The New Year is here, which means the resolutions are rolling out. Gyms will be full of people trying to change their lives and focus on their health. But there’s so much you can do right inside your own home to reach your goals. So here are a few simple tips and minor changes to keep your refrigerator and pantry a place for healthy, meaningful nourishment. Plus, a recipe for a tasty after-workout lunch.
1) Stick to the Sides: An effective psychological trick for making better eating choices is to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store when shopping. Visualize the layout of your local market, and you’ll quickly realize the produce, meat, and dairy sections flank the rest of the selection. This is where you’ll find the most nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods in line with a clean eating goal. Conversely, the inside isles are where processed foods, inflammatory chips, and sauces, sugar-laden cookies, and sodas lurk in their enticing packaging. Avoiding the items in these isles will not only make your waistline thinner, but your energy, mindset, and overall health will vastly improve.
2) Preparation is Key/Eat at Home: Writing out a weekly meal plan can reduce the stress of making healthy choices during the busy work week. Determining what you’re having for dinner and doing all the shopping prior to the start of the week will keep you on track. If you’re not super into cooking, start small with 2-3 proteins and 2-3 side dishes that you can make in bulk and mix and match throughout the week. Then, once you get into a rhythm, you’ll realize just how much better you feel and how much money you’re saving by avoiding restaurants and takeout.
3) Make your Dressings: If you were to ask the average person what a healthy meal option is, most would say “salad.” While salads are a great way to pack nutrients and protein into one filling plate, much of that can be negated by the artificial, inflammatory dressing that they’re tossed in. Using simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, you can create incredible, flavorful dressings and sauces that won’t put a damper on your healthy lunch. Here is a recipe for one of my favorites!
Light Lemon Caesar Salad
Curly Kale, destemmed and finely chopped (you can swap out for Romaine if you prefer)
3 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil (high quality)
1 tbs Anchovy Paste
Juice of ½ a Lemon (start with half, then add if necessary)
Worcestershire Sauce (1 drop)
2 cloves minced Garlic
1 tsp Organic Dijon Mustard
¼ cup Parmesan Reggiano, freshly grated
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Optional for added protein: Grilled Chicken or Steak
Whisk oil, anchovy, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic, mustard, parmesan, and pepper in a large bowl, then add your chopped lettuce of choice. Toss until coated, and enjoy a guilt-free, nourishing lunch!
Head over to my website, GirlInTheGreenApron.com, or my Instagram, @GirlInTheGreenApron_, for more tips and bonus recipes!