5 CORE Healthy & Easy Meal Tips for the Family
As a health conscious woman, not only is my overall health important, my family's health is just as essential. Many of you understand it's not easy to get the entire household on board when it comes to jumpstarting a journey towards lifestyle change. The pressure of meeting the long awaited goal of shedding inches while the hubby want steak and potatoes every night is demanding! It's even more exhausting to get the kids to transform from a lifestyle of chicken nuggets and fries to getting them to eat their veggies and consuming more water. The irony is that once we've decided to make the choice to please ourselves by treating our minds and bodies right, we find it's even more difficult at times to please everyone else. If you've experienced this in the past or are currently, I've got five great tips for you.
Tip #1: Keep it simple.
As I often post on my IG timeline when sharing recipes, less is more. We should be eating many small meals each day anyway, so at dinner time there's no need to pack on calories before hitting the sack. If you attempt the recipe above, consider your portion sizes for certain members of your family. If you're consuming smoothies, try to limit your ingredients to less than 5 types of vegetables and or fruit. Drinking calories is a sure way to pack on calories if you're not exercising, so be mindful of that. Simple meal options include, spring salads, chicken or tuna salads, casseroles, stir fry and baked foil wrapped meats and veggies. Keeping it simple also means keeping money in your wallets, so don't feel the need to often utilize several options in one meal. Instead, get more bang for the buck!
Tip #2: Mix fruit with veggies.
As a child, I never mixed fruit with vegetables. It was either one or the other. It actually wasn't until recently that I began to appreciate the blend of strawberries, apple slices or even nuts mixed together in my spring salad. If you're a smoothie drinker, that's essentially the same concept- fruit and veggies blended together. Doing so is a sure way to get the family the nutrients they need which is necessary in this pandemic. Plus, it's flavorful! Many people can probably admit that they use certain seasonings because their parents cook with them. It may be for the taste in some regards, but it could also be due to environmental upbringings. Although we season food to add flavor, too much of certain types could cause health issues. I've noticed significant changes to my body and energy level once I decreased my sodium and sugar intake. To be honest, I haven't cooked with salt in about a year although it's okay to consume it in moderation. My typical "go to" seasonings are the ones described in the recipe below. I LOVE bell peppers, garlic and onions. It's the most natural flavors I could use, plus they make my meals tasty. Once I let go of things that provided me no nutritional, relational or physical value I was be able to thrive mentally, emotionally and spiritually (Romans 12:1). Don't be afraid to minimize. Remember, less is more.
Tip #3: Incorporate the family's favorite options into your meals. You can modify some of the most common recipes such as meatloaf, burgers, fries, casseroles and even spaghetti in healthy ways. For instance, if your spouse loves meatloaf, instead of using ground beef, try lean ground turkey. Sudden changes can be a turnoff to the family which could result in adverse reactions and a waste of your time.
Slowly introduce new food types. Same is boring. Once you've hooked your loved ones on healthy meal options, it's easier to incorporate a variety of meat, fruit and veggies that are tasty and of course, healthy. Remember, consistency is key! It took a while for my son to get on board with my new meal options because of the idea of it being "different." Although I made turkey burgers, substituted white rice with riced cauliflower and or broccoli, cooked spinach omelets with egg whites instead of whole eggs, or cooked zucchini fries, to him those options weren't the same as Burger King, fried rice from Panda Express or McDonald's fries. Slowly introducing these options while keeping some of the food choices the family is accustomed to is the way to go. Once they acquire the taste for new options, you've opened their minds and expanded their options to appreciate them and try more.
Have fun! Now before you shoot the messenger, trust that I understand it's not practical to create and prepare festive meals 3-4 times each week. Let me add to not forget tip #1! Keep it simple. Instead of a pineapple bowl, you could modify the recipe above by creating salmon and cauliflower burritos or wraps. Yes, I said burritos! Whatever you do, make it your own. Also, invite your children or spouse to cook with you. In doing so, they will appreciate the meal much more!
Check out the ingredients to this fun and creative Salmon Pineapple Bowl.
Salmon Pineapple Bowl
Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon (Size depending on family quantity)
1 Avocado (Chopped)
1 Mango (Chopped)
1/4 Red Onion (Chopped)
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
Coarse Black Pepper
Bell peppers (Optional)
2 Bags of Riced Cauliflower (Frozen)
1. Clean and pat dry salmon. Season it with garlic powder, black pepper and paprika. Set it aside.
2. Chop fresh garlic and bell peppers and place them in a bowl. Add honey and apple cider vinegar to the mixture along with garlic powder, black pepper, paprika and squeezed lemon and stir. There's two options for this: either marinade the salmon by placing the salmon in a resealable plastic bag along with the marinade and refrigerate for about 4 hours, or add the mixture to the salmon without marinating it. Squeeze lemon juice onto the salmon, cover and place into the oven at 400 degrees to bake for 15-20n minutes.
3. Cut the pineapple(s) into halves lengthwise. Cut into and around the edge about 1/2 of an inch away from the edge. Cut the core out, discard it and cut the remaining pineapple into small chunks and place them into a bowl. (You can use them for dessert or add them to the riced cauliflower).
4. Place the frozen riced cauliflower bags in the microwave and heat for 5 minutes.
5. Prepare toppings. Chop mango, red onions and avocado into small squares. Chop cilantro. Place them in a bowl and set aside.
6. Remove riced cauliflower from bag and in a bowl, mix it with some pineapple chunks, add garlic powder, black pepper and parsley flakes. Stir, then fill the pineapple halves with cauliflower.
7. Remove salmon from oven, cut and place salmon onto the bed of rice. Add peppers and toppings onto the salmon and distribute throughout the bowl. Sprinkle crushed red pepper on top and serve!