Experiment With A New Healthy Meal Every Week

For those focusing on eating in a more healthy nutritious manner, one way to help you stick with this positive change is committing to trying a new healthy meal each week.

Surprising as it sounds, many people who start out with the intention of eating healthier get stuck at the onset because they have no idea of what to prepare. Most have been eating in such a detrimental manner for years, or even worse decades, it’s difficult to know how to get started.

This is why it’s imperative to start creating an arsenal of healthy recipes. Best yet, designate a recipe book or a simple notepad you keep in a kitchen drawer so you have it right at hand on a moments notice. It is in this specific location where you’ll store all the healthy meals you’ve prepared.

A Great Way To Start Changing Your Nutrition Is To Try Out A New Healthy Meal Every Week

As a way to not overwhelm yourself, just choose one meal you want to try out each week. You can even designate a certain day of the week when your family knows it will be experiment-with-a-healthy-meal night. Call it something special such as “Wonderful Healthy Wednesday” or “Terrific Tasting Thursday”. Then if most everyone enjoys what you prepare, you know you have a winner and that recipe needs to be added to your healthy recipe book.

It may also help to take a picture to print and attach right alongside the recipe in the book for future reference. A simple visual cue will help remind you of that particular meal at a later date.

Where Should You Start Looking For Healthy Recipes?

There are numerous places you can start looking for healthy meals such as a library, bookstore, Amazon, or even a simple Google search. You will find that if you input the search query ‘healthy recipes’ or ‘free healthy recipes’, you will get pages upon pages of results. Check the top 5 and you should come across plenty of recipes to get you going on your healthy way.

If you get into the habit of trying out one new healthy meal every week, you will potentially have 52 meals under your belt within one year’s time! Not bad for just trying out one healthy meal every week. Having over 50 healthy meals at your disposal will be a gigantic leap forward in developing and maintaining healthy nutrition for you and your family and will most likely inspire additional healthy habits to develop.

Healthy Meal Plans For Those on the Go

Most people try to eat healthy. No one intentionally starts their day with a list of bad foods they are going to try to eat before they collapse into bed at night. The problem with healthy eating is that many people don’t take the time necessary to create healthy meal plans for those on the go that will fit their lifestyles or habits.

The first step for planning a healthy meal involves knowing what, and when a person is eating. It is important to spend a week writing down everything that one eats. Some people drink three or four cups of coffee in the morning, have a donut at work for breakfast, and eat a granola bar or three before lunch. They don’t have a lot of time, so most grab a quick burger and fries for lunch. After eating the rest of the box of granola bars in the afternoon, around three they’ll eat a candy bar or two so they will have the energy to go home and eat something that they either have picked up or can cook in less than thirty minutes. After dinner, they may have to go to a meeting where they will drink more coffee, have cake or cookies, then go home and go to bed after a relaxing bowl of ice cream.

When this person jumps on the healthy eating wagon, two things are going to happen immediately. First, they will start experiencing an excruciating headache because they will be cutting out an enormous amount of sugar that their body has become addicted to. Secondly, they will experience withdrawal symptoms from the chemicals that they have become addicted to that are contained in all of the fast and junk food they’ve been eating.

For these reasons, and the fact that the term “healthy meals” is associated with a lot of time intensive work, most people don’t eat healthy. Effective healthy meal plans must begin with the assumption that the person planning the meals has been eating for awhile. They must include a “plan” that includes ways to avoid the cravings, withdrawal, and headaches that follow getting off bad foods “cold turkey”.

The key to healthy meal plans for those on the go is to start simply. Some people find that planning one part of their meals at a time and following the plan for a week or two, then gradually expanding to include more meals, is much more successful than creating a structured meal plan. This is totally a matter of personal style.

Healthy meal plans often do not take into consideration that for many people snacks are a meal. By planning for snacks just as one would for a meal, they will be more successful in implementing an effective plan. So, start creating a healthy meal plan with some basic changes that are going to help the body be prepared for additional healthy meals.

Try One New Healthy Meal Every Week

When you’re truly ready to start changing your nutrition around, one of the best ways to get a strong handle this is to try a new healthy meal every week at home. When you’re attempting to change your nutrition in order to eat in a more healthy manner, it’s important you break out of your normal routine. One of the main causes for excessive weight gain is due to the food choices made on a regular basis.

