Baby Steps to Better Nutrition

If I can give you one piece of advice on how to take back your health, I would recommend that you reduce eating “food like substances” that are manufactured and have an almost indefinite shelf life.  The extended shelf life of these products shorten your life.

Make a fist. Take a look at it. That is the size of your stomach. Your entire meal, including liquids should not be more than that size. Pay attention while filling your plate. If eating out, you can always bring home leftovers for another meal. We as a society have a problem with consuming too many calories, both at home and when dining out.                               

When grocery shopping, experiment with fresh seasonal produce and try something new each time you shop. This will keep you from getting bored from eating the same thing each week. Shop at your local farmer’s market. Ask the farmer what their favorite way is to prepare the vegetables that they are selling to give you some fresh ideas.

Experiment with different grains. Rice, quinoa, barley, millet, faro, bulgur, wheat berries, are just few of the favorites that are staples in my pantry to have on hand to create a base for many of the dishes that I make. When cooking grains, always cook more than you need for today’s meal. Leftover grains can be used to create a quick stir fry or added to a soup to give it more heartiness. In the summer, grains make a great base for salads. Add some finely chopped vegetables, fresh herbs and finish with a vinaigrette dressing – a simple yet satisfying meal on a hot summer’s day!

Explore the YouTube or Instagram channels of cooks who post interesting pictures and videos of the foods that they make. Watch cooking shows on PBS. Check out cookbooks from your local library. These are all free resources that only require your time to expand your creativity.

To build your confidence, take a cooking class. Check out your local college continuing education programs. Hire someone (like myself) to provide you with individual instruction so you can become a culinary alchemist. Through learning techniques and practicing, soon you will be able to create all sorts of yummy creations that will impress your friends and family!

Simple Satisfying Dal. Photo and recipe by Brenda.

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