Happy New Year! We are already a week into the New Year, and many of us have made health-related resolutions. I know I might be a little late to suggest such resolutions, but I spent some time on the beach with my family over break and it’s never too late to improve our health. In fact, I will also be sharing these on ABC7 Chicago television this Tuesday, January 8, at 11am. Here are my top three easy-to-keep, healthy resolutions.
#1 Eat more plant protein: All of us can benefit from replacing some animal protein in our diet with plant protein. This includes meals featuring beans (e.g. kidney beans, black beans, chick peas), lentils or tofu. Start with these Myplate2yours recipes – Hearty Minestrone Soup, Baked Polenta Pie with Roasted Vegetables, Lentil Portobello Marinara, and Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry.
#2 Eat more fruits and vegetables: The USDA Myplate (see http://www.choosemyplate.gov) recommends that half of our plate should be fruits and vegetables. To help meet this goal, try keeping some of what I call “easy adds” in your fridge like baby spinach, shredded carrots, and broccoli slaw. Then use these as toppings for sandwiches and wraps or in your favorite salads. These quick additions to your everyday meals can add up to great nutritional gains.
#3 Eat more whole grains: Again from USDA’s Myplate, half of all our grains should be whole. That could translate into whole grain cereal in the morning (try Baked Oatmeal, Granola, or Barley & Apple Breakfast Bake), and grains like quinoa, whole wheat couscous, and brown rice for other meals. Try Festive Moroccan Couscous or Edamame Salad with Corn and Quinoa. For more information about whole grains, see Understanding Whole Grains.
I hope you’ll agree that these resolutions are doable! And I promise to help you keep them by posting new recipes throughout the year that model these resolutions. Here’s to a happy & healthy 2013!