Posted on November 17th, 2017 by Krista
Categories: General
With the holidays fast approaching, everyone has traditional holiday recipes that are tried and true.  I personally love the traditional recipes, with a twist!  Don't get me wrong, green bean casserole is one of my all time favorite side dishes, but I also like to create healthier alternatives that are not full of butter and sugar that is going to make me feel sick.  These recipes are tried and true and you can put your own spin on them if you wish!  I personally try to limit dairy and gluten, but if that is not an issue for you, then you can swap oil for butter, or use whole wheat flour!  I hope you enjoy these recipes!  Keep checking back for the complete list!

Posted on July 30th, 2017 by Krista
Categories: General
Macros! Macros may be confusing to some, but no worries, I will explain them to you so you can understand and realize why this might help you to reach your body goals better than just counting calories alone!
Macros, short for macro nutrients, are made up of fat, carbohydrates, and protein.  These 3 things are what make up calories.
1 Gram of Protein = 4 Calories
1 Gram of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
1 Gram of Fat = 9 Calories
This has been the trend of flexible dieting.  To put it simply, instead of just counting the calories in each food you are looking at the nutrients in each food, the amount of fat, carbs, and protein, to help you achieve your goals.   Everyone has a different goal and different body.
These are some of helpful calculators:
For example, according to MFP (myfitnesspal), you should be eating 1200 calories a day.  You eat a well balanced diet and yet at 1200 calories you are still not meeting your body goals.  So what are you doing wrong?  Most people are so busy nowadays, working multiple jobs, going to school, taking care of a family, that they don’t have time to “cook healthy”.  They live their life on-the-go.  This leads to a lot of prepared or prepackaged snacks and foods.  Now I am not saying that these are horrible for you and they need to be avoided altogether, but you do need to be an educated consumer.  I was there once too.  If it was fat free or sugar free you bet it was in my cart.  You are starting out this new diet, you go to the grocery store and you buy stuff for salads.  Then you walk down any aisle and you see things like 100 calorie packs of Oreos for the occasional treat.  I mean after all 100 calorie pack of Oreos is better than an entire box of Oreos right? (Been there too)  When you feel calorie restricted you keep trying to find things with the lowest calorie count possible so you can eat more.  Yet you are still SO HUNGRY!  Is this making sense?  In general I find that when most people are counting calories alone they have relatively low protein intake, and most of their calories are from carbs and fats.
I have recently began taking on some clients for nutrition and training and I find that there are a lot of common themes.  Most of their goals are to lose fat and get down to a healthy body fat percentage and weight.  Those same people have also been dieting for a LONG time.  When you constantly are restricting yourself and continuously lowering your calorie intake, your body is going to adapt and therefore conserve energy to burn less calories.  This is NOT what we want to do! The body is smart and it is very adaptive.  With these clients I am trying a different approach where we alternate higher calorie days and lower calorie days to “wake up” the metabolism in hopes that it will begin to increase again.
What I want to emphasize, and it took a long time for me to come to terms with it too, was if you want to change your body you NEED TO EAT! It kills me that MFP tells everyone that you need to eat 1200 calories a day or less to lose weight!  So why do I like macros? It forces you to actually LOOK at what you are eating and see how nutritionally dense it is.  Those 90 calorie fiber one bars are good, but they really don’t help you fill your macros.  You want to eat foods that will nourish and fuel your body, these will help you feel fuller longer and start seeing results.  When you eat all of these low calorie snacks, they are empty calories and your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs.
With all of my clients I am trying to create meal plans that are full of nutrient rich foods like various fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat and carbohydrates.  I want to also EDUCATE my clients and try to encourage them to get creative with their food choices in hopes that they can take what they learn and how they eat and apply it on their own.
So what does a full day of eating look like for me?  You can follow me on MFP to see what I am eating every day!  You will see that my diet consists of Eggs, egg whites, chicken, turkey, salmon, sweet potato, red potato, rice, veggies and fruits.  I choose to be dairy free and try to avoid gluten when I can because I feel better doing so.
As my family and friends can attest to, I eat a lot!  So being on a “diet” does not have to be restrictive! I hope this helps to understand! Leave your questions or comments below!
If you are interested in nutrition or coaching services, click the services link at the top of the page and fill out the inquiry form.  I would love to work with you!
Until Next Time,
Posted on May 26th, 2017 by Krista
Categories: General
I set my alarm at 0415, and I am out the door by 0445 if not earlier and I walk into the gym around 0500.  That gives me just enough time to workout and shower and get to work on time!  Here are some tips on how I do it!
