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Fit For Summer: Healthy Food Plan


by blessed_faerie

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Pteris are chirping in the morning and there's dew on the lush, green grass when you wake up. You know what that means: spring is here and summer is rapidly approaching. If you and your Neopets have gotten a little out of shape during winter, now is the time to make a food and exercise plan and start getting fit. By the time summer arrives, you'll be ready for a bathing suit!

In this article, I'll help you come up with a food plan you can implement to get ready for the beach. In a later article, we'll look at easy exercise you can add to your daily schedule. Eating well has the added bonus of improving your energy level, making exercise (and those fun summer activities) a little bit easier.

You may have noticed I am calling this a "food plan", not a "diet". There's nothing "diet" about this plan: we are simply swapping healthy foods for fattening ones and helping you make smarter choices at meal times. As an added bonus, all of the meals in this article cost 5,000 neopoints or less. Eating healthy does not have to be expensive! Are you ready to get fit and healthy?

Breakfasts

Starting your day right is an important part of staying healthy. You won't have any energy during the day if you start off hungry. It is best to stay away from foods that are very rich and sweet. Instead, try something that is high in protein, like eggs. Omelettes can be a great option if you choose healthy ingredients like vegetables and fruits. Stay away from omelettes that include cheese, chocolate, and bacon. There are plenty of delicious omelette choices that are healthy, like my favorite, the Hot Tyrannian Pepper Omelette.

Another inexpensive breakfast option is a Scrambled Egg on Toast. To keep it healthy, use Wheat Kacheek Bread or a Wheaty Snowbunny Loaf when preparing this dish.

Salads

A salad is the perfect lunch. You're probably still a bit full from your high-protein breakfast, so now is the time to take in those leafy greens. Did you know you can find more than 85 different salads for sale in Neopia? Your salad does not have to be a boring mix of green vegetables. Try something a little different, like a Spicy Radish Salad or Roasted Beet Salad. If you want a traditional salad with a twist, go with the Mushroom and Herb Salad. It's full of nutrients and packed with flavor from the herb blend. If you don't want salad for lunch, try including a side salad with your main entree for dinner.

Sandwiches

Sandwiches are a staple food: they're easy to prepare and even easier to eat! A tasty sandwich choice is the Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich. To make this sandwich even healthier, try swapping the peanut butter for Organic Almond Butter or Organic Cashew Butter. The next time you're reaching for a French Toast PB&J Sandwich, try this one instead. Another obvious choice for a sandwich is the Healthy Veggie Deluxe Sandwich. It comes on whole wheat bread and is stuffed full of your favorite vegetables. Yum!

If you'd prefer meat with your sandwich, opt for a Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Grilled chicken is always a much better choice than fried chicken, and this sandwich comes with extra lettuce and tomato. Try to get it prepared on a whole wheat bun to make it more nutritious.

Entrees

Turkey is a great meat that fills you up, but still keeps you healthy. A Pea and Carrot-Stuffed Turkey is a great entree choice. Go with that instead of a turkey stuffed with sugary jam or buttery potatoes. You and your Neopets won't even be able to taste the difference!

Fish is another great food that should be a part of your eating plan. Tuna is fairly inexpensive and high in nutrients. Try a Seared Tuna Steak with wasabi and soy sauce on the side for dipping. If you're entertaining, your guests will love this entree. It is simple, but it looks very impressive on the plate.

Just because you are trying to get fit doesn't mean you have to say no to all of your favorite foods. If you are craving pizza, have pizza! Do your best to choose a healthier version of that food, and be mindful of your portion sizes. One of my favorite foods is a Garden Fresh Pizza Slice.

Beverages

If you're in the mood for a warm beverage, go with green tea. Neopia is filled with green tea options. My favorite is the Steaming Green Tea from Shenkuu, pictured above. Skip the green tea options with a lot of additives, like the Chocolate Green Tea Parfait. Green tea is great on its own--it doesn't need anything added to it.

If you need your beverage to cool you down, try a smoothie! The Large Asparagus Protein Smoothie will fill you up and give you energy galore. Avoid the Butter Smoothie and go for something with fruits and vegetables. Here's a secret: when vegetables are all blended up in a smoothie, you can't even taste them.

Snacks

A granola bar is a great snack during the day. They're easy to carry and filled with good nutrients. A Cherry Granola Bar, pictured above, is a nice sweet choice. Neopian Health Foods also carries cinnamon-flavored and peanut butter-flavored granola bars.

Another fabulous snack choice is Organic Plain Yogurt. This food is a great option because you can add whatever you want to it. Try topping the yogurt with some fruits, nuts, and a little honey.

Desserts

I know what you're thinking about this food plan: where's the chocolate?! Eating healthy doesn't have to mean cutting out chocolate all together, it just means taking less trips to the Chocolate Shop and more trips to Neopian Health Foods. If you want some chocolate, go for a piece of Organic Dark Chocolate. It's very rich and smooth. One small piece will quiet your chocolate craving.

If you'd prefer a baked good for dessert, Banana Cookies from the bakery are a great option. They are made of ripe bananas and oats, two very healthy ingredients. Go ahead, have a handful!

You can eat to get fit without munching on celery sticks all day or breaking the bank. Each of the options in this short guide costs less than 5,000 neopoints. You can find even more inexpensive and healthy food options with a little research. Eating healthy is not about restricting what you it, but rather being mindful about your meals. Make sure you're getting enough fruits and vegetables. Avoid deep fried food. Also, be mindful of portion size. Your plate or bowl can be full, but it should not be overflowing. If you're mindful about what you are eating each day, you'll be ready for the beaches of Mystery Island in no time.

In part two of the Fit For Summer series, we'll explore some easy exercises you can do at home to build up your strength and get even fitter.

 
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