If you often visit fast food spots, restaurants, or order home pizza delivery, then you will likely consistently have issues trying to tackle the weight loss issue since those meals generally provide far too large of potions for one single meal.

The best part about trying a new healthy meal every week is that you can designate one particular day where you and your family try out a new recipe. Maybe give the day a special name too if you have young children such as “Healthy Wednesday”, or “Friday Family Dinner Night”.

To take this one step further, you can even rotate the choice so that each person gets to research and choose the meal that looks most appealing to them so that everyone feels part of this healthy life transition.

You will find that when you stick with healthy cooking habits, not only will you save your body from eating excessive portions of food at meals, but you will focus more on your daily nutrition which will eventually translate to weight loss success.

Another benefit to cooking meals at home is that you will be able to portion leftovers into plastic travel containers to take with you to work. Not only will you enjoy a healthy meal at home with your family, but you will also be able to eat nutritiously at work the following day.

When you’re ready to give this an honest effort all you have to do is a quick Internet search using the terms ‘healthy dinners’ or ‘healthy meals’ and you should find a plethora of new healthy meal options right at your digital fingertips.

Try not to pick a meal that is too complex or one that will take hours of preparation on your part. You want this healthy habit to not only be tasty, but fun to do at the same time. Usually the recipes you find on the Internet will include both preparation and cooking times so you should get a good idea of the amount of work it will take to prepare your healthy meal.

Be sure to write out a specific ingredient list of all the items you will need to purchase from the supermarket. Nothing is more frustrating than to get ready to cook only to realize you are missing one or two crucial items needed to prepare the meal. Save yourself time and headaches and carefully write out everything you’ll need to buy from the market.

Taking the initiative to create a weekly family tradition to prepare a new healthy meal each week will get you really focused on proper nutrition. Remember weight loss success is 70% dependent on your daily nutrition so it takes a hefty amount of effort on your part to get everything in order. The more often you choose to cook at home, the sooner you will kick the fast food habit and have much more control over your portion size and nutritional intake.

3 Top Tips For Healthy Meals

When we are young, the concept of healthy meals is very black and white. Vegetables are good and fast food is bad. Cleaning your plate is good and being wasteful is bad. As we grow up, no one bothers to tell us that, in reality, individual foods are neither good nor bad- only too much food is bad. In fact, the idea that we need to clean our plates has gotten us into big trouble.

As it turns out, nutrition isn’t black and white at all. On a physiological level, it can be extremely complicated. Sometimes we do all the right things and still can’t seem to manage our weight, our energy, or our health. Of course, if we could only live on the Biggest Loser Ranch we wouldn’t have any of the obstacles that make eating healthy meals so complicated and impractical in the real world.

If only there were a few simple rules that made eating healthy simple?!

The good news is, there are three simple tips that can make healthy meals more of a no brainer. After all, we don’t all have the time or money to study nutrition, to visit a certified nutritionist, or to order all our meals packaged and ready-to-eat.

If you assess your diet regarding the three guidelines below, you will be doing a better job than most towards getting the nutrients and energy your body needs. (And by “diet” I don’t mean that four letter word that signifies perpetual deprivation but simply, what you consume daily.)

The Three Tips are to
1) keep your meals colorful
2) keep your meals small and frequent, and
3) keep your meals fresh.

As we explore these criteria in a little more depth, it will highlight some reasons you should incorporate them into your lifestyle.

1) Keep Your Healthy Meals Colorful

Our body needs six different nutrients to function optimally during the day. These include carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Most of us don’t have time or sufficient interest to make getting our daily allowance of amino acids and essential vitamins a scientific venture. So how can you make sure you are getting what you need? Answer: by keeping your meals colorful. It is that simple.

Picture a plate containing fish and chips beside a smoked salmon salad with a whole grain roll. One of these plates is monochromatic and the other has reds, greens, browns and whatever else your imagination used to dress it up. The more colorful plate has half the calories, more than twice the nutritional benefit, and will provide more lasting energy. Meanwhile, the monochromatic plate is also more likely to make you feel sluggish and desperately thirsty as a result of excessive sodium levels. The point is, picking healthy meals is a choice you are free to make.

