What a better way to start the New Year than with a fresh perspective on healthy living? The NBA invited me to participate in their NBA Fit Live Healthy Week, which features celebrity chefs offering up nutritious recipes and their philosophies on healthy living.
I’m honored to be part of this and to encourage and inspire others to whip up spiralized dishes! The NBA Fit team encourages fans to be active, eat healthy and play together. What a great motto!
Log on to NBAFit.com today to get fitness tips from players and trainers, view player workout videos and check out healthy recipes from celebrity chefs Rachael Ray, Mario Batali, Marc Forgione, Dale Talde, Roble Ali, Bill Telepan and Candice Kumai. And of course, moi, Ali Maffucci!
What’s my healthy eating philosophy?
While eating healthy is based on fundamental nutritional principles, it’s completely personal and all about finding what works for an individual. Once you do find what works best, the positive way your mind and body reacts to that pattern will keep you motivated to adopt it as a lifestyle and stay healthy for life.
I stand by that 100%.
Of course, it can seem daunting to get started on a regimen, especially if you don’t know where to start or you have a lofty goal. I’ve always understood that any serious diet change takes three weeks to form into a habit. Three weeks is almost a month! Luckily, you start feeling results immediately, so if you just focus on each day individually, before you know it, those three weeks will fly by and you’ll feel so incredible, light, fit and energized that your “diet” will turn into a lifestyle!
Once you figure out what works best for you and is manageable and sustainable, you’ll never go back to your “old ways” of eating unhealthily. It’s a no-brainer. Just make it through those first three weeks!
What works for me?
- Eating clean. 95% of what I eat is from scratch. Making your meals from scratch, using whole ingredients, allows you to control what goes into your body. If I ever eat a prepackaged item (like a bag of popcorn or a slice of bread), I have to recognize all of the ingredients.
- Exercising with discipline. It’s either all or nothing. I have to keep myself on a strict regimen or else I take advantage of a laissez-faire attitude and I fall off the wagon easily.
- Eating a large but late lunch. I like to eat my lunch around 2-3pm. Then, when it comes to dinner time, I’m not starving and I can have something smaller and not feel “guilty” about a snack later. Eat like a King at breakfast, a Prince at Lunch and a Pauper at dinner, they say!
- Not having carbs for breakfast. It just doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried everything – granola, cereal, toast. If I have it in the morning, I’m starving by 10:30am.
- Eating mainly a plant based diet. My body looks and feels its best when I eat vegan until dinner time. Dinner is usually a healthy seafood like shrimp or salmon.
- Having healthy snacks readily available. Whether that means making a big, light and fluffy quinoa salad on Sunday to snack on during the week or having a 100 calorie pack of pistachios in my purse – I always have snacks available so that I’m not tempted to run to the store and buy a bag of chips.
- When I splurge on chocolate or something sugary, it has to be vegan. That’s my rule! Vegan treats never make me feel sick or bloated afterwards.
- Meal planning. It’s less overwhelming to cook healthy if I know what I’m cooking. I plan on Sundays – check out my post on that.
- Being organized in my work and personal life. The less clutter around me, the more energized I feel and the less likely I am to stress eat.
- Telling my friends, family and boyfriend about my goals. They help me keep on track when I have the urge to cheat. A simple, “Ali, you were on such a good roll!” will stop be dead in my tracks.
What recipes did I offer up for the NBA Fit Live Healthy Week?
Pesto Bacon Zucchini Noodle Frittata with Mushrooms and Kale (middle)
Ginger Scallion Egg Drop Zucchini Noodle Bowl (top right)
Spicy Garlic Lump Crab Butternut Squash Noodles with Feta & Parsley (bottom right)
Teriyaki Zucchini Fried Noodles (with shrimp, peppers, onions & broccoli) (left)
What are you doing this year to be a fitter, healthier version of yourself? If you have no plans, #getinspiralized with me.