By Teri Gentes
You know how important food choices are and you have the know-how on better foods to eat along with sincere intentions to master healthy meals yet, somehow, it doesn’t always manifest. Something’s got to change and these tips are just the inspiration you need to take action today. Nothing feels as good as feeling good!
Cooking at home, using quality ingredients, is one of the key factors common in all the Blue Zones where longevity, coupled with quality of life, is the norm.
Source out year-round farmers markets and coops and/or an organic delivery service that supplies fresh produce, superior to what most grocers offer (and often at comparable, even better prices). Some even offer shelf stable groceries. A google search, scan of local magazines or visit to your local health food store are great ways to source out the options in your hood and find one that suits your needs.
In the Kitchen
Yes, this is where most stumble. If planning meals and preparing food seems daunting, check out these hacks below to make it so much easier.
- Find five to seven easy-to-make favorite recipes, keep them handy and stock up on the ingredients. Learn to ace these recipes and make them your own.
- Schedule at least an hour or more of food prep each week.
- Double or triple recipes so you have leftovers for future meals.
- Mix and match menus, factoring in how to use leftovers.
- Revise recipes if needed to meet your own dietary needs.
- For instance: nut /seed butter, hummus and nutritional yeast are great for cheese alternatives; breads/wraps can be collards, Romaine, kale, Radicchio, sprouted veggie, coconut, etc, to avoid gluten.
- Proteins can be your choice of various meats, fish, tempeh, tofu, beans, shitake mushrooms, seafood, ancient grains, nuts and seeds.
- Do ensure meals include a quality protein, a source of healthy fats, and whole-food quality carbs /lots of various veggies (these also deliver essential fiber for gut/digestive health).
- Add veggies to smoothies, such as your favorite leafy greens, cucumbers, squash, avocado, carrots, beets, celery, sweet potatoes.
- Cook to appease your palate by increasing or decreasing seasonings, and substituting ingredients as needed.
- Simplicity is your motto for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.
- Rely on commercial conveniences when needed (stock your pantry and freezer) and enhance them with additional vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, spices, sauces, etc.
- My favourite easy and super-fast go to’s are: salsa, beans and greens for a salad, hummus, Mary’s crackers and veggies; steamed edamame with sea salt or tamari and toasted sesame oil; canned chickpeas with lemon juice, olive oil, smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper or the mid-eastern spice Zataar. These are all so good and so easy.
- Hummus and pesto are also great for wraps, quesadillas, as a substitute for cheese on a pizza, and as a filling, topping, spread or dip.
- Maximize on leftovers for quick lunches and recreated main courses with the addition of new spices, veggies or sauces.
- Digestion woes? Eat a little slice of fresh ginger before meals and consider practicing proper food combining: Eat fruits (sweets) before or between meals, not right after, and avoid eating cooked animal protein with starchy veggies and refined carbs like pasta and pizza crust. I know, it may seem impossible to do but you can likely manage one or two meals a day abiding by this rule. Do so and notice how much better your digestion is in just a short time without medications, just dietary smarts.
Acing eating well is the same as acing most anything… simply make a plan and execute it consistently! Always remember, information without application is useless. Grab a few ideas from the suggestions above and run with them. You’ll feel so much better eating better. You’ll look better too, and that’s a great feeling.
Teri Gentes is a devote foodie and ever finessing whole-self health and wellness warrior who loves life, nature, people and the fabulous blessing of feeling really good. Share this with her on various social media platforms and on her in-the-works new website. Check out her seasonal eating programs at http://www.balancedhealthyyou.com/winterdetox.html or visit www.terigentes.com / www.facebook.com/terigentes / www.twitterer.com/terigentes