You have promised yourself yet again to lower your cholesterol levels and/or lose weight, but you feel tempted when you see others eating unhealthy or maybe you smell steak grilling? There’s no reason to feel guilty; more and more people—me included—prefer a plant-based diet (think whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables) augmented with lean chicken, turkey, or fish: a la Paleo, UltraMetabolism and the China Study diet recommendations. Follow the simple steps below to create a healthier kitchen and improve your dietary habits overall.

Prep your vegetables

With all the washing, peeling, chopping, and cooking involved, preparing vegetables can be time consuming. The solution? Partially cook them the day you bring them home from the market. Start by cleaning and trimming the veggies, then blanch them (dunk in a big pot of boiling water for a minute or two). Drain, rinse in cold water, strain, then place in zipped plastic bags to store in the refrigerator. They’ll last five days or longer (and take up half the fridge space). To serve, just warm them in a pan with a little olive oil and a touch of garlic. This works especially well with green vegetables such as broccoli, string beans, spinach and other leafy greens, and asparagus.


Another time-saving trick: Separately cook several kinds of whole grains—bulgur, quinoa, barley, and brown rice, for example—and store in tightly covered containers in the refrigerator (they’ll last up to a week). At mealtimes, mix together and reheat in the microwave. You can top them with some of the vegetables you have on hand or toss in some diced cooked chicken or beef.

Lean Proteins

Keep your pantry stocked with a range of protein sources. Pick up various types of canned beans so you can add a quick protein and fiber boost to grains, pasta, soups, and salads. Nuts are also high in protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. When you do have meat, poultry, or fish, think of it as an embellishment, not the main event. You can either have a regular-size portion of meat once or twice a week or eat it in smaller amounts every day; slice about 3 ounces into strips and lay them on top of your grain or vegetable dish.


Adapted from materials provided by Shape

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Christy is a Certified Wellness Coach and has a passion for empowering and educating individuals. She has over 10 years experience in the Health and Wellness industry and continues to pursue health and wellness activities through weight training, aerobics, and dance. Connect with us on our Google Plus Page Active. Healthy. Well.