The number one New Years Resolution is to eat healthier, and with good reason after all that decadent holiday food. The easiest way to achieve your goal is to stick to unadulterated whole food and keep your preparations on the simple side. You know the drill by now – shop the perimeter of the store (that’s where you find the real unprocessed food), skip the sauces and gravies, avoid deep fried foods, use heart healthy fats, exercise portion control, and bulk your plates up with vegetables to keep you full.

Dining in the worlds top restaurants

Dining in the worlds top restaurants

In fact, even though many of my clients are used to dining in the worlds top restaurants, most of them actually prefer their home cooked meals to be less fussy. They stick to grilled or broiled proteins with lots of fresh vegetables, and high fiber complex carbs several nights a week. Simple does not mean you have to fall into a culinary rut. Here are two very important factors in successfully achieving a healthier diet:

Kicking up the flavor with Roasted Garlic & Chili Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Kicking up the flavor with Roasted Garlic & Chili Rubbed Grilled Chicken

1). Variety – know how to bring variety into your routine. If you’re not satisfied by the meals you’re eating, chances are you won’t stick to your resolution for long. PCA Menu Plans are designed to keep your repertoire exciting and fresh, but you can also easily substitute plain grilled or broiled entrees for that dieting (or finicky) person whenever you want. If that feels too bland for your liking, try kicking it up another notch by seasoning with fresh herbs and spices, or lightly sprinkle a little finishing salt to extenuate the flavor and add texture.

Simple Marinated Grilled Tuna

Simple Marinated Grilled Tuna

PCA TIP: Remember, it’s so quick and easy to throw together a marinade from scratch with ingredients you normally have on hand in your pantry. Marinades add so much flavor while doing double duty tenderizing your meat, and usually do not add that many calories. Store bought marinades can have  a magnitude of preservatives and high sodium content, making homemade a healthier option.

A PCA style well stocked fridge

A well stocked fridge helps keep you from grabbing the junk food

2). Plan ahead – If you wait until you’re already famished to begin thinking about dinner, you’re more likely to grab the highly processed convenience food that will sabotage your good intentions. The Personal Chef Approach helps you keep an array of healthier options readily available to help you stay on tack.

Healthier snacking

Healthier snacking

PCA TIP:  Think about adding some grab and go snacks to your cook date; i.e. make some hummus, then wash and cut your favorite raw vegetables for snacks on the run, instead of grabbing the potato chips. Keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand to satisfy any sweet cravings.

Grilled Flank Steak, Roast broccoli, and baked potato

Grilled Flank Steak, Roast broccoli, and baked potato

Last night I had grilled flank steak using just a little Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and Montreal seasoning for flavor, a small baked potato with fat free sour cream and chives, and roasted broccoli spritzed with olive oil spray (as opposed to dousing it in the oil). The entire meal was ready in 20 minutes, plus I’ll use any extra portions for steak salads and wraps for lunches.

For more about how the Personal Chef Approach works, please check out the video above. What are some of your go to healthier dinners?

Bonus Tip: Fill up on fresh vegetables (2/3 of your plate should be vegetables), because they’re full of fiber to fill you up while very low in calories, so bulk up on them. Not crazy about green beans? Try new preparations to make them more palpable like this Tamari Green Bean recipe below!

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Tamari Green Beans

Very quick and easy side dish that adds tons of flavor with ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and Tamari soy sauce.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Tamari Green Beans

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 pound green beans trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon water or broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Directions

Tamari Green Beans

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in soy sauce (adding liquid to oil will splatter, so stand back as you stir it in), then quickly add green beans and water. Give vegetables a good stir, then cover for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Uncover and continue cooking and stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated and green beans are cooked to desired tenderness. I prefer mine on the crisp side or crisp-tender. Stir in sesame oil, taste and adjust seasonings.

Serving Suggestions

Serve hot with any grilled or Asian dish of your choice.

Heat To Eat

Vent lid of container and heat in microwave 1-2 minutes, stirring midway to distribute heat evenly; or heat in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through, about 6-8 minutes.

Variations

Try using any vegetable of choice, adjust cook time accordingly (some vegetables take longer to cook to desired tenderness than others).

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