We all know we should eat healthy. But not all of us have to time to cook, let alone cook healthy. Here are some ways to cook and eat healthier.
Use more unsaturated fats and less saturated. Olive oil is an unsaturated fat. Butter and coconut oil are saturated. And definitely stay away from trans-fats. Margarine, no matter what the label says, contains trans-fats by it’s very nature. Anything with “hydrogenated oil” in it’s ingredients has trans-fats.
Dip your bread in olive oil rather than covering it with butter (or margarine)!
Refined grains have been processed. This usually means the bran or germ was removed from the grain, through grinding and sifting. White flour is an example of this. Whole grains are unrefined, the bran has not been removed. The bran is where they fiber, vitamins and nutrients are.
More Fruits and Vegetables
Aim for 4-13 servings a day. Sounds like a lot but if you break it up between breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks it’s really not too difficult to do. Put raisins in your oatmeal. A fruit and vegetable in your smoothie. Fruits and vegetables in your lunch salad. Apple slices or carrots for a snack. A vegetable with your dinner. Right there you’ve got 6-8 servings in one day!
A Blueberry Sunrise Smoothie is a great way to start your day off right with 2 of your daily fruit and vegetable servings 🙂
Eat the Rainbow
Speaking of fruits and vegetables, eat and cook the rainbow! Different color fruits and vegetables have different nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Your healthy diet should include as many different colors as you can. This will help you get all those vital nutrients every day.
My June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month blog post is about the benefits of eating the rainbow.
You don’t have to eat meat every day to get your protein. And we all know that we should limit our red meat intake anyway. Instead of relying then on fish and chicken, get your protein from other sources. Beans, quinoa, eggs, almonds, tofu, Greek yogurt or soy milk are all good protein sources for cooking and eating healthy.
My Greek Quinoa Salad is an easy recipe to make with plenty of protein and your daily vegetable servings.
Use a Smaller Plate
Over the decades, our dinner plates have gotten bigger. I don’t mean how much food we put on them. I’m talking about the actual size! Since the 1900’s plates have gotten 25% larger. In the 1960’s our plates were 9″ in diameter. Today they measure 11-12″! Downsize to the salad plate. When the plate looks full you won’t be so tempted to pile on more.
Keep it Simple
Most of all, keep it simple! Simple whole foods, foods without ingredient lists. Real foods. You don’t need fancy sauces or special ingredients to cook healthy. Take fresh vegetables, add some herbs, steam a couple minutes in the microwave with olive oil and you have cooked a delicious, healthy side dish! Roast chicken with a chopped onion, sliced bell pepper and minced garlic and…TA DA! You found a simple way to cook and eat healthier 🙂
Remember, the more food is processed and changed, the less healthy it is. It was perfectly healthy and good for you the way it was.
What other ways to you cook and eat healthy? Please share your tips with our community. You can leave your comments below. Or if you have a quick and healthy recipe you’d like to share, you can contact me on the form to the right.