Get yourself ready the night before
This also means going to bed earlier.  If you have to get up at 0430 and you stay up until 2200 that’s not very much sleep.  Start slowly going to bed earlier and you will be able to wake up easier.  I usually start heading to bed around 2130.
Pack your gym bag.  I have a dedicated gym bag that I use when I have to go to work after my morning workout.  In there I have all of my shower items and my work clothes.  I chose to pack an extra set of shower items just to keep in my gym bag so I am not constantly packing and unpacking those items.  Plus, it helps decrease the chance that you are going to forget something!
If you are someone who brings their food to work, go ahead and plan out what you are going to bring.  Even better if you can pack your lunchbox the night before.  When we had an extra refrigerator in the garage I would pack my lunch the night before and then out the entire lunch box in the fridge.  That way I could grab and go in the morning.  Here I don’t have that luxury, but I still plan out my meals in MFP, myfitnesspal, the night before and stack everything together so I can just grab it and pack it in the morning.  Also, don’t forget to pack yourself something to eat for breakfast!
Another thing that helps is I lay out my workout clothes the night before, in the bathroom or in the closet, so I am not fumbling around in the morning looking for what I want or need.  When you get up at 0415 your brain isn’t quite firing on all cylinders if you know what I mean.
After I have all of that done I set my bags by the door, or put them in my car the night before so I know I am not going to forget something.  If you are someone notorious for packing your lunch and leaving it at home, then set an alarm on your phone for 5 minutes before you are going to leave to remind you, or place your car keys somewhere by the bag so you really can’t leave without it.
Have a plan
Going to the gym with a plan is always the best option, but if you just normally “wing it” you may have trouble getting motivated before the sun comes up.  You can even create a weekly workout plan for yourself so you know what you are going to do each day of the week!
Also make sure you allot yourself enough time.  After doing my workouts for a while I have a general idea on how long it is going to take me.  I know my leg days take a full hour and a half, if not longer, but I can knock out an arm workout in 45 minutes.
Set your alarm
Obviously, you need to set your alarm so you can wake up on time.  Believe me I was not always a morning person.  I actually hated mornings until I started working out.  I still cannot get up at 0500 and be happy about it if I am not going to the gym.  I set my alarm at 0415, and this is key, GET OUT OF BED IMMEDIATELY.  Seriously… If you lay there, you WILL talk yourself out of it.  If you are a chronic snoozer then you may want to set your alarm in the bathroom, where you literally have to get up to shut it off.
I get up as soon as my alarm goes off, head to the bathroom, wash my face with some cold water to wake me up and change.  Once you are dressed you are half way there!
Create a new playlist
Music motivates me a lot when I work out.  If I listen to Pandora I will listen to House Radio, Ying Yang Twins Radio, or Today’s Hits.  In the morning usually house radio… It always has a faster tempo and keeps me going!
If you can create your own playlist, pick you best songs that really get you pumped up! I even listen to them on the way into the gym while I am drinking my lemon water and pre-workout.
Fitness is more of a mental game than a physical one.  You really have to set your mind to it and tell yourself you WILL get up and get to the gym!
Have an accountability buddy
If you are meeting someone at the gym you are less likely to flake out.  Knowing you don’t want to be that friend who didn’t show and left your pal hanging.  If you start going to early morning classes it becomes a family and they notice when you are not there!
Your buddy doesn’t have to go to your gym.  Just talking to your friends and telling them this is what your plan is, they can check back with you later in the day to see how you did.  The same concept of feeling like you have someone to report to really helps!
Last but not least, if you need an extra bolt of energy in the morning you can take some pre workout or some coffee.  I mix up my pre workout and drink it on the way to the gym.  I haven’t ever really been much of a coffee person.  There are so many brands of pre-workouts out there. I can do another separate post about those if you want, but just assess your tolerance first before you go and out 2 scoops in!
Currently I am taking Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre in Raspberry Lemonade.  This is pretty strong, I wouldn’t recommend it to beginners.
Cellucor C4 if a good one for beginners, I would start with about a ½ scoop to assess your tolerance.
Getting up and getting your workout in before the sun comes up is HARD.  Especially if you are not normally a morning person.  It will take some getting used to.  Don’t be too hard on yourself the first week! But really try to make your best effort!  You will really feel so much better!
I have found that I sleep better, and I am more productive during the day because I don’t have to worry about when I am going to go to the gym.
