According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the number one resolution Americans made in 2015 was to lose weight. The promise to stay fit and healthy followed closely at number five. But statistics also show that only 8% of Americans are actually successful in achieving their resolution goals. Of course, those statistics aren’t very shocking as most of us know many people (possibly including ourselves) who resolve to lose weight or practice healthier habits in the new year but are unable to follow through.
Make this year different! With the fresh start of 2016, the chef instructors at L’Ecole Culinaire have some healthy cooking tips designed to help you achieve your goals in the new year and beyond.
Make friends with beans
When you eat beans you get a lot more bang for your nutritional buck. A half cup of cooked beans such as pinto or cannellini contains between 6 to 8 grams of fiber at the cost of only 120 calories. Fiber is very filling, making beans an excellent way help you avoid unhealthy snacking habits. Try adding beans to salads, soups, stews and burritos to help incorporate them into your meals. Chili is also a great dish for helping you up your bean intake.
Try leafy greens as a side dish
Leafy greens such as kale, collards and spinach are excellent sources of an array of vitamins and minerals. Getting more of these into your diet will only be beneficial for you–just be sure to avoid using too much oil, butter or salt when cooking them. You could also easily add any of these greens to pasta dishes. Just pop them into the boiling pasta water a minute or two before the pasta is finished cooking. Greens can be added to any sauces you’re making. Just like pasta, remember greens cook down so be sure to add them liberally.
Add flavor, not calories
It can be easy to rely on salt, butter, cream and oil to flavor foods but there are so many natural (and calorie free) options for creating flavorful dishes. Herbs and spices can instantly elevate any dish whether they are fresh or dried. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges also provide great taste to many foods without the fat. Other ingredients such as mustard, dried or fresh fruits, Greek yogurt and vinegars can be used as well.
L’Ecole Culinaire offers a wide range of public cooking classes designed for the at-home chef to suit your needs and tastes, including nutrition-based classes. For more information or to register please click here.