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Are there any healthy easy meal plans?

I would like to start cooking healthy foods for my family but I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

MariaLux8 years ago
That's a great thing to do. If you want it really simple: colours should be a good first step. Try to keep the meal as colourful as possible.

- Colours are the secret to a healthy meal. Varied vegetables should do the trick. Always prepare salads. Eat a fruit when you crave for something sweet.
Tomatoes are important for men.
Soy helps women throughout our horrible hormonal roller-coaster some might call life (specially during the menopause), yet mostly on the long run.
Don't stop there.
Blue and purple are very "versatile", and specially rich on varied antioxidants (very important thing).
Green, eyes, bones and teeth.
White and brown will help take care of your heart. They keep your cholesterol levels healthier.
Orange and yellow vegetables have vitamin C, they are also good for the eyes, the heart, the immunological system, and the hormonal-hell.
Red will help your heart, your memory and the urinary system.

- The atmosphere. Keep a good feeling going on among the people on the table while you eat. It makes the meal healthier (no sh*t, really).

- Don't go overboard on carbs, like rice, potato, pasta, ... they are good, needed, but also the best way to gain weigh fast. Don't avoid them either! They ARE needed.

- Meat, vary. Try to keep the red meat on a 3-4days/week basis. Eat fish. Don't try to be vegan (merely a personal suggestion). You'll need to consume a lot more food to satisfy* you, and there's the flatulence issue no one really talks about. Plus, IMHO, strictly vegan people usually have this sickly look upon themselves (and I don't mean this in any offensive manner, it's just a personal observation that might be incorrect, who knows).

- (on the " * ": ) Don't eat until you're "full". Old Japanese women have a very healthy advice: eat until you feel 80% full. Meaning, eat until you're not hungry anymore, yet could still stand to eat a little more. It's not just healthy, it's helpful in a lot of different ways. For instance, it lessens the ridiculous food cravings we get when the food is really good. This doesn't mean: don't eat much. It means: don't eat WAY TOO much. ;)

- Sunlight is needed (tell them to go out every now and then, to the park on the weekends, wherever). And, like everything else, just don't overdo it.

This might not seem practical an quick, but it is. Salads don't always need cooking, and you can cook some vegetables beforehand and jut heat them up while cooking something else (provided that you store them properly in the mean time, of course). You can even use the heat of whatever it is you're cooking to also heat them up (like putting them on a plate over the lentil pan while it's cooking). ;)
Fried food isn't really all that bad if you use a vegetable oil, just keep a leash on it.

Now, what's this of "don't be vegan" yet "vegetables this, and that". You see, vegetables don't contain cholesterol, yet they do have ergosterol that hold tight onto the cholesterol in your body, which isn't good. Our bodies produce cholesterol naturally, so it's not like you can get away from it by just relying on vegetables and avoiding meats. We need both, in a balanced manner. Plus, usually the bad thing about our diets is that we avoid the vegetables too much.

I hope this helps. =D
  • Frozen vegetables like broccoli florets and collard greens are easy, inexpensive, and excellent sources of vitamins. (Corn and green beans aren't bad either, but do not offer as much nutrition.)
  • For protein, dry lentils are a much cheaper source than meat. (A little baking soda in the water will help them cook quickly.) if you can find it, TVP is cheaper still.
  • On the subject of meat, consider not buying so much. It's great for flavor, but don't make it the main course. Try picking up a can of bouillon powder instead. (You might find a better price for this in the Hispanic food aisle.)
  • Most importantly- If a food is all you have in the house, you'll eat it whether it's healthy or not, whether it's your favorite or not. So just don't bring so much junk food home in the first place.
I would recommend exploring the nutrition area of the USDA website. If you live in the US, your tax dollars are already going toward intensive research of nutrition. Why not take advantage of it?

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?navtype=SU&navid=FOOD_NUTRITION

For example, the nutritionists who made the Thrifty Food Plan report looked at what Americans currently eat, what nutrients they ought to be getting, and what different foods cost. The result is (hopefully) a balance of those three factors- a way to dramatically reduce your grocery bills, get all the vitamins and minerals you need, and not gross out the kids in the process. You can see how many pounds of each type of food to buy for them by looking up the age of each family member in the requirements table.

I mentioned the Thrifty Food Plan over here too:
https://www.instructables.com/answers/whats_the_most_effective_way_to_loose_weight/

frollard8 years ago
slow cooker!!! quick and easy to chop up some veg and toss it in before work, come home to cooked goodness! shepherds pie stir-fry roast anything