Food Hacks to Make Healthy Living Fun

One of the most important aspects of a healthy living program has to do with one thing:

FUN!

This entire process needs to be enjoyable.

It also needs to be somewhat easy though because anything too complicated usually leads to quitting.

For me, I needed to find easy ways to incorporate nutrient dense ingredients into my life as often as possible without making a huge production out of it.

And if you’re busy, or simply in need of inspiration to help you to get the ball rolling regarding your own wellness program, then I’ve got a few ideas that I think will work wonders for you.

Us humans have the tendency to make things difficult and complicated.

I feel this is because our thought processes in and of themselves are complicated. So when this is the foundation of which we’re attempting to form new habits, simplicity often eludes us because we overlook it.

What I’m about to share is simple.

In addition to this, I’m also going to share my thoughts about a couple of products I’ve tried out recently. I’m not being paid to do this, nor do I have an affiliate link to share.

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I’m doing this because I like to try some new things every now and then and discuss my thoughts about them.

Follow along as I share my tips with you. I have no doubt you’ll be able to apply at least one, if not all of them.

Food Hacks to Make Healthy Eating Fun

To make healthy living fun, easy and creative, the most effective way to go about this is to ADD nutrient dense foods into your daily routine.

It’s the path of least resistance because when we place the focus on removing items, our minds usually fight back because we rebel against restriction.

People don’t like being controlled, even when that control lives within ourselves.

So to avoid initiating an inner-war, the idea is to find things that make you feel good about what you’re about to embark on and go with that.

Adding in new yummy, but healthy foods helps to crowd out the desire for the “bad” stuff. When this happens as a natural extension that stems from new and desirable behaviors, you aren’t fighting with yourself, you’re becoming your own best friend.

This is how we develop personal empowerment.

To begin this applying this new concept into your life, check out the following suggestions:

1 – Drink Smoothies

I consider smoothies to be similar to milkshakes. The difference is you’re using better ingredients, but you can still get the same effect.

It’s a great way to get a wide variety of nutrients in while making it enjoyable.

You can use just about anything to make a smoothie with. Choose your favorite fruit, a base and if you feel it’s necessary, a protein powder.

Smoothies can be used as a snack or meal replacement – depending on what you add to them.

I happen to love shopping at my local farmer’s market. Recently, I’d picked up a half flat of locally grown strawberries for $8.99 and a large batch of ripened bananas for $.29 a pound.

iami food hacks

I washed, cut and stored most of the strawberries in the freezer. I then peeled the bananas, cut them into small pieces and froze them as well.

I’ll have them available anytime I’m in the mood for a strawberry banana smoothie – which is one of my favorite recipes.

I make these using water or almond milk as the base. I can’t say that I believe I’m getting a nutritious dose of almonds in every serving when I use the commercial stuff, but since I’m not a milk drinker, it’ll do just fine.

Eventually, I’d like to start making my own almond milk, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.

You can easily make smoothies using a variety of different ingredients.

Sometimes I’ll add spinach or kale to make a green smoothie. It’s a great way to get a nutritional boost.

You can keep this cost effective when you purchase locally grown produce if it’s available in your area. Stock up and freeze what you can. You won’t need to use as much ice if you use frozen produce. It makes a creamy, frosty consistency. Perfect for Spring and Summer.

If you want to make a meal replacement out of this, you can always add some protein powder. the-power-workout-2-431x520

I don’t do this all the time, but when I do, I prefer to use an organic, non-GMO vegan protein powder.

I’m using one now that I happen to enjoy by Correxiko called “The Power Workout.”

Each serving (two scoops) has 21g of protein. When I add it to mine, I use only one scoop.

It also contains electrolytes and digestive enzymes.

It isn’t sweetened and this makes it easy for me to customize to my preference at any given time.

I went ahead and filmed a video of my strawberry banana smoothie recipe using this product with my nifty immersion hand blender.

I use this tool for sauces and soups as well. I love it – and it’s super easy to clean.

Check out the video and start making smoothies a part of your life. Just please forgive the noise of the blender. That couldn’t be avoided.

Have fun with this and be creative.

