The big secret of healthy cooking is that the flavor is phenomenal. The second biggest secret is that it doesn’t actually take that much more time to put together a healthy meal than it does an unhealthy one. Here are a few simple tips and tricks for eating healthier.
Shake up Your Protein Habits
While many people stick to meats to get their protein, there is a multitude of protein options that come from plants. Beans, nuts, brown rice, pumpkin seed, quinoa, amaranth, Chia Seeds, yellow peas, and so much more are all viable, clean sources of protein. They provide a variety of flavors and textures while also providing a bounty of other benefits from omegas to antioxidants. Plant-based protein is an often overlooked method of taking control of your own health. But when looking to cook healthy meals, plant-based proteins offer a wide variety of fast, simple meals that taste as good as they will make you feel.
The age-old question “What’s for dinner?” is guilty of a great many health issues. Unhealthy meals sneak into our lives when we’re in a hurry and don’t have a plan for dinner. It’s at those times when decision fatigue might take over and compel you to takeout or fast food. Planning ahead and keeping healthy dinner recipes on hand take the guesswork out of the process and makes it easier to not give in to the desire to eat out. Part of planning ahead is getting organized:
- Make a meal plan
- Stock your pantry and fridge according to the meal plan
- Evaluate your week to know what time is available for what meals
- Consider ways to handle leftovers
Planning ahead saves not only the time it takes to try to figure out dinner every day, but it saves money as well. Eating home-cooked meals is much cheaper than eating out. It also lowers stress and anxiety and provides a multitude of health benefits.
Prep Your Pantry
A good pantry means having the basics on hand: Flour, sea salt, rice, beans, and shelf-stable items that really add value to foods and sauces like peanut butter powder and coconut milk powder. Be sure to note dates and to rotate your food (using the food with the oldest dates first) regularly so that you can eliminate food waste.
Personalize your pantry to reflect your tastes. Stock up on seasonings, baking supplies such as baking soda, and oils such as olive oil. Consider what items you commonly use for recipes and make sure you have those items in larger quantity.
Make sure you check out all the pantry essentials found in Sunwarrior’s Harvest collection where you get single ingredients for cooking, baking, and other culinary adventures.
It’s common for many to have a meal that is heavy on protein or starch but not heavy enough on vegetables. Cooking healthy is all about balancing the scales in the favor of vegetables. It’s also important to make sure you have enough healthy fats and fiber. “Good” unsaturated fats like the kind you get from nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados lower the risk of disease. They lower your bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL.