For 2018, Get Back To Basics with Turkey, THE Power Protein
By Shannon Crocker MSc RD, Vibrant Nutrition Communications
If eating well is on your list of healthy resolutions for 2018, that’s super! My advice: keep your resolutions simple so you can stick with those healthy habits all year long. Here are five of my top “back to basics” tips to eat healthy all year long with lean, nutrient-rich turkey, THE power protein.
1.Choose nutrient-rich foods first.
Sometimes New Year’s resolutions focus on taking food out of your diet. I want to turn that around! Instead, put a positive spin on it by focussing on the foods you should be adding to your diet. Choose foods that are nutrient-rich first, such as whole grains, veggies and fruit, nuts, seeds, yogurt and lean meats (ahem, turkey!). That way, you’ll enjoy what you’re eating and naturally have room for fewer of those foods you might be wanting to eat less of.
Turkey Talk: Turkey is packed with nutrients like vitamin B12 (important in keeping your nervous system – the body’s electrical wiring – working well), selenium (an antioxidant mineral) and zinc (for a strong immune system).
2. Cook more meals at home.
As a busy parent, I get the time-crunch that makes you want to turn to convenience foods; but when you make more of your meals at home, you can control the ingredients that you’re serving your family. By cooking more whole foods “from scratch”, you’ll be more likely to get more good-for-you nutrients and save money at the same time – it’s win-win!
Turkey Talk: Here’s one of my favourite turkey time-saver tips: Cook once, eat twice with planned lefotvers. On the weekend, roast a whole turkey, a large turkey breast or extra thighs to enjoy for Sunday dinner and then use the leftovers to make quick meals during the week, like this Turkey Bowl with Cashew Lemon Dressing.
3. Create a balanced plate: pair protein plus produce.
To build a healthy plate, combine protein-rich foods, such as turkey, with plant-based foods, such as veggies, to get more nutritional bang for your buck. What does that mean? Well, firstly you get a wider variety of nutrients. But also, it creates a super food synergy with certain nutrients working together to increase absorption of other nutrients. Take a Turkey Spinach Cobb Salad for example; the iron in the turkey helps your body to absorb the iron in the spinach. Now that’s a dynamic duo!
Turkey Talk: turkey pairs perfectly with all the produce! There are so many delicious ways to put turkey + veggies on your plate, like this Warm Turkey and Root Vegetable Salad or this Curried Turkey Vegetable Soup with Rice.
4. Practice smart snacking.
When you’re hungry in between meals, a small snack made with nutritious foods can help keep your energy levels up and prevent you from overeating at your next meal.
Turkey Talk: Leftover turkey is ideal for when you need a snack to keep you nourished between meals; the protein helps manage munchies and fight cravings for sweet treats. Pair it with a veggie or fruit and you’ve got a smart snack! Try
these Turkey Snack Jars the next time those 3:00pm hunger pangs hit.
5. Bump up the protein.
If being more active, feeling more energized, or maintaining a healthy weight are part of your New Year’s resolutions, then I recommend putting protein on your plate too! Along with your workout routine, eating 20 to 30 grams of quality protein with your meals can help build and maintain muscle.
Turkey Talk: Turkey is my power protein of choice – it’s an excellent source of high quality protein. Each 100-gram serving is lean and packs about 30 grams protein.
Here’s to a happy, healthy 2018!
Follow Shannon on Twitter and Instagram @shancrockerRD