2 – Enhance Your Water

I’ll admit that I’m not much of a soda drinker.

And when I say not much, it’s pretty close to never.

I do, however, enjoy making my own from time to time if I’m in the mood for something bubbly. And when I am, I’ll reduce some blueberries and add them to club soda.

But that’s another post.

Most of the time, I drink water. I rarely get bored of it, but once in a while, I like to enhance it – just for something different.

You can add a variety of different things to water to give it flavor or an additional boost of nutrition.

Sometimes, I’ll add apple cider vinegar, organic lemon juice, aloe vera juice or some powdered greens.

I had tried another product by Correxiko called “Organic Matcha Powder” – and I personally found it pleasant. Matcha

Green Matcha is powdered green tea. It’s made from high-quality green tea leaves. The entire leaf is used and made into a powder. This is supposed to offer a higher level of nutritional benefits since it includes antioxidants called polyphenols – which are reported to help protect against cancer, heart disease in addition to helping to regulate blood sugar.

You can check out this article for additional info on Matcha.

In the meantime, I went ahead and filmed another video about how to use it and my thoughts about it.

I had been meaning to start filming more videos. It’s taken a LOT for me to gather up the nerve to start doing this.

I’ll be honest though and admit that I still feel a bit skitterish about being in front of the camera – but at least in this video, I’m wearing my favorite baseball cap, so it’s all good 🙂

Check it out here.

3 – Add Veggies in Wherever and Whenever Possible

This particular food hack is something that worked beautifully for me when I had started a wellness program years ago.

It’s also made it incredibly easy for me to stick with it.

I’ve found that one of the biggest hurdles people encounter (as I used to) has to do with portion control. It’s tough when you feel a sense of restriction when it comes to weight loss and healthy living. So because I dealt with this as well, I came up with a solution.

When you’re about to eat something – anything – add vegetables to the dish.

It doesn’t matter what it is. Rice and pasta dishes – heck even pizza are perfect examples of how to implement this technique.

When I would make spaghetti for the hubs and I – I began adding lightly steamed broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower, in addition to sauteed mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and fresh garlic.

Doing this allowed me to feel satisfied with my portion – and it added a boost of nutrition.

I LOVED that!

Vegetables are nutrient dense and low in calories and fat. So even though the plate was the same size, the caloric intake wasn’t.

I’d felt a sense of accomplishment because I had found a way to trick myself into a healthier way of eating without encountering the resistance that defeated me in the past.

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I also liked knowing I was including a variety of healthy nutrition into my diet because when I think about how our bodies use these nutrients to protect us against disease and help to regulate important functions of the entire system that keeps us alive and well, I felt a sense of pride every time I consumed something.

See, I had shared in my post about how I had changed my crappy eating habits that I had to discover a way to no longer associate food with guilt. This was one of the techniques I’d used to accomplish this – and I mean it when I say it’s been a life changer for me.

It can be for you as well.

The next time you make dinner, add your veggies.

If you aren’t a fan of them, then add whatever it is you DO like as often as possible.

Keep an open mind, though. Try new things.

Prepare them in different ways if you need to, but get it done.

You won’t succeed in a healthy living program if you don’t eat nutritious food.

I’d love to tell you otherwise, but I’d be lying.

And I’m not going to do that.

Take it from me…

I hated everything!

Spinach, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, kale, collard greens, mushrooms, onions, squash (all versions), eggplant…

I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.

Now I love them.

I’m not special.

I’m no different than you.

The only thing I’d changed was my perspective.

I wanted this badly enough.

You’ll change your mind when you want this as much as I did. That’s a promise.

Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose – other than some unwanted weight and a few bad habits.

Healthy Living Made Simple

All it takes to make these ideas work for you is a desire to do so.

You’ll want to create a sense of enthusiasm toward the whole thing.

There are so many benefits other than weight loss to be experienced by a healthy living program.

Higher energy levels, a better functioning digestive system and an overall feeling of freedom comes over you when you expand your pallet to include nutritious foods into your diet.

There had been a time when I felt so restricted when I went out to eat.

Granted, I don’t do it very often these days simply because I prefer to cook at home most of the time.

