Healthy and fresh meals prepped in plastic containers.

It’s January again and we’re all feeling a little fluffier from our holiday celebrations. 30-day cleanses are appealing for the first, well, 30 days – but eventually you’ll want to start diversifying your menu again. Do it right and you’ll avoid the slippery slope back into processed foods.

Lindsey Prows, TBSP Health & Wellness Advisor, Chef-Instructor

Lindsey Prows

We asked Lindsey Prows, TBSP’s health & wellness advisor, to share some tips for making healthy and clean eating effortless through the other 11 months of the year!

Keep It Simple, Silly.

It’s easy to fall into fad diet traps that promise overnight results if you just cut out entire food groups – but the best habits are ones that you can reasonably sustain while still enjoying life.

Prows recommends making simple swaps in your favorite recipes – small substitutions can lead to big changes!

Cheese is a high-fat, high-calorie ingredient, but oh-so-good. Try substituting some or all of it in your recipe with pumpkin, butternut squash or carrots. We promise, your kids won’t notice!

Try it: Pinch of Yum’s Healthy Mac and Cheese []

Spices are a No-Calorie No-Brainer

Cooking with spices and ingredients from other cultures can be scary – especially if you don’t know what the end product is supposed to look or taste like! But small substitutions here and there is a great way to keep healthy foods interesting while expanding your culinary knowledge.

Switching to whole grains (like brown rice, quinoa or millet)? Mix in some whole coriander, cumin and/or fennel when cooking to add flavor without adding calories.

Prows says toasting the whole spices just before using will bring out the aromas, and spices can be kept fresh in the fridge for months.

Try this: Monica Bhide’s Cumin Rice with Peas []



Get Saucy

People often underestimate how easy and fun it is to make their own dressings and sauces, says Prows. The jars and bottles you can get at the grocery store are often packed full of added sugars, salt and preservatives – and the ones that aren’t can cost an arm and a leg.

Making your own is a cost-effective and tasty way to make dinner interesting every night. Infuse your own olive oils with citrus peels, garlic or fresh herbs. Blend in avocado or different nut butters (like tahini, almond or cashew) to make a dressing or sauce creamier. Add in a dash of turmeric, paprika or cayenne to give your mix a little kick! And to round out the edge, honey and agave nectar are sweeter than sugar with fewer calories.

With this many ingredients to play with, you’ll never eat the same salad twice!

Try this: A Salad for All Seasons’ Fresh Corn Vinaigrette []

We hope these tips make the start of your January resolutions a little tastier! To learn more about how to make healthy living easy and fun, check out Lindsey’s Meal Prep Essential class on March 12th!