In this unusual time during the pandemic, my clients are asking for ideas on how to make this extended time at home a little easier around meal planning and preparation. Here are five creative ways to make meals healthy and enjoyable and enable your family members to join in the fun!
Cook Once, Eat Twice
I’m a big fan of batch cooking! Dinners, lunch staples, or snacks -- create a shopping list, so you buy double the ingredients to make a double batch. It takes little to no more time to make twice as much of something. The reward is a time off from cooking dinner the next day, or freeze the second batch for a quick and easy dinner a couple weeks later!
Meal Plan for a Week
To minimize trips to the store and exposure to others, create a meal plan for the week. Take inventory of breakfast, lunch and snack wants for your household, and then choose 5-7 dinner recipes. Create a shopping list beyond what is already in your pantry. Make sure you include a few favorites in the plan along new recipes so the family has both variety and something familiar to enjoy in this time of uncertainty. Click here for my slide deck on Meal Planning Made Simple coming soon as an online webinar.
Enlist Chefs / Sous Chefs
Get some help! It’s a big job feeding a household. Everyone can come up with meal ideas. Older kids and adults can research recipes and take charge of cooking a meal once a week. Younger family members can help with meal prep, restocking the snack box or taking inventory of the pantry. (And let’s not forget that all ages can help with clean up! ;-)
Create a Snack Box / Snack List
Ask your family for a list of 10-15 snacks they enjoy including fresh fruits and cut up veggies as well as packaged items. (Let’s not forget your favorite healthy, home-made snacks here too! ;-) Click here for recipe inspiration. Post this list on the refrigerator door. Snacks can then be accessed on-demand from the fridge or designated snack box.
Freeze Fresh Produce
With the fear of the unknown, much of the canned and frozen veggies and fruits are out of stock. Take advantage of all the fresh produce still available by batch cooking the veggies into stir fries, sautés and stews and freezing them in freezer-safe containers, so you can defrost them later for easy, flavorful side dishes. Yes, you can also chop and freeze onions, garlic and even ginger root! I suggest you chop up veggies for meal prep in the size you would use them when cooking from fresh before putting them in the freezer. Berries and grapes freeze better in a single layer on a cookie sheet after washed and thoroughly dried. Then you can pop them into a container and they won’t stick together. Peel bananas and break into 4 pieces, so you can take out 2-4 pieces at a time for a half or whole banana as needed.
Visit my recipe page for additional inspiration as well as @vitalandwell on Instagram.
In this video blog, Angela talks with Dr. Max Lippman about how to enjoy chocolate without guilt.
Being a Nutritionist, many people feel very guilty when they talk to me about how much they love chocolate. People are pleasantly surprised to hear that I also LOVE chocolate – the darker the better! Clients are also surprised to hear that I eat dark chocolate or more often raw cacao every day as a prescriptive health food, and by the end of reading this post you will know why.
As we begin a new year, some people turn to cleansing to jumpstart themselves into a healthier lifestyle, rid their bodies of toxic buildup and shed a few pounds. Many turn to programs that are based on eating refined powders, drinking only shakes and/or taking pills. There are natural alternatives available, however, which involve eating whole foods that are recognizable in the produce aisle. These whole-foods programs give you equal results, with the added benefit of an easy transition into a new way of eating that supports continued nourishment and weight management long term. When selecting a cleansing program, choose one that promotes the following:
They holidays are synonymous with celebrations and parties filled with extra treats and sweets. We can enjoy these festivities with fervor and flavor without all the added sugar that is contributing to inflammation and illnesses including diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. In fact one-third of our children are battling obesity, and it is projected that 1 in 4 children born in 2000 will develop diabetes. This really hits home for me because my oldest daughter was born in 2000. This means that unless people embrace the necessity to reduce refined sugars in their diets and make other lifestyle changes now, some of her closest friends are likely to develop diabetes.
Halloween is Friday. People are booking their flights home for Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations are already for sale everywhere! As we decorate for the holidays, let us not forget how to plan our menus and adorn our plates with plenty of colorful, whole foods in season. It’s easy when you start thinking of what to serve based on what is in season. Let Mother Nature be your guide. She provides us with foods in a variety of colors wrapped up in fiber and mineral rich packaging. Most of these colorful foods are plants, and the deeper the color often the more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and helpful phytochemicals you consume.
The kids have been back to school now for a few weeks, and already you may be searching for new, healthy ways to pack lunches that are made of whole foods, not processed foods laden with artificial ingredients wrapped in excessive packaging that could harm your children and their environment.
Here are a few tips for parents and caregivers on how to be successful at packing a lunch that is good for the body and good for the earth.
A couple of years ago, I was speaking at the Danville library on How to Eat with the Seasons, and a lovely lady by the name of Marsha Cheung Golangco stayed after my talk and asked me to write a chapter in her upcoming book about The Power of Feng Shui for Green Living. One year later, as I was again speaking at the Danville library, this time on Eating Organic, she handed me a copy of her book with my section on Seasonal Food. Thank you Marsha for including me in your quest to share your passions of Feng Shui and the benefits of green living for the health of all living beings on mother earth.
Scroll down to read my section on Seasonal Food.
So what is the buzz about buying organic foods? What does that “USDA Organic” label mean? Why does organic food cost more?
In my practice, I’m constantly educating patients about how to nourish their bodies with food that is “clean and nutrient dense.” Eating organic is big step towards eating to improve health not only for your body, but also for our planet and the bodies of future generations.
One of the most popular questions I receive from my awesome community, is "What’s the difference between juicing and blending?" I love to do both, but for different reasons, so I thought I would take a few lines here to describe why.
As a nutritionist people are always asking me, “Angela, which is better, blending smoothies or juicing veggies?” And I answer, “Well that depends on why you want to blend or juice and what you blend or juice.”
Both smoothies and raw, fresh juices are very easy and delicious ways to infuse your body with lots of healthy nutrients, and to ingest those 5 servings of veggies and 3 servings of fruits we’re recommended to eat daily.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.