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It's that time of year when everyone wants to focus on health so I’m going to teach you a few simple tips and tricks to make every meal and every recipe healthier.

1. Don’t forget the basics.  Add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and eat less fatty meat, sweets, and salty snacks.

2. Choose good fats.  Didn’t you hear?  Fat is healthy, as long as it is one of the good ones, like olive oil.   Choose recipes that use oil instead of butter or margarine or make the switch yourself.  Feel satisfied with fats from fish, nuts, and avocado instead of buter, heavy cream and meat.

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3. Go whole grain.  Use whole wheat flour or try oat or spelt flour in place of white wheat in any recipe.  If there is only a small amount of flour you won’t even notice.  If you are making a bread, the rule of thumb is split the difference 50/50.  I hear the same is true for muffins, but I make all my muffins with 100% whole wheat, and with a few dark chocolate chips or dried fruit mixed in, no one seems to notice.  Choose a good quality whole wheat pasta, especially when you can hide it under red sauce.

4. Add veggies.  Add some veggies into the recipe or into the meal, the more you can fill up on tasty vegetables the healthier your meal will be.  Try roasting any vegetable with a little olive oil and a dash of salt, the oil can help your body absorb more of the vitamins.  Sub cauliflower for part of the potatoes or pasta in most of your favorite recipes.   Did you know you can make veggie chips out of everything from kale to zucchini?

5. Choose low-fat dairy.  I know there are some dishes that won’t be the same without the heavy cream, those you save for a special occasion, the rest will be fine with skim milk.  From quiche to macaroni cheese, low fat will work.


6. Finish off with a fruit and maybe some chocolate.  Most people like to end their night with a sweet treat, and it is hard to fight off that sweet tooth.  Start with a fruit and if you still need a little more, go for a square of some high-quality dark chocolate, just watch that portion and savor it, a little goes a long way.

Main Image - Mint Chutney Quinoa Salad