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Healthy Eating with Anne from Fannetastic Food

Can you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Hi – I’m Anne! I’m a runner, (whole) foodie, occasional yogi, and lover of photography, healthy recipe creation, travel, and adventure. I write the food and fitness blog fANNEtastic food, which I use as a way to motivate others to lead happier, healthier lives through nutrition and exercise. I aim to show readers that it doesn’t have to be hard or complicated to be healthy – and in fact, it can even be fun! I spent the past 2 years at UNC-Chapel Hill (loved it there!) working on a Masters of Public Health in Nutrition and just moved back up to the Washington D.C. area to finish my dietetic internships to become a Registered Dietitian.

My blog content changes day to day — I share simple healthy recipes, quick and easy health tips, packed lunch ideas, fitness motivation, and day-to-day and travel-related adventures, too! I also train for running races pretty frequently so I like including things like my half marathon training plans and training run recapsas well.

Where did you get your passion for nutrition and healthy eating and how did you decide to become a registered dietitian?

I actually didn’t really get interested in cooking and nutrition until after college. It happened slowly – I started reading food blogs and cookbooks, picking up tips, and was eventually inspired to be more adventurous in the kitchen. I was surprised to find that not only was cooking easier than I had thought, but it was fun too! As I got more into cooking and healthy eating, I started having friends ask for my recipes – and thus, fANNEtastic food was born! I love writing and photography, as well as cooking, so a blog just made perfect sense. When I started my blog, I had just decided to leave my office job and start prerequisites to head back to graduate school to become a Registered Dietitian (RD), so readers have followed me on that journey as well.

As a future dietitian, what are your top five tips that anyone could incorporate into their lives to start getting healthier today?

Drink a lot of water

Take the stairs

Swap mayonnaise and sour cream out for nonfat plain Greek yogurt (check out my post on how to Make a Meal or Recipe Healthier Using Yogurt)

Create a standing desk for yourself (mine is called my “perch” – check it out: One Small Change I Made to Improve My Health)

Use whole grains instead of refined grains – e.g. 100% whole wheat bread instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white rice (you can usually request brown rice at restaurants, too!), whole wheat pasta instead of white, etc.

How do you come up with the recipes on your site, what are some of your favorites, and do you have any tips for others to get creative in the kitchen?

All my recipes are really simple – I’m by no means a master chef – and I just try to have fun experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Here are some of my favorites:

5-Minute No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars (vegan, gluten free if you use GF certified oats)

Almond Encrusted Tilapia

Banana & Spinach Smoothie (sounds gross but is AWESOME!)

Carrot Cake Muffins (vegan & whole wheat)

Chicken & White Bean Chili Soup

Corn Flake Encrusted Chicken Fingers (gluten free)

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas (gluten-free and made with yogurt!)

Matt’s Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies (healthy but not TOO healthy!)

Mexican Black Bean Spinach Burgers (vegan)

Oatmeal Banana Coconut Cookies

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Perfect (Microwave) Banana Oatmeal

Scrambled Egg Muffins

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas (vegan if omit cheese)

Sweet Potato Lentil Chili (vegan)

Tuna Salad with a Healthy Twist

Veggie-tastic Minestrone Soup (vegan)

Vegan & Gluten Free Granola Bars (vegan, gluten free)

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Zesty Lemon Zucchini Muffins

What are some easy fixes to make our meals healthier?

I actually have a post on my site all about this – and it includes a downloadable/printable PDF of healthy recipe substitutions! Check it out: How to Make a Recipe Healthier.

What are some things readers should keep in mind when planning meals for a day? 

My main advice is just to try to incorporate a protein, a carbohydrate, and a fat into all your meals and snacks. This will help to keep you full longer and more satisfied in general! In terms of frequency, I do well eating three meals and two smaller snacks, but everyone is different.

Do you have any weekly meal planning tips and tricks you could share?

I’m actually horrible at meal planning – I usually just buy an assortment of healthy ingredients and then see what I can make with them. Maybe you all can give me your tips for this one, instead! The one thing I always make sure to do, though, is to keep healthy options easily available and on hand.

You have some great guides in your healthy tips section.  Can you share some of your tips on eating healthy while juggling a busy schedule?

I wrote a whole blog post about this – check it out: How to make time for health when you’re busy.

How do you make sure you feel satisfied eating healthy foods? Are there any ingredients you use to help satisfy hunger and keep you feeling full throughout the day?

I wrote a whole blog post about this, as well! And I even followed it up with another post sharing reader’s tips that were left in the comments of my original post. Check them out:

Lastly, what is your advice to others in making health and nutrition a priority in their lives?

Honestly, just DO it! There’s no better time than right now and you’re never too busy to invest in your own health, whether it’s by making a healthy meal or squeezing in a workout. And remember you don’t have to be perfect all the time. Everything in moderation, including moderation!

One other tip? Make exercise fun. Check out my post on How to Love Exercise (or at least not hate it).

For more healthy living tips and simple healthy recipes you can make at home, visit Anne's blog fANNEtasticfood.com!

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