5 Ways to Make Healthy Food Choices

The New Year has begun and so have the healthy mindsets. Such as walking more, drinking more water, gardening, cooking your food instead of ordering out and so on. I’m here to help you achieve your goals, especially with food. I am not a dietitian, fitness trainer or health guru. I’m a mom who knows that I am still carrying 15 extra pounds from my twin pregnancy, 12 years ago.

99 Walks

How am I going to get in shape? I’m doing it with 99 Walks! Girl Camper has teamed up with 99 Walks to help you get on the right path towards your personal best. What is 99 walks? It is a social group that uses an app to help you track your walking and it also has inspirational exercise classes, podcasts, meditation and awesome workout music you know and love, to keep you going. There is a subscription fee, but Girl Camper members will receive a fantastic discount for joining. To find out more, please click on the link 99 Walks in the toolbar above.

For the next 30 days I will commit to walking 33 miles. This is tough, it’s cold here in Texas, I have a ton of work to accomplish and I have a family schedule that would make anyone get hives. Did you see that, I created a list of excuses to give me a pass on this project. I’m not buying my excuses any longer.

I want to walk at a good pace for at least 2 miles without getting winded. I want to build strength in my legs so my knees, (both have had surgeries) stop hurting. I’d also like my sciatic to stop burning because I sit at my desk on the computer for long periods of time. Did you notice I never stated I wanted to lose weight, I stated I needed to get healthy, two very different mindsets.

Making Changes

Over the next 30 days I will need to set in motion a focused number of changes to help me achieve a healthier lifestyle. Here are my top 5.

1.I need to stop snacking and start eating meals. I’m 45 years old I know better

2. I need to reduce my sodium intake- I love salt, I love many types of salt. I need to reduce the amount I consume.

3.I need to drink water- I don’t drink enough and I get bad headaches from being dehydrated.

4.Exercise- I don’t do it, period. Why? In short, I hate doing it alone and not to mention I lack motivation.

5.Practice self care- I’m a caregiver for my Mother, my job is to make sure she is safe, comfortable, and cared for. But I also have to make sure I am taken care of, safe, rested and recharged.

5 Ways to Make Healthier Choices For You

  1. Your weekly schedule, write it out see what appointments you have and how many nights you will not be home to make dinner. Planning your meals along with your schedule is key. This is how you will watch what you eat and save money by preparing your food.
  2. Meal planning. I prepare grains and beans ahead of time, did you know that cooked grains and beans can be frozen. Over on my website The Campground Gourmet I have a section about meal planning, take a look and print out some of pages, see if that helps you.
  3. Eat seasonally. Do everything you can to only eat fruits and vegetables grown in that season. Here is a link to help with all the seasonal food choices.  The ultimate eat seasonal suggestion is to buy food from the farmers markets and if possible to grow some of your favorite foods.
  4. Make your own spices blends. By making your own spice blends you 100% guarantee what is going in that mix. You control the salt, you control the spice or heat level, and you avoid consuming stabilizers that are gluten based or chemical based. Here are links to spice mixes and containers.
  5. Portion control is one of the hardest parts of healthy eating. The size of our dinner plates is oversized, downsize your plate by  changing to a salad plate. Fill that with 2/3 vegetables, fruits and healthy grains or legumes. Look at the food pyramid, it suggests how many servings of fruits and vegetables for you to consume daily. Here are links to reusable portion control containers that can be filled with your leftovers.

Bonus Tip

Cook extra portions of your meal. I cook an additional 2 to 4 portions of our dinner and let me tell you why. My mother attends a program three times a week where she needs to bring a lunch. With the convenient portion controlled containers I can easily create her meals she takes with her.

Full of Flavor

I created this rich, flavorful and hardy vegetable chili recipe for Camp Casual, they have allowed me to share it with you. I love the designs the creative minds at Camp Casual come up with especially their ceramic camping themed mugs. They are the perfect size container to ladle in a hot cup of this chili for you to enjoy at the campsite or at your home. Ways to change it up a bit, add roast chicken, meatballs, tofu, beef stew meat or ground turkey. The choices are endless when you have the perfect chili base like my recipe below.

Healthy Vegetable Chili


  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 Anaheim peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (10oz) can Rotel, mild, diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 2 (15-oz) cans navy, cannellini or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen, fresh or canned corn
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped. If using frozen, thaw completely and squeeze out all the water.
  • ½ cup of half and half (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. For the peppers:
  2. Roast the Anaheim, jalapeno and poblano peppers in your broiler set to low for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to evenly roast on all sides. If you like a deeper char on your peppers leave then in an additional 10 minutes, continue to turn every 5 minutes. You can also do this over a BBQ, campfire or your stove top flame.
  3. Once charred, place the peppers in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Steam for 15-20 minutes, then carefully remove the charred skin with your hands, cut the stems off, and remove any seeds. Chop fine set aside.
  4. For the chili
  5. In a large heavy-bottomed pot or cast iron Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until you see light smoke wisps. Add the onion and bell peppers to the hot oil and cook until peppers are softened and onions lightly caramelized, 10 minutes.
  6. Add in the garlic, all of the spices, salt and pepper cook for one minute. Add in the can of Rotel and stir well to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot. Add in the roasted peppers and beans, stir well, add in broth, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the corn and spinach, cover pot and simmer another 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and add in the milk for a richer flavor. Check for seasoning.
  8. To serve
  9. Ladle the chili into Camp Casual mugs while hot and garnish with your favorite toppings; chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, tortilla strips, lime wedges, sour cream, grated cheese or guacamole.


Article Supplied by: GIRLCAMPER.COM

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