Figuring out a new-normal isn’t easy. Like any new habit, it takes time and small steps to make progress in every area of life – even the pantry. After my stage IV cancer diagnosis, life never returned to the way it was…however, I figured out my new normal and have embraced it living a great quality of life. As a recovering junk-a-holic, my pantry used to be filled with meals like Chef-Boy-R-Dee ravioli, ramen noodles and high-sodium canned chili. The past six years I’ve maintained a plant-based diet focusing mainly on fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits. So, the past few weeks living in quarantine with less access to fresh foods challenged me to find new healthy pantry items that could keep me full and healthy. Here is what’s in my pantry now and read below about how you can access your own free healthy pantry checklist.
My favorite fruit and veggies as a kid were green apple Jolly Ranchers and the infamous steakhouse bloomin’ (fried) onion. As I grew older, I walked away from candy and fried foods, thinking I was eating healthy with my bag of Baked Lays and fruit infused frozen yogurts. It wasn’t until my wake up call with stage IV disease that everything in my diet changed. Truth be told, it wasn’t just my diet that shifted, it was my mindset about the food we eat and how nutrient dense food was important for my survival.
I’ve always been surrounded by ballpark food. Before launching Pretty Wellness, I spent most of my career in sports and entertainment. I’ve been to many arenas, stadiums and various events, both as a guest and an employee. Whether I was organizing a group of media backstage or running the rafters to shoot confetti at a concert, I was often surrounded by unhealthy, greasy grub. Back in the day, I ate numerous malt cups, ballpark hot dogs and drank tons of diet soda. In fact, part of the allure of going to sporting events was that I couldn’t feel guilty for eating gluttonously because I had no options. Most venues only sold this type of food, but not anymore. Now you can eat gourmet to gluten-free at many venues throughout the country. So to honor baseball season, we’re taking you on a trip through the MLB ballparks, hoping you will find some healthy options you like.
I love spring and summer. Warm weather, especially after a grueling winter, makes things like flip-flops, maxi dresses, long power walks, sun-bronzed skin and all the other little summer joys a reason to celebrate. The smell of charcoal burning on a Weber grill brings me back to decades of good times at BBQs and beach parties. In my effort to eat clean, however, I investigated whether grilling can be a safe way to eat. The information below guides me to make better informed decisions for my family, while also participating in this spring-through-summer ritual.
Have you ever come home from vacation nearly 10-pounds heavier than you were before you left? Did you give yourself the “I’m on Vacation” approval to eat anything at anytime? I’ve been there and done that. Ate gluttonously for weeks, then returned home with little motivation to eat better and exercise. Now my daily diet isn’t about losing weight and looking pretty, it’s about being well. Over five years ago, on my first real vacation after I started eating clean, I challenged myself to enjoy my vacation while maintaining my healthy lifestyle. I also gave some thought on how to help my family indulge, just not excessively.
I used to make up a lot of excuses. I didn’t eat healthy because I was too busy. I couldn’t eat healthy because it was too expensive. I didn’t have a food budget because I didn’t think that discounts made a difference. I didn’t realize that with a little bit of time and thought, living healthy and saving money could be easy. We explore this topic on this week’s WTNH-TV Wellness Wednesday segment was about simple ways to eat healthy on a budget.