Oats + Apples = Gettin’ healthy

It’s that time of year again, folks celebrate, sing happy new year to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s ‘happy birthday’ (well . . . at least that’s what my mom and I do), refresh those gym memberships and resolve to make this year their healthiest one yet! Because healthy eating has always been my thang, I bypass the whole resolution making and continue to do what I do. If your goal this year is to be a bit more mindful of your health,  I GOT you!

Here are a few easy strategies that keep me on track for eating well:

oatmealOatmeal is a great way to start your day. It’s been shown to lower cholesterol, and always leaves me feeling full until lunch time. I recommend doctoring up “1-minute plain quaker oats”, rather than buying a pre-flavored option. This way, you control your sugar intake. My favorite combo includes:
-quaker oats (I usually go for about 1/2 a cup)
-a handful of chopped pecans
-1 Tbsp of brown sugar
-2 Tbsp spoons of dried cranberries

*Add water before you microwave for a couple minutes (just enough to cover your oats), then add non-fat milk afterwards to thin it out (about 1/4 cup)

*After microwaving, I also add 1 Tbsp chia seeds and 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal (if you buy the ‘meal’ rather than whole flaxseeds, be sure to refrigerate so they’ll last longer) . . . sometimes I’ll throw in some unsweetened dried coconut flakes too.

apples

An apple a day plus almonds are a couple items I always have stashed away in my pocketbook. Before I head out the door, I grab my keys, an apple and a handful of almonds. It never fails that life’s unpredictable path has you out running errands you didn’t anticipate, or your already extended work day just got a little longer. With seconds away from being hangry (that’s hungry + angry y’all), instead of making a beeline for the nearest corner store and smashing that bag of chips, reach for that apple. And if you need a bit more, snack on raw almonds . . . among other things, they have the good reputation of curbing hunger.

fuji apples are my favorites (I store a bunch in the frig and they keep for quite a while)
raw almonds (I buy the ginormous bag from Costco, then throw a handful in a ziplock bag)

waterMake water during mealtime your new healthy habit. Skip the soda and juice, and pour yourself a cold glass of water for each meal of the day. This is another simple way to cut calories. You’ll quickly find that the more you do this, the more it’ll become second nature.

Hope y’all find this helpful. I’ll be back with more tips to soon!

 

 

Photo Sources: Oatmeal (Starr*) | Apples (photos-public-domain.com) |  Water (photos-public-domain.com)

 

HBGStarr*Starr Lopez is Co-Creator of The Happy Black Girl

You can contact her directly at thehappyblackgirl@gmail.com