As we rapidly approach New Year's Day, everyone will be making their "resolutions" and the #1 resolution every year always seems to be to eat healthier (right up there with exercising more).
Many will dive head-first into some kind of fad diet. They may become obsessed with counting calories, skipping breakfast, limiting carbs or not eating after 4pm. They may start focusing on just one type of food or eliminating entire categories of food altogether. Then of course, many will start to get bored, feel deprived, and, within a few days or weeks, will revert back to their old habits.
The beauty about the Eat REAL America community is we all know there is no need for diet or deprivation.
Instead, the key is to enjoying a wide variety of REAL food, prepared in different ways to make meals, snacks and sweet treats that are both delicious and nutritious!
As we enter 2021, we wanted to share a list of 21 things you might consider doing this year.
Whether you are looking to change something with your own eating habits or want to help a family member or friend, we hope this list will provide some inspiration.
- Read ingredient labels! It's the only way to know what EXACTLY is in your food.
- Give your pantry a makeover -- keep these staples on hand to set you up for success, and then dive into our hundreds of Eat REAL America recipes!
- Roast veggies...any variety, any time! Make up a batch of our "GO-TO" seasoning and use it, along with oil, salt and pepper, for your roasted veggies (works great for grilled veggies too)! Guaranteed to send the flavor over-the-top!
- Let your slow cooker do the work on those busy nights - possibly start with one night each week!
- Take advantage of 2-for-1 meals and "planned-overs!" -- no more boring leftovers!
- Create a daily salad habit -- it can be as easy as our Everyday or Greek Salad, or many other ideas so you never get bored!
- Make your own dressings...with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dijon mustard, it can be as simple as "2-1-1".
- Always keep a veggie tray on hand to enjoy with homemade hummus or other delicious dips!
- Make overnight oats part of your breakfast routine to destress those weekday mornings!
- Treat yourself to more breakfast ideas...savory style! Try new weekend breakfasts such as the Sweet Potato Kale Frittata, Savory Steel Cut Oats, Butternut Squash Shakshuka, and Huevos Rancheros Tortilla Pizza. Or, enjoy dinner leftovers with an egg on top! Breakfast can be delicious, healthy and SAVORY!
- Healthify your snacks -- go-to snacks like air-popped popcorn, Dessert Hummus or Spiced Mixed Nuts, or make ahead ideas to have on hand like the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread made into muffins or Chunky Monkey Breakfast Cookies.
- To satisfy a sweet craving, keep a supply of good quality dark chocolate (ideally, not processed with alkali), or keep one of the many Eat REAL America sweet treats in the freezer, such as the Smarty Pants Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Cups, or Almond Butter Bites.
- Eat daily servings (strive for 1/2 cup per day) of cancer-fighting cruciferous veggies!
- Eat beans, any variety, or legumes (1/2 cup) 3 times each week and watch your cholesterol numbers drop!
- Quick-pickle veggies and use them on everything from salads to burgers to sandwiches to tacos...and so much more!
- Embrace whole grains! The secret is looking for the word "whole" in the ingredient label -- make this change for your bread and pasta, and then start using other whole grains such as quinoa, farro, barley and bulgur.
- Savor mushrooms in all kinds of ways (roasting, sautéing, stuffing, and hiding!) Eating mushrooms (1/4 cup, 3 times per week) has been shown to significantly reduce your cancer risk!
- Decrease your consumption of processed meats, with healthier lunch ideas and making Homemade Turkey Sausage.
- Grill those veggies - plus, grill your salads, pizzas, fruits and desserts!
- Make the farmers' market a part of your weekly routine and eat with the seasons!
- You can do it...Keep it simple and EAT REAL FOOD!
We wish everyone a happy and healthy celebration to say adios to 2020 and step into a highly anticipated 2021!