7.  Pack some extra snacks
You will probably be hungrier if you are not used to getting up early in the morning.  That’s normal! When you get up early and working out you are burning more calories which requires more energy! When you are sleeping your body is in hibernation mode not using many calories.  So pack some healthy snacks to get you through the day!
I hope some of these tips help! Let me know what your favorite tips are!
Until next time,
Posted on May 22nd, 2017 by Krista
Categories: General
I originally wrote a post almost a year ago about my tips for eating healthy on the go and I wanted to do an updated version! 
Since then I have a new job which requires me to travel frequently.  When I drive, it is about a 2-hour drive, or I can fly across the country and work at one of our other programs.  I often get the question, “how do you manage to still eat healthy and workout when you are gone all the time?”  To be honest the answer is simple, you just have to plan and prepare.  Of course there are times where it seems everything imaginable can go wrong and I end up in a drive thru line, but most times I am prepared and things tend to work out.
For those of you who may not know me, I am a flight nurse.  I work on helicopters, airplanes, and sometimes ambulances.  I work 12 and 24 hour shifts, and yes I get to sleep at some point during my 24-hour shift.  Think of a fire station/EMS type work environment.  All of the bases have a refrigerator and microwave at the minimum, and some are fully equipped kitchens, it just depends on where I am going.  Due to the unpredictability of my job, I like to have most of my meals cooked and packaged, so if I need to eat in a hurry I can.  Otherwise, you will be halfway cooking your omelet and get dispatched on a transport and never get back to that omelet.
So I hope you can take some of these tips and tricks and apply it to help making your life easier.
Get a good cooler!
To start, and this may seem simple, but I have learned along the way that not all coolers are created equal.  Right now I live in South Carolina and it gets HOT.  I leave my house at 0345 and my food doesn’t make it to the refrigerator until after 0800.  So I need something that is going to hold up.  These are some of the coolers that I would recommend. Six Pack Bags , YETI, RTIC .  If I am going to work for a few days without being able to come home, I will pack everything in a Styrofoam shipping cooler, like the ones from Omaha Steaks or Icon Meals, and bring that with me.  Excessive? Maybe? But where I work sometimes the only other options are Hardees or Taco Bell…
Get some good containers.
I have tried a few different ones from Amazon, and I have also used some of the glass ones.  I have found that if all of your containers are the same size, things will pack much better in your cooler.  I have some of the glass ones that I will bring if I am only going for a day or so, but usually I use the plastic meal prep type containers.
Prep and pack your meals the night before.
If you are a Sunday meal prep person, great.  Otherwise, prep and pack what you are going to eat the next day(s) the night before.  The last thing you want to deal with in the morning is trying to figure out what to bring.  You will end up grabbing random things in your fridge and then not wanting to eat what you brought.  We have all been there, and then what was the point of packing food in the first place?  I will even try to stack or put everything that I am bringing together in the fridge so I know exactly where it all is and I just need to put it in the cooler in the morning.  Another thing to consider is what type of food you are bringing.  For example, I try to bring meals that are just heat and eat, or things that travel well.  One of the things I never get sick of eating are taco bowls.  Pick a meat, black beans, rice, and other toppings and everything goes in a bowl.  It travels well, holds up in the fridge, and easy to eat on the go if you have to.
Always bring snacks or extra food.
I have been known to get a little “hangry”, anyone else?  So to avoid this, I always pack some extra snacks or an extra meal.  For me it’s better to have too much food then be hungry or stuck eating out of a vending machine.  Extra snacks: yogurt, string cheese, single serve packages or nuts, jerky, protein or granola bars, etc.  I almost always have a protein bar in my pocket or purse “just in case”, most of the time I end up eating it instead of a meal during the day if we are away from base all day.  What protein bars do I eat?
Heating up your food on the go.
If you are someone who is actually traveling all day or on the road a lot, you may feel like your options are limited to cold foods.  Almost every gas station I have been too has a microwave.  I usually walk in, put my food in, and then browse while its cooking.  Sometimes I buy something, and sometimes I don’t, but I have only had an attendant say something to me once.  They also usually have silverware and condiments that you can use if you need to.  Just make sure you keep it covered and don’t make a mess in there, otherwise you might need to find a new gas station.
Meal Prep Services.
