The making of an awesome, healthy meal

It’s easy to get bogged down with the “I don’t know what to make” conundrum when it comes to making dinner. The pizza place seems like a good option when you’ve just landed home after work and the thought of starting dinner seems daunting.

When you have a bit of a plan in place it really helps tremendously. There are many ways to get organized and they don’t have to be overwhelming, too time consuming or tedious. The biggest piece of the puzzle is establishing a bit of a template for what makes up a healthy and enjoyable meal.

Meal Template
Protein. Pick your protein source (lean meat or poultry, fish, beans or legumes, tofu or tempeh, some dairy sources). Men get two palms worth and women get one.
Veggies. As many as you like! Choose from a wide variety and opt for different ways of cooking: steam, sauté, grill, roast or eat raw.
Healthy fats. Fat is your friend and it’s needed in your diet.  A little does go a long way so watch portions here. One thumb’s worth for women and two for men. Avocadoes, nuts or seeds, extra virgin olive oil, natural nut butters all count.
Grains. Whole grains like brown or wild rice, quinoa, millet, 100% whole grain wraps or bread, oats and so on. Think WHOLE grains….it’s not as common as labels will have you think. If you cup your hands and place your grain serving inside you have the right amount. A half cup is about right.

When planning your meals it is also very helpful to have some things ready to go. You can precook some of your proteins on the weekend and have them in the fridge for the first few meals of the week. Having precut veggies is also really great when you need to grab and go. For example, if you have a few chicken breasts ready and cut up veggies you like (peppers, onions, zucchini, snap peas, carrots, etc.) you will be good to go once you add some sauce!

A little pre-planning will go a long way and help you on the road to making great meals at home.