A healthy diet is key to our overall health. No matter how busy we get we have to find a way to eat healthy. Luckily these days we have many options. Health food stores abound, farmer's markets are everywhere, and even supermarkets are stacked with organic foods. I am one for cooking your own food but some of us are extremely busy and we just do not have the time. But by planning and being organized we can manage to eat home cooked meals at least some of the time. Here are some tips.
- I will start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast. As much as possible, do not skip breakfast. Study after study has shown that people who eat breakfast are more alert and energetic. They are less likely to gain weight and those who are trying o lose weight are more likely to succeed. Research has also shown that breakfast eaters are less likely to develop heart disease and diabetes. For a healthy breakfast have regular organic oats, raisins, brown sugar or maple syrup, cinnamon, flax seed, milk or soy milk, plain yogurt, a variety of fresh fruits all kinds of nuts and seeds always available. It takes about 5 minutes to cook your oats. Add your cinnamon, maple syrup, raisins, flax seed and soy milk and enjoy. This is one of the most nutritious and heart healthy breakfast t you can have and you can eat it almost every morning, it is delicious. The other quick alternative is yogurt with fruits, nuts and seeds also very delicious.
- Once in two weeks, buy plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Wash and cut up enough of these vegetables and fruits, to last you a week. Now all you have to do through the week is eat them raw for a healthy snack or in a salad. Here is a healthy recipe for cooking vegetables.Sprinkle them with olive oil and broil them for 10 to 15 minutes, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and garlic towards the end of the cooking. If you have a Panini grill or just a grill you can grill them it is quicker. While the veggies are cooking you can steam rice or quinoa about 20 minutes. Enjoy the veggies with rice for a nice light healthy meal.
- Buy the pre washed salads, all kinds of nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts etc), and seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, put this seeds and nuts on top of the salad use balsamic vinegar and extra virgin oil for dressing. Enjoy with whole wheat bread for a light lunch. For a heartier lunch or dinner add cheese to the salad or make a cheese sandwich.
- Have cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and Swiss cheeses available all the time for quick sandwiches or toppings for a salad or pasta. If you have a Panini grill you can make a Panini sandwich. Focaccia or ciabatta bread is better but regular French bread will do fine too. Spread the bread with pesto; slice the Swiss or cheddar cheese thinly. Line the bread with it. Turn on your grill wait till it is ready. Place the sandwiches on the grill close the lead. After a few minutes press the lead down to quickly melt the cheese. 5 to 7 minutes. Enjoy with a salad for a light summer dinner. For winter enjoy it with a hearty soup.
- Again on another day off cook a lot of spaghetti sauce. Leave out what you are going to use the next few days and freeze the rest in quantities enough for one time use. The tomato is a super food and one of the foods that becomes more nutritious with cooking. Also make soup and freeze in the same way. Making soup is easy. You already have vegetables cut up. Sauté some onions add water boil and add vegetables of your choice. Have canned organic beans and garbanzo beans available. Add one of these to the soup add salt pepper and spices and simmer. So now all you have to do when you come home in the evening is defrost the sauce and heat it up. Cook your spaghetti. Toss the pre-washed salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and you have a nice healthy home coked dinner. If it is soup you feel like eating then that is what you will defrost and heat up and enjoy with a Panini sandwich.