Another option are meal prep services.  If I am staying in a hotel with a kitchen, I will go buy food and cook it once I get there.  If I am staying somewhere with just a fridge, then I will sometimes have meals sent to me.  I have been using Icon Meals for about 6 months now, and I have yet to have any bad experiences.  When I have them sent to me at home I usually stock up and put them in the freezer to use when I don’t have time to meal prep.  Currently I am in Texas for work and I am staying in a hotel with just a fridge and microwave.  I had about 12 meals sent to me to get me through until I found out what the kitchen situation was like where I would be working.  Thankfully they have a full kitchen, but if they didn’t, I was still prepared.  If you follow them on snapchat they offer discounts of 20% occasionally, otherwise you can get 10% off all the time when you use code AMANDA.
Grocery store grab and go
Grocery stores have come a long way.  A lot of them have a section of premade or prepped meals that look pretty good.  When in doubt I pick up things like fruit, veggies, oatmeal, bagged salads, tuna packages, hard boiled eggs, and rotisserie chicken.  Some places have just the meat already shredded for you, but you can also buy the whole chicken and pick at it.  You can do a lot with just a microwave, just be creative!
Almost all hotels now are equipped with a fridge and microwave in each room which is really convenient.  That is my minimum requirement for a room.  What I try to look for are places with kitchenettes.  Most of the time they are the same price or just a little more than hotels without them.  I will pay more for that convenience.  Most hotels also offer complimentary breakfasts, but have limited healthy options.  Usually I end up eating hard boiled eggs, banana, and oatmeal.
Vacation Rental Properties.
If I am not traveling for work I like to try to find a vacation rental.  I usually use Home Away or VRBO.  You would be surprised on how inexpensive these places can be.  When I traveled to California in August I spent less on 2 vacation rental properties for a week then I did to stay in a hotel for 3 days.  These usually have fully stocked kitchens and washer and dryers.  Both major bonus’ in my book.
Hotel gyms are hit or miss.  I usually stay at Hilton properties and their equipment is very nice.  They have a rack of dumbbells that go up to 50lbs, a multi-use cable machine, a bench, and various cardio equipment.  Depending on the size of the hotel this can vary, but I have found this is the minimum.  If you want to go to a full gym you can ask the front desk if they have any day passes or affiliations with local gyms in the area.  If you are someone who travels more than they are home you may want to consider getting a membership at a gym with multiple locations: Planet Fitness, Snap Fitness, or Anytime Fitness just to name a few.  I have planet fitness and it has worked out well for me so far when I travel.  I do run into issues when some of them are not 24/7 on the weekends which can be frustrating.
If you need any travel recommendations I am your girl!  I hope this has been helpful in some way to you!  I am sure that I will still learn tips and tricks along the way, but if any of you have any travel hacks of your own I would love to hear them!
Until Next Time,
Posted on May 22nd, 2017 by Krista
Categories: General
I want to preface this by saying, we are all human.  Food is part of social gatherings!  You should not feel anxiety or feel like you have to alienate yourself by not going to eat with friends and family. If possible, try to look up the menu before you go.  Most places will have all the nutritional information online and let you see what your options are for customizing you meal to fit your goals!
I have more and more clients, as well as myself, that are on the go a lot and are looking for some options that won’t “ruin” everything.  While one meal out here and there will not derail your goals completely, it is nice to have a plan of action in place for those times where you need something quick and easy!  Without further adieu I have compiled some of my tips and go to meals while eating out or traveling!
Some of my go to BREAKFAST options while eating out or traveling:
If at a restaurant, I look for items such as:
Egg White Veggie Omelette or Scrambles: Think of veggies as freebies!
Turkey Bacon or Chicken Sausage
Fresh Fruit
Whole Grain Breads
Low Fat or Fat Free Yogurt
Plain Oatmeal
Wheat or Oatmeal Pancakes
Even if these are not on the menu, as the server, they are usually more than able to make substitutions!
*I also always ask for butter on the side, and to have everything cooked with cooking spray, not oil or butter*
Denny’s: Fit Slam: 269 Calories, 17g protein, 40g carb, 4g fat or build your own grand slam: 2 orders egg whites, turkey bacon, and fruit or pancakes!
IHOP: Simple & Fit 2 Egg Breakfast (with fruit as side): 330 Calories, 26g protein, 36g carbs, 10g fat
IHOP: Simple & Fit Vegetable Omelette: 317 Calories, 27g protein, 27g carb, 12g fat
Starbucks: Reduced Fat Turkey Bacon Sandwich: 240 Calories, 13g protein, 28g carbs, 6g fat.  Sometimes when I am in a pinch, I will order 2 and not eat the bread on the second one.
Starbucks: Try ordering your drinks with half the amount of syrup or try a sugar free option to lighten the calories.  You can also order using fat free or almond milk!
