The saturated fats in animal foods generally boost levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and have other adverse effects. To limit your intake, choose lean meats, skinless poultry, and nonfat or low-fat dairy products. It’s also a good idea to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats (see next slide). Keep in mind, though, that not all saturated fats are bad for you; those in chocolate, milk, and cheese, for example, are more neutral in their effect on blood cholesterol. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are even worse than saturated fats, but FDA regulations have now nearly phased them out of the food supply.
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.

One of the best ways to have a healthy diet is to prepare your own food and eat in regularly. Pick a few healthy recipes that you and your family like and build a meal schedule around them. If you have three or four meals planned per week and eat leftovers on the other nights, you will be much farther ahead than if you are eating out or having frozen dinners most nights.
Putting down the salt shaker and skipping sugar in your coffee is a step in the right direction, but that’s not where most people get the majority of their salt and sugar. Sodium and sugar are rampant in most packaged foods from pasta sauce and mac and cheese to rice mixes and soups. Start by checking the nutrition label on your breakfast cereal (some pack up to 20 grams of sugar per serving!).
Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, health and food coach, professional photographer, and mommy of three. I also run the awesome free Take Back Your Health Community, am the healthy and clean weekly meal planner behind No-Fail Meals, and a little bit in love with Clean Eating. Be sure to check out my free beginner’s guide to eating clean and follow me on YouTube and Instagram to get my latest recipes and healthy eating inspiration. Read More…
Some meal prep recipes will freeze better than others. Proteins like chicken, turkey and beef will hold up well to freezing. Typically starches like pasta do not hold up well in the freezer as they’ll be mushy when thawed. Rice and potatoes are great candidates for the freezer. Many vegetables can be frozen, but veggies with a high water content, such as zucchini and lettuce, do not freeze well.
As found in nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and plant oils. You should consume these high-fat foods in place of other high-calorie foods; otherwise, you’ll be adding excess calories to your diet. For instance, substitute olive or canola oil for butter, and nuts for chips. Fatty fish may reduce the risk of heart disease and have other benefits, attributed at least in part to their omega-3 polyunsaturated fats.
Excess sodium, found in many processed foods and restaurant meals, raises blood pressure in some people and can have other adverse effects. The Dietary Guidelines recommend a limit of 2,300 milligrams a day for the general population; people with hypertension or prehypertension can benefit from a further reduction to 1,500 milligrams per day. As you cut back on sodium, eat more potassium-rich foods, which help lower blood pressure. These include citrus fruits, bananas, beans, avocados, some fish, and dairy products.

Putting down the salt shaker and skipping sugar in your coffee is a step in the right direction, but that’s not where most people get the majority of their salt and sugar. Sodium and sugar are rampant in most packaged foods from pasta sauce and mac and cheese to rice mixes and soups. Start by checking the nutrition label on your breakfast cereal (some pack up to 20 grams of sugar per serving!).


Shira Sussi: No. With juice you get vitamins and minerals, but in the juicing process you lose the fiber that’s found in whole fruits and vegetables. Fiber helps promote gut health and regular bowel movements, as well as satiety and hunger, which can aid in weight management and loss. Fiber intake is also a dietary contributor to reduced risk of chronic diseases, like diabetes and obesity.
Cows can live an extremely healthy and long life surviving solely on these cereal grasses. Humans cannot digest the tough fibers and the only way to really consume these is through juicing.Cereal grasses are some of the absolute richest sources of blood cleansing chlorophyll. They also contain tons of carotenoid anti-oxidants, key methylating agents such as magnesium, B2, B6 and folate.
Begin the cooking process by making the chicken needed for three of the recipes. Make the spice rub by combining the smoked paprika, cumin, and thyme in a small bowl and mix well. Season the chicken thighs with a generous pinch of salt and spice rub on each side. Rub the spice rub all around the chicken and allow to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Pre-heat a large pan, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of oil, wait 30 seconds, then add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes without touch the chicken, then flip. This will allow the chicken to get nice and crusty. Cook another 5 minutes then remove from pan. Once the chicken has cooled, it will keep in the fridge for 5 days or can be frozen for 2-3 months. The best way to reheat the chicken is in a 400 F oven for 10 minutes, if using the microwave, place a wet paper towel over the container and make sure not to over-heat or the chicken will get dry.
My husband and I made the chicken caprese and the korean chicken bowls last week for our lunch prep and we both loved them! The fresh ingredients are so yummy! I am an RN who works in the operating room and I got tired of paying for the cafeteria lunches (unhealthy and always the same old stuff). Last week we prepped our lunches and it was fantastic to have a gourmet meal at lunch every day. Thanks for the great recipes~ I am off to prep for the week !

Hi Bridget, I would refer to each recipe to determine whether they are freezer-friendly or not. I would guess that the soups are all freezer-friendly, and maybe even the ground turkey for the lettuce wraps. Grain bowls and roasted veg tend not to freeze well (they end up very mushy). When doing grain bowl-type meal prep, I do 4 days at a time and store in the fridge (cooked chicken is good for 4 days, rice is OK for 5). Some people will do 2-3 days at a time and do a mid-week prep. I hope this helps 🙂
A new twist on an old favorite ― if your favorite recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier variations using baking or grilling. Maybe even try a recipe that uses dry beans in place of higher-fat meats. Ask around or search the internet and magazines for recipes with fewer calories ― you might be surprised to find you have a new favorite dish!
Without the energy you get from things like carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will likely dip which may lead you to feel sluggish and fatigued. And if you let yourself get to hungry, Rachele Pojednic, Ph.D., assistant professor in the nutrition department at Simmons College and professor at the Harvard Extension School, tells SELF that appetite-inducing hormones like ghrelin may even cause you to become shaky or sweaty.
Much like planning out your meals, doing meal prep saves you a lot of time—which is super helpful when the going gets busy as hell. When it comes to meal prepping, there are a few things you'll need to get yourself started: The right storage containers (AKA a sturdy set of BPA-free Tupperware), a well stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer, and a couple hours to spare on Sunday night.
Whatever gets on the skin of fruit or veggies will be absorbed to some extent. Washing your fruits and vegetables is very effective against bacteria but not fertilizers and pesticides. Anything labeled ‘organic’ means that it is free of these chemicals. Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s annual list of the most chemically laden fruits and vegetables (‘Dirty Dozen’) that you should thus try to bury organic.
Make half the grains you eat whole grains: An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredients first. Look for things like: "whole wheat," "brown rice," "bulgur," "buckwheat," "oatmeal," "rolled oats," quinoa," or "wild rice."
Wow…so good. Very tasty! 02/04/18…made this again and I always make in crock pot on high for 5/6 hours. I couldn’t find boneless at the time. The meat falls off the bone. I use all ingredients and add garlic and they are so good. I’m making again and again. People do not freeze unless You are making ahead of time and Do Not put Frozen in crock pot!!!! Thaw out in refrigerator first, then place in crock pot or Dutch oven pot which ever you are you using. I use a Crock-Pot. Alot of people have large families or a party to prepare for. That all it’s saying. ??
You know it’s a bad idea to go to the store when you’re hungry, but that’s not the only key to smarter shopping. The biggest mistake people make is not knowing what they need and, instead, browsing the aisles for inspiration. That leads to buying more packaged foods and less fresh, whole foods. Go in with a list based on recipes you intend to cook for the week, and focus your shopping on the store’s perimeter, which is home to the fresh produce, dairy, meat, and fish.
For so many years I’ve been listening to other people, my friends and even family how sticking to a healthy lifestyle is hard and just takes up so much time. Instead of just waving them off (and saying telling them they’re wrong to their faces ;)), I love showing people how it’s actually easier than they might think to eat real food, enjoy what they’re eating, and even be FULL, all while losing weight. . Yes, it’s possible to eat healthy and not hate your food!

Between work and the gym, I’ve been getting home pretty late these days. Even though I love to cook, it’s usually just about the last thing I want to do when I finally walk through the door. I’ve been making a lot of healthy sheet pan dinners, and I really love how easy they are. Most of these healthy dinner recipes take only a few minutes of prep and then the oven does the work. And since everything for these easy recipes cooks together on one pan, cleanup is a breeze! Line your pan with foil or parchment for even easier cleanup.
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