While carbohydrates ( like bread, potatoes, rice, and starchy vegetables) and protein ( like meat, beans, and dairy) should be components of every meal, the more fruits and vegetables you add, the healthier and more colorful your meal will be. Even adding peas and carrots to the fish and chips plate would significantly increase the nutritional value of this dish. Presentation is not just for cooking shows- it is for your health, too.

People who eat mindfully (or in other words, don’t have a weight problem) enjoy food with all of their senses. Practice making your meals and snacks colorful by incorporating a variety of food groups. This way they will be a feast for your senses, your belly, and your body.

2) Keep Your Healthy Meals Smaller and More Frequent

A healthy eating schedule is going to vary from person to person. Three square meals a day is sometimes the only thing someone has time to prepare and enjoy. However, food is fuel. If you are hungry, eat. If you are not hungry, don’t. For many people, enjoying 4-6 smaller meals everyday actually helps them function more efficiently.

Deprivation is not beneficial for your body or mind. You have to eat to lose. However, most of us are used to mindlessly eating portion sizes that are larger than what we really need. You want to be satisfied but not stuffed.

More frequent, smaller meals keep your metabolism revved and make it less likely that you will store food as fat instead of burning it for fuel. It also keeps your energy levels and blood sugar levels steady which decreases the likelihood of overeating at your next meal or suffering crashes in energy that cause you to crave lousy, processed foods and sweets.

Anyone who has ever grocery shopped on an empty stomach knows that creating healthy meals is easier if you don’t let yourself get overly hungry. By making sure you have a healthy breakfast and healthy snacks available for the day ahead, you will be significantly less likely to feel the need to stuff your face and you will find it easier to manage your weight. Overall, focusing on eating to keep your energy up and your hunger under control will help you be a pleasant, healthy person.

3) Keep Your Foods Fresh

Eating healthy meals doesn’t mean buying packaged foods that say they are healthy on the outside of the box. Healthy meals should include fresh foods. If everything you eat is unwrapped, microwaved, delivered, or frozen, you need a serious diet overhaul. What your body craves is nutrients, not preservatives and added chemicals. Processed foods are more calorically dense and harder for your body to breakdown so they are more likely to be stored as fat than natural food.

If the ingredients list on a packaged food item is a bunch of words you don’t recognize or have never seen before, don’t buy it. Instead, build a skill for life and learn to cook the meal from raw ingredients. Ingredients that aren’t in your granny’s pantry, don’t habitually belong in yours. In other words,” if it doesn’t grow, let it go”. While it may seem like a convenient time saver now to buy the ready made stuff, preparing your own healthy meals will help you live longer, easily making up for the time it takes to prepare meals in the long run.

It takes conscious effort to incorporate these rules into your daily routine, but they will quickly become habitual with practice. Your efforts start in the grocery store where you can focus on choosing fresh foods and ingredients that will allow for plenty of nutritious choices for healthy meals and snacks in the days ahead. Then all you have to do is focus on including a variety of food groups to ensure you always add at least a splash of color. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the more the merrier as far as your body is concerned.

Making color a priority, eating smaller meals as frequently as your hunger dictates, and seeking out fresh foods will pay off. In fact, assessing your healthy meals along these three guidelines might just help you save your health and your money. The more you fill your body with quality nutrients, the less you will crave U.F.O’s (unidentified food objects). After all, having access to and eating healthy meals is a luxury, not a punishment.

Healthy Meals 24/7

Wouldn’t you feel great if you had healthy and delicious meals throughout the day, every day of the week? Of course you would, but for most of us preparing healthy meals seems too difficult, time consuming, and intimidating. Well, I’m here to tell you that the secret to having healthy meals on hand anytime and every time is planning and having healthy food staples. Let’s be honest, most of us spend more time planning a night out than we do our planning our meals for the week and are more concerned about the staples in our wardrobe than the staples in our pantry. So, it’s time to shift your priorities and efforts if you are serious about making healthy lifestyle changes in your diet and in your life.

