You’ve committed to eating healthy in 2018, which is awesome. Now the hard part comes: having tasty, good-for-you meal ideas on hand you can easily turn to—especially when cravings for gooey mac and cheese set in or you’re too tired to do anything but go on Seamless.
To help you ID the healthiest and easiest meals to keep your goals on track, we asked Megan Roosevelt, RDN, nutritionist and founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com, to share her go-to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These versatile options pack plenty of nutrients without skimping on flavor, and they’ll help you start your year off on a nutritious note.
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Breakfast: sip a superfood smoothie
A green juice might sound like the ultimate health food, but smoothies tend to provide more fiber and nutrients, since they’re blended from whole fruits and vegetables as opposed to just their juices. Research also suggests that the thicker the smoothie, the more full it’ll leave you, even if the beverage isn’t high in calories.
Roosevelt particularly loves smoothies because they provide fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and protein first thing in the morning. “My go-to smoothie consists of a plant-based protein powder, berries, greens such as kale, ground flaxseeds, unsweetened coconut milk and sometimes a nut or seed butter or rolled oats for an additional protein boost and fiber to keep me full longer,” she tells Health. Not a fan of these superfoods? Swap in similar ingredients, like baby spinach, hemp seeds, and almond milk, then drink up.
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Lunch: wrap it up
Eating clean can be complicated if recipes ask you to bust out the zoodle machine or make your own pesto from scratch. To stress less, you want to keep your midday meal as straightforward as possible, suggests Roosevelt.
“I keep lunch simple by eating leftovers or making a veggie wrap using a brown rice tortilla, avocado, veggies, and hemp seeds,” she says. “Avocados contain healthy monounsaturated fats that help me feel full and satisfied. In addition to a wrap, I’ll typically add a bowl of bean and veggie soup for more protein and fiber.”
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Dinner: pick high-protein pasta
Thanks to new varieties made from protein-rich foods like edamame, lentils, and chickpeas, pasta doesn’t have to be a carb bomb. Take it from Roosevelt: “I love legume-based pastas, which can provide 25 grams of protein per serving!” That’s about the same protein amount as six eggs.
Roosevelt gives pasta marinara a nutritious makeover by topping lentil spaghetti with low-sugar tomato sauce, plus a big salad on the side. “This quick, healthy dinner is a staple in our house,” she says. Pass the pasta, please.