Sure dining out has its perks-it fun, easy, and takes the guess work out of what's for dinner. But when your mission is live healthfully, then putting on the chef's hat at home gives you certain sense of satisfaction knowing exactly what's going into your body. Here are 10 ways to create an environment that works for you, not against you.
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter, filled with enough fruit for one or two pieces per family member per day. Grapes and berries, though, go in the fridge which can be sized up in a Ziploc baggie.
My Lids are Sealed
Store cut fruits and veggies in glass or Tupperware bowls for cooking convenience. Pop them right into the microwave which is "one of the healthiest ways to cook vegetables," says Ellie Krieger Food Network Star and Registered Dietician and busy mom. "The more quickly they're cooked and the less water that's used, the more nutrients they retain."
For that control freak in you, use your glass and Tupperware containers for portioning out serving sizes of leftover meals for a quick grab-and-go throughout the week.
Out of Sight Out of Mind
Keep alluring snacks off of countertop canisters/bowls and in the pantry. That way you will end the vicious cycle of DO NOT PASS GO: until you eat another handful of trail mix.
Flavor is a Lifesaver
Take advantage of guilt-free ways to add flavor and nutrient to your cooking by stocking up the spice rack. You add great taste and variety to meals without the extra sugar, salt, and fat.
I've Seen the Light!
Use small bowls to manage individual servings of snack foods. Example: fruit, nuts, and whole grain crackers seem to take on giant proportions when eating from a small bowl, making you feel more satisfied.
Hey Mister, Take Your Best Shot
For everyday cooking store your extra virgin olive oil in a mister which will enable you to use a very even coat. A mister will help you avoid lathering on too much oil. Get one for $15 from Williams-Sonoma.
Since we also eat with our eyes, a grill pan will help you get those coveted grill marks on meats, without the hassle of outdoor cooking. Bonus feature, the ridges of the pan help the fat drip off. Feast your eyes on six pack abs in to time. Grill pans range from $25-160.
Use a water filtration system that filters water straight from the tap. The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking 64 ounces of water per day, that's 28 bottles of water per week (1,460 a year)! I think the earth's landfills just threw up a little bit in its mouths at that! Do your wallet and world a favor and invest in a $20-40 water filter pitcher.
Thawed-you'd like to know
Frozen fruits and vegetables come in handy when you don't have time to chop and cook. And since they are flash frozen right after they have been picked, most of the vitamins and minerals are preserved making them a great choice to steam for a quick side dish.
Your freezer can also be your bulk buying paradise. You will be surprised by how much money and time you can save when you buy chicken, for example, in bulk. Simply cook the entire bulk and freeze the leftovers.
Create Kitchen Inspiration
Surround yourself with things that will keep you strong and fully motivated to eat healthy. Put a motivational collage of phrases and photos to hang on the kitchen bulletin board or refrigerator. Believe it or not, these visuals may help deter you from overeating or eating the wrong thing.
And, always remember to kiss the cook.