Starbucks: Egg White, Spinach, and Feta Wrap:280 Calories, 19 protein, 35g carbs, 9g fat
Mc Donald’s: Egg White Delight: 250 Calories, 18g protein, 32 carbs, 7g fat
Panera Bread: Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich: 390 Calories, 26g protein, 50g carbs, 10g fat.  Ask for no cheese or even double egg!
Panera Bread: Avocado, Egg White & Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich: 410 Calories, 22g protein, 52g carbs, 14g fat.  Ask for no cheese or even double egg!
Subway: Double Egg White Sandwich on Whole Grain Flatbread, Spinach, Tomato, Onion: 399 Calories, 29g protein, 47g carbs, 9g fat
Dunkin Donuts: Egg White Wake Up Wrap: 150 Calories, 9 protein, 14g carb, 7 fat.  Not exactly filling, but pair it with a fat free Greek yogurt and you have got yourself a great breakfast!
Dunkin Donuts: Egg White Flatbread: 280 Calories, 15g protein, 33g carbs, 9g fat
Au Bon Pain: Egg Whites, Cheddar and Avocado on a Skinny Bagel: 310 Calories, 20g protein, 26g carbs, 17g fat.  Ask for no cheese and drop the fat even more!
Until next time,
Posted on May 22nd, 2017 by Krista
Categories: General
Macros – Paleo – Atkins – Gluten Free – Sugar Free – Fat Free – Low Carb – Low Fat – Organic – Free Range –  What does it all mean?!
I have been getting a lot of questions lately asking me to help them with their diets.  There is SO MUCH information out there, conflicting information, confusing information, where do you start?  What is the best diet? First of all I want to try to rid the stigma of the “diet”.  It still bothers me sometimes when people see what food I eat and ask me what “diet” I am on.  What does that even mean anyway?  Just because someone is eating healthy foods does not mean that they are on a “diet”.  The next statement that follows is usually, ” You are so skinny, you don’t need to be on a diet”.  Why can’t someone just be making healthy food choices because they want to look better and feel better about what they are eating.  When you eat like crap, you feel like crap… enough said, I know I do at least.  One day you just decide that enough is enough and you want to change.  We need to stop thinking of foods as “good” or “bad”.  Everything is food, some things just are more nutritionally dense than others.
You may or may not know I am in the process of getting my personal training certification, and today I am reading the chapters on nutrition and nutritional coaching and it got me thinking about this.  Good nutrition will control energy balance.  When you choose food that is not “nutritionally dense” say, pizza, how do you feel when you are done? Me I feel full and sluggish, and it usually leads to me wanting to sit on the couch and digest.  Nutritionally dense foods will give your body vitamins, minerals, and the essential macro-nutrients (Protein, carbohydrates, and fats) that your body needs to maintain energy balance.  Good nutrition achieves good health, healthy body composition, increased energy which in turn will help increase your performance in daily activities.  It is so true that when you look good, you feel good! One of the best compliments is when you have been busting your butt, making healthy choices, and someone says, “you look great!”  That helps keep you motivated, does it not?  It fuels your mind to make better food choices and you want to keep going.  It is the days where you are already tired, and just not feeling motivated that get us.  Those days we tend to forget about the bigger picture and might just go through the drive thru because it is quick and easy.  How do you feel after that?  Ashamed, sad, disappointed in yourself?  Stop that!  So you had a bad day! Pick yourself up and start over again tomorrow.  That is the beauty of each and every new day.  We have the choice on how we are going to tackle the day to make the most of it! Go out and do what makes you feel good!
People ask me all the time about how I got started into healthy eating.  Well, I was in college and I was tired of feeling sluggish.  If you haven’t seen my fitness journey video you can watch that here.  I go into more detail about how I got started.  Anyway, I never really had to watch what I ate before and I needed a way to “teach me”.  So I joined weight watchers and that really taught me to eat my veggies and taught me somewhat of balance.  Did I like eating salads and veggies at first? Absolutely not… but I made myself eat it and eventually I learned to like it.  Over the years I have tried different “diets” and what I have learned after all of this is what works for my body and what makes me feel good, is when I eat good, whole, “clean” foods.  I first started weight watchers back while I was still in college in 2008.  I say that is what sparked it all.  It’s now 2016, I am still not perfect! I still have days where I eat Taco Bell, pizza, hot wings, etc, but it is all about BALANCE.  No one is clean or perfect 100% of the time, NO ONE.
