Plan Ahead to Stay Healthy
Planning ahead can be the deciding factor between success and failure. What happens when you get hungry? You want food and you want it NOW. If you didn’t already have a plan or food prepared ahead of time, you may abandon all desires for health and stuff the nearest edible object into your mouth, whether it be stale doughnuts in the coffee room or the 2-year-old Halloween candies on the secretary’s desk.
We need to plan and we need to be prepared. Preparation can be the difference between sickness and health. But life can be chaotic and messy and busy and stressful… so what do we do? Plan ahead. Make healthy eating as easy as possible. Use rice cookers, crock pots, toaster ovens, canned beans or salsa, frozen fruits and vegetables, pre-washed, pre-chopped, etc. Yes we know that in the ideal we would all be able to grow our own organic produce. But most of us don’t live in that ideal world; we have errands, families, jobs, bills, etc. We have stress and cravings and other people in our lives that have their own stress and cravings. The key to success in a busy world is to keep it simple and make it easy, and the secret to healthy eating can be as easy as planning ahead.
Find Your Balance
Choose a balance that works best for you. If using conventional salad dressing gets you to eat a salad, then that’s a good start; eventually you might find yourself making your own dressing out of beans and seeds! Remember to breathe and take baby steps. Life is a journey and sometimes you won’t always be able to choose the best possibility. Choose the best that you can in that moment.
This recipe for Cashew Cream of Kale is an easy solution when you’re looking for something healthy and satisfying, and it really delivers in terms of nutrition!
- Kale is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with tons of vitamins like A, C, and K. It’s also high in calcium and iron, and is a powerful antioxidant!
- Brown rice is much higher in fiber and magnesium than it’s white counterpart. It’s also a good source of thiamin and iron.
- Cashews are loaded with all kinds of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins like E, K, and B6. Cashews also deliver a hearty serving of “good fats” into your diet.
Cashew Cream of Kale Over Rice (serves 4)
2 c short grain brown rice
4 c water
1 tsp salt
1 pkg kale (or 1 bunch)
½ c cashews
1 c water
2 small garlic cloves
1 ½ tsp onion powder
¼ c lemon juice
2 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
- If using a rice cooker, add the water, brown rice, and salt to the machine and turn on. Your rice will take from 45 to 80 minutes to cook, depending on the machine.
- An alternative rice method is to pour the water and salt into a medium sized saucepan, bring to a rolling boil, and add rice. Lower heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. If any liquid remains in the bottom of the pan or if the brown rice is still a bit crunchy, return the pot to low heat and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Set aside.
- For the kale, heat a ½ cup of water in a large saucepan to simmering over high heat.
- When the water is simmering add kale and reduce heat to medium high.
- In a blender combine ½ cup cashews, 1 cup water, 2 cloves of garlic, onion powder, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce), and blend until perfectly smooth.
- Add cashew cream to the kale and stir until water has evaporated enough for kale to become creamy and well coated. Serve over hot rice.
- Serve with a side of refried black beans and sliced tomatoes
- Swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, or any other type of green leafy vegetable will also work in this recipe
- Add green olives for a zesty variation
- Any variety of rice is suitable for this recipe
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