Healthy Meal Planning: Groceries
Purchasing healthy foods takes not more time or effort that buying pre-package, processed, unhealthy foods, and while some healthy foods may require cooking and/or preparation time, aren’t you and your family worth it? When you shop at the supermarket, or receive your grocery delivery you want to see a rainbow of colors in your produce, a variety of whole grains, and lean, healthy proteins. If you find that because of your schedule fresh fruits and vegetables go bad purchase frozen or canned. I personally love frozen greens like collards and kale and I always have canned beans and pumpkin, and marinated artichoke hearts on hand. If you and/or your family are used to having frozen processed foods, sugary, calorie laden sweets and unhealthy snacks you want to gradually replace and remove these items from your diet. For example, switch from regular chips to baked chips, regular popcorn for low-fat popcorn, regular soda for flavored seltzer, full fat ice cream for lite or reduced fat. For a quick, healthy breakfast have whole grain cereals, breads and waffles on hand. Lunches can alternate between healthy, home-made brown bag and healthier take-out options that are offered with whole grains and whole grain breads, as well as with sushi and salads (go easy on the dressing, cheeses, crispy chicken, bacon, etc.). For healthy snacks be sure to stock up on nuts, dried and fresh fruit, and yogurt. And as always, be aware of portion sizes. Eating healthier is not a green light to over eat.

Healthy Meal Planning: Staples
In order to able to toss together a quick healthy meal anytime, you must have essential staples on hand. First are the fresh groceries that you have already stocked your refrigerator with, second are the staples that you should have in your pantry and/or cabinets. Some essential pantry staples are:

Canned fish and vegetables- Canned fishes like salmon and tuna provide omega-3 fatty acids and add a protein punch to sandwiches, salads, and pasta. Canned and marinated vegetables like canned tomatoes, pumpkin and marinated mushrooms and artichokes help transform an ordinary grain, soup, or sauce into a more flavorful, exciting meal, plus they’re chock-full of nutrients.

Whole Grains- Experiment with different grains like barley, bulgur wheat, quinoa, millet, and brown rice, which is also available in long and short grain, and basmati. Whole wheat and quinoa pastas are great for a quick, healthy and filling dinner. Mix things up and use assorted shapes and sizes of pasta with a varied combination of vegetables and lean proteins.

Broths, bouillon cubes and powders, which are also available in healthier versions like fat-free, low sodium, all natural and vegetarian add guilt free depth of flavor to meats, grains, soups, casseroles, and sauces.

Nuts- Pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and walnuts contribute heart-healthy fats, as well as adding texture, flavor, and substance to salads, grains, and hot vegetables dishes.

Oils, Vinegars, and Spices- Explore the spice aisles and ethic food sections of your market. You will find an endless variety of oils like olive, canola, safflower, truffle, and coconut-vinegars like fig, rice, apple cider, red vine and balsamic-spices like cardamom, turmeric, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon along with spice blends like lemon-pepper, Italian and steak seasoning, sazón, adobo, and curries add tons of flavor without adding sodium and fat.

Healthy Meal Planning: Cooking
You can enjoy healthy meals every day without having to cook every day, really, once again planning is key. One day a week, whichever day your schedule allows, cook enough grains/carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables for 4-6 days, this is what I call your healthy meals base. For example, as my base, I like to bake two sheet trays of tofu, cook about 4 cups of quinoa and steam or bake a massive amount of vegetables for the week. Throughout the week, you can then vary and modify your healthy meals base with your healthy staples and groceries. Add sautéed, colorful peppers and savory onion and garlic to your protein to make a fajita or stir fry, add dried fruits and nuts to your grain to make a delicious pilaf and dress your vegetables with one of your many flavorful spices, oils and vinegars.

Once healthy meal planning is established as part of your healthy lifestyle routine, you’ll find that it becomes second nature and effortless. Gradually, you’ll build up a delicious, varied range of home-made meals that you can prepare quickly and easily, and which are much better for your health than ready-made, pre-packaged meals and fast food. As you can see, with really no more time, effort, and stress than you are currently excreting now over what is healthy to buy, eat, and cook you can plan week’s worth of nutritious, well balanced meals that will improve your health and overall wellness.

Maripili Rodriguez, NCCA-CPT, AADP-HC is a National Strength and Conditioning Association-Certified Personal Trainer, a certified holistic health counselor, and professionally trained natural foods chef. Using her own unique and comprehensive Healthy Life System, which she is a product and success story of, Ms. Rodriguez works with serial dieters who have struggled for years, even decades to attain and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Eating Healthy Meals Together Improve More Than Just the Body

It is natural that eating a healthy meal with your family can improve your health. Researchers have long known that eating healthy is the key to a longer life and physical fitness. Eating a healthy meal can improve your overall mood, give you more energy, and make you feel better in general.

