We all want to eat healthier without sacrificing on cost, time, effort and taste. It can seem like an impossible task to have it all, but with the right tips, you can prioritize healthy eating in the midst of your hectic weeks.
If you’re looking for tips to make healthy eating easier, check out these tips for healthy cooking methods and top-notch, people-pleasing meals that you can make in no time.
Healthy cooking tips
The first key to addressing your current eating patterns and implementing new healthy cooking methods is to identify the barrier to your current habits. Once you know the source of poor eating, you can find better balance and make real, lasting changes to your diet.
Healthy eating sounds expensive. Tropical fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grain seed bread, organic produce and other grocery items may seem out of reach with your current resources and income. Use the following tips to eat healthily more often without sacrificing your budget in the process.
Buy frozen produce: frozen produce is often frozen within a day or two of picking, meaning nutrients are locked in early on. Fresh produce often loses important nutrients as time passes, meaning by the time they’re on the shelves they may be offering less nutritional value than frozen foods, and frozen foods are much cheaper.
Look for seasonal produce: seasonal produce (especially local produce) is much cheaper to purchase than foods that don’t grow in your region or are out of season. Look for squash in the fall, citrus in winter and melons and berries in the summer to get the most bang for your buck.
Healthy eating sounds like an extra load of time and effort, but with the right planning, you’ll spend much less time shopping, preparing and cooking food than you would be ordering out every night.
Get started with meal planning: planning your meals ahead of time means you waste less (since you can remember to use up leftover ingredients) and you spend less time preparing. You’ll know ahead of time what’s for dinner each night and can plan recipes based on how much free time you have on a given day. No free time? Meal prep at the beginning of each week or make something that offers good leftovers.
Find time-saving tools: cooking foods that are nutritious should require you to slave over the stove for hours. In reality, the right tools and modern conveniences can make cooking any food much quicker than you might expect. Try adding ingredients to a crockpot in the morning and leave the temperature on low all day. The crockpot does the work for you so dinner’s ready when you return. Consider making double batches of meals, too and freezing half for when you’re on a time crunch.
Munching on raw vegetables doesn’t sound appealing, and that’s what many people think of when they consider the cons of eating healthy. In reality, healthy food can be just as flavorful (and is generally more flavorful) than artificial and processed foods. Try out these tips to incorporate healthy cooking methods.
Look for high-flavor options: Ingredients like salsa, hot peppers, freshly squeezed lime, ginger, fresh dill, sun-dried tomatoes and similar ingredients all pack a punch of flavor without compromising on nutrition. Natural ingredients like fresh herbs are a great go-to and with some patience and set-up time you can have and endless supply growing in your home year-round.
Find recipes for cooking healthy meals: the secret to a tasty dish is finding the right recipe. With limitless options available online, it can be hard to know where to start, though. Check out websites like The Kitchn or Half Baked Harvest to get started with healthy and wholesome meals, and save recipes you like as you go.
How to make cooking healthy meals sustainable
Cooking healthy meals shouldn’t be a fad that you follow for a short time. With the impact healthy foods can make on your life, it’s important to aim for long-term success when you start eating healthy. Keep these tips in mind to make your diet last.
1. Remember that balance matters
Healthy eating isn’t supposed to be restrictive. Healthy eating should give you the freedom you need to splurge every now and then. When you eat healthy the majority of the time, you can feel liberated to indulge in holiday celebrations, have a second glass of wine or enjoy an ice cream cone on a sunny day. Eating healthy allows you to have balance and enjoy unhealthy foods every now and then without overwhelming guilt.
2. Make reasonable changes slowly
Completely overhauling your diet overnight and throwing away everything in your pantry isn’t reasonable and it won’t last past the next grocery trip. In order to eat healthily you need to allow your body to adjust to one small change at a time. Consider making a list for yourself like this: this month I’ll cut myself down to only one can of pop a day, and next month I’ll cut it down to one can a week. You’ll find you’re building self-control in a methodical and sustainable manner.
3. Enlist the support
If you’re struggling with an unhealthy relationship with food, sometimes your best bet is to reach out for help. When you work with Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP all of your company’s employees receive free and confidential help from trained and experienced professionals. Whether you need support building a healthy diet, resources for disordered eating or financial planning help to build a better budget, Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP can walk with you.