Keep It Simple
Everyday, I talk with people wanting to improve their health, but they feel defeated before they even begin. There are so many mixed messages about what healthy eating need to look like, that your average person feels easily overwhelmed and clueless as to where to start. The overall messaging that I try to give to clients is to keep things simple and customize your diet to yourself. It only needs to work for you, not the celebrity in the gossip magazine or your best friend.
I frequently peruse magazines and blogs for recipes, but I don’t even try half of what I find and the reason is a lengthy list of ingredients and steps. On a busy weeknight, no one wants to be bothered. Meal prep kits can help simplify the process, as they give you exactly what you need and most of the ingredients are pre-prepped, but they can add up financially. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be complex or fancy. Healthy meals have a little of each food group present on the plate, and there can be beauty in simplifying the process so eating at home is something you can do more regularly. Here are some tips for keeping it simple at dinner.
- Cook from a rotisserie chicken, or roast one at the beginning of the week. This is probably my number one tip to clients. A whole chicken can give you a few different meals. Make baked potatoes and steam veggies to have a chicken dinner the first night and then use the leftovers for salads, sandwiches, soups, pizza, or enchiladas.
- Cook for leftovers. If you are going to cook, make a little extra. If it is a soup, chili or stew, you can freeze for another night or take leftovers for lunch the next day. Pasta dishes and casseroles also freeze well.
- Breakfast is a winner any time of day. Eggs are an inexpensive, easy protein source. Keeping eggs, chicken or turkey sausage, and some potatoes or whole grain bread on hand open up the possibility of having a meal we typically save for the weekend, any night of the week. Use up veggies in your produce drawer for a quick omelet or quiche. Hard boil eggs once a week for a quick snack or breakfast on the run.
- Cook what you can, ahead of time. It goes back to “if you are going to take the time, make it worth it.” If you cut up veggies to roast or grill, add some more to the tray so you have them for an easy side. Batch cook rice or another whole grain and portion it out so it is ready to be dressed up differently at another time.
In Health, Angela Aladjem
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist