Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods, it’s natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
When the tongue recognizes the bitter flavor it sets off a set of reactions in the neuroendocrine system that is labeled the “bitter reflex.” This process is mediated by the hormone within the stomach called gastrin which stimulates the flow of hydrochloric acid. This reflex then goes down and helps with liver and gallbladder secretions of bile and pancreatic enzyme secretions.  Experts believe that the bitter reflex helps to improve the structure and function of all the digestive organs. 

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 🙂

Even the USDA has abandoned the confusing food pyramid in favor of a simpler “healthy plate” diagram. To build a healthy plate, fill half your plate with vegetables — and, no, French fries don’t count! Choose “crunchy” vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard. On the other side of the plate, put whole grains or legumes in one quarter and a serving of healthy, lean protein in the other.
Fat also provides you with concentrated, steady, slow-release forms of energy (1 gram of fat equates to 9 calories of energy, which is double that of carbohydrates or proteins). In addition, many essential fatty acids – such as omega 3 fatty acids – have to be consumed within our diet, since they are not naturally produced by our bodies. So a diet lacking in healthy fats leads to decreased mental clarity, unsustainable energy and decreased formation of steroids, hormones and healthy cell membranes, all things that are absolutely imperative for an athlete’s success or for you to get the most out of your workout.

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.
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…
What counts as a family meal? Whenever you and your family eat together — whether it's takeout food or a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings. Strive for nutritious food and a time when everyone can be there. This may mean eating dinner a little later to accommodate a teen who's at sports practice. It also can mean setting aside time on the weekends when it may be more convenient to gather as a group, such as for Sunday brunch.
Most “normal” juices also often lack any healthy fats, another key macronutrient for sustained energy, hormone precursors, cell membranes and both gut and joint integrity. Fat is what allows your body to transport vitamins A, D, E and K – all key fat-soluble vitamins necessary for cell membrane formation, steroid and hormone building, bone health and nervous system activity. These same fat soluble vitamins also assist with key metabolic functions, including the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate.
Changing your eating habits can be intimidating, I know. It may even feel like you’re leaving everything you love behind. All the midnight snacks, takeouts, sweets…  But, although it may seem like that at first, soon enough you realize that eating healthy will not only make you feel and look good but can also taste darn good!  The key is finding a lifestyle you love (not one you dread) so that you stick to it.

This may sound obvious, but many people think that healthy eating and enjoyment are mutually exclusive. Pretend you never heard the word “diet.”‘ Instead, work toward a lifestyle built on healthy choices that are going to work for the long-term. In order to achieve that goal, find nutritious foods that you enjoy eating. Food should be something you relish and that nourishes you. It’s not just fuel.


If a bottle of juice has two servings and 20 grams of sugar per serving, that’s 40 grams of sugar in one juice! One of the key recommendations from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugar. Beverages, including 100 percent fruit juice, count for almost half of all added sugars consumed by Americans.
Shira Sussi, MS, RD, CDN, is a clinical nutritionist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She works at the Charles B. Rangel Community Health Center, part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network, and the Outpatient Nutrition Practice at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. She primarily works with pediatric patients, pregnant women, and adults living with obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and heart disease.
Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as confusing or as restrictive as many people imagine. The essential steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes (such as beans and lentils), and nuts—and limit highly processed foods. If you eat animal foods, you can add in some dairy products, fish, poultry, and lean meat. Studies show that people who eat this way have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer and other chronic diseases. Here are our guidelines for building a healthy diet.

Even the USDA has abandoned the confusing food pyramid in favor of a simpler “healthy plate” diagram. To build a healthy plate, fill half your plate with vegetables — and, no, French fries don’t count! Choose “crunchy” vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard. On the other side of the plate, put whole grains or legumes in one quarter and a serving of healthy, lean protein in the other.

Even more important than shopping for healthy foods: actually eating them. When you get home from the store or farmer's market, bounty of fruits and veggies in tow, wash and chop them right away and store in a pretty glass container in your fridge. "Studies show that spending more time on food prep is linked to better eating habits," says Dr. Lipman. It's all about convenience—if they're ready for you, you'll grab them in a pinch. If not? It's chips and dip time. You can also do this with other foods, like making a batch of quinoa for the week or roasting a bunch of veggies to throw together for quick lunches.
The latest Dietary Guidelines no longer give a daily cap for dietary cholesterol (previously it was 300 milligrams), because there’s abundant evidence that dietary cholesterol (found only in animal foods) has little if any effect on most people's blood cholesterol. Rather, saturated fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol more than dietary cholesterol does. But don't go overboard with cholesterol-rich foods, since many of them are also high in saturated fats. And if you have cardiovascular disease or diabetes, ask your doctor if you should limit dietary cholesterol.

What counts as a family meal? Whenever you and your family eat together — whether it's takeout food or a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings. Strive for nutritious food and a time when everyone can be there. This may mean eating dinner a little later to accommodate a teen who's at sports practice. It also can mean setting aside time on the weekends when it may be more convenient to gather as a group, such as for Sunday brunch.
You've heard to make breakfast the biggest meal of your day, but you may not be that hungry when you wake up. In fact, "your biggest meal should be around noon when your digestion is at its peak and you can feed your body when it actually needs fuel," says Dr. Lipman. That means you don't need a huge meal at dinner only to sit and catch up on True Detective and then go to bed. But "big" doesn't mean burger and fry big. At lunch, emphasize protein and greens, like a hearty bowl of lentil soup and kale salad. Another bonus: after dinner you won't have the feeling you need to unbutton your pants.
Fat. Not all fat is the same. While bad fats can wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases, good fats protect your brain and heart. In fact, healthy fats—such as omega-3s—are vital to your physical and emotional health. Including more healthy fat in your diet can help improve your mood, boost your well-being, and even trim your waistline. Learn more »
Even more important than shopping for healthy foods: actually eating them. When you get home from the store or farmer's market, bounty of fruits and veggies in tow, wash and chop them right away and store in a pretty glass container in your fridge. "Studies show that spending more time on food prep is linked to better eating habits," says Dr. Lipman. It's all about convenience—if they're ready for you, you'll grab them in a pinch. If not? It's chips and dip time. You can also do this with other foods, like making a batch of quinoa for the week or roasting a bunch of veggies to throw together for quick lunches.

We eat out way too much because often making meals at home becomes overwhelming with my wife and I’s busy work schedules. This post was very helpful in providing some nice suggtions for making preparing meals more feasible. I appreciated the ones you selected had portioning taken into consideration too. We have to work on portioning as well as healthier ingredients when it comes to what our family is eating. Very nice article…thank you!
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