By Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, the lead food and nutrition expert for Retrofit.
People always ask me how to start eating better and I say just start right where you are. Don’t wait another minute, start making choices that are improved over yesterday or even this morning. Making healthy choices doesn’t take more time than unhealthy ones, and eating well can be palate-pleasing to even the pickiest of taste-buds. I’m going to share one of my favorite recipes as an example…
The recipe below is 15 minutes start to finish – so it’s perfect for even your busiest days. I used pre-cut, rinsed, fresh veggies to get the nutrition in without the time, swapped out regular pasta for whole grain pasta, and used high-flavor, low-calorie foods (in this case lime, garlic and onion) to pump up the taste without adding fat.
Simple changes can add up to a great plate, enjoy!
Thai Chicken Noodle Bowl
- 2 ounces uncooked whole grain fettuccini
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- Salt to taste
- 3 ounces skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1½ cups broccoli coleslaw (Mann’s brand)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped peanuts
- 1 green onion, chopped
1. Cook the pasta per package directions. Sautée oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and chicken for 5 min.
2. Add coleslaw and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
3. Toss chicken and veggie mixture with cooked pasta and top with peanuts and green onions.
This recipe makes a single 400-calorie serving – a calorie sweet spot for getting satisfied without feeling stuffed. Hot jasmine or iced green tea would be a great beverage companion for this meal to keep hydrated without adding calories.
As you focus on eating well, look for just two new recipes or meal ideas each week to incorporate into your current routine. Narrowing your new options at first will increase your odds of success by helping you make significant change without feeling overwhelmed. When you enjoy certain recipes, make sure to repeat them often until they become part of your regular routine and the ingredients become standard staples on your shopping list and in your kitchen pantry.
Having convenient go-to recipes can be a great way to cut back on dining out, take-out and fast food. When you have healthy, quick recipes as part of your everyday recipe repertoire, it’s just as easy and fast to whip up your express meals at home as it is to wait in a drive-thru lane. Plus, when you prepare meals at home it’s a double bargain: you’ll save money AND get more nutrition in every bite.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD is the lead food and nutrition expert for Retrofit, an innovative weight loss program found at retrofitme.com. She is the author of The Flexitarian Diet and an expert resource for media outlets such as Dateline, Newsweek, USA Today, and Web MD. Dawn believes in using the power of food to prevent and manage illness and maintain optimal health. She is a registered dietitian, certified specialist in sports dietetics, and the nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs.