When nutrition experts talk about eliminating processed foods, do you feel squeamishly overwhelmed? “How in the world could I do that?” you wonder. Actually, it might be easier (and tastier) than you think.
Case in point: I arrived home late last Friday night, feeling certain I couldn’t pull together a no-processed food meal before starving to death. But fortunately, I’d done the one thing that makes all things possible: I thought ahead a little. In this case, my thinking ahead led me to pull a package of lamb chops from the freezer. So I had a firm toehold. (Vegetarians would be equally prepared by keeping a package or two of tofu, tempeh or seitan on hand.)
With one part of the plate under control, I moved to the starch area. My storage vegetable pantry was handily stocked with potatoes. A little scrubbing, cutting and microwaving with olive oil, salt and pepper turned them into a delightful side.
While the potatoes cooked, I made a fast veggie saute, Yellow Squash with Tomatoes, Peppers and Oregano. One of the things I love about summer squash is that it’s so easy to prep–just rinse and slice.
With the potatoes and vegetables underway, grilling (or frying) the lamb (or tofu) is all that remained and presto, we had a perfectly balanced, colorful, vegetable rich meal in 25 minutes. Recruit a spouse or child to help and that can be sliced to 15 or 20 minutes!
You’ve probably made a lot of meals like this. Did you know you were doing just what the experts advise? Maybe healthy eating is easier than you think! And maybe meat and potatoes meals aren’t the bad guys we thought, as long as the meat is moderately portioned, lean and clean and accompanied by a generous helping of vegetables.
Another Easy Step Toward the Tree: Whole Grains Instead of Half Grains
Another super easy step closer to the Tree: Eating 100% whole grain breads, pastas, tortillas, muffins, etc. It doesn’t take any extra time at all–just make a straight substitution of whole for half grains (unless you’re baking, when more adjustments are necessary.) Never heard the term “half grains?” Well that’s what white, refined grain products really are: the starchy, calorie-dense half of the grain stripped of its nutrient-rich half. Don’t waste your money there! Buy the whole, nutritious thing and just make a straight substitution. Simple.
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