Food: Healthy meals made easy

(NC) Preparing healthy meals every day can be tiring and tedious, especially at the end of a long day. Make mealtimes easier by following these simple tips:

1.  Plan ahead
Mapping out meals for the week and buying ingredients in advance simplifies meal making and takes the guesswork out of “what’s for dinner?” Choose recipes that fit your schedule and that your family will enjoy. It’s okay to have a go-to roster of favourites and to add new ones when you feel inspired.

2.  Prepare
Advance meal prep – like marinating proteins, chopping vegetables or assembling dishes so they are ready to cook – can help get a homecooked meal on the table faster. Using fresh and frozen pre-cut vegetables and fruits can also save time peeling and chopping. Organize your workspace and make sure you have all the items and ingredients you will need nearby before you start cooking.

3.  Think simple
A meal does not need to be complicated to be tasty and nutritious. Make quick, everyday meals like easy pastas, hearty salads and one-pot dishes the foundation of your weekly menu. Boost the flavours of lean proteins or veggies with fresh herbs or a sprinkle of seasoning.

4.  Aim for balance
A typical healthy plate is half filled with veggies, one quarter with protein and one quarter with a “good” carb like whole grains, brown rice or legumes. Eating well can make a huge difference for anyone, but especially for those living with a health condition.

“What you eat is important,” says Trish Barbato, president and CEO at Arthritis Society Canada. “Consuming a balanced diet paired with lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and exercise can have a powerful influence on managing symptoms like pain and fatigue.”

5.  Cook once, eat twice – or more
Leftovers are lifesavers. Save energy and time by cooking double batches or making a big pot or pan of soup, stew or casserole to enjoy over several meals.

6.  Enjoy
Make meal preparation something to look forward to by using it as an opportunity to try a new recipe or experience a new food.

Find more tips on how to live healthier and nutritious recipes at

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