The other day someone asked me for my number one piece of advice for how to eat well on a daily basis. For a moment I was totally thrown for a loop. One, single most important piece of advice?!
Eventually I came up with the one key to my ability to eat well every day. Go to the grocery store or local market on a regular basis. Yes, even when you do not want to and you would rather do anything else. When you go to the market, stock up on fresh food and fresh produce.
I had a crazy weekend. I was on the run from noon time on Friday until 2 o’clock this afternoon when I got home. I walked in the door, brought my bags up to my room, threw in a load of laundry, had a glass of water, made a grocery list and got back into the car and drove straight to Whole Foods.
Fresh produce is KEY to eating well. So I end up going to the grocery store at least twice a week. I make sure to incorporate fresh produce into all three of my daily meals and most of my snacks.
Smoothies: bananas, blue berries, yogurt
Lunch: salads – filled with fresh vegetables
Dinner: vegetables, protein, etc.
Tonight’s dinner was a big hit:
Whole wheat pasta, homemade pesto, sautéed vegetables (zucchini, onion, orange pepper) mixed in with freshly cooked chicken breast, and chopped up tomato. I loved this dinner and it was really easy to put together. I am excited that there are leftovers for tomorrow night.
Lunch tomorrow will be a salad, and I am already looking forward to it.
It’s been quite a weekend, so I am wrapping up and heading for bed. See you tomorrow!
3 thoughts on “My advice?”
I think that fresh is great, but it’s more important to focus on whole foods. Especially being single and cooking for one, it’s sometimes really foolish to buy too much fresh produce because I simply can’t eat a wide variety without some of it going to waste when it’s all fresh. I’m better off buying a balance of fresh, frozen, and (limited) canned/jarred items like applesauce or marinated artichokes.
For example, I’ll buy some highly perishable food like a bunch of collards, some summer squash, and berries/plums/cherries with some longer lasting fresh produce like apples, carrots and sweet potatoes, and then some frozen fruit and vegetables to be both back up and a source of variety. It’s easy to toss in a 1/4 c of frozen beans if I decide that I need another veg in a stir-fry for dinner but I don’t have that level of sponteneity with fresh food. (I also freeze my own locally grown and homegrown produce, but that’s another story!)
My rule of thumb is half produce, but frozen is just fine.
I totally agree re: whole foods. That is the most important thing, and the way you get there is second. In my house I am in charge of making breakfasts, lunches and dinners for two which means I make at least ten salads a week (more when we have salads for or with dinner, too) so I end up going to the market probably twice a week for fresh produce. The train goes off the tracks at my house when I don’t go to the market on a regular basis – so that is why it’s so important for me to get to the store, market, farmer’s market on a regular basis. If we do not have fresh produce, I either won’t pack a lunch or I will only make a peanut butter and jam sandwich (and then I end up buying things at work which is never good since we do not have healthy options there, for the most part). If I don’t go to the market, I will eat out or get take out for dinners… all good in moderation, but I prefer to cook and with fresh ingredients. That said, I love frozen vegetables (spinach, broccoli are two of my favorites!) because I love how versatile they are. I love grabbing frozen veggies and putting them in an omelet, stir fry, etc. 🙂
Ah, a salad lover. You have to buy salad ingredients fresh. I’m more of a fan fo the cooked vegetable (not entirely… I consider raw fennel and red peppers to be candy, but mostly). We had a discussion at work recently that I’m not a huge crunchy fan, which is why I have no huge attraction to either salads or potato chips. Clearly the later is good, but the former always makes me feel a bit of an outcast in the nutrition world!
I eat salads in the spring when that’s all my garden is producing and then I cheer when the lettuce is done and I’ve gat serious green like chards, collard, and kale. Which is just about where I am… picked the last of lhe lettuce last week.
My key is more to keep back-ups in stock. I will have weeks where it rains, and I don’t talk myself into schlepping myself through the rain to the farmer’s markets, or I have the swine flu and can’t leave the house. When you eaten all those, though, that’s a bad sign.