We love January, because when life slows down a little in the colder weather and the frantic pace of the holidays is just a memory, we’re left with time to think about how we can live healthier, more active lives in the coming year. It’s not so much making resolutions as it is planning for success.
Following are some of our favorite Registered Dietitians, whose blogs are chock full of great food and culinary wisdom. We asked them what their advice would be and what suggestions they have for making the most of the food we eat and the exercise we get throughout the year.
Here is what they had to say:
“Try introducing new vegetables to your kids (or yourself!) by using a spiralizer to make veggie noodles! Veggies like sweet potatoes and zucchini are great options. If the kids are old enough, let them do the spiralizing and let younger kids help you pick out a new veggie to try. If you don’t want to make the switch to all veggie noodles, try mixing some in with pasta noodles!”
– Lindsay Livingston, RD –The Lean Green Bean
The image below is from fellow Cabot Cheese Board member, Ali Maffucci from Inspiralized. This “Spiralized Mac and Cheese Two Ways” is as delicious as it is healthy!
The @cabotcheese blog has #tips from #RDs to help you plan for a year of success! http://ow.ly/HAVIv #NewYearBetterYou #health
“Take every opportunity to move. Use the stairs, walk into the station vs. paying at the gas pump, get out of your car vs. going through the drive through. All activity adds up and many Americans do not move enough when they aren’t in a gym.”
“Ramp up your workouts by using a heart rate monitor. The greater your intensity, the more calories you are burning.”
“Don’t focus on whether you are burning mainly fat or carbohydrates while working out. Your goal should be more calories burned. If you are in a calorie deficit, you will tap into your fat stores later in the day. “
-Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD –MarieSpano.com
“Make a homemade batch of soup with lots of beans and veggies over the weekend for a healthy veggie filled lunch or dinner during the week.”
– Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN –Love & Zest
For a hearty and healthy homemade dinner, try this Lentil Veggie Soup; it’s topped with cheddar croutons for a crispy treat.
“Store your produce correctly to keep it flavorful for as long as possible. The better it looks and tastes and the longer it lasts, the more likely you are to eat it, right? You’ll also save money on groceries and reduce food waste! Keep cucumbers on the counter, unpeeled onions and potatoes in a cool, dark place, and celery wrapped in tinfoil not plastic. And store sandwich bread (for toasted cheese sandwiches!) out of the refrigerator, where it will actually go stale faster. For more food storage dos and dont’s, check out my blog for The Huffington Post.”
– Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN –CarolineKaufman.com
“Cut the cheese. Quite literally! My favorite breakfast in the morning is an ounce of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese paired with a juicy Honey Crisp apple and some whole grain crackers. Both the apple and the crackers are filled with fiber and the cheese is filled with protein. Just slice up the cheese on Sundays so it’s ready to go for the week (or better yet, get the singles!). It’s a delicious way to start the day for both me and my kids! “
– Jen Haugan, RDN –Down To Earth Dietitian
“Sneak in fruits or vegetables into recipes. This will help trim down the recipe as well as sneaking in fiber. This tip is especially useful for cooking for kids. If they are unable to see the veggies, they might be more likely to try it. For one of my kids cooking classes, we made mac and cheese. For the cheese sauce, we pureed steamed butternut squash and blended it with Cabot plain Greek yogurt and added it to the cheese sauce. It look and tasted just like traditional mac & cheese and was an easy way to sneak in veggies plus protein from the Greek yogurt.”
– Julie Harrington, RD –RDelicious Kitchen
“Find easy ways to get more vegetables. Besides making/ ordering omelets, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps and burritos with veggies added, one of the best things you can do at any meal is order (or microwave from frozen at home if short on time) a side of steamed veggies without added butter or oil. Simply mix them right in whatever meal you are eating and you’ll add great texture, flavor and color to your meal and the veggies will pick up the flavor from the sauce in the meal. Try these: Chinese Chicken and rice; Pasta and chicken; Mac ‘n cheese. You end up eating less of the heavy stuff and fill your stomach with the lower calorie, fiber-and nutrient packed veggies.
Other ways to get more veggies?
- Use nori or lettuce for traditional sandwiches or wraps rather than carb-rich bread.
- Eat your rice and other grain-based meals by putting them in cups made with veggies-like scooped out tomatoes and bell peppers, zucchini and cucumber boats—these are delicious shells for the carbs and help to keep the carb portion in check (we have several recipes that do this in our book).
- You can also easily make dips and spreads with spinach and yogurt—we have many veggie based dips that can double as sauces for grains and meats and are perfect for dipping veggies).
Develop a plan for yourself and fine tune your produce choices by focusing on your health or beauty goals. Choose those veggies that are best for you—if you want to beat bloat, boost your mood, lose weight, fight cancer, reduce stress, etc., check out our new book, The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure: Expert Advice and Tantalizing Recipes for Health, Energy and Beauty where we name the specific vegetables that are best for what you want and provide more than 100 corresponding recipes—so there’s many ways to use our Red, Green and Orange Rule.”
– Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN & Lyssie Lakatos, RDN –The Nutrition Twins
Looking to start your day off right? Try this Caramelized Onion and Spinach Frittata, a wholesome and easy way to start your day.
“Prioritize plant foods this year. Not only have numerous studies shown that eating a plant-based diet can defend your cells against certain cancers, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and even aging, but plants have the power to transform any meal into a colorful, appetite-pleasing experience.
Focus on making gradual, simple changes to evolve your eating for a healthy body weight, improved blood sugar blood pressure and for an overall better quality of life. Keep it simple; if you find change too challenging, you won’t stick with it.”
– Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN –Simple Cravings. Real Food.
This Black Bean and Veggie Salad is the perfect simple side dish. Loaded with vegetables, light cheese, and black beans, it’s sure to pack a protein punch and will leave you feeling fuller, longer!
For more recipe ideas visit cabotcheese.coop/recipes