HEALTH IN A HURRY
“What’s for lunch today or dinner tonight?” Pizza and pop? Burger and shake? Fried Chicken in a box? Sticky bun on the run? “No time to think about it—I’m hungry—and in a hurry!” Fast, frenzied, and failing—that’s how too many of us are tanking up—but we’re only fueling fatigue, obesity, depression, and disease.
Something’s got to give—don’t let it be your good health. Is it possible to enjoy bountiful meals and better health in spite of our crazy-busy schedules? The answer is Yes! Here are some tips for quick-cuisine that can jump-start your journey to good health—in a hurry. Fast doesn’t have to be bad! F-A-S-T is good when it spells Fresh, Affordable, Satisfying, and Tasty! And that spells better health, more energy, and less sickness. And isn’t that the kind of “quick” we all need?
For fill-up value and good nutrition, start your day off right with a brain-boosting, high fiber breakfast. It can be as easy as peanut butter and applesauce on whole grain toast or whole grain cereal topped with fresh fruit, soy milk, and walnuts. Build a better breakfast in three easy steps: include fresh fruit, whole-grains, and nuts every morning.
Focus on whole grains, healthy fats, garden veggies, and beans. Start a great sandwich with whole grain bread, bagels, or pita bread. Great sandwich fillings include: frozen garden patties; garbanzo hummus or bean spread, baked tofu slices; and veggie cheese slices. Top with avocado, tomato, sprouts, raw spinach, cucumber slices, soy cream cheese spreads.
Enjoy hummus or beans on:
whole grain bagel or whole grain crackers.
pita bread with salsa, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, and a touch of your favorite dressing.
whole wheat or corn tortillas with spinach leaves, chopped onion, salsa and sliced olives. Roll up and enjoy hot or cold.
Take Your Totables:
Carry a water bottle with you. Use a thermos for hot soup. Keep containers with tight fitting lids on hand to fill your insulated lunch box with favorite leftovers.
1. Prepare enough at one meal to last for the next meal or freeze for later.
2. Plan meals around easy soup, brown rice, potato, whole grain pasta, or bean recipes.
3. Keep instant brown rice on hand, as well as frozen mixed vegetables and stir-fry vegetables for a quick, tasty meal.
Three Cheers for Salad—Raw, Raw, Raw!
1. Start lunch and supper with fresh raw salad or veggies. Use mixed greens and raw spinach to ramp up nutrition.
2. Use brain-healthy fats on salads, such as olive oil and avocado. Use a little fresh lemon to increase iron absorption. Keep dressing separate when toting salad for a meal.
3. Add garbanzo or kidney beans for a complete, high fiber meal.
4. Buy prepared and packaged shredded cabbage, broccoli slaw, and shredded carrots to increase nutrition and reduce prep time.
Meals only take minutes with kitchen companions such as a food processor, slow cooker, or rice cooker. A rice cooker not only cooks brown rice but many other cereals, grains, and vegetables quickly, keeping them warm until meal time. For example:
Place a can of rinsed beans with the uncooked brown rice; season to taste.
Experiment with wild rice blends, quinoa, couscous, or other whole grains.
If your rice cooker has a steamer tray, add raw sliced sweet potatoes or other softer vegetables like broccoli later in the cooking cycle for a complete meal.
Enjoy brown rice as a morning cereal with fruit, raisins, and walnuts
Keep a supply of “quick” foods for meals in a hurry:
Canned beans with quick brown rice
Whole grain pasta with marinara sauce
Instant and canned soups like vegetarian vegetable or bean soup
Fresh and dried fruit, especially portable fruits like apples, oranges, cherries, berries, and bananas
Frozen and fresh vegetables, pre-cut carrots and celery, veggie slices and cherry tomatoes
Prewashed lettuce and spinach
Mix shredded cabbage with shredded carrots.
Hummus and salsa
Dry roasted nuts, popcorn, and soy yogurt
Whole grain crackers
Eating Out with Success
Before you go to an event or out to eat:
1. Tame your Tummy. For better appetite control eat high fiber meals on a regular schedule. Choose restaurants that have fresh vegetable and other high fiber options.
2. Talk theTalk. Rehearse healthy choices before you go. Decide what and how much you will eat ahead of time.
kitchen. Create your own plate by ordering a’ la carte. Add more vegetables to a pasta dish, salad, or pizza (spinach, fresh broccoli, etc). Eat fruit instead of dessert.
4. Eat with an Attitude. Eat slowly and enjoy your food and company. After you have eaten, put your napkin on your plate and push it away. Tell yourself, “I’m satisfied and I’m finished.” Sip an herbal tea or hot water with lemon.
Fresh, Fast, and Fabulous
Subway or Other Deli Sandwiches: Be on the lookout for whole grain bread; add lots of raw veggies.
Restaurants: Choose baked rather than fried potatoes. See what fresh fruits and vegetables are in the kitchen. Water with lemon can replace calorie-rich drinks. Go for garden goodies. Order a vegetable plate, vegetable or bean soups, mixed-greens or spinach salad, whole grain breads, baked veggie wraps, vegetarian patties, pizza with vegetables.
Ethnic Restaurants: Greek, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and Italian restaurants all have great vegetarian options.
Self-Care Because God Cares:
Care for yourself as well as you care for your family and your pets. Eat on time and nourish your body with foods that give you strength. “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. A temple is a sacred place. Lifestyle choices affect the function and health of your brain where you make important life decisions. Good nutrition, exercise, and rest will help you enjoy vibrant health, mentally, physically, and spiritually. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you, do all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31.
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