it.
- Try different fruits for desserts. Let me explain. So instead of a banana split with ice cream, try a banana split with yogurt. Top it with fruit and nuts and even coconut flakes. It’s much healthier, and will still get that sweet tooth satisfied. If you’re craving a different dessert, try cut up bananas with honey and some cinnamon. Again, you’ll satisfy the sweet tooth without having too much added sugar.
- If you aren’t a huge fan of vegetables, find ways to sneak them in. One way is to have pasta filled with vegetables or even spiralized veggies instead of pasta. For example, I tried a butternut squash stuffed shell recipe this year, and it was delicious. I’ve made it several times, and absolutely love it. If you’re more daring, cook up spiralized zucchini and squash and put some tomato sauce on it. You may not even notice that you’re eating veggies instead of pasta. I can attest, it tastes delicious.
- Eat baked chips instead of regular. This way, you’ll still get your chips, but they’re a smidge healthier when they’re baked.
I hope these tips help, and that you find something here that helps you to have some healthier options in the future. Let me know if you have any tips you’d like to share!
If you’re ready for a dose of nostalgia, enjoy a childhood snack. It never hurts to go back to the simpler times when your biggest decision was what game to play outside.
If you love s’mores but don’t want to get a frappuccino loaded with sugar, this may be the next best option. S’mores protein bites have all the taste you’ll love, but are actually healthy! Check it out.
1 1/2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (I use Tone It Up, it’s plant-based and delicious)
2 large graham cracker cookies crumbled
4 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1 tablespoon chocolate chips
4 tablespoons quick oats
- Line a small dish with parchment paper
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together
- Add almond milk in slowly
- Roll into balls
- Place on baking sheet
- Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes
- Store frozen and thaw for about 5 minutes before eating
Teachers spend too much of their money on their kids, so help one out and donate a box of snacks to an elementary school teacher. Trust me, you don’t know how many hungry kids that she/he feeds each day.
I know that when you work at a desk job, you probably need some snacks to help you get through the day without crashing. Save yourself time in the morning or evenings by preparing your snacks for the week at the beginning.
If you’re preparing for the work week that is looming ahead, prep your snacks ahead of time. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow when you are just grabbing it and going, rather than running around gathering it all.
Sometimes, you just need a good spa day. However, if you’re trying to save money, it can be really difficult to do that, since you can’t exactly go drop a couple of hundred dollars at the spa for a massage and facial. While a do it yourself spa day isn’t quite on the same level as getting a professional massage, you can still have a lot of fun, and find some zen during the day. Here are some tips for a do it yourself spa day.
Do It Yourself Spa Day Suggestions:
- Invite some gal pals over. If you’ve been missing your girls, then invite them over for this day. You can crack open some sparkling wine, break out some snacks, and catch up on everyone’s lives.
- Buy a gel nail polish. It’s cheaper than going to a nail salon, but they really work. Two of my favorites are Sally Hansen gel, and Essie gel. Neither of them need that harmful UV Light either, and Essie I keep finding sales on the polishes at Target, so I’m getting one for $5 instead of the $12.
- Get some facial masks. I have very sensitive skin, so this one will take some looking for, but if you want to give yourself a facial, the easiest way is with one of those masks. If you have sensitive skin like me, look for one that specifies it’s good for sensitive skin. I tried a SheaMoisture one for sensitive skin, and my face resembled a burn victim for two days, so I highly recommend avoiding that one.
- Before the girls come over, soak in a bubble bath or use a bath bomb. Take 15-20 minutes to just relax, and get yourself in the zone.
- Light a nice smelling candle, and play some music. I’m sure you’ve got a candle laying around that smells great, and Pandora has some free relaxation music stations that will get you in the zen mode.
- Use a bowl from your kitchen to soak your feet and hands in before painting your nails. This will help soften up the cuticles and the nails, and give you that same relaxing feeling you get at the spa.
- Slice up some cucumbers! Does it do anything, not really, at least according to those that work at a spa, but it sure does feel nice to put those cucumber slices over your eyes while your mask is working its magic.
- Make some fruit infused water. Whether you want watermelon lime or just plain lemon water, whip up a batch, and be sure to drink plenty of it. Everyone needs some good H2O when going to the spa.
- Wear your fluffy robe. Why not, you’re at a spa! You’ll feel comfortable and relaxed.
- Have some magazines ready for browsing. You can take the little quizzes or read all your celebrity gossip.
- If you have a neck massager, or a massage rolling ball, use those! It’s not quite the same as a spa massage, but it will help remove some of those knots from your neck and back area.
- Get a bouquet of fresh flowers. Put them in a vase on the table or near where your spa zone is set up, and enjoy the fresh scent they bring.
- Set yourself up in your back patio or by the pool if you have one. If not, create a zen area in your house.
- Have glasses of wine or cocktails ready. Mocktails are a great option for those under 21, and you can get as fancy as you want with them.
- Prepare your favorite snacks. Little fruit parfaits are delicious and healthy, and it’s always nice to have your friends over and eat some delicious treats with them.
- Have a nice meal delivered at the end of the day. Order takeout and with everyone chipping it, it won’t be too bad price-wise, and you can extend this party into the evening.
- Have an old-fashioned sleepover. If you prefer to get everyone together at night, have the girls over for a sleepover instead.
There are so many great ways to elevate your do it yourself spa day. If you are desperately needing some me time, then take these tips and make them for one. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some music, and sit back and relax. Whether you want a group or not, a do it yourself spa day is much cheaper than going to a spa or salon, and it can be just as much fun. You’ll be able to relax, spend some time with friends or yourself, and enjoy a couple of hours of your day that’ll help you to recharge for the upcoming week.