Chicken, fish, lean ground beef, turkey, tofu...got it. Rice, potatoes, whole grains bread/pasta, beans, lentils...got it. Dark green veggies, colorful veggies, fruits...got it.
Okay so you know what foods to eat, and most people more or less do. The challenge then becomes how to make it into something that can be enjoyable, and in turn, sustainable. Eating healthy is typically associated with making sacrifices and settling for things if health wasn’t a factor, but it doesn’t have to be that way. No one is saying that chicken and rice is better than a Chick-Fil-A Sandwich, that’d be crazy, but let’s be reasonable here.
MAKE A MEAL...NOT A HODGE-PODGE OF INGREDIENTS
You can still cook healthy meals that you will actually look forward to on a weekly basis if you spend a little time thinking ahead and planning accordingly. This is not to say that you have to meal prep, cook every night if you like. The idea with this is to give you a few recipes and ideas to get you thinking about how you can implement the healthy foods you know you should be eating more of.
With healthy eating, perhaps the most unbearable aspect is when it tastes healthy. Chicken, rice, broccoli. Ground turkey, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts. The problem with these is that they are just 3 separate components thrown together to make a “meal”. Eating healthy can become a lot more attractive if you make them into proper dishes, and loosen the reigns a bit on just how healthy you’re making it. For example, sub out chicken breast for chicken thigh; it has about 5 g of fat more per serving but is so much more delicious. The idea here is that the marginal increase in fat is entirely worth it if that means making the meal more appealing to you.
So below are 3 dishes that you can implement and adjust the portion sizes and carb/protein breakdown to your needs. You don’t need to break out the food scale, just use your best judgement, fill the plate with protein and vegetables and use a moderate amount of carbs per serving. These aren’t MasterChef-level recipes so these can be done by even the most amateur level chef, but if you’re a wizard in the kitchen then feel free to glam these up a bit.
BURGERS W/ ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS
1 lb of Ground Beef (try to use 90/10 or at most 85/15; ground bison or elk works here too)
100% Whole Grain Hamburger Buns
Red onion, sliced
Rinse, cut in half, put in a bowl, season with salt, pepper, additional seasoning if you like.
Roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
In a bowl mix meat, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
Mix with hands and form 4 patties, the flatter the better.
On medium heat saute sliced onions with olive oil and remove from the pan.
Use the same pan to cook patties, 3-4 minutes/side using avacado/canola oil.
Serve on a toasted bun with onions and mustard. Brussel sprouts served on the side.
CHICKEN STIR FRY W/ RICE
1 lb Chicken Breast/Thigh
4 servings Rice
4 cloves Garlic
1 cup Shiitake Mushroom
1 head of Bok Choy
Pan on medium, saute mushrooms and garlic in oil for 5 minutes.
Add chopped bok choy, chopped scallions, and 1 tbsp of soy sauce; cook for 3 more minutes.
Lower heat and add ginger and ¼ cup of vegetable broth, simmer for 5 minutes.
Add another drizzle of sesame oil and remove from heat and place in bowl.
Add oil to pan, toss in chicken that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
Just before chicken is finished, add the vegetable mixture back in and mix.
However you usually make rice (rice cooker, stop top, Uncle Ben’s microwavables works too).
Present with stir fry cascading over top of the rice like snow at the top of a mountain...sprinkle with sesame seeds if you’re boujee.
SHRIMP AND ANGEL HAIR PASTA
1 lb Shrimp
1 box of Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta
2 bunches of Asparagus
Old bay Seasoning
Marinara Sauce (store bought or homemade)
Rinse and cut the ends off.
Put in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.
Roast on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Rinse and remove veins/tails.
Put in a bowl, season with salt, pepper, and Old Bay (helps to cut the fishy smell).
Saute with avocado/canola oil for 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan.
Combine pasta with sauce and shrimp and mix together.
Serve with asparagus on the side.