The majority of people make one of their main New Year's resolutions to start eating healthier and I definitely find myself making January the perfect month to start fresh and eat better. Since we are now one month into the New Year, I wanted to help everyone with some simple and easy meal swaps for some of the unhealthy items that are hard to stay away from. I have some great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks. Check out my recommendations below!
First and foremost, breakfast to me is the most important meal of the day. I know cereal can be super easy in the morning but usually has tons of sugar in it which is the worst way to start your morning. A great healthy alternative is oatmeal with fruit, nut butters, and chia or flax seeds. Some people love to get donuts or bagels for breakfast, which in that case I would say try switching to a multigrain or whole wheat bagel. Or try a fun and trendy toast like avocado toast or toast with almond butter and strawberries. If you are someone that loves juice try switching to fruit smoothies with fresh fruit and almond or oat milk.
Lunch can be difficult sometimes because if you are on the go and just ordering take out most of the time it isn’t the healthiest. A popular takeout order is hoagies (shoutout Wawa!), but it is not always the healthiest option. If you have the time and want to get into meal prepping, creating a variety of different lunch box ideas that will not get boring are a great way to stay on track. For example, you can make a bagel box which includes smoked salmon, cucumbers, pita chips or a multigrain bagel with dill cream cheese, and maybe a hard boiled egg. Another example is chicken or turkey, olives, carrots, celery, peppers, and hummus. One more example would be chicken or turkey, your favorite cheese, grapes, dark chocolate covered almonds or raisins, and veggie sticks. If you hate meal prepping and like to order out then try to stick to salads or sandwiches that have plenty of vegetables in them. 

Dinner is definitely the easiest meal to stay focused on something healthy. Picking a protein and vegetables is so simple and usually easy to make. Putting everything together on a sheet pan and into the oven is extremely easy and less to clean. You can always make chicken with rice and veggies with whatever kind of sauce you are feeling such as italian dressing, sesame garlic, or a balsamic vinaigrette. You can also substitute quinoa instead of rice. On the other hand, if you are like me and love pasta and cannot live without it, then finding some healthier alternatives is a must. I have been buying protein pasta, whole wheat pasta, or tri-color pasta and love to use a pesto sauce or roast tomatoes and add olive oil and italian seasoning. It is super simple to make and tastes delicious.
Last but not least, snacks are definitely one of the most difficult things to swap out. I am a huge fan of snacks and can be a late night snacker. Anyone that loves salty chips or pretzels should try switching to homemade popcorn or trail mix with different nuts. Eating chips with salsa or hummus is always great if you buy a brand that has flax seeds in them or chia and quinoa. I definitely have a sweet tooth so I’ve started switching to anything dark chocolate. Dark chocolate peanut butter cups or almond butter, dark chocolate covered peanuts, almonds, or dried fruits, or dark chocolate granola protein balls. 

I know kicking those junk foods to the curb can be difficult but try to stay focused and keep a healthy balance of nutritional foods when you can. We all can obviously have a cheat day every once in a while but sticking to a healthy diet on a regular basis not only fuels your body but gives you energy and makes you feel good. Hopefully this is helpful to stick with your resolutions in this new year!