But when we do go out, I can find a wide variety of foods to enjoy simply because I’ve opened my mind.

You’d think it would’ve worked the other way around since I’ve stopped eating meat, but in all honesty, it hasn’t.

Not at all.

If you need some help or direction when it comes to making positive changes in your own eating habits, I can help. I’ve been there.

You don’t have to do this alone.

Do you think you’ll give these ideas a shot? What do you struggle with?

Want more bullshit-free wisdom? Check out my latest book “Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity).”

Grab your copy at any of these online retailers.

Amazon Kindle

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Dana Gore

Author of the books "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)" and "Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity)", Dana Gore is a health and fitness professional, wellness coach, and freelance writer. Dana brings guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner while inspiring her readers to seek self-awareness and inner peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.

23 thoughts on “Food Hacks to Make Healthy Living Fun

  • at 12:13 am
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    We often make smoothies at home too and the kids love them. We like using frozen fruits and with less liquid, it can actually become a nice refreshing sorbet ; )

    Reply
    • at 6:05 pm
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      Hi Lily,

      Welcome to my blog 🙂

      I’ll bet you enjoy your version of it. It certainly is more like a sorbet with less liquid. Variety and creativity is key. I like a base, but prefer frozen fruits as well. I can do away with the ice – and it’s much better that way.

      I appreciate your contribution. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  • at 11:10 pm
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    Hi Dana,

    What a fun and motivating post. I love smoothies and being creative in the kitchen new foods. I cut sugars out of my diet a few months back and went off the wagon this past week. Boy, did it make me feel horrible. I remember now why I wanted to get rid of sugars. Lesson learned the hard way. I am so thankful for veggies, fruits and yogurts in my diet. I haven’t used powdered greens but have been thinking about trying it. I’ve also been thinking about experimenting with juicing. Have you done much in that area?

    Have a great weekend Dana.

    Irish

    Reply
    • at 10:03 am
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      Hi Irish,

      I’m glad you liked the post 🙂

      Aren’t smoothies awesome? I LOVE them. It makes healthy living fun and delicious too. I know many people aren’t into vegetables, so by adding things like spinach, you get the benefits without “forcing” yourself to eat your greens (even though I personally love spinach in any form).

      As far as juicing, yes, I have a juicer and I love it. Had it for about 4 years now. It makes it easier for me to consume certain vegetables I don’t care for (like beets). I don’t enjoy eating them, but juiced with carrots, celery, apple and parsley, I find the combo delightful. Plus, it’s just a great way to add extra nutrients into your diet.

      I know it’s been a fad as of the last several years and I do feel that it can be used out of balance. I like to add juicing in as an “extra”, but never to replace solid whole foods. Still, some people have found huge benefits in juice cleanses to do things like regulate blood sugar levels and rid themselves of some chronic conditions – but I’d leave that suggestion to a medical or health professional with a degree in dietetics.

      Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything if you have more questions. I’m just a holler away.
      Always great to see you here Irish. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

      Reply
  • at 5:50 pm
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    Hey girl!

    I love your inspiration! You are so passionate about getting your message across to others in order to help them. Keep at it!

    I am one that doesn’t like veggies or not a lot of veggies. But I do know how important they are for my body. I don’t always eat the best. Trust me when I say, I love a Hardee’s burger or Taco Bell. But I don’t eat it a lot. I try my best to use portion control and not overeat as well.

    Everyone is talking smoothies lately! I definitely need to try these babies out!

    Thanks so much for sharing fabulous information!

    Bren

    Reply
    • at 1:39 pm
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      Hey Brenda,

      Yes, you need to try smoothies. They’re SO good. Since you aren’t a huge fan of veggies, you can add spinach and you won’t even taste it (but you’ll still get the nutritional benefits).

      I didn’t like most vegetables either. I had to shift my perspective on things, but to be honest, I had to really want what veggies had to offer.

      I was SO tired of associating food with guilt, so to eliminate that, I had to keep an open mind to foods that had nothing to do with guilt and eat a lot of them. This is when the portion control things became easier too because I didn’t feel deprived.

