When you’re busy with work, family, and life, making health a priority can sometimes seem impossible—too expensive, too time-consuming, too complicated. But in reality, every tiny step you take toward wellness makes a difference. That’s why mindbodygreen and Lorissa’s Kitchen are celebrating the #SmallWins that make healthy living attainable to anyone, anywhere. Here, chef and founder of The Crunchy Radish Miranda Hammer shares her favorite time and health-saving kitchen tricks.
Despite the fact that I am a registered dietitian and a natural-foods chef, I sometimes struggle with the same issues that many of my clients and readers face: how to successfully lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. For me, food is the best defense. Through a series of #SmallWins—keeping my cooking process simple, streamlined, planned out, and prepped ahead of time—I’m able to achieve the big win of eating healthier.
My approach to food is uncomplicated. Although I love to cook, I stay away from recipes that include a multitude of steps and result in piles of dishes. I like to eat food in its cleanest form—utilizing unprocessed, unadulterated, and unrefined ingredients. I focus on developing the natural flavors and enhancing them through various cooking techniques and the use of spices. Sure, sometimes this goes hand-in-hand with a glass of rosé or some slices of raw sheep’s milk cheese, but it’s all about balance and finding pleasure in the cooking and eating processes.
The small change that worked for me: Sunday prep time
One of the main complaints I hear from clients looking to improve their eating and lifestyle habits is that they do not have time to cook. They believe that cooking healthy meals at home is too complicated or time-consuming and that ordering takeout is their only option.
My response is always the same: Meal prep is the best choice to set yourself up for success throughout the week. That’s the #SmallWin I’m most proud of: spending a few extra hours in my kitchen on a Sunday saves me time, money, and stress during the week.
If cooking is not yet in your wheelhouse, start with simple and basic recipes containing brown rice, sautéed seasonal vegetables, cooked beans, and salad greens. These staples, plus two to three simple sauces and dressings, will give you plenty of meal-composition options throughout the week.
Adapting your prep to your lifestyle and the seasons is a great way to switch things up while still maintaining a consistent routine. Incorporate visiting the green market into your weekend rituals to purvey local and fresh produce. In the colder months, devote your prep to soups and stews, hearty root vegetables, and warming oats. In the summer, focus on grain salads loaded with fresh vegetables, berry-filled baked oatmeal, and chilled soups.
Keeping cooking simple and seasonal, giving yourself the time to prep, and knowing that your body will benefit from home-cooked, plant-based foods are simple and achievable ways to incorporate #SmallWins into a healthier and cleaner lifestyle.
Make your own #SmallWin: Try this recipe
If I have a streak of not-so-healthy meals, I always crave crunchy, hearty greens to recalibrate my system. This salad is one of my go-to recipes for getting back on track.
I skip the bottled dressings and make my own, allowing me to avoid the additives, sweeteners, or excess salt and oil that are typically added to store-bought dressings. To help me get my “crunch on” during the week, I make a large amount of salad dressing in advance, allowing me the simplicity and ease of throwing together a nourishing and delicious crunchfest in no time.
Massaged Kale Salad + Lorissa’s Kitchen Chicken Ginger Teriyaki
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon white miso or chickpea miso
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 pound kale, washed, stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 3 pieces Lorissa’s Kitchen Chicken Ginger Teriyaki, roughly chopped
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, tahini, miso, honey, chili flakes, and salt. Add kale and massage for 2 to 3 minutes or until leaves are very tender.
- Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle greens with sesame seeds and Lorissa’s Kitchen Ginger Teriyaki premium protein snack on top.