When the start of a new year comes around, I refresh the basic little healthy things in my life.
With my husband starting a healthy nutrition plan as of the 1st, my toddler who is growing fast and my newborn who needs me to be healthy so I can properly care for him, this refreshing the basics is right on time.
Here are some little things that we are doing daily to help to keep us healthy in 2012:
1) Keep a full pitcher of water on the kitchen counter top.
Having water in view helps all of us drink enough everyday. When it gets low, I refill it. I also keep a water pitcher in the fridge for when we feel like having a cold drink or to add to smoothies.
2) Keep a bowl of almonds on the kitchen countertop.
When I keep a bowl of almonds out, we are all able to have a quick snack between meals that is healthy when needed. This is also helpful if I’m on the go and need a quick pick-me-up as I’m are going out the door or just getting back from being out and about.
3) Ground Flax Seed
I add it to smoothies, cereal, apple sauce… where ever I can get away with sprinkling them. They are good way to get extra fiber.
4) 2 green vegetables at dinner
I often ensure we have 2 cooked green vegetables at dinner time. This is in addition to a salad. Green vegetables are so important for so many reasons and they don’t spike blood sugar like starchy vegetables (like potatoes and corn) can. I pick something different and cook them quickly. I get inspiration for quick preparation of green vegetables from The World’s Healthiest Foods “Side Vegetables” section. In really busy times, frozen vegetables can be prepared in a pinch.
5) Small chopped fruit or veg in the fridge.
Having even just a small amount of raw fruit (like apples, pineapple, grapes or berries) or chopped raw vegetable (like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots or celery) in a container in the fridge can be very helpful. They can be snacked on at home, or taken with me for a snack on the go. They can also be quickly added to meals. Also, when raw veggies are chopped up and a favourite dip is keeping it company in the fridge, it’s an easy way for everyone in the family to get a daily serving.
6) Deceptively delicious: Sneak in vegetables
I love all vegetables, but my family members can be more selective time to time. I’ve taken a cue from Jessica Seinfeld and have started integrating vegetables into our food. This struck me not to long ago when my toddler, who has been a great eater, started asserting his new found independence by saying “Don’t want it” and “Don’t like it” at meal times. Hmmm… what’s a mom to do?
Here’s just a few I’ve tried these with success…
– Zucchini Turkey Burgers
I put together 1 part ground turkey with 1 part grated zucchini and a little egg to hold it together. Season with a little sea salt. These can be made into patties or little meat balls. I bake them in the oven until cooked through and golden brown. I serve these with a natural, whole ingredient, mustard.
Any veg can be grated into these, like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, squash.
– Butternut Tomato Sauce
I puree cooked butternut squash into tomato sauce. Because of the sweetness of the squash, I managed to add quite a bit to the tomato sauce without significantly changing the flavour or texture.
– Cauliflower Hummus
My toddler enjoys hummus with rice crackers… so… I’ve taken cooked cauliflower and purred it, then added a little scoop for every little scoop of hummus I give him. I’ve done this with zucchini, too. I peel the zucchini so there is no trace of green. 🙂
Whether these are new to you, or something that you’ve also done as part of your day, I hope this post helps to dust of those little healthy things to start the new year off right.