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acac Midlothian

acac NutritionI’m sure most of us would like to eat a consistently healthy diet, but lack of time seems to keep those goals just out of reach.
Here are a few tips to help you get organized and save time in the kitchen:

1. Limit distractions as much as possible. Put the phone down and don’t answer it unless you really need to take that call. To enjoy what we are doing, it helps to be able to focus on one task at a time. While we multi-task most of the day, take a few moments to let cooking become a positive part of the day. I enjoy relaxing music to make the kitchen a happier place.

2. Organize your kitchen. It is really frustrating when you can’t find the ingredients that you need and have to dig through the entire pantry. Grouping spices together that you use in certain dishes, such as Indian spices, Mexican, Italian, and Asian blends also saves time. Limit the clutter on your counter to have room for cutting boards, knives, and pans.

3. Use a few shortcuts. It’s fine to get the pre-washed salad greens, and sliced or spiralized veggies. It also helps to wash and portion a few snack size bags of fruit or vegetables for weekday grab and go options. I always keep a variety of frozen vegetables on hand to use in soups, stir-frys, or pasta dishes.

4. Batch cook food. Cooking a larger batch of whole grains, such as quinoa, black rice, barley, or whole grain couscous is a good time-saver. Using some low sodium chicken or vegetable stock when cooking it will give a better flavor base.

5. Be liberal with herbs and spices. Healthy doesn’t mean bland and boring. Dried and fresh herbs as well as a boost of citrus zest livens up that chicken breast so the entire family will be satisfied. There are also a wide range of vinegars that balance flavors in sauces. Aged balsamic vinegars, for example, make a great finishing addition to grilled fruit, a Caprese salad, or roasted vegetables. If you are hypertensive, it can help you keep your sodium intake to less than 2300 mg per day.

6. When baking desserts, try the mini cupcake pans to control portions. Just slicing brownies and cookies into smaller sizes can also help cut the fat and calories in half and you still get to indulge. Just eat one though.

7. Only leave healthy snacks on the table. If we are constantly tempted by the chocolates, cookies, and crackers every time we walk into the kitchen, there’s a very high chance that willpower will cave and the portioned trail mix and fruit will still be sitting there. Out of sight, out of mind really does help.

8. Remind yourself that food is medicine. It can help your body heal, protect your immune system, naturally boost your energy, and keep your mind more focused and balanced. It’s worth it to take charge of what we eat.

Written by Donna Wheeler, acac nutritionist

acac Midlothian has provided Robious Corridor Magazine and Robious Corridor Online with valuable health, nutrition, and fitness information for years.  Since our first issue, we welcome their guidance and recognize them as a Keystone Corporate Partner!

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