HOUSTON – We’re almost 3 months into the new year and if you’ve given up on your new years resolutions, no worries! It’s never too late to start fresh and incorporate new habits.
The best way to start eating healthier is to have meals and snacks ready to grab and go.
Classically trained chef, Mariah Scott, owner of Lavishly Seasoned, shares 5 strategies to help us eat healthy even when we think we may not have time.
These techniques serve as tools for small changes that make a huge impact in cutting calories and sugar intake without sacrificing flavor.
5 WAYS TO EAT HEALTHIER: REMEMBER F-R-E-S-H TO STAY ON TRACK.
F: FROZEN FOODS
Frozen veggies are packaged at the peak of ripeness when the nutrient levels are highest. Purchasing frozen veggies that have no additional sodium is a great way to stock up and ensures you will have it on hand when you need it and will eliminate those last minute store runs. Mariah recommends to look for frozen veggies that are full of heart healthy vitamins and are easy to cook.
Examples: Broccoli, carrots, butternut squash, corn, peas and spinach.
R: RAW FOODS
Did you know that by increasing raw foods in our diet can be as simple as adding in cold pressed olive oil or a handful of raw unsalted walnuts? Both have healthy fats our body needs and are both considered raw. Some other items that are considered raw foods are kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and raw yogurt. All are living probiotics that are full of enzymes and good bacteria that are great for the gut and digestive health.
E: EASY SNACKS
Snacks can save you from making bad decisions with food. When we are hungry we tend to want something that is within arm’s reach. Make it easy to stay healthy by having snacks already prepared to help you power through the rest of your day. One of my favorite tools for an easy snack is an apple slicer/corer. Apples are in season right now which means they are the juiciest and sweetest and super delicious. Most grocery stores carry at least 5 different varieties that can suit any taste buds. Pair fresh seasonal apples with a couple tablespoons of peanut butter. In less than 30 seconds you can have a satisfying snack to curve your hunger until dinner time.
Sometimes it’s not what we are eating that is bad, but it’s what we are putting on the food that adds extra sodium or saturated fat. Use seasonings as an opportunity to add extra nutrients to food. Try using fresh herbs, spices and citrus to flavor your next meal. It will cut down tremendously on calories and bad fats. Using herbs like basil which boosts immunity and Italian parsley can add a punch of freshness to a dish. Citrus like lemon and oranges are a great way to finish a dish like chicken, fish and veggies to add brightness. Plus, you will get an extra dose of vitamin c which is a powerful antioxidant. If you do not have any fresh herbs on hand try an all-purpose seasoning that contains dried herbs.
H: HOMEMADE FOODS
Can you guess the most popular fast food items?
Burger and fries. You can still enjoy some of your favorite foods, but consider making them at home for a healthier alternative. You will be able to control your salt intake, you’ll cut down on fat and increase your vitamin b levels. Instead of frying your potatoes roast them in a hot oven with a little olive oil and herbs. They will get crisp without the fat. Roasting vegetables caramelizes the natural sugar in veggies and enhances the depth of flavor. Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and help support brain health.
Learn more about Mariah:
MARIAH SCOTT, LAVISHLY SEASONED OWNER
Chef Mariah loves to cook and wants to teach people how to compose pretty and delicious food in an easy and approachable way. The passion for cooking started from helping her Grandma in the kitchen and then developed into a lifestyle. Fueling her culinary cravings by traveling abroad, Mariah had the opportunity to experience cuisine and techniques from over 30 countries. That contributed to her evolving palette and craft for creating multi-culture cuisine.
To connect with Mariah, click here.