It's 2017 and part of my New Year's resolutions is to go out to eat less, which means more cooking - and if I'm going to cook it's going to be healthy. This year I'm incorporating more fruits, vegetables and nuts into my diet and less meat and processed foods. I already feel great after just two Meatless Mondays - and it's way easier than I thought. The key for my Mondays is finding good protein that will keep me full, and that's where things like nuts and sweet potatoes come in. 

On days where I am 'allowed' to eat meat I'm going to try and keep it at a minimum. Not only is eating a plant-based diet good for your body, it's good for the planet. Animals raised for meat production usually are not raised humanely (which I am not cool with), and meat production seriously contributes to global warming. Another personal goal for 2017 is to only buy my meat products from B Corporations, or companies that give back to animal welfare and raise their animals humanely. Some of these great companies include Tofurkey, Homefree, Fishpeople and more

So when I think about my favorite healthy meal that keeps me on track to obtaining my health and fitness goals, one thing I always include is a leafy green. My favorite is baby spinach. I try to incorporate baby spinach into my daily life, but as for my favorite healthy meal, here's how it looks...

Start with a small salad. This is usually where I incorporate the baby spinach because cooked spinach to me is kind of slimy. My salads usually consist of baby spinach and other greens like a spring mix combined with sliced carrots, cucumbers, green peppers, feta cheese and an oil-based dressing. One of my faves is Garlic Expressions - garlic can go a long way for flavor! The key is to not load your salad up with carbed-up croutons or processed cheese and a fatty dressing (stay away from the ranch bottle).

My main meal is the most important because since I don't usually eat dessert, or every really crave it, it's important for me to stay full for a while after my meal. So, I'll make baked chicken that's been seasoned with garlic, pepper, and stuffed with carrots, green beans and peas. Because I'm putting lots of veggies inside the chicken, I don't usually make a side dish. As for a carb, I'll bake a sweet potato and instead of loading it with butter and brown sugar, I'll take a teaspoon of olive oil butter and let it melt inside. If I ever want extra flavor I'll add parsley flakes or other natural spices, but usually just the sweet potato is enough. 

Salad, chicken and a sweet potato are all I need to create a healthy meal that keeps me full for hours, which is usually until I go to bed. Try it and let me know what you think! 

Published by Laura C.