Do you like the idea of eating sustainably? Most health professionals believe, and the research is starting to pile up showing, that it's healthier for us and the earth, but depending on where you live it can be a challenge to find good sources of sustainable food.
I'd like to learn more about what the challenges are for you!
There are so many fad diets these days that it quite boggles the mind! The five-bite diet, raw-food diet, Alkaline diet, Atkins, South Beach, blood-type diet, and even the werewolf diet or the cabbage soup diet. Seriously. Fad diets try to be flashy and promise big changes while you're on them; They even work hard to find some celebrity who will endorse the diet as the next best thing. But as soon as you 'finish' the diet, any weight that might have come off often comes right back on again! And they certainly don't offer any realistic long-term changes to lifestyle and habits. In fact, many have components that are simply unhealthy for you, particularly in the long run by cutting calories, eliminating fat, or starch. Or they’re expensive and require you to purchase their product in order to achieve success. For this reason, I don't recommend that people take part in these types of diets.
Then there are some who believe that in order to be healthy, you must abide, in it's entirety, to a specific way of eating: Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free are some of the most popular choices these days. But the problem is that most of these diets don't address the root causes of our poor health in and of themselves. It is entirely possible to be vegetarian and consume a terrible diet. Or to eat a gluten free diet by replacing wheat cookies with gluten free cookies. I hate to break it to you, but you're not going to be any better off. Now don't get me wrong, I believe there are healthy aspects to all of these ways of eating, and I employ aspects of all of them into my own eating habits. But to believe that you have to be exclusive of anyone of them, or even worse, to use them as an "excuse" to be a picky eater doesn't work.
So what's the best "diet"? Well, it's not really a diet at all, but a change in how we view food and our relationship with how it's grown. And that is to eat sustainably. By eating sustainably grown and produced food, immediately we're going to go back to the basics: whole, fresh ingredients that are not laced with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics or other toxic chemicals; eating primarily veggies and fruits; choosing meats and eggs that are healthy for you and the environment; calorie dense foods; reduced numbers of grains and increased nuts and seeds; and limited packaged and processed food.
Now let’s put this into an eating plan:
To be sure, there are a lot more details that go into this. And for anyone who is struggling with weight issues or illness, there may be other considerations that need to be made. But for everyone, if we take these ideas and apply them as much as we can to our food choices, the result will only be positive. If you would like to dive into this deeper, or get some help in implementing this to your own life, give a holler!
If you’re like me, you often find yourself wishing you could wave a magic wand and have a delicious and nutritious meal sitting in front of you. Poof! Alas, that’s not how this works. Sure there’s convenience food that you can buy that will satisfy any taste, but really that just ends up being a waste of money and a whole lot of added garbage that you don’t need or want in your body. No thank you!
So what to do on those days when time or inspiration is failing us? My solution has been to cook in bulk and save ingredients or whole dishes for future use (have I mentioned how much I LOVE my chest freezer!). This can be as straightforward as doubling the spaghetti sauce recipe and then freezing half in large jars for future dinners. Or, one of my favorite techniques is to cook more of any variety of ingredients and then make them into something new the next day. What does that mean? Well, for example, I can take leftover roast chicken and chop into a soup, stew or stir-fry. Or cook extra beans for chili one night, tacos the next! I do this regularly with a lot of different foods: veggies, lentils, quinoa, beans, chicken, meat and fish. It may not sound like a lot… but believe me, the time saved while putting together the next meal is noticeable for sure.
One of my favorite meals made with leftover ingredients is my Roasted Chicken and Veggie Salad. This is a salad that could easily be whipped up for lunch but is also hearty and filling enough to be dinner. Even if you’re not a ‘salad person’ you really should give this a try. It’s sooooo much more than just a salad.
And it only takes 5 minutes to make!
Toss all ingredients into a bowl and eat!
Homemade fruity vinaigrette recipe:
Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Make sure lid is well sealed and shake vigorously to combine. Dressing can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for months.