Healthier (however you define it) meals you've been making lately

Follow the 80/20 rule (hat tip: Japanese hara hachi bu)

Eat whatever you want (a calorie is a calorie), but eat until you’re 80% full.

And then wait 20 minutes for your body to determine whether it’s satiated. Chances are, it will be.

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Gift link. Might be helpful :wink:

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A lot of baked or roasted fish. Salmon in a 400F oven for about 8 minutes, seasoned however you like (we use a lot of Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb seasoning around here). I use a butter knife inserted into the thickest part of the fish and then apply to my bottom lip to check for doneness (looking for it to be warm, but not hot). Cod, haddock, or sole rolls I usually go 12-15 minutes.

Sundays are generally bean making days here. BF makes a batch of black beans and brown rice (separately) in the Instapot for himself for the week (seasoned with a salt free chipotle seasoning). I tend to be a lentil and rice person, on the stove top.

Frozen green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli that can be nuked in the microwave. I prefer fresh, but we’ve had several weeks where I buy fresh with good intentions and life has other plans.

Canned, salt free tomato products - diced, crushed, whole. Great base for a variety of braised or stewed dishes.

But, for us, the fish has been the biggest thing. I have a monthly subscription through a fishmonger like other folks do a CSA.

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(Tash, I know you and I both have read a lot about approaches and moderation)

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This is the same advice that I read in Seventeen magazine in 1990, FWIW.

It doesn’t work too well during times of extreme stress.

It works fine when I’m on vacation in Greece. Which hasn’t happened since 2007 :frowning:

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I have been experimenting with a goal of eating daily salads. I have been focusing on low carb choices (not hard for me, but low fat is) for about six years, but more recently with (sort of) whole grains like farro.

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I find you can use all olive oil in this and it’s fine. Also, I tend to make my own beans rather than use the canned, but low sodium, well rinsed canned cannellini are fine here. You can swap the shrimp for any other fish or seafood (or use chicken).

Use low sodium soy sauce, if you need to.

https://maunikagowardhan.co.uk/cook-in-a-curry/marathi-kolambi-bhaat-prawns-cooked-in-spices-and-basmati-rice/
This usually feeds us for a couple days.

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Roasted or grilled meats, along with a veggie salad, are always popular over here. Marinades can pack a lot of flavor for relatively little fat and few calories.

Soup is another dish we feel very good about eating. Just a little sausage (i.e. one) can flavor a whole big pot of legume and vegetable soup.

Stir-fries are also a winner, those calling for lots of veg and little meat. Rice or noodles within reason.

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That shrimp & white bean stew is an absolute favorite at casa lingua, too. Super-satisfying, and really low cal :yum:

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Hey @Phoenikia best wishes for your efforts.

I know there’s a lot of knowledge there already, no need to tell you what you already know.

For me, I think “healthier” dishes, aside from the common tropes of healthful preparation, are also ones that satiate me better. Imho that’s very culturally variable.

My most recent healthy dishes were dal and and a beet stir-fry yesterday — they constituted a normal indian meal to me, along with a piece of baked fish.

You may be satiated by entirely different things based on culture and conditioning.

I think there’s a lot of confusion that comes with looking for healthy dishes / diets that are not native to one’s culture. For eg I cook a lot of Asian food, but my satiety is a lot higher when I eat an everyday “balanced” indian meal.

My mom always gave us a mug of some kind of vegetable soup an hour before dinner, a habit that continues today. It tided us over but also took the edge of the hunger off. My SIL starts the family off with a bowl of salad irrespective of the culture of the ensuing meal, similar idea. We end every lunch with a small bowl of yogurt or buttermilk at my parents’. I think these are all methods to get to satiety.

I’ll link a few favorite recipes that might broadly qualify as healthy-ish later.

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Interesting to think about how we define healthy.

Personally I am trying to increase Omega 3, Vit D, calcium, and potassium, leafy veg, and/or fiber. I am probably fine with protein, but lean protein would be ideal, as would not having coffee for breakfast. Perhaps I will aspire to ideal at some point.

ETA Also, “antiinflammatory” !

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Yes, everyone has their own variables and goals.

