It’s a New Year and for many (including us) that means new diet plans, new exercise regimens, and new positive perspectives. Not every resolution will stick as January goes on, but there are steps you can take to make a healthier life more attainable. In the spirit of self betterment here are a few tips to help you ring in the new year with a healthful, flavorful, and stylish flair.
Plan, Plan, Plan
It may seem tedious, but the easiest way to work in more healthful fruits and veggies into your diet is to make a list every week of what you need and prep and package the foods in your fridge.
This will make sure that it is easy to grab and snack rather those tempting sour cream and onion chips in your pantry. But banish the boring snacks! Here are some easy ideas for snacks fit for a foodie:
- A slice of gouda cheese and dried apricots
- Endive leaves with a dollop of ricotta
- Classic baby carrots and spicy hummus
- Granny Smith Apples dipped in chunky peanut butter
- Roasted chickpeas
- Air-popped popcorn sprinkled with paprika and sea salt
- Deli turkey with fresh green grapes
- Almonds mixed with dried blueberries
- Oven-roasted sweet potato chips
- Hard boiled egg with cracked black pepper
Stress Way Less
It is easy to beat yourself up when you mess up on your diet plan. It is important to look at the big picture and remember that that brownie you just had will not ruin you. In fact if you reward yourself for great eating every once and awhile it can make you more motivated to stick to a reasonable healthy diet.
Salads Aren’t Boring
A necessary evil of many a diet plan is the dreaded salad, but never fear! There are new ways to make salad time your favorite part of the day. No really- its true. There are ways to spice up those greens so you won’t even notice you are being healthy. Our favorite right now is the salad in a mason jar trend.
Make sure that you are putting the wet ingredients on the bottom and building to the salad on top so it does not get soggy before you want to eat it. A good rule of thumb is dressing on the bottom, moisture resistant veggies/fruits, other veggies/fruits, protein, then greens, grains and seeds on top. Screw that jar top on and you are set for lunch!
Here is a recipe from Lajollacooks4u: California Cuisine cookbook that you can easily make in a mason jar:
Apple, Pomegranate Seeds & Fennel over Mixed Greens
- 3 cups baby greens
- 1 large apple slice, sliced
- 1 large fennel, sliced
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup gorgonzola
- ½ cup spiced nuts (optional)
Place dressing on the bottom of the jar (so it doesn’t get soggy) apples, fennel, pomegranate seed, gorgonzola, then spiced nuts. Screw on the top and go!
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons citrus vinegar or juice
- 1 Tablespoon grated purple onion
- ½ cup olive oil
In a small bowl whisk mustard, honey and vinegar together, slowly drizzle in olive oil and whisk until well blended. Add to the bottom of your jar. Serves 4.
To see more healthy interesting recipes from Chef Jody’s cookbook head here!
Here are a couple more of our favorite jar salads to inspire you:
- Arugula, lentils, pumpkin seeds, dried mango, lemon vinaigrette
- Spinach, yellow peppers, cucumbers, chickpeas, grilled chicken, ginger dressing
- Mixed greens, quinoa, tomatoes, roasted sweet potato, black beans, cranberries, balsamic dressing
- Romaine, avocado, corn, black beans, tomato, honey mustard dressing
- Spinach, apples, beets, goat cheese, walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette
This is your chance to get creative with your food and play with flavors. Let your inner mad salad scientist come out and find the best flavor combination you can! Happy New Year and happy food adventures!