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.
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
Latest posts by Christy Jones (see all)
- The Best Way to Find Life Balance in a Chaotic World - April 6, 2016
- BEER BRAISED BEEF IN CROCK POT | Wellness Recipe - March 27, 2016
- Beef Salad | Wellness Recipe - March 13, 2016