Three Healthy Habits to Stick with in 2024
If healthy eating is on your resolution radar for 2024, you’re not alone. Instead of restrictive resolutions that can take the pleasure out of eating, refocus on the positive and think about adding in foods to make you feel great.
Here are three healthy “nutrition by addition” habits I recommend as a dietitian.
- Add in More Veggies.
You already know that eating veggies is good for your health. Including a wide range of vegetables in your meals can help you get a broad range of health protecting nutrients, like fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants.So, how do you get more veggies into your day?I recommend two easy steps:
- Eat one veggie snack a day.
- Fill half your plate with vegetables at your meals.
Pairing turkey with those veggies on your plate not only tastes great, but it also helps boost your body’s absorption of nutrients, including iron and zinc, found in the plant foods (veggies) in your meal. Win-win!
A Smart Prep Step: prep one or two veggies ahead for snacks and wash and dry leafy greens, like kale, romaine, or collard greens to store in the fridge so you’ve got them handy for quick lunch salads during the week.
- Prioritize Lean Protein.
Eating lean protein with your meals can help you stay satisfied and energized.So, how do you get more lean protein?Plan for about one quarter of your plate to be filled with lean protein – hello turkey!All cuts of turkey are an excellent source of high quality protein. It’s recommended that you aim for about 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal to help you feel energized and satisfied and to build and maintain muscle.Each 100-gram serving of turkey has about 30 grams of protein; enjoying turkey at your meals is an easy and delicious way to help meet your protein needs.
A Smart Prep Step: cook an extra turkey breast on the weekend, slice it and refrigerate so you’ve got turkey ready to add to sandwiches and salads for easy suppers on busy weeknights.
- Cook more meals with nutrient-rich, minimally processed foods.
When you cook at home, you’re in charge of the ingredients that go into your meals.Highly processed, ready-to-eat meals might be convenient, but many are lacking in nutrients and aren’t your best bet for optimal health.So, how do you cook more meals at home, especially when you’re busy?A little meal planning goes a long way! You don’t need to plan every meal and snack, start with three meals a week. Lean on healthy, and budget-friendly kitchen short-cuts like canned tomatoes, packaged cabbage slaws (buy these on sale) and quick-cooking whole grains.A Smart Prep Step: to make cooking more convenient, plan for at least one “cook once, eat twice” meal during the week. Peek at these turkey leftovers recipes that help you to make the most of your turkey dinners.
Need a little inspiration? Here are five crave-worthy recipes made with minimally processed, nutrient-rich ingredients, packed with lean protein, and paired with lots of veggies.