For 2011 I have designated the following six healthy resolutions geared towards making positive changes in my eating and cooking practices:
1. Eat more vegetables.
2. Eat less fat.
3. Reduce my meat protein portion sizes.
4. Eat more whole grains and legumes.
5. Reduce unhealthy snacking.
6. Reduce my eating out at places that cook unhealthy dishes I like.
These resolutions are not about denial – it’s about being adventurous, and getting out of the rut of eating the stuff all the time. You will note that I haven’t stopped myself from eating anything. You see some days you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. I don’t believe that there are any bad foods. The frequency you consume and the portion sizes you eat make foods “bad” for you.
Planning is the name of the game when you’re trying to eat healthy. My goals to eat more vegetables and reduce my meat protein portion sizes are fueled by the knowledge that people who consume a plant based food regiment weigh less, have lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers, and on average live longer than meat eaters.
It’s about building your meals around a vegetable or flavorful ingredient instead of a piece of meat. You don’t want to feel like your “healthy meal” is a paler version of what it once was. Make changes in baby steps, so pick up vegetables you’ve never tried before and experiment with flavors.
For example, I sautéed some fresh spinach in a little olive oil with thin slices of fresh garlic and I added a pinch of ground nutmeg and it was delicious. Butternut squash is “in season” right now, so I tried a salad recipe of the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa, Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette with oven baked tilapia. The arugula adds the dark greens with a peppery flavor to them, and the vinaigrette made with apple cider juice and vinegar is a healthy alternative to the creamy ones you normally eat. The walnuts add some crunch. Here’s the link to the salad recipe:
Broccoli is also “in season” and there are so much that you can do with it besides just steaming or broiling it. How about making some soup as an appetizer before your meal? If we should be eating 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day, then you’ve got to add the additional vegetables into your daily food regiment somewhere.
The Neelys, one of the few black chefs that have their own show on the Food Network have this wonderful recipe for broccoli soup with homemade croutons, and here’s the link to it:
Resolutions can be made and kept if they stretch you, but are within your reach. Now I’d like to ask for you to share with me and your fellow Dining with Miss Lil readers your healthy resolutions for this year if you have made them. You can also write in to ask any questions as well. I want to open up the dialogue between us in 2011, so input your comments at the end of the article on the web site or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.