Right now, I’m trying to remember to cook carbs (rice, noodles, potatoes) in advance and refrigerate them before eating based on reading about resistant starch.

There’s some previous discussion.

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At home, we often have our salad at the end of the meal. A little fibre, vinegar and water, I guess.

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Ahhh! “Resistant starch” sounds interesting! I learned something similar mid way though my “pre-diabetes” journey, but was only recently willing to take another look .

I don’t really think too much in terms of weight loss, but do about maintaining a healthy weight, especially in the face of serious health challenges.

ETA I loathe the term “sugary”.

From June 2022

Health benefits of resistant starch: A review of the literature

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It’s been decades of trying to get the diet industrial complex out of my head, so I agree.

My desire is to eat normally but healthfully, and focus on all the other factors that contribute to health like mobility, flexibility, activity, and so on.

Having watched my 80+ year mother return from unexpected but serious health issues has underlined the importance of taking care of oneself before one “has” to because something blows up — and how doing so makes recovery so much more likely and possible.

So interesting you mentioned this. I’ve used an anti-inflammatory diet for a week or two when I had a hives outbreak that occurred and recurred with no “medical” explanation. I’ve used it when I think I might be on the verge of something, or when I eat something I think I might react ro. .

I caught up with a much younger cousin who shared that she’s been working with a nutritionist and eating an anti-inflammatory diet for the past 6 months, not for weight loss, but it resulted in that too.

A friend ended up in the hospital and on a medical liquid food replacement because her insides were so inflamed that the only solution was to take her off food for a month or two to let the inflammation resolve.

Pretty much every disease has some internal
Inflammation associated with it that peaks to the disease revealing itself.

Hoping to read and learn more about this.

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I liked this soup https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/romanian-meatball-soup-ciorba-de-perisoare/

And yet, here we are. I think most of us know by now what is healthy for us, personally. Leafy greens, legumes, some lean protein, not too much saturated fats, easy on the sugar… but putting those into practice, especially when one loves deliciousness & is as obsessed with food as this crowd, is the hard part.

I’ve been shedding and gaining the same 10-20 lbs. for about half my life. I’m tired of the diets, eternally PO’d at a culture that thinks having a clothing size 0 is somehow normal, watching a good friend starve herself into a veritable Slenderman for god knows what reasons (I even wrote a song about it diet culture), and I’m trying to focus on being healthy - not that diet can help with all of that. Plenty of people who eat perfectly healthy get cancer or strokes. That’s life.

We do what we can, I suppose, and keep trying.

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I have really been putting in an effort to source as many locally produced raw ingredients as possible. I very rarely eat restaurant food and almost never pre-prepared food-like items that have been manufactured by the industrial system. There are family members that have digestive issues, so the only way to manage them is by doing meal preparation at home. When these family members are careless with take-out meals, their bodies very quickly let them know they’ve misstepped.

One of the things that has always been beneficial for us is fermented oatmeal where whole groats and freshly flaked oats are soaked in water for a couple of days before they’re cooked. The lactose intolerant one has them with a large handful of frozen wild blueberries, maple syrup and a pat of butter. I like them with sheep milk and a whole host of other toppings.

If you limit your added sugar and hyper processed foods, almost everything you prepare yourself can be classed as healthy.

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If the need for lower sodium is related to blood pressure, there may come a time (about 10 years for us) when you still need the help of medication. Until then, have you looked at creating homemade/no-salt versions of seasoning mixes/blends - Taco seasoning, Greek seasoning, Italian seasoning? These are frequently in recipes I make and starting with a salt-free version allows me better control of final levels.

This farro beet pistachios skillet now gets made here with canned beets and low/no salt shelled pistachios. I cook up farro in larger quantity, and bag / freeze it in 1-2 C portions.

This Wildfire chopped salad works for us because of the varied ingredients.

The stacked dish - crab/avocado/salsa - I made for Christmas Eve was great - recipe from a CH, I posted it in Dec WMP.

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“eternally PO’d at a culture that thinks having a clothing size 0”

I can remember when sizes went from 6 and up. Then Liz Taylor was a 4 all of a sudden. It was all down hill after that. Two, One , Zero.

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