Who remembers growing up and hearing an adult telling you NOT to play with your food? I do! Well now that I am an adult, I can do what I want :-)
I have always enjoyed finger foods. Pizza, chicken nuggets, chicken wings, chips, nuts, carrots and dip. The list goes on and on.
The truth is, most of the time, life is busy. I work full time and don't have a lot of time to cook a nice meal when I get home. So my husband and I try to eat as well as possible but that has results in things that cook quickly and get wrapped up. Something we have been eating often are those faux chicken nuggets from Morning Star in a wheat wrap with some salsa, lettuce, shredded cheese and anything else are in the mood for. Or it might be soup made with a couple cans of beans, can of diced tomatoes, low sodium vegetable broth and chicken sausage. Sometimes, we made grilled tuna melts on wheat english muffins. Simple and not too bad but it's getting pretty boring.
I recently hired myself a health coach. I have a couple of goals: create a new attitude towards exercise so that I am active most of the time and learn about new foods (or get reacquainted with old foods) and want to choose healthier foods more often.
She has given me some recipes that incorporate more greens into meals. I learned about kale! The couple of recipes I have tried were easy and they tasted good. In preparing kale, I need to pull the leaves off the stem and tear them into smaller pieces. I didn't think that touching food like this as I prepared it would be so much fun! I really am getting 'involved' in preparing dishes.
Next we moved onto grains. Guess what? The brown rice in the microwave bag that is ready in 90 seconds doesn't count! Yes, it's better than the flavored ones which are loaded with sodium but it's not as good as real rice that has to be soaked and cooked. The thing with making recipes with grains is going for the ingredients that are close to the source. I started with wheat berries. First, I had to learn what wheat berries were! I am glad my coach showed me the wheat berries before and after cooking. It took some planning but is something I think I can do from time to time. I soaked them overnight. Then the next morning I cooked them on the stove for 50 minutes. This is a far cry from the way we prepared foods before! After they cooled off, later in the afternoon, I made a very nice and easy wheat berry waldorf salad!
I have to say that I am having fun learning about new ingredients and learning what is healthier. I will make it to a whole foods store in the near future. I know myself and need to be introduced slowly to new things. With so many choices, I get overwhelmed easily. So I get very specific with an ingredient and one or two recipes and give it a try over a couple of weeks. I don't have to do everything all at once. I know my new habits will last longer if I am introduced to them slowly.