I found this quote yesterday and I thought this was an EXCELLENT analogy
Story time, I currently am still in contest prep, my show is 16 days away.  I am currently on a carb cycling plan, tailored to me by my prep coach.  Contest prep is an entirely different animal all together… I won’t get into that right now.  Anyway, yesterday…. I got up, I had an all new low weigh in, and I was SUPER HUNGRY.  Right now I am supposed to go to the gym and do cardio before I eat.  Well yesterday, I knew I was way too hungry to go do that.  So I ate my breakfast, and I was still hungry.  My workout of the day was going to be with my coach and it was going to be a heavy leg day.  Heavy leg days are hard anyway, but right now I am in a significant calorie deficit, which is going to make it even more difficult than usual.  So I was still hungry, so I ate 2 rice cakes and some peanut butter.  I thought maybe I would have some more energy with some added fat, sugar, and carbs.  I went and worked out, got though it, with difficulty, but I did it.  I did not have it in me to do my prescribed cardio after my workout.  So I went home, had my post workout meal, which is rice and scallops, but I was still hungry.  So I had a banana and some granola.  I was still feeling really low energy and it was my day off so I laid down for an hour.  I had yet to do any cardio that day.  I am supposed to do 50 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening.  I further procrastinated my cardio by preparing another meal.  Shrimp and asparagus, and another spoon of almond butter.  I then, went to Walgreens and got some more vitamins that I needed, and a dark chocolate Dove bar…. which I ate on the way home.  When I got home I finished packing my things for work the next day and FINALLY talked myself into going to planet fitness to do my cardio.  When I got home, I ate what was supposed to be my last meal, showered, and went to bed.  I couldn’t fall asleep.  After I laid there for an hour I got up, had a power crunch bar and some chicken, and went back to bed.  I ate all 6 of my meals, plus all the extra things in bold.  My point is, even though I know that my show is close, I still “messed up”  NO ONE is perfect.  This may not seem like a lot, but when you are supposed to be in a calorie deficit and you go and eat WELL over that, it is a lot, I promise.
I share this to maybe help someone somewhere who is struggling.  We all have bad days, we all “fall off the wagon”, but do not let it get you down.  Another subject that I wanted to touch on, is the subject of some people feeling like if they ate something “bad” they punish themselves with large amounts of cardio or restrict themselves the next day.  Please do not do this! It will only lead to more unhealthy behaviors with food.  So ask yourself right now.  How do you feel like your current style of eating is working for you?  I am not going to praise one diet over the other.  I think all of them can work, and every body is different.  So how do you know what will work for you?  There is an universal best diet that is a miracle worker for everyone.  These diets are good for some things:
They raise awareness for balanced nutrition and attention to what foods people are choosing.  Simply paying better attention to what you eat and how you feel is a key factor on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  When you are caring more about what you are putting into your body you will feel better about it.
They focus on food quality over quantity.  This is true on so many levels.  When you choose whole foods that are nutritionally dense over processed foods you are going to have more energy.  Think about it.  Those 100 calorie packs of snacks are just a filler.  There is little to no nutritional value in those.  So you are hungry and want something sweet? How about a piece of fruit or some flavored almonds.  More than likely once you are done with your snack pack, you are going to be back in the cabinet looking for something else to eat.
They help to eliminate different nutrient deficiencies that we develop by helping us shift away from high processed foods.  Most of these diets preach a variety of different fruits and vegetables and proteins.  America is a grab and go busy lifestyle, and it is HARD.  I know.  Everyone is so busy all the time, but you have to make yourself a priority.  Do it for not only you, but for your kids, your family, your friends.
They help control your appetite.  When you are choosing more nutritionally dense foods you can eat MORE.  Fruits and vegetables not only have many vitamins and minerals but they are usually low in calories which in turn means you can eat more!  When you choose a variety of nutritionally dense foods you feel more satisfied, we lose fat, gain or maintain lean muscle mass, which in turn helps us perform better in our daily activities of life.
Last but not least, you can’t start a diet without hearing about exercise.  ANY exercise is better than nothing.  Go for walks on lunch breaks, take your kids to the park and walk around, do something to get up and moving.  The more active you are they better you will feel.
Last but not least, start small.  You didn’t form whatever habits you currently have overnight, so you cannot expect to change overnight.  The next time you go to the store, try to show around the perimeter of the store where the foods that are minimally processed are.  It has been about 9 years since I “started eating better” and slowly but surely I have been cutting out most processed foods.  You can watch some of my grocery hauls to check out some things that I buy regularly here.
It is your body and your life, how are you going to make the most of it?  You are worth it!