When people ask me how I've changed my diet and am able to consistently stick to eating fresh, whole food, the answer is always the same: "by planning". It's the deciding factor between making it long term and giving up after one or two weeks. I've made my decision to change my lifestyle and diet well over 6 months ago and never looked back.
The reality is, you have to be organized and think about your next meal and plan accordingly. It doesn't have to be overwhelming or extensive but it does have to be consistent. The trap many people fall into is simply saying that it's too hard and they don't know where to start or what to do.
Here are some very basic steps to making lasting change.
On Sundays I normally set aside an hour or two and plan for the week ahead. I don't have to organize every detail of every meal but I take care of some basics so I'm covered when the "I don't know what to eat" thought pops into my head.
You can basically use any vegetables you like when roasting. Also, if you've been sitting on some veggies in your crisper and they're a tad soft, they'll be perfect roasted and you don't have to toss them just because they're no longer fresh and crisp.
Some of the key things to remember when roasting veggies are:
- Cut all vegetables the same size so they roast evenly
- Group vegetables accordingly
- Use an oil that can stand high heat. One good option is avocado oil and make sure you use enough
- Season them well using salt, pepper at the minimum or you can get creative with herbs and spices
When it comes to pairing vegetables here are some ideas for pairing:
- Bell peppers of your choice, onion, summer squash and zucchini. Roast in about 15-20 minutes tossing once half way.
- Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower together. Roast for about 20-25 minutes tossing once half way.
- Sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets. Roast for about 25-30 minutes tossing once half way.
Once veggies are roasted you can use them in a variety of ways. They will also last for up to a week in the refriegerator. You can drizzle them with additional avocado or olive oil or balsamic vinegar, you can use them as sides to any meat, add them to any salad, on top of cauliflower rice, etc. The possibilities are endless.
For this week, I had some veggies on hand that I wanted to use up. Whenever my mom comes to visit, she always brings some amazing ones from her local farm. So this is just an example of what you can do when you have a plethora of veggies.
- Prep time: 5-10 minutes
- Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
- Serves 6-8
- 1 large summer squash or 2 medium cut into 1" cubes
- 1 large zucchini or 2 medium cut into 1" cubes
- 2 red bell peppers cut into 1" cubes
- florets from 1 head broccoli
- 2-4 tbsp avocado oil
- 1.5 tsp of salt divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 baking sheets
- parchment paper of aluminum foil if you wish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the largest baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Add squashes and peppers with 2 tbsp avocado oil, 1tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Toss to combine. (Feel free to use more salt and pepper if you'd like). Roast for 15-20 minutes, until veggies are soft. Toss once halfway.
On a separate tray, line with parchment paper or foil and add broccoli, 1-2 tbsp avocado oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 pepper. Toss together to combine and roast for 10-15 or longer if you wish the broccoli to be softer.
Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.