Most people make some sort of resolution to ring in the New Year, for many, that includes eating better. Yet we all know that following through on that resolution can elude us every year, but we keep reaching for it with varying degrees of success. Well, this year, instead of aiming to “eat better,” tackle it in baby steps, focusing on just one or two of the following habits at a time. Add others as you can or want to – and be proud of whatever strides you make toward an eating plan that’s delicious, satisfying and healthy.
Pack in the Produce
If you do one thing this year to alter the way you eat, adding more vegetables to every meal of the day would be a big step in the right direction. Salad for breakfast? Sure! Top mixed greens with a poached egg for protein and sliced avocado for healthy fat. Hearty bean and vegetable soup makes a delicious lunch alongside a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread. And instead of serving one vegetable with dinner, skip the traditional starchy side of potatoes or rice and make two veggie side dishes instead. This collection has plenty of inspiration for any meal of the day.
Vary Your Protein
Lean meats like chicken and turkey breast are our go-tos for satisfying protein sources, and we always have leftover cooked chicken on hand for making a pot of soup on the weekend for the upcoming week’s lunches. Salmon is another protein source that can add variety to your menus.
Give Grains a Go
Whole grains like quinoa, barley, farro and brown rice add heartiness to soups along with a fortifying boost of fill-you-up fiber. Add them to your favorite soup recipe in place of noodles – cook the grains separately first before adding them to your recipe toward the end of cooking. This way they won’t soak up all the broth. And you may need to add a little more broth to any leftover soup to make up for the liquid absorbed by the grains during storage.
One of our favorite ways to initiate a better eating plan is to stock up on soups. Plan weekly menus to include at least one soup dinner – make a big batch so you have leftovers for lunch and for filling the freezer.
Keep It Moving
A better eating plan is enhanced even more if it’s attached to an active lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that you have to run a mile every day, but moving a little bit a few times a day makes a difference – 30 minutes a day most days of the week is recommended, and you can break it up into 10-minute increments. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Set a timer to prompt you to get away from your computer screen every hour. Park the car far away from the doors of the store and walk to the entrance. Walk the dog around the block two or three times. You’ll be amazed at what the extra steps can do over time!
Here’s to a healthy, happy and delicious 2018 from all of us at Swanson!