Thursday, April 15, 2010

10 Food Ideas

Getting started can be overwhelming. So here are a few things I have learned in the last 2 months to make it easier:

1. Fill your kitchen with lots of food. The more you have around the more you will eat with abandon - and that's what you want - to eat as many veggies as you can. Buy all the produce that looks good to you and buy lots of it: a box of oranges, bag of grapefruit, large bags of leafy greens (spinach, kale, romaine), box of mangoes. This is why I love Costco, their stuff is big!

2. Eat the same ol' same ol'. Don't try exotic new recipes everyday. You will wear yourself out and eat lots of stuff that you don't love. Look at what you eat now that is healthy and incorporate more of that. The first week we ate this way I made a grapefruit/orange salad for breakfast everyday and a big dark green salad for lunch. After the first 2 days I didn't have to think about breakfast or lunch - it was automatic.

3. Keep a list of the meals you like. Have your family rate the meals on a 1-5 scale. Start a recipe file with notes on the recipes about what works and how to improve the food. Then:

4. Serve the favorites. When you find something you like, serve it over and over.  Some of our favorites have been hummus and a toasted pita (served daily for almost 2 weeks, now I eat it several times a week), baked apples (about once a week), veggie lasagna, tofu stir fry, bean burgers, burritos,  and green smoothies (served just about everyday!). In the last 3 weeks we have had lasagna 3 times and it makes us feel normal. The regularity of food creates a "Comfort Food" feeling. "Comfort Food" that is strengthening your body.

5. Cook/prepare in bulk. I make a huge salad and eat on it for a few days. When we find a recipe that we like I double it for 2 meals and a lunch here and there. Freeze leftovers for a stressful day. When you are chopping veggies chop extra for salads and snacking.

6. Sharpen your knives. Nothing will make you want to quit faster than dull knives. If you live near me I can sharpen your knives on my electric sharpener (I got it cheap at Walmart). Otherwise, take them to be sharpened or buy a good quality knife.

7. Keep your appliances on the counter. I love to have my counters clean and clear of appliances but I am using the blender and processor everyday now, sometimes multiple times a day, so I leave them out - it saves time and makes my life easier.

8. Forget "diet food". I haven't eaten carrots and celery at all, until this week, because they seemed like "diet food" to me. In the past I used those foods on diets that I hated, so I didn't want them until now. Instead I had cucumbers, asparagus, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and other stuff. Try new veggies. Get preparation ideas online and try something new each week.

9. Read Eat to Live. You don't have to make all the changes, but reading the book will help you understand the whole nutritarian movement, and teach you a lot about your body. While you are at it, find friends who eat like this. They are dying to talk about it and will most likely share recipes and food ideas with you.

10. Bookmark this page and check in often. I will try to encourage you with recipes, success stories, and real life reporting.


mandbrid said...

I cooked with Kale for the first time yesterday....I added it to a soup and it was FABULOUS!!! I also went to the farmer's market and bought star fruit, jicama, and avocados. I've got cantelope, asparagus, broccoli, spinach and strawberries in the fridge (oh, and celery and carrots!). I also have blueberries in the freezer.
We're going slowly...just trying to incorporate lots more whole foods and decrease our dairy.
Thanks for all the info!!!

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

My partner and I were just talking about joining Costco! We used to live across the street from the local natural foods grocery store, and I loved that I could go buy produce and ingredients fresh everyday- we were really able to avoid waste! Now that it's a fair drive, I find myself running out of fruit pretty quickly. When I buy a sack of oranges, they always seem to go moldy SO quickly. It's like the bagged ones are less hearty than the ones I buy individually. I'm rambling now, sorry ;)

Thanks for your tips!

Linda said...

Preparing in bulk has been a huge time saver for me. It provides immediate snack food and last minute stir fry &/or burrito/taco meals.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i should've read this post before i commented on the previous one.

i don't think i'm willing to give up meat. but we've definitely cut back on red meat, and there are some great tips here for increasing the fresh veggies.

how about after-school snacks? i'd love to make a change there. sorry for the long comment, but here's the sitch: i work in an elementary school. my kids hang out with me after school for 45 minutes every day. i have a snack for them, but it's always a processed food- fruit snacks, crackers, granola bars, etc. fairly healthy, but still processed and pre-packaged. i share a teeny tiny fridge with 2 other staff, so i can't really hog it up with stuff. what can i do?
maybe i'll put a post up about this as well. see what ideas we can generate.

Sally said...

Andrea, how about celery sticks, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes? They don't need to be refrigerated. You could keep a small jar of PB to dip the celery in, and maybe a container of hummus in the fridge to dip the other things in.