Fresh meal ideas to kickstart healthy New Year’s resolutions


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Busy class and work schedules can often lead to replacing healthy eating with food that is quick and accessible. By keeping your cabinets stocked with ingredients such as fruit, vegetables and assorted nuts, you can take advantage of recipes that are simple to make and will keep you full and energized throughout the day


Now that everyone is back from break, school is back in session and people are intent on starting fresh. You can hear people asking around one of the most common questions, “So, what’s your New Years Resolution?”
One of the most popular resolutions is usually centered on self-health.
Whether it’s reaching your personal fitness goals, eating healthier or shedding those holiday pounds in time for the warmer months ahead, weight loss tends to be a common goal.
But after weeks of eating leftover Christmas cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner over break, getting into healthy eating habits can be a challenge. Trying to juggle classes, work and a social life can make eating healthy close to impossible.
Here are some quick meals that are easy to make, good for you and most importantly — taste great!


Breakfast
Even though breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day, in the midst of late night studying and rushing to make it to class on time, many people tend to skip it altogether.
According to WebMD, eating breakfast is linked to many health benefits like improved performance and weight control and there are many healthy options to choose.
Oatmeal offers whole grains and fiber, which helps you feel fuller and will curb your appetite throughout the day to avoid snacking.
Eggs are a great source of protein that can be scrambled, boiled or poached with a side of whole-wheat toast.
But if you don’t have time for a sit-down breakfast a smoothie might be your best option for eating a healthy breakfast this year. With endless combinations of fruit and veggies to choose from, you will never get bored of this healthy breakfast option.
A strawberry banana smoothie is a classic and tasty choice that can be enhanced by adding leafy greens like spinach or kale and protein-packed nuts or seeds. Now before you run away screaming at the thought of drinking spinach for breakfast, I promise — it’s not that bad. Start off slowly by adding a few greens to your smoothies and continue building up your tolerance.
Blend your choice of milk, which is an excellent source of protein with numerous vitamins, a banana, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, almonds, flax seeds and ice for a great tasting smoothing. Feel free to add any fruits, vegetables, nuts, butters or seeds you might like!

Lunch
While it’s easy to fall into the habit of grabbing a quick slice in between classes, try cutting out greasy foods like pizza or fries during the week and opt for a hearty soup, salad or wrap. These lighter choices will make you feel a lot better and encourage you to continue eating healthy throughout the day.
Wraps are a great option because they are very customizable and can be filled with a variety of ingredients.
There are numerous places on and off campus where you can enjoy a wrap, but you can also make one yourself! Most recipes for wraps can be made using basic ingredients found at your local grocery store, such as lettuce, tomato, cold cuts, vegetables and a light-dressing.

Dinner
While it’s hard to resist going on a late night fast food run with your housemates, do your best to resist!
Studies show that eating late can result in weight gain because you are eating calories at a time of day when you’re not using much energy. So do your best to eat an early dinner, filled with plenty of protein and produce, and try keeping the carbohydrates to a minimum if you can.
Grilled chicken breast is a great choice of protein because it is lean and filling. Healthy sides like beans or vegetables are great options, you can even buy bags of microwavable steam bag vegetables at the grocery store that give you fresh veggies in less than 5 minutes.

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For breakfast, smoothies allow you to get creative when mixing all different types of fruits and vegetables. You can either start with the familiar strawberry banana smoothie, or experiment by adding spinach, flax seeds or almonds.

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Busy class and work schedules can often lead to replacing healthy eating with food that is quick and accessible. By keeping your cabinets stocked with ingredients such as fruit, vegetables and assorted nuts, you can take advantage of recipes that are simple to make and will keep you full and energized throughout the day.

Weekend
Now no one wants to hear this, but alcohol is full of empty calories.
For those 21 and over, try cutting back on your drinking during the week and avoid high-calorie drinks mixed with sugary syrups, like long-island iced teas or margaritas.
Swap them out for a low-calorie rum & diet coke, gin & diet tonic or even a glass of red wine, which is full of heart-healthy benefits and antioxidants.
Although keeping healthy eating habits and exercising regularly are important, don’t let it run your life.
Treat yourself to a slice of pizza on the weekend as a reward for eating healthy all week and don’t be afraid to indulge in that cupcake your friend just baked.
A healthy lifestyle should be proactive and make you feel better — not discourage you.


Danielle Gonzalez

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