My Secret Sauce for Healthy and Joyful Eating

When people find out I do triathlons, and especially if they’ve spent the day with me and watched me eat, they often ask questions about my best tips and tricks for healthy eating. My basic philosophy is that food is fuel, but it’s also an important way to connect with others, for me this especially means my family. 

While everyone needs to tailor their eating to their own lifestyle and dietary needs, there are a few things I think are good guidance for most people that I like to share.

To Do List

  • Know what your fuel needs are each day – you don’t need the same amount of fuel if you’re at your desk all day that you would if you rode 30 miles on a bike and did a lot of yard work
  • Drink plenty of water!!!
  • Plan your food and prepare it, down to meals and snacks
  • Make as much of your food at home as possible
  • Focus on vegetables – I try to eat 2 cups of green vegetables daily, in addition to lettuce and salads
  • Eat at least a little protein and healthy fat with everything
  • Share meals with friend and family as often as possible – I love to have my entire family sit down to dinner each night at 6:30pm; it’s an amazing point of connection as our kids grow into young adults
  • Present your food beautifully – make it look nice on a plate and sit at the table to eat with real dishes and silverware (with a placemat and cloth napkin if possible!)
  • Truly enjoy what you eat 

Don’t Do List

  • Avoid unplanned grazing and sampling
  • Don’t eat out of a bag – put a reasonable portion into a small bowl or on a napkin
  • Don’t eat in your car!
  • Be careful of sauces and dressings – those calories add up fast!
  • Avoid sugar and empty calories – it is just fine to joyfully indulge in cake or other sweet treats when celebrating a special occasion, just be mindful of what you classify as “special” – if it’s 2-3 times each week, you’re probably overdoing it

Favorite Snacks

  • Clementines with raw almonds
  • Apple with almond butter
  • Protein shake blended with ice and banana
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Edamame