“Renew You” Challenge – Be a part of my Weekly Challenge to help set you off in the right direction for bringing health to your week!

Sure it’s easy to talk about healthy eating, but sometimes actually doing it is a different thing altogether. Maybe work gets too busy, or your daily to-do list gets so long that by the time you even think about lunch it’s easier just to head to the nearest fast food joint.

And if you have school-age kids, forget it! Along with worrying about after-school activities, homework and everything else, planning and packing lunches every day can seem nearly impossible. But the reality folks is that we’re trading in our health for an easy shortcut, and over time the consequences can add up.

Most fast food options—including many of our nation’s school lunch programs—are loaded with processed sugars, unhealthy fats and unnecessary additives and preservatives that can take a serious toll on our digestive system and our overall health. America’s growing obesity problem is just one example! So I say it’s time to make a change for the better.

This week, let’s all do our best to brown bag it. You may need to plan ahead and make a grocery list, but I think taking a little extra time out of your week is worth it for better health in the long run. And don’t be fooled by pre-packaged meals and snacks that claim they’re good for you but really aren’t any better than what you’d get at the drive-through! Your best bet is to stick with fresh raw foods, whole grains and lean meats, and whenever possible, opt for organic. Here are some ideas to help you get started!

  • High-fiber fresh fruits and veggies
  • Homemade hummus or low-fat cream cheese
  • Whole-grain breads/pita (no high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Organic peanut butter (no sugars/trans fats)
  • Lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey and fish
  • Low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt (watch sugar content)
  • Homemade quesadilla slices (great for kids!)
  • Natural trail mix, granola, and snacks
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Hard-boiled eggs/egg salad

Once you get started, you’ll see just how easy it can be to make a few healthier choices every week, and soon you’ll be a brown bag expert!