Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cook More ...Eat Less! Eat Healthier! Nutrition for the Soul , Body and Spirit!
Friends and clients ask me all the time how they can eat healthier, loose a pound or two, cook for themselves and not dread the Mon-Fri mealtime. It's not hard I tell them, but sometimes what is difficult is changing your thought about it. So lets just start there...affirm you are going to embrace this lifestyle change with good intention. Nothing is written in stone, make it fit your tastes, needs and desires.
You've got to love it. That is the main ingredient.

Cook more, eat less! Nutrition for the soul.

Let's think about it — when you eat in restaurants or order from your favorite take-out restaurant, you almost always eat more calories, fat and sodium. Portions are significantly larger and it is impossible to know exactly what is in that Vegetable Pad Thai you are eating, after all, congratulate yourself you did order the vegetables; plus, you’re paying a premium and you do want your money’s worth. It is funny how we can all justify not taking care of ourselves. One way to begin saying YES! to me is to start planning your dinners in advance. Create a grocery list. Shop on the weekend and take a couple of hours to prep some foods that will make it easier to stick with your plan. . You will have so much already prepared and waiting for you, you will be excited to come home and create a healthy meal. It does get easier with practice. Keep it simple. Menu ideas and recipes should be quick and easy and fit into your lifestyle.
Here are some ideas, guidelines to be modified with whatever works for you.
Your shopping list should have 4-6 fresh vegetables 3 proteins, 2 lettuces, 4-6 fruits, 2 dairy, 3 grains and some dairy and a few extras.
Staples: Garlic, Onions, Olive Oil, Vinegar, Kosher or Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper, Lemons
Vegetables: brocollini, carrots, artichokes, cauliflower, cucumber, bell peppers
Proteins: Whole free range chicken, ground turkey, salmon fillet
Lettuce: Romaine, Baby Spinach
Fruits: Tomatoes, Melon, Grapes, Apples, Clementines, Pears
Dairy: Non Fat Yogurt, 1 kind of cheese (after all we are human)
Grains: Brown Rice, Quinoa, Lentils
Extras: Raw Nuts (I always keep mine in a glass jar on the counter), 85% cocoa chocolate squares (again, I am human)
Prep Day: Cook the artichokes, drain and refrigerate, Blanche half the brocollini, carrots and cauliflower. Wrap in towel and place in container in refrigerator. Place raw vegetables in refrigerator. Cut cucumber rounds and bell pepper sticks and place on a paper towel in a dish and refrigerate. (absorbs the moisture that makes vegetables rot)
You can reheat blanched veges in the microwave or eat them cold, season either with a drizzle of olive oil or your favorite salad dressing.
Wash grapes, cut into clusters and refrigerate wrapped in a kitchen towel. Wash and dry clementines, apples, pears and tomatoes and place them in a bowl on the counter ready to eat. Cut the melon into portion size sections and refrigerate.
Roast the chicken, cut into portions. Prepare turkey burgers, wrap in saran and refrigerate. Make a turkey meatloaf, cook, cool, wrap and refrigerate. Place the salmon fillet in a baking dish, season with olive oil, salt and pepper, refrigerate and it is ready for baking or broiling.
Cook brown rice and lentils, place in covered dish and refrigerate. Eat hot or cold with olive oil or your favorite dressing.
So, now what haven't I used? Well the lettuces are there to be a side salad or a main course salad mixed with some protein or vegetables. And you can always saute or microwave the fresh spinach with a little garlic and olive oil. The roasted bones of the chicken can be thrown into a pot with water for a quick stock and then voila a soup with the rice, lentils and or the leftover chicken and raw vegetables.
Somehow I think you get the picture. A few hours of prep on any day you choose can take the drudgery of weeknight mealtime. You may be so on top of your game that you invite a neighbor to join you.
Effortlessly with grace and with ease. You don't have to do it all the first week..We are looking for progress not perfection. Do what feels right for you. Baby steps makes big progress!
ps...and I think you know what to do with your square of chocolate...enjoy!