So, once again, it’s time to eat. You’re getting ready to prep a meal, and you’ve decided to make it a healthy one! Let’s just say that you’ve got your counter lined with fresh colorful produce, lean proteins and whole grains; yeah, you’re feeling like a rockstar. While you’ve got the start of what could be a fabulously perfect food concoction, the next few steps you take will determine whether or not your meal is a good one.

Here are the top 3 ways you might be sabotaging your health & weight loss efforts during meal prep and simple strategies for making meals healthier. So here’s the deal. The time between the moment the food arrives on the counter to be prepped to the time it lands on your plate to be served is totally critical. Here are the top 3 ways that I notice people sabotaging their health and weight loss efforts while prepping their meals.

1. Veggie adulteration: So you’ve got this beautiful combination of fresh or frozen produce that is super low in calories (great for weight management) and loaded with nutrients (gotta love disease prevention;) that you are ready to prep. Now, you’ve heard that butter and cheese are loaded with saturated fat and you don’t feel like having a heart attack, so you opt instead for the bottle of olive oil. Great choice! Now, the problem comes into play when you douse those veggies with said oil. Remember, there are 120 calories in a Tablespoon of olive oil. That’s like eating 1/2 cup of ice cream! And chances are good that you are pouring on way more than a tablespoon; so the next thing you know, you’ve turned a hundred calorie pile of veggies into a 1000 calorie side dish. Yikes!! Instead of pouring on the oil, try using an olive oil sprayer or a vegetable broth to add moisture and flavor.

2. High Heat Cooking: If you’re a big fan of cooking with high heat, you might be raising your risk for cancer. Lower the temperature, lower your risk! Here’s the deal; when you cook with high heat, toxic substances like advanced glycation end products, acrylamide and heterocyclic amines may be released. These chemicals can promote inflammation, damage nerves, destroy tissues and cause cancer. Avoid exposing your food to prolonged high heat by steaming, sauteing or stir-frying.

3. Bland Flavors: So you’re ready to serve up your healthy meal, but when you taste-test it, it doesn’t taste that great. To make your good foods taste good, add in fresh and dried herbs, garlic, onions, shallots, sea salt and pepper. Find the flavor combinations you enjoy and spice it up!

Alright, get prepping–Watch the oil, lower the heat and spice it up!! Change Your Meals, Change Your Life!

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