Trying another diet? What happened to the last one? Maybe you’re like most people – just too tired to eat right. Do you know that even with all the food we consume, we are are still undernourished? I have an idea. Let’s stop obsessing about dropping pounds, and start thinking about nourishing ourselves. We don’t have to think of food as the enemy. We can snuggle up close to it. We can learn to love it again – without guilt. Here are seven simple suggestions to make eating real, nutritious food a part of your daily routine…
1. When you go shopping, wash fruits and vegetables (including greens) right away and cut them up so they are ready for eating raw or cooking. Pat them dry and store them in a ziplock bag with a paper towel. Have the family help! It’s a great way for you to spend time together and learn about food. DON’T hide food in the crisper drawers of your refrigerator – you’ll forget about them and end up with a slimy mess in a few weeks. Reserve the bins for things you can easily see – washed apples, grapes, oranges, etc.
2. When you are wondering what to make, think of what style/culture of food you are hungry for, rather than what to prepare. Do you feel like Mexican, Italian, Asian, Mediterranean? This provides the foundation to come up with dishes more easily.
3. Keep a stocked spice and condiment pantry of the foods you like – (basil, oregano, paprika, cumin, chili, coriander, ginger, garlic, fennel, curry, miso, soy sauce, vinegar, olives, etc). Remember, think “culture” and it will be easier.
4. Make a big batch of high quality, complex carbohydrates on Saturday or Sunday – brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, couscous, roasted sweet potatoes. Put them in tupperware or ziplock bags for easy access during the week.
5. While you’re at it, make some hummus and guacamole for the week. You will use those already washed and chopped veggies (or a few whole grain pita/tortilla chips) for dipping. These make great, nutritious snacks.
6. Remember, as we head into warm weather, that rice, quinoa and pasta are perfect for hearty salads. Here’s a winner: cooked rice, mint, basil, cilantro, red peppers, green onions, chopped mangos and a dash of salt and pepper. Top with shredded coconut, whole peanuts and fresh lemon juice. It looks exotic and tastes delicious!
7. Finally, never go anywhere without healthful snacks. Shoot for whole foods – those that haven’t been changed much by processing and have only one ingredient. Find some that you really enjoy: Keep an apple, pear or an orange on hand. Peanut butter (buy some that only has one ingredient – peanuts!) and jelly on whole wheat is always good. Put a bag of raw, unsalted nuts and dried fruit in your car. Raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds are also nutrish and delish. A few handfuls will prevent you from being tempted by the drive-through on your way home.
Start small. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t think about what to take away, think about what whole foods you can add. If you start planning for just one week a month, wonderful! You don’t have to stress anymore. Nourish yourself. Today.
What has or hasn’t worked for you? Leave a reply…