Simple Ways to Get a Healthy Start to 2019

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Cold weather is coming and with cold weather comes the natural tendency to hibernate! Research tells us that we all eat more during the winter months as a means for our body to prepare for cold weather! Don’t get to cozy in your bear cave, go ahead and beat the spring thaw, develop some easy habits for starting the year off right!

Healthy eating does not have to mean eating bland food and making unrealistic nutrition goals. The process of healthy eating does not have to be complicated; here are some easy ways to make small changes that will lead to a big difference!!

Keep healthy food easily available. If the chips aren’t there you cannot eat them, it’s that easy! When you get hungry, you’re more likely to eat the first thing you see, keep fruit in a basket or cut into bite sizes in the fridge. Stash quick bites like almonds, walnuts or pistachios in your desk or in its top drawer.

We have all heard to shop the outer ring of the grocery store. This is usually where the healthy food lives: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, and nuts. If you only shop on the outer ring, then you’re more likely to buy healthy foods.

Eat more fish. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish like salmon and mackerel) at least twice a week. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this superfood improves brain and heart health and may reduce the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and diabetes.

Drink up. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, this is the most important part of kick-starting your day! It’s a whole lot harder to drink up the water when it isn’t warm and toasty outside. The rule remains; drinking 8-ounce glasses a day will bolster your metabolic rate, which helps burn more calories! Stay away from sugary drinks!

 Enjoy potatoes, grains, and beans. Yes, potatoes! It turns out that a fiber found in carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes, grains, and beans, resistance starches, can actually help speed up metabolism and burn more fat and reduce hunger. That doesn’t mean splurging on the loaded fries though—keep that baked potato healthy and flavorful with simple spices, not cheese and sour cream.

Choose whole foods instead of processed. Swap your frozen pizza and instant ramen with whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals as opposed to processed foods which contain empty calories

Count nutrients, not calories. If you want to improve your diet, focus on the nutrition of the diet instead of the calories. Dieticians say it is the quality of the calorie that has the most impact on health, not necessarily the quantity

Parmesan Crusted Baked Salmon

Ingredients
1 large boneless salmon filet (2-3 lbs.)
Juice from 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. Italian herbs seasoning
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the salmon, skin side down, on the parchment paper. Squeeze the lemon over the salmon and spread with your hands so the salmon is coated with lemon juice.
  2. Put the minced garlic on top of the salmon and rub it all over the salmon. Sprinkle the salmon evenly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the salmon, so the salmon is coated with Parmesan. Sprinkle the Italian herbs seasoning over the salmon.
  3. Put the salmon on the top oven rack and bake for 15 minutes. Switch the oven setting to Broil and broil for 5 minutes. Remove the baked Parmesan-crusted salmon from the oven and serve.

Serves 8.

One dish meals also make it easy to eat healthily.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

(Keto friendly)

Ingredients
3 Cups Shredded Cooked Chicken Breast
5 Cups Chopped Fresh Broccoli
8 oz. Cream Cheese Softened
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Basil
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 Cup Shredded Cheese, your choice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except shredded cheese.
  2. Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan and top with 1 cup shredded cheese.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese just starts to brown.

Serves 6.

Broccoli and Buffalo Chicken Bowl with Cauliflower Rice

For Cauliflower Rice (You can find this now in the produce or frozen section of your grocery or you can substitute whole grain rice)

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli

Ingredients
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 medium-sized heads of broccoli, cut into small to medium florets
1 tablespoon oil
¼ cup hot sauce (My favorite is Frank’s)
2 Tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper

Instructions

To make the Cauliflower Rice

  1. Cut cauliflower into medium to small sized florets, removing the green leaves and any tough stem. Working in batches, place florets into the food processor and don’t fill the bowl more than halfway. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles grains of rice, about 20 pulses. Try not to over process or you will have cauliflower mash!
  2. Heat a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat with olive oil. Add cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender 5-8 minutes.

To make the Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli

  1. Heat a skillet or sauté pan that has a lid over medium-high heat. Add oil if using, and when hot add chicken. Season with just a little salt. Allow to cook on one side until browned, then turn and brown the other side. Cook until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes per side.
  2. When chicken is cooked, add broccoli to the pan and cover. Allow to steam until tender 5-10 minutes. You can give the pan a stir a few times if you want to keep the chicken from browning too much. Broccoli is done when easily pierced with a knife and still bright green.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the buffalo sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the hot sauce and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli; toss to coat everything in the sauce.
  5. Serve over cauliflower rice or regular rice.