It’s Wednesday. Do you think wow, it’s Shabbat in a few days? Are your first thoughts what will I make? I am sure that what comes to mind is preparing what is quick, easiest and familiar. But are those foods healthy? Embarking on a journey to change eating habits as a step toward achieving a healthier lifestyle can be daunting and require some extra effort, but over time the changes can also become easy and familiar. Let me share some ways to go about it very easily in order to prepare for engaging in a healthy lifestyle. The following points are important to remember:
Planning. Planning for the week can make it much easier.
Choose foods you like; always prepare food that you enjoy.
Form new habits: use a slow cooker, prepare ahead on the weekend.
Use seasonal ingredients: foods in season will provide extra flavor and fresh taste; always use when you can.
Go with the flow. If you are pressed for time and have to get takeout, choose wisely.
Flexibility. If it’s impossible to eat healthy one day, no worries; go back to healthy eating the next day.
Now, you may ask, how is it possible to put this in practice?
Prep for more than one meal at a time. Chop vegetables for the whole week, prepare extra fish or chicken to last for more than one meal.
Make extra and freeze.
Use the same ingredients for more than one meal.
Make lunch with the leftovers from dinner.
Try new things.
My recommendation for this week is to make a healthy salad this week and then the next time you have company for Shabbat. It is so easy to prepare. Use a green for the base of your salad that provides nutrients like kale, arugula, spinach or cabbage. Add two to three vegetables that are different colors so that you get many different vitamins and minerals. Include a protein to make the salad more filling; try beans, chicken, fish or hard-boiled eggs, as all of these items are good choices. Top with some crunch by using nuts or seeds. Use a dressing in moderation.
Cauliflower Kale Salad
(Add grilled chicken for a main dish)
1 head cauliflower
1 bag of kale
¼ cup olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 package precooked beets, cut in small cubes
2 teaspoons honey
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut cauliflower into florets, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25-30 minutes, until lightly brown in color; set aside.
3. Put kale in a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil, a pinch of salt and the juice of half the lemon, and massage kale until it softens.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the other half of lemon with pepper and honey; slowly whisk in the ¼ cup of olive oil.
5. Pour the dressing over the kale.
6. Mix in cauliflower, beets and sunflower seeds.
7. Toss and enjoy!
By Jamie Feit