Nashville

It’s a new year and we have survived what many consider the most joyous time of the year. We’ve spent weeks attending endless amounts of parties and pot lucks while consuming all the food and drink we basically saved up all year for so we could to dive into it head first.

It is so easy to consciously or subconsciously overindulge during the holiday season, letting the sugar and carbs and booze take the wheel. ​But now that all the fun is over, many of us are stuck feeling lethargic, guilty or regretful.

However, the most wonderful time doesn’t have to end with the world’s worse holiday hangover! Whether you’ve already fallen off the resolution wagon or are still hoping to hop on, you can create nutritious and delicious recipes that you and your family will feel good about eating.

BREAKFAST

My biggest tip for breakfast is to eat it! So many of us are rushing to get out the door in the morning, whether we are running late for work, trying to wake, feed, and dress our kids, or the oh so common, “I’m just not hungry in the morning.” Whatever your reason for skipping breakfast, the bottom line is it will catch up to you later in the day. Your body and brain need that energy in the morning to get going, so don’t deprive them!

Need a grab-and-go option? Try meal prepping on your day off. Get a boost of protein with two hard boiled eggs or store frozen fruits and veggies in a re-usable plastic bag to make smoothie making a breeze.

If you have 5–10 minutes to make breakfast, take the advice of Kelly LeVeque, author of Body Love and creator of @bewellbykelly. Stick to the rules of fat, fiber, protein and greens, or the “Fab 4.” Foods rich in these nutrients will keep you full, won’t spike your blood sugar a​nd helps keep you from indulging on a mid-morning snack.

Favorite Morning Breakfast: Green Smoothie

To make: Add all ingredients in the order listed above in a high powered blender (such as a Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy. Add milk to reach your preferred consistency. I personally love my smoothies to be thick like a milkshake.

Tip: Look at the ingredients in your protein powders. Many contain refined sugar and other additives. Remember, we don’t want to spike our blood sugar first thing in the morning!

LUNCH

For years, I thought breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day but after lots of reading, I discovered lunch should be your powerhouse meal. Lunch re-energizes your body after your morning routine and re-fuels you for the day ahead. I’d suggest a salad full of leafy greens, lean protein or fish, and simple vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette recipes usually follow the rule of a 3:1 ratio, so make as little or as much as you want. I put mine in a Mason jar and store in the fridge. When you’re ready to use it, just shake it up and pour over your salad.

Salads are a great option to take to work, too! They’re extremely versatile and easy to pack. A rotisserie chicken is a really great vessel for creating amazing salads. Store some in an airtight, glass container, and pack a few ounces with your salad greens to create a delicious and easy lunch.

Favorite Salad Dressing: Simple Vinaigrette

Makes enough for one large salad

To make: Add ingredients into a glass jar and shake, shake, shake until the oil and vinegar are emulsified. Pour over a leafy green salad with chicken or fish!

Tip: Next time you’re at the grocery store, look at the ingredients on the salad dressing labels. The above recipe has 4 ingredients (if you’re considering salt and pepper “ingredients”). Some salad dressings can have 15–20 ingredients.​ It’s astonishing! And worse yet, those bottled dressings almost always have refined sugars included.

DINNER

Light and easy is the name of the game for dinner. I think a common misperception is that our portion needs to be the size of our heads! I always try to eat my dinner at least 3 hours before I go to bed so that my body has time to digest before I fall asleep. Our bodies recharge in the form of sleep (which is also super important for overall health), so you don’t need as big of a meal before bedtime.

Tacos are a weekly meal in my house (and not just on Tuesday!). I serve it with Siete Foods Casava and grain-free Coconut Flour tortillas, loads of avocado, sprouts and/or greens, and Cholula Hot Sauce. It never fails!

Favorite Go-To Dinner Dish: Easy Taco Meat

makes enough for 6 good sized tacos (hello, leftovers!)

To make:

  1. In a cast iron pan, add the avocado oil. Heat until the oil moves easily around the pan and starts to shimmer.
  2. Add the ground beef or turkey and cook until browned. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  3. Combine all of the spices (chili, onion, paprika, oregano, garlic, cumin and optional red pepper) and add to the meat. Stir around until it is evenly dispersed.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking!

Cravings for sweets and treats are inevitable, but you can decide when and in what you want to indulge. Healthy eating can be accomplished so much easier when you remind yourself that you are in control of what foods you eat. Follow these tips, give these recipes and variations of them a try, and make this year the healthiest one yet — your body will thank you!

Paige