It's an exciting time of year for the kids. Likewise, the return to more structure helps many parents who struggle with summer activities throwing off the work-and-life balance. Now is the time for many people to put themselves higher on the priority list.
Even if you don't have kids or the challenge of balancing summer activities, now is a good time to prioritize your health.
One great action is to determine which of your eating habits could use improvement.
Could you improve your vegetable intake? How about eating fewer after-dinner sweets? Do you drink too much soda or alcohol? Not enough water? How about eating at home more often?
Choosing lean cuts of meat and eating more fish is a great action step to improve your health. Would you consider switching to only whole-grain starches or eat fewer starches in general? Do you make breakfast a priority? Do you need to eat more high-fiber foods?
All of these are great questions to ask yourself, and maybe they stir up some ideas for improving your nutrition. Remember, improving your health for the long-term means making changes, and typically does not mean eliminating foods or going on a “diet.”
Now that you have some time to breathe, it is your time to choose some habits to make yourself healthier. You deserve it! After all, we made it through another crazy summer!
This is a great recipe by the Meal Makeover Mom's “No Whine with Dinner” cookbook. It's a great meal, side, snack, or heat-and-eat lunch!
Broccoli Cheddar and Bean Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)-- I didn't use any onion
1, 32-ounce carton low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1, 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli cuts (mine was a 12 or 14-ounce bag I think)
1, 15-ounce can cannellini white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups 2 percent shredded cheddar, divided (tip: use block 2 percent cheese and shred for better melting)
Heat oil in a large pot, add garlic for 30 seconds, then add onion. Brown for 5 minutes or so, until soft. Stir in frozen broccoli, broth, and beans. Cover and raise heat to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until broccoli is tender 5 to 7 minutes. Move off the heat and cool for a few minutes. Use an immersion blender stick or transfer to a blender to blend until smooth. Place soup back over low heat. Add 1 cup cheese and stir until melted. Serve with remaining cheese to top. 1 cup soup: 190 calories, 8 grams fat (3 saturated), 18 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 14 grams protein.