I used to be that girl – such a picky eater that all my food had to be separate on the plate, I would only eat very specific things with no compromise, no sauces could touch (god forbid!) and I would go to the extreme of using several plates and bowls to ensure this all worked out.
Then life happened.
The days got busy and I couldn’t be bothered with going to such extremes. Also, nutrition and eating healthy were becoming more of a priority so I was willing to make changes — but it was clear I could not figure out how to eat well with all my rules. How can you eat whole foods and a balanced diet while living a life? How can you put that all together and make it work?
I laugh at myself now as I seem to be at the opposite extreme. I basically eat everything but the kitchen sink these days….My favorite way to eat is out of a large bowl, cut everything up in advance and eat it all together – let the sauces from other dishes compliment each other and every bite tastes better then the last. I literally take my leftovers, throw them in a pan and heat them up, add some salsa, spice and olives and call it a day. So good! And sooo easy!
Do I have a point? Well yes of course I do! I do not write these blogs just to give you all excuses to make fun of my quirks….well that seems to be happening a lot but lets stay focused!
There are ways to make eating nutritious food really easy and taste the way you like it. If you feel the pressure to make a different meal every night, think you should have a new vegetable, protein and starch with each meal you are likely going to make yourself insane. INSANE! I see it with my clients daily. What pressure! And no fun. Some of you have time to cook new recipes every day and make cooking for hours a priority – go for it! More power to you…and can I come over for dinner please? However, for those of you who feel a few steps behind and rushed all the time, consider mixing and matching foods to assemble a plate that is tasty, works for you and your nutrition goals and does not require too much work.
What could you do?
Cook in BULK. And I mean bulk! Make 2-3 times the amount of protein you normally do and have food for the week. Buy 2-3 times the amount of vegetables and roast, sauté, grill them all at the same time to you have plenty of vegetables ready to go.
Mix new recipes and match them with your favorites. Make a new protein dish from a recipe you found and mix it with your go to vegetable and starch staples. You know the meal will be fine that way…even if the new recipe wasn’t quite right.
Find your spices! Spices add flavor to dishes and seem to make everything taste a little better. And again…make spices in bulk. Consider preserved lemons or this spice mix from Michelle Waltman or just getting fresh spices ready in advance.
Find your go to condiments and additions. Vinegar, olives, lemon juice, capers, green Tabasco sauce and roasted peppers are mine. I seem to add them to anything. And if I could consider eggs a condiment than that too – throw an egg on top and everything is better. What are your go to foods to add flavor to any dish? If you always have them available everything will taste good. It is the quick fix to all!
Get creative. Consider dinner for breakfast…or breakfast for dinner. Just because lunch may be on the go does not mean it has to all come from packages. Get a good to go container and throw all your leftovers in – it will taste divine by lunchtime.
People can change! I didn’t touch a tomato until my twenties! Seriously! Go crazy, try something new and see where things go. Trust me…it is a fun ride!