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What do I eat? — Basic meals and nutritious food for your health journey

Moving to better health and fitness seems like an almost impossible task during special events and holidays.

Columnist Michael Estes is determined to help you during the tough time with ideas on healthy eating habits. Here are his best tips:

Sharing my knowledge of the ways to prep healthy, basic meals is something I promised to teach you. And that's precisely what I'm going to do!

When you move towards a healthier lifestyle, people often worry and overthink what an actual meal should be. They also fret about which foods to include in a nutritious diet.

But it's really quite simple if you just think clearly and realistically.

It all comes down to quality and quantity.

By making the right choices, you will drive results quicker than you might think.

And eating a clean diet is probably a lot easier than you think it might be. I'll give you a sample menu below and tell you the essentials to include in your diet.

3 things for every meal

Unless you are trying a popular or fad diet, you generally you want your meals to consist of three elements:
1. Protein
2. Carbohydrates
3. Fat

As mentioned above, the three most essential components of your meals should be protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

These three elements will fuel the body and keep it feeling fed in a way that will lead to muscle growth — if that is the goal.

Doing this will also help you to cut down on body fat if that is what you want.

Below, I will outline a simple meal plan that highlights all of the elements I mentioned above. Hopefully, you can use it to make positive changes to your diet.


⦿ 1 egg
⦿ ½ cup egg whites
⦿ 1-2 slices of Daves Killer Bread
⦿ 1 cup yogurt with ½ cup granola

QUICK ALTERNATIVE: A simple protein shake mixed with a scoop dry steel-cut oats


⦿ 1 thin sliced chicken breast seasoned with lemon pepper
⦿ ½ cup of couscous, with a few stalks of asparagus or broccoli
⦿ 7 oz of 93%v lean 7% fat ground chuck mixed with 1 cup brown rice, and green beans


⦿ 7 oz salmon fillet
⦿ Broccoli
⦿ ½ cup red potatoes

ALTERNATIVE: 1 thin sliced chicken breast, ½ cup brown rice, and fajita veggies

Before we go, we must address something else: As far as seasonings and condiments go, just make sure you purchase items that are low in fat and sodium-based seasonings.

Of course, you need to also make sure you are getting plenty of water. If you do everything above and modify it to your particular lifestyle, your diet and nutritious needs will be fully satisfied as you embark on your own health journey.

Keep positive and stay on course until the next time we speak.

Dig deeper:
Read other "Health Journey" columns by Michael Estes:
1. Seven tips to start your health journey - The time to start getting healthy is now
2. THE WHY — Beginning your health journey: Why a positive mindset is essential
3. What do I eat? — Basic meals and nutritious food for your health journey

About the author: Michael Estes is a 28-year-old Sgt. in the Army National Guard and full-time Manager of 5 Star Nutrition. Having 12 years total in the health and fitness industry, he is well versed in all aspects of nutrition and fitness. Michael has a wife and two children, and he loves to drive results for anyone's goals for fitness and overall health. 
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