People who eat with their family are less likely to eat unhealthy foods. When someone eats alone they are more likely to eat junk food, prepackaged quick meals, or frozen dinners. When you serve healthy meals you tend to take care both preparing and eating.

Researchers agree that eating healthy meals with your family helps you concentrate and can improve your performance at work or school. There has been a lot of research on this in the past and all of it shows that eating together can improve almost all aspects of your life.

When you eat with your family you also have more of a say in what and how much your children eat. By demonstrating healthy eating habits you are showing your children how to eat. It is natural for them to pick up good eating habits when they see them. Modeling is a great way to influence your children.

It is important to realize that serving your family healthy meals bring your family closer together. A good conversation over dinner is an excellent way to catch up with your family in a non-confrontational way. There is nothing better than sitting down over a meal and talking with your family.

Planning healthy meals is also very important. Planning a meal means to take more time in thinking about healthy choices. If the meal is preplanned then there is less of a chance that you will use unhealthy substitutions. If you want a healthy alternative to frozen dinners you can prepare double one day and then freeze half of it. When you are ready or just do not have time to cook you can defrost the meal.

Overall healthy family meals are a great way to eat well, bond with your family, and improve their performance at work or school. It helps to strengthen family ties and helps keep families together.

Healthy Meal Ideas Featuring Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Vegetables and Dessert

Healthy Meal Ideas

As more people are growing concerned with a healthy diet, more people are starting to look for healthier meal ideas. Healthy meals do not have to be complex or taste terrible. Here are some healthy meal ideas featuring a variety of foods to make your meal planning easier.

Fish Based Healthy Low-Calorie Meals

Fish is an incredibly healthy meat option because of the necessary Omega 3 fatty acids. For those who enjoy it, there are several options for a healthy meal based around fish.

Check out:
• Grilled Tuna Steaks with Salad
• Salmon with Asparagus and Steamed Potatoes
• Tuna Steaks with Cous Cous and Corn on the Cob
• Grilled or Steamed Salmon Seasoned to Taste and Served with a Vegetable Medley

Chicken and Turkey Based Healthy Meals

Chicken and Turkey are far healthier than red meats, and are great alternatives for the people who do not enjoy fish based meals.

Check out these ideas:
• Grilled Chicken with Whole Grain Rice and Steamed Vegetables
• Turkey Casserole with Tomatoes and Sweet Corn
• Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
• Chicken or Turkey Wraps with Baked Potato
• Chicken or Turkey with Pasta and Steamed Vegetables

Healthy Vegetarian Based Meals

Vegetarian meals are a wonderful way to eat healthy. Even people who are not strictly vegetarian can make a more affordable meal by leaving out the meat component. Since protein and other nutrients found in meat can also come from produce, you don’t have to sacrifice nutrition or taste.

Check out these ideas:
• Stir Fry with your choice of vegetables
• Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice
• Fettuccine Alfredo (provided you still eat cheese products)
• Macaroni and Cheese (provided you still eat cheese products)
• Vegetable Soup
• Spaghetti with Marinara

Healthy Meal Tips for Dessert

Even when eating healthy, we are still going to crave sweet foods. This is where fruit salads, yogurt, and healthy whole grain cereals can come in handy. Freeze plain yogurt and top with a fruit medley to mimic ice cream. Try a Jell-O Pudding Snack, or making your own Jell-O parfait.

When choosing your healthy meal options, remember that fruits and vegetables are important. You can eat lots of them without worrying so much about your calorie intake. Consider low fat and low calorie alternatives to things such as butter and whipped cream. This will make your meals more healthy without having to sacrifice on taste!

If you want to get healthy meals on a budget, consider using a wholesale club to purchase your meat items in bulk. This will cut down on the price per pound and you can purchase several nights worth of meals at once.

To save time cooking, you can prepare all the meat together, freezing it until you are ready to use it. Steamed vegetables are available frozen and will steam in the microwave in the bag, so when you’re in a pinch you can thaw your cooked chicken, turkey, or fish, and serve it with the microwave steamed vegetables for a healthy snack in a hurry.