10 WAYS TO UPGRADE TAKE-OUT DINNERS… WITH HEALTH!

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I get it. We all have those days when life, crazy bosses, moody teenagers, and raging hormones (yours and theirs!) can get the better of us – and frankly you’re just ravenous when you get home at night. For many people, ordering take-out is the most expedient, but rarely the healthiest choice. Now while I do believe home-cooked is always the best way to go, if you order in once and a while, be sure to trick your meal out with lots of extra nutritional bells and whistles – and abide by these basic principles to help keep your diet on the healthy path:

•       Make your take-out as healthy as possible, going heavy on the veggies, and then add some of your own 
•       Go light on meats, and shoot for the best quality possible, local, grass-fed and/or organic is best.
•       Be wary of meat-heavy dishes from inexpensive restaurants, as they’re more likely to cut corners on quality. Better to eat a smaller amount of healthy meats than big portions of the bad stuff.
•       Instead of ordering a salad with your meal, for the same price or less, you can add a your own box of nutrient-dense organic greens and quickly assemble a healthy home-made salad while you’re waiting for the delivery man to arrive.
•       When the food arrives, decant the takeout treats onto real plates and use real utensils. It helps make a basic take-out meal feel more special and is kinder to the earth than the plastic equivalents.

When the food hits the table (at last!) boost the nutrients with additional wholesome ingredients, and lots of wonderful fiber to tame the hunger monster and give your body more nutrients thrive on. Here are a few super-simple ways to do it:
•       Baby spinach goes beautifully on top of so many foods and steams in seconds in the microwave. If your short on time, just put your meal atop a bed of raw spinach and enjoy.
•       Adding a serving of chopped almonds, walnuts or pine nuts to a basic salad is an instant nutritional boost.
•       Slices of avocado with a little lemon juice and pepper makes an effortless side “salad” that’s loaded with fiber and minerals.
•       Top soups, salads, sauces and even fruit with a generous dusting of fiber-rich chia seeds 

Lastly, don’t forget to be creative! Try making what one of my patients calls  “Tarted Up Pizza.” Once a week, her family gets a, light-on-the-cheese, gluten-free pizza. From there she add piles of veggies on top, plus some shredded chicken, steamed spinach, chopped broccoli, extra tomatoes, mushrooms, caramelized onions and peppers – loading each slice with so much good stuff that one slice per person is more than enough – and there’s rarely room for anyone to over-do it with a second serving. Better yet, now her kids won't eat pizza any other way!

Bottom line: There are so many ways to make every meal a healthy one, never miss an opportunity! Check out (http://www.kathieswift.com/blog/2015/2/10/3-savory-souped-up-soups-and-stews-to-stave-off-winters-chill) these quick, hearty soup ideas.

 

Kathie SwiftComment