Starting a diet or diving headfirst into a workout plan may be the first steps to enhancing your personal health, but once you’ve started down the path to better fitness and nutrition, it’s important to find ways to stay on track.
Instead of burning yourself out on a diet that’s too stringent or workouts that are too intense, moderate your healthy lifestyle and use simple tricks to avoid falling into bad habits. Consider these tips from celebrity trainer and food coach Valerie Waters, author of “Red Carpet Ready,” to help ensure you stick to your plan.
Bank your fitness. Interruptions in life happen. Travel, for example, whether for business or pleasure, can disrupt workouts and access to nutritious food. To allow room for a missed workout or a special meal, put some fitness in the bank by tightening your diet a couple weeks ahead of your trip. You can also put some extra effort into workouts by adding intervals, additional weight or simply going a little longer.
Strategy over willpower. While willpower is certainly part of maintaining a diligent healthy lifestyle, strategizing can be of even more importance. Planning a full day or even week of meals can help you curb cravings and avoid indulging in extra, unnecessary calories. Instead of white-knuckling through afternoon cravings at work, try bringing a go-to snack like California Figs, which are filling, portable, rich in antioxidants and fat-free.
Eat simply. Eating foods as close to their natural state as possible can help you avoid consuming excess sugar and fat. Plus, by incorporating more natural foods and snacks into your routine, you’re less likely to eat items loaded with preservatives or ingredients you may not even recognize. Focus on lean protein, fruit, veggies and nuts available in recipes like this Farro and Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta.
Farro and Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta
1 cup semi-pearled farro
2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried turmeric
3/4 cup dried golden or mission figs, stemmed and chopped (6-8 figs)
2 cups arugula
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
In medium saucepan over high heat, bring farro and water to boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover with lid and cook until farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, 10 minutes.
In large bowl, whisk lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, shallot, mustard, salt, pepper and turmeric. Add farro, figs and arugula; toss well. Crumble feta over top and toss again. Serve warm or at room temperature.