In the middle of winter, it’s easy to feel uninspired about food and cooking. Not only do you have to drag yourself out in the cold, grey weather to do your grocery shopping, but once you get to the store, the produce often leaves little to be desired. The other challenge with winter eating is it often lends itself to comfort foods. Instead of a big salad filled with fresh veggies, you may find yourself craving heavy pasta dishes, meaty stews, or buttery mashed potatoes. And, on those gloomy afternoons when you’re in need of a pick-me-up—but a walk around the block is out of the question—many turn to sugary snacks to provide that boost. Sadly, the energy these treats provide, only lasts a very short while before a crash ensues.
So what’s a person to do?
Opening your fridge shouldn’t make you cringe. And, cooking dinner shouldn’t be cause for stress.
To help boost your inspiration, consider the following…
1. Make breakfast special: Instead of grabbing a piece of toast on your way out the door, wake up a few minutes early and make time to sit down an enjoy a good breakfast. Not only will a well-balanced breakfast help ensure your morning is more productive, it will also set the tone for how you eat the rest of the day. Take your favourite comfort-food breakfast, like pancakes for example, and make them with healthy, nutritious ingredients. One of Healthy Heart Meals’ most popular breakfast options is our Sweet Potato Pancakes with Pear and Fig Compote. Not only are these pancakes delicious, but sweet potatoes are jam packed with goodness including, high fiber, potassium, Vitamin A and beta-carotene, and Vitamin C.
2. Read cookbooks, food magazines, and blogs for fun. Surrounding yourself with photos and stories about food, is a great way to boost your inspiration. You’ll find your mouth watering as you pour over delicious recipes; and, you’re sure to pick up some practical tips along the way. Be sure to make note of the recipes that excite you, and take them with you when you go grocery shopping. A few of our favorites include the collection of cookbooks by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito and Eat, Shrink & Be Merry by Janet and Greta Podleski.
We’d love to know which magazines, blogs and cookbooks you turn to for inspiration
3. Try something new every week. Set the intention to try one new food, spice, or ingredient every week. This might be a fruit or vegetable you’ve always walked by in the grocery store but never bought, or a particular spice you’ve never been brave enough to experiment with. Some of these ‘new things’ can be dishes you prepare yourself and others might be from a restaurant. The key is to keep healthy eating in mind and watch your calories. For example, you might have heard of the health benefits of kale, but did you know you can easily turn this leafy green into a delicious potato chip substitute?
4. Stock your fridge and freezer with things that excite you. Once the inspiration comes, be sure you act on it. If you’re heading to the grocery store, buy enough food that you won’t run out mid-week. If you’re inspired to cook, make meals that you can freeze and pull out when you’re feeling less inspired. The key is to have good foods on hand that will motivate you to eat well.
5. Let someone else cook for you. Many of our clients choose Healthy Heart Meals to get their eating back on track. Because our menus are so extensive, you’ll find yourself excited to place your orders each week and even more excited to have a delicious meal waiting for you when hunger strikes. As one of our diners said: “It’s like having a gourmet restaurant in your fridge.” Our meal choices inspire diners to try new things. And, we’ve mastered the art of making comfort foods that are healthy, low sodium, low fat, and calorie controlled. These are just some of the meals Healthy Heart diners will be enjoying over the next few weeks:
Mushroom Crusted Salmon with Moroccan Carrots & Grilled Okra
Chicken with Date & Almond Sauce with Potatoes & Pesto Cauliflower
Steak Au Poivre with Squash Souffle & Lemony Green Beans
Braised Eggplant with Szechwan Pepper, Chili and Tofu
So, tell us, what do you do to get excited about food?