Eat a small snack before going out

Before heading out to an outing, errands, a party, or even dinner, eat a small snack before.  This will help prevent overeating and “eyes bigger than your stomach.”  If you are fully hungry before going out, this can lead to snacking more than usual, eating large portions, fast food, etc.  

Healthy small snack ideas:

Cheese and crackers

Celery and peanut butter

Piece of fruit and peanut butter

Hard boiled eggs

Hummus with veggies and pita chips (or beet hummus)

Vegetables with a homemade dip

Pair protein and fat with some carbs!  The protein keeps you full, slows digestion, and keeps blood sugar level.

Photo Credit:

@wildsonoraphoto


Keep an Immersion Blender Handy

An immersion blender is a small hand stick blender that is compact.  This gets submerged into a pot or bowl to puree, rather than pouring liquid into a regular blender.  Main uses for this type of blender are for pureeing soups, sauces, vinaigrettes, pesto, mayonnaise, etc.  Typically the immersion blender will come with a small measuring cup to puree items in, very handy!  If something is made that is lumpy or too chunky, simply use your immersion blender to quickly puree.  Move the blender and tilt around the pot or bowl for best use. I love mine because I can quickly puree items or take it with me to another house  – very portable and easy to clean!

Benefits:

Small and compact

Portable

Blend straight into a pot or bowl

Easy to clean

Make small or large batches

Photo Credit:

Photo by Katie Rosario on Unsplash


Freeze Your Grains and Pastas

Spend one day a week or once a month cooking your healthy grains and pastas – true meal prep!  This will save you so much time when trying to prepare lunch or dinner (usually last minute).  Cook the grains or pastas, then once cooled place into gallon bags, press flat, and label with the name and date cooked.  Then store in the freezer flat. 

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One Pot Dishes or Casseroles

Some of my favorite dishes to make are one pot wonders and casseroles.  Every ingredient is in one spot – protein, starch, vegetable.  You could still make a side dish or large salad, but every component of a meal is in one pot!  One of the best parts is there’s only one dish to clean up!  Aside from the cutting board, knife, and utensils.  Plus these dishes make for great leftovers and to take for quick lunches.  Be sure to pack a lot of flavors, herbs, spices, protein, fat, and carbs into the dishes to keep you full and going!  One pot dishes and meals are so homey and warm, making you feel good while still loading up on healthy ingredients.  

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Shred Chicken Easily

Two ways: stand mixer or two forks

The quickest and most efficient way to shred chicken is in a stand mixer, such as a Kitchen Aid.  First, bake chicken or poach/simmer in a pot for about 20-25 minutes, then while hot, add to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Turn on and let the machine do the work for you!  (Cook chicken until internal temperature 165 F.)  You will have beautiful shredded chicken you can use for many meals – like in my post Batch Cook Proteins For More Meals

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Flavor Up Your Water

Infused water – add flavor to your water to enhance and look fancy!  This also can add vitamins and minerals, while making for yummy snacks after the water is gone.  Refrigerate your flavored water overnight or the morning of.  One of my favorite things to do is freeze ice cubes with a berry and/or mint in each cube compartment.  Also freeze straight lemon or orange juice to add to water or sparkling beverages.  Have fun with it!!  

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Batch Cook Proteins for More Meals

Cook a larger batch of a main protein, such as chicken or beef, to make multiple meals with.  Keep the seasonings neutral or simple  salt and pepper.  A super easy meal that can be made in batches and kept in the refrigerator or freezer are soups – use almost any protein cut up or sliced.

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Swap Proteins to Try Healthier Dishes

Many different types of proteins can be substituted whether it be for health, flavor, or availability.  Trying new proteins, especially lean proteins can decrease your intake of fats and salt while still achieving great flavors.  Explore new options and recipes; I know I’m always researching how I can change a recipe or create a new one with ingredients I have!  Many recipes you can easily change the main protein while still using the same seasonings and marinades.  Also, changing the form of cooking such as using the grill, smoker, oven, stovetop, or braising pot can alter the flavors and textures.

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First In, First Out Rule

The First In, First Out (FIFO) system is used for old and new foods that need to be rotated in the fridge.  Specifically when food and box cartons are labeled with an “opened” date or simply the expiration date.  Now in a home fridge (versus restaurant) you probably aren’t going to date your food since it’s your fridge, but you can watch for expiration dates.  FIFO for a home fridge is more to be aware of food that is opened, old, or needs to be used up.  FIFO = food that goes in first, needs to be out first.

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