Joseph F. McCaffrey MD, FACS


Healthy Eating in Ten Easy Steps

Sometimes eating well can seem overwhelming. Here’s a way to make it easy one meal at a time.

I once read somewhere that the person who prepares food for a family typically has about 10 recipes they use 80-90% of the time. The family likes them, they usually have the ingredients on hand and they can make them without even glancing at the written recipe.

When I looked at my own experience, that seemed about right. Here’s how you can use this to reshape the quality of your meals.

Your goal is simply to find ten healthy, tasty nutritious menus that you enjoy. What appeared to be an overwhelming task is now clearly manageable.

Do it one meal at a time. Check out magazines and cookbooks and online sources looking for meals that fit your criteria. In general you want a menu that includes lean protein (chicken breast, fish, etc.), at least two servings of vegetables, a small amount of healthy fat (olive oil) and maybe a low glycemic index grain.

When you find a likely candidate, give it a try. If you like it, add it to your permanent collection. If you don’t, keep looking.

When you first make a recipe, you might have to shop for a unique ingredient you don’t have, such as an unusual spice. However once your pantry is stocked, it will be there the next time you. Preparation will become progressively easier.

With ten menus, you have most of your meal planning for two weeks done before you start. You’ll also have the foundation to a healthy way of life.

When you find some great menus, I'd love to check them out, so email them to me.

And here’s separate tip. When you cook a menu, make enough to have lunch for your family the next day. I’m not a big fan of plastic storage containers, but I must admit that the containers with compartments in them make it very convenient to pack a healthy lunch.

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