(StatePoint) Getting all the nutrients you need each day to function or even thrive can be a challenge. After all, there are only so many meals in a day.
Here are some creative ways to pack the necessary nutrients into your day, without going over your tight calorie budget.
Make Each Bite Count
It’s tempting to sneak in “empty calories,” with foods and beverages that have little in the way of nutritional value. Don’t give in to sugary treats or easy fixes. You will ultimately feel more satisfied by foods that work to fuel your body.
Plan meals ahead to ensure they each include a healthful balance of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, amino acids and minerals. Eating colorfully with each meal can help, because fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds of different colors can provide a rich mix of these valuable nutrients and antioxidants.
Also, don’t let unhealthy snacking be your downfall. Snacking doesn’t have to carry the connotation of mindless consumption in front of a television. Carefully planned bites between meals can be just what the nutritionist ordered.
For instance, consider a cup of high fiber cereal mixed with a few nuts or pumpkin seeds to tide you over between meals, A piece of whole wheat toast with a little nut butter also can do the trick, as can a piece of fruit with a slice of cheese.
Get to know the healthful options on restaurant menus and take the time to chew and enjoy your food.
Some of the most essential nutritional components include protein, good carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes and probiotics. While many foods contain some of these important nutrients, landing on the right formula can be an ongoing and time-consuming challenge. It doesn’t have to be.
Consider fast tracking your way to all eight of these core nutrients with a high-quality meal replacement. For example, Illumin8, a plant-based USDA Certified Organic powder from Sunwarrior goes well beyond a traditional protein supplement and can be used as a meal replacement, snack or pre/post workout shake. Available in three flavors, Vanilla Bean, Aztec Chocolate and Mocha, clean eating can also taste good.
Match your nutrient-filled diet with a healthy lifestyle. Get plenty of sleep each night, at least eight hours, and move more during the day, with at least 20 minutes of activity.
Be sure to stay hydrated all day long with glasses of clean, clear liquids. Water aids digestion and helps you skip the sugary soft drinks, which are high in calories but offer no nutritional value. Opt for water and green tea instead.