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Healthy Eating – Dinner 101

By December 5, 2015 Blog

Getting back to the basics of health I wanted do a three-part blog post about the fundamentals of each of your main meals. See part 1 and part 2.

Part Three: What is a Healthy Dinner?healthy eating - dinner 101

What is healthy eating for dinner? Do you ever think about dinner being the most social meal of the day? It is a great time to connect and unwind. There are all types of social dinners; romantic, family, friends, celebrations, business/networking and parties. Robin and I eat on average 5-6 dinners a week together at the dinner table. To me it is what really makes a healthy dinner.

Top 5 Healthy Dinner Tips

  1. Establish a Dinner Time – Seems so simple right? But ask your family members what time dinner is and it’s possible they cannot tell you. In our house we know we have a range of time to work in dinner table time, it’s between 5:30 – 6:30pm.   It works well to establish a schedule or even just a range of time that everyone is expected at the dinner table.
  1. Eat at Home At Least 5 Days a Week– Maybe that seems like a huge task and maybe that is easy for you. Good for you if that is an easy tip. If you struggle with this tip it is time to think about making a change. First of all eating at home will save you money. Eating at home will save your health and eating at home will give you family time! Make a commitment to eat at home and see the changes that start to happen!
  1. Eat Food Prepared at Home From Fresh Ingredients – Once you have mastered eating at home 5 days a week start to convert your meals from take-out or processed foods to real whole foods. Challenge yourself to make real whole foods 3-5 days a week for you and your family. This is healthy eating at its best! There are tons of recipes here at go2kitchens to help you along your journey!
  1. Sit Down at the Dinner Table with Real Plates, Glasses and Utensils– Try to sit down with your family 2 of the 5 days you are eating at home with real dinnerware! In fact use that china that just sits there! Make dinner an event and not a chore. You look forward to events and can’t wait for chores to be over…I like events, how about you?
  1. Have Everyone that Lives in Your House Around the Table At the Same Time – You are making dinner so invite your household members to join you at the dinner table. How cool would it be to send a text, email, or leave a note with each family member inviting them to dinner? Family dinners are becoming a lost art. Get back to the idea of making it an event and not a chore!

I guess you noticed that my healthy dinner tips said nothing about food! That is because I think the real part of having a healthy dinner come from establishing routines and habits to promote healthy interactions. If you live alone these principals still apply, in fact you might think of inviting other to a meal more often and cooking for others. I have invited myself to people’s houses for dinner and cooked for the whole family before. Talk about an event, it’s a fun one!

So I know you are busy and getting dinner made and getting everyone there can be a chore. I have not forgot about that aspect so try these things!

  • Make a plan. Schedule meals and times at the beginning of each week
  • Have theme dinner nights. Taco Tuesday and pizza Friday
  • Get a family dinner calendar and hang it where everyone knows when and what they will be eating
  • Having trouble getting kids on board, enact a “friends” night. Where one child gets to invite one friend to dinner. Makes it cool and more fun for them

Ok, now we can talk about food! As always you are striving for balance in your meals. A good balanced dinner would be 15% protein, 80% clean carbohydrates, and 5% clean fats.

  • PROTEIN –beef, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts and fish
  • CLEAN CARBS – fruits, veggies, beans, brown rice, quinoa, barley, sprouted whole grains.
  • CLEAN FATS – avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butters, oily fish, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil

“Pre” pared Meals – Putting it all together!

I love to “pre”pare food for the week. Below you will find a list of food that I cook on a weekend and store in the fridge to make all the dinners that are listed below. This will not only save you time and money it will help ensure you can deliver on those scheduled family meals.

Servings for 2 People

3 cups of brown rice
2 cups of royal quinoa
10 cups of steamed veggies
1 baked whole chicken
1 lb of turkey sausage
1 lb of turkey meatballs

Dinner #1 – serving for 1 person

½ cup brown rice seasoned with coconut aminos, dash of cayenne and a squeeze of lemon. 2 cups of steamed veggies, and 3oz of baked chicken

Dinner #2 – serving for 1 person

1 cup royal quinoa, 2 cups of shredded chicken, 1 cup of veggies chopped, mixed with olive oil, basil and garlic powder. Mix in bowl

Dinner #3

Gluten Free Pizza crust with turkey sausage follow this recipe.

Dinner #4

Layer in a casserole dish, 1 cup of brown rice, ½ cup veggie stock, thinly sliced sweet potato, brush with olive oil, another cup brown rice, slice turkey meat balls in half, top with steamed veggies, and crush cashews and almonds. Bake for 15- 20 mins at 350.

Dinner #5

Breakfast for dinner. Scramble eggs with turkey sausage, spinach and onions. Fry potatoes in coconut oil. Served with sprouted grain toast.

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