      There are so many strategies one can use. It’s a mind game, but it can be won by those who play it well 🙂

      I appreciate your compliment Brenda. Thanks so much for stopping by.
      Enjoy your weekend Girly <3

      Reply
  • at 3:23 pm
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    Thanks for sharing this Dana. I think I could do some of these like incorporate more veggies in my diet. As a little girl, my mom never served veggies other than corn or peas so I’m not into veggies much but I know it’s good for me and as I get older, I’ll need them more.

    The one thing I’m unsure of is adding flavor to my water. I might be strange but I like it plain or sometimes add some lemon.

    Great suggestions! A strawberry smoothie sounds good about now. 🙂

    Hope you’re having a great week so far!

    Cori

    Reply
    • at 1:46 pm
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      Hi Cori,

      Yep, it sounds like you just haven’t been exposed to vegetables in a way that created any excitement. This can be worked with. It’s never too late.

      As far as infusing flavor into your water, if you prefer it plain or with lemon, that’s great. I usually do as well, but sometimes I like to add other things in for a boost of added nutrition. I love greens and I know that green teas offer benefits, so that’s why I enjoy the Matcha. But it isn’t necessary – it’s just an option.

      I’m loving my smoothies. I had gotten so many strawberries, so this is a great way to use them. They’re low on the glycemic index and they have antioxidants, so they’re good to have around. All berries are for that matter.

      Thanks for stopping by Cori. Have a great weekend 🙂

      Reply
  • at 9:13 am
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    Hi Dana,

    I absolutely loved this article especially your videos. Me and my hubby haven’t eaten meat for decades. I just don’t like the taste of furry faces. But because I live by the sea, I do eat fish when someone catches a batch. Eating well is living well.

    I love the smoothies! Since my daughter was a child, I started making them for her and have a habit of cutting up those bananas and freezing them….other fruit as well when in season. It is so quick and easy to use that way. Adding protein powder is also a great way to get a “pick me up” or replace a meal. Good to know you found a vegan one…it is difficult to find I know.

    I am at peace with food. But know the terror of eating disorders because my step daughter had them. It was a living hell to see her at 70 pounds. But, we didn’t stop trying and suddenly our naturopath had a good connection with her and she started her journey to wellness.

    Thank you for such an informative post. You know I’m going to share this all around!

    -Donna

    Reply
    • at 1:58 pm
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      Hi Donna,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and especially the videos. I know others like to hear a testimonial along with a demo, so I’m glad I was able to get those set up.

      I agree with you that eating well is living well. I used to suffer from associating guilt with food – and it was a terrible way to live.

      I had eating disorders as well. Not an easy way to live. I’m glad your step-daughter has found peace with this and got better. It must have been hell for all of you.

      Like you, I love to freeze fruits and keep them around for smoothies. When we shop locally for what’s in season, it keeps the cost down and we get what’s fresh. I feel that the less distance traveled from farm to table, the better – for every reason imaginable.

      I love the protein powder by Correxiko. I’m picky about what I’ll use – and I like this company’s ethics.

      Enjoy your weekend Donna. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  • at 5:06 am
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    Hey Dana,

    I’m taking your portion control advice away with me. Since I have stopped eating meat I have been a bit bigger in my portions. Its taken about six months but it has actually caught up with me. To the point of uncomfortable. I have been thinking about this for a while but have been putting it off. I also get a bit confused by how to measure pasta (okay I could do better than I am at the moment).

    The smoothie ideas are delicious. I probably would add plain yoghurt as well as protein powder. There is nothing better than a thick shake that is healthy for me. I never thought about frozen banana’s before. But I get throwing it into to a shake over the summer months would be delightful.

    I had a quick peak at your videos. I know what you sound like now. That’s great.

    Rachel.

    Reply
    • at 4:20 pm
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      Hi Rachel,

      I get what you mean about portion sizes. I hope what I’ve written here helps you.
      It worked perfectly for me.

      The serving size to go by is whatever is written on the package. That’ll tell you what you’re getting regarding the nutritional value. Everything is different, so that’s why I suggest that.

      Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is about a half cup to a cup of (cooked) pasta or rice – preferably brown if possible since it has more fiber. You can add an unlimited amount of fresh steamed veggies – and sometimes I like to add organic canned chickpeas for some extra protein.

      You can make your smoothie however you’d like. I prefer almond or cashew milk, but if you like yogurt, that’ll work too. Try to get organic though. I’ve heard some pretty distressing stuff about the regular yogurt (dairy in general).

      Yep, so that’s what I sound like on video. I’m still trying to get used to the way I sound in recordings. Not quite the same when I hear myself talk regularly 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad this has been useful for you.

      Reply
  • at 11:50 pm
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    Great ideas. I love smoothies, and it’s so smart to freeze the strawberries and bananas. No need for ice. I’ve been wanting to try Matcha for a while. You’ve convinced me 🙂

    Reply
    • at 4:13 pm
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      Hi Shann,

      I bought that half flat of strawberries for such a great price. They were grown locally – and I know they practice natural farming techniques, so that was a huge plus. The season is almost over by me, so buying a bunch and freezing them was a good idea.

      If you’ve been wanting to try Matcha, I think you’ll love Correxiko’s product. I know they use only organic sources, and that’s important to me. I’ve enjoyed using mine – and I often add it to my smoothies.

      Enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

      Reply
  • at 9:43 pm
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    I love my smoothies! Every day! I also like to add lemon, lime, or other fruit to my water and I’m a huge fan of my water infuser.

    Reply
    • at 4:10 pm
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      Hi Cynthia,

      Aren’t smoothies great? I’m a huge fan of them too.
      I drink them a few times a week.

      LOVE adding lemon to my water. It’s so refreshing.
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  • at 4:39 pm
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    Oh, Yes I can do this. I love smoothies. Protein powder doesn’t always agree with me so thanks for the tip, A new one to try.

    Reply
    • at 6:38 pm
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      Hi Sandy,

      I love smoothies too. I find them to be such a pleasant way to enjoy healthy living.
      Protein powders certainly aren’t necessary. I like to use a good, clean one though if I’m drinking it as a meal replacement for some balanced nutrition. Sometimes it’s easier – or I’m just having a craving 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  • at 4:15 pm
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    I couldn’t agree more with all 3 of your points. I try to make a smoothie for my 3 year old daughter and I at least 3 times a week for breakfast or mid morning snack. And you know what, my 10 month old son tried it the last time and was signing more to me for it! I am also going to up our water intake for this summer. No more juice while on the playground. Water only for everyone!

    Reply
    • at 6:31 pm
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      Hi Christine,

      I think kids would definitely enjoy smoothies, so I’m not surprised that your son expressed some enthusiasm and wanted more.

      They’re sweet and enjoyable. I think kids only start to detest healthy foods if they’re forced to eat them in an “eat your veggies or you won’t get dessert” kind of way.

      It’s great that you’ll be bringing water to the park with you. fresh juice is great, but what you normally find in those bottled juices are loads of sugar and chemicals, so good call.

      Reply
  • at 12:10 pm
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    Hi Dana,
    Your post is really interesting, it reminds me about some healthy food that can be find easily but sometime people easily forget. Moreover, I know the product name “survival tabs” which also provides nutrition for “just in case” or can be an emergency meal replacement . Do you think that will be helpful to raise the topic of achieving optimal health in “just in case” and emergency situation ?

    Reply
    • at 6:25 pm
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      Hi Alys,

      Welcome to my blog 🙂

      To answer your question, I do think it’s a good idea to have healthy options available as a “just in case.” You never know…so it’s always good to be prepared.

      Obviously, smoothies may be a tough thing to come by in such a situation, but keeping almonds around or other healthier snack foods are a great idea.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
      • at 6:45 pm
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        Hi Dana,
        Thank for suggesting me your new article. It’s very helpful for most of office employee like me 🙂
        Have you ever searched “Survival Tabs” product which I think you might be interested in its benefits .

        Just stop by its site, you will find a healthy meal for “just in case” as I mentioned. And I think your readers might interested in this too

        p.s I cannot paste the link in the comment , so I just attach it as a website 🙂

        Reply

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