One big challenge on the road to healthy eating is creating a menu titillating enough to keep you from back sliding into your old habits. Devoting a little time once a week to trying out interesting and delicious recipes can help you stay on track while delivering an array of amazing options to choose from in the week ahead. This is what I call insurance and it is one of the most important investments you can make on your path to health. For me, it’s Sunday’s in my kitchen.
Changing your diet is difficult. Many busy people begin by relying on healthier, convenient take out, like prepared salads and soups, omelets or oatmeal. While this can be massively helpful in the beginning stages of the process (although expensive and not entirely healthy due to the sodium and hidden fats), eventually monotony and boredom set in. Like night follows day, the allure of your favorite foods will beckon, eroding your will. In seeking out variety, you may find yourself back to your old eating habits soon thereafter.
The best way to stay motivated and inspired to eat healthfully is to experiment with interesting and delicious recipes at home. This way, you create diversity while knowing exactly what is going into each dish, making all necessary adjustments to stay in line with your eating plans and goals.
Sunday’s at my place is a party of one (sometimes, two ☺). On this day I give myself the gift of time to prepare healthy, delicious food that I can have throughout the week. With music piped throughout the apartment helping me to get in the groove, I get to work. Whether it’s a pot of soup, or almond meal scones, every Sunday is a culinary creative event that is a small investment of time compared to the massive return on my health.
I tend to make one dish I can freeze, like soup or herbed salmon for quick dinners after a long day, one baked item like the nutty protein bread I can easily toast up for breakfast, and then a salad option like Mediterranean Tuna Salad or Asian Chicken Salad to bring for lunch. I finish up by making a fresh juice for the day, which I drink as I clean up the kitchen.
I recognize that many of you have lives that do not allow for hours in the kitchen, but I would bet you have time to make one thing a week. That’s a start. One pot of soup a week will deliver several quick meals. One salad recipe will yield two healthy lunches you would otherwise have eaten on the road. One batch of Nutty Protein Bread or Elvis Scones might be just the thing to keep you from ordering a sandwich or picking up a muffin on the way to the office. These small offerings to your long-term goal may be just enough variety to keep you from backsliding.
Rather than approaching the kitchen and cooking as drudgery, look at it as a creative endeavor. Not only are you creating healthy dishes, you are also contributing to the creation of your healthy body. The nourishment you get from homemade food is unparalleled.
While eating healthier take-out may be a place to start while you get used to your new eating plan, it’s certainly not a place to stay. If you do you will eventually get bored and restless, on the look out for something to excite you. A little like any long-term relationship, you have to keep it interesting, lest you begin to stray…
One recent Sunday I made a pot of Potato, Leek and Tarragon Soup (is there a better spice in this world than Tarragon, I wonder?) along with a loaf of nutty protein bread, adding chopped Kalamata olives to change it up and enhance flavor. I offer up both recipes to you here… I hope you enjoy them on your road to health!
Potato, Leek and Tarragon Soup
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 2 leeks, sliced (only white and pale green parts only) about 3 cups
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1 ½ pounds organic red potatoes (small), cut in quarters
- 8 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade but you acan also use pre-made or chicken broth)
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Himalayan salt and pepper to taste (approx 1 teaspoon each)
Heat olive oil in large pot on medium heat. Add leeks, shallots and garlic and cook about 5 minutes until translucent. Add broth and potatoes. Bring soup to a simmer and allow to cook until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in tarragon. Add salt and pepper. When potatoes are cooked through, using a slotted spoon, in batches place the solids of the soup in a blender and blend until a chunky puree or to preferred texture. Repeat until all the solids are blended. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Kalamata Olive Bread
Use the ingredients and directions from my nutty protein bread recipe, with the following adjustments:
- Use 1/2 cup coarsely ground nuts and seeds rather than pulverizing them into a powder
- Add 1/2 cup of chopped Kalamata Olives
- Substitute 1 tbsp olive oil for the coconut oil
- Grease the pan with olive oil
All other directions are the same…