By Chef Robbie
Eating healthy sounds like a simple idea. Cut out all junk food, stop eating fast food, eat a more balanced diet, and so on. All of these points are common sense ideals, but I have always found that writing these ideas down and sticking to a plan is the best way to keep from cheating or straying from your path to a healthier you. I have found that the below tips are an essential base to changing your eating habits and staying diligent against the ebb and flow of your daily cravings.
- Grocery shop the healthy way – When grocery shopping, focus on the outside aisles where all the delicious fresh produce is. Make an effort to get as many organic products as possible. The pesticides and chemicals added to non-organic food can cause health problems and can be a contributing factor to weight gain. If you cannot afford to go all organic, start with buying fruits and vegetables that typically contain less amounts of pesticides (onions, frozen vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, bananas ). The middle of the store is for processed foods and quick meals. Food that is processed and unnatural can cause weight gain and health problems so try to stick to the outside aisles as much as possible.
- Replace one meal a day with an organic fresh juice or smoothie – This is the start to the healthier you. I typically like to start with a juice or smoothie for breakfast. It is not only delicious, but quick and healthy too. All the vitamins and minerals in the fresh organic produce will give you a jolt of energy that will rival your morning pot of coffee.
- Try to keep your pantry stocked with healthy whole grains – Many times we eat unhealthy because we do not have the ingredients in our pantry to cook a great meal or we are short on time and exhausted. If you have your pantry already stocked with some great alternative grains like couscous, quinoa, and farro, you will be able to whip up a wholesome meal in minutes. Mix any of these grains with a simple vinaigrette and a few sautéed vegetables and you have a great dinner. These grains have much more natural flavor than your everyday white or brown rice allowing you to make a tasty meal with minimal ingredients.
- Switch to low fat cooking methods – Sautéing or stir frying with a small amount of canola or olive oil is a great way to impart flavor without adding too much fat. Grilling and poaching are also good options to keep the fat in your dishes to a minimum. If you are using non-stick pans use a brand that is BPA free and does not contain teflon.
- Be consistent with your eating habits and setup a meal plan – Setup a meal plan that will help you eat healthy food consistently. Plan a day to go to the grocery store every week and then make a few dishes to keep in your fridge for when you do not have time to cook. Invest the time in your health. You will look better, feel better, and have an overall increase in energy and confidence.
These are a just few of my guidelines, what are some of your favorite healthy habits?
Robbie Rense has been in the culinary industry for over 10 years and attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where he went on to receive his culinary training and bachelors degree in culinary business management. During Robbie’s internship at the CIA, he trained at the Chatham Bars Inn in Cape Cod, MA, a five diamond resort, with visiting VIP chef Oscar Gonzales from the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. Robbie moved to Texas where he opened the Sur La Table cooking school at the Houston City Centre as the Resident Chef and Culinary Manager. Robbie is the owner of Savory Celebration with his wife Samantha.