Easy breezy bowls

I say this quite often- young adults, everyone in Orange County for that matter, is busy.We book, we plan, we pack our schedules with coffee dates, work meetings, volunteer commitments and then trickle in an ounce of “me time” here or there. Healthy eating, therefore, can be a challenge- where might we fit in that meal prep? Before or after my 2.5 minute scheduled shower? How about while I’m on a conference call and brushing my teeth? This might be a bit of a stretch but I know I’ve struggled to fit in the time to boil the grains, steam the broccoli and sautee the tofu all before my next commitment later that evening. Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 12.35.21 PM

Next scene. Welcome to the stage- the magical and meal time saavy “bowl of wonder”. The “bowl” type recipe, a literal bowl filled with a variety of veggies, proteins, grains and topped with a bold sauce, has taken center spotlight recently and can be found on many the hip restaurant menu- but hold that thought- Mcdonalds is even featuring bowls now! This must be big.

During one of my most recent dinner dates with a girlfriend we prepared a pesto and kale grain bowl recipe and binged on The Biggest Loser while slurping down slightly melted soy cookie dough ice cream and a pinot. The recipe is featured on Mind Body Green– a wellness brand “dedicated to encouraging you t0 living your best life…mentally, spiritually, physically and environmentally.”

This recipe ,in particular, was written in a format in which ingredients were prepared in bulk at the beginning of the week- Sunday for most of us. The idea being that if the sauces, grains and vegetables are chopped and cooked in advance we can simply toss everything in a bowl ,or tupperware for lunch at work, and enjoy without the stress of trying to fit meal prep in on a daily basis.

The recipe was simple; steam the chickpeas and broccoli, boil the grains, massage the kale with olive oil and lemon juice and broil the butternut squash. The ingredients could all then be stored in separate containers in the fridge and assembled at meal time. The flavors were bright, fresh and lacked the heaviness of a meal rich in dairy or meat ingredients.Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 12.19.00 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 12.18.30 PMphoto/recipe credit: Mind Body Green

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A study done at John Hopkins University and Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that adults 20 years and over that ate out 6- 7 nights a week consumed about 500 calories, 5 grams of fat and about a teaspoon sugar more per day than those who cooked supper in 6 nights or more per week. According to this research then, a person may be able to lose a pound of fat per week by cutting out dinners eaten out and increasing their cooking at home ( 3000 calories~ 1 lb of body fat).Not only might we lose body fat but cutting the amount of added sugars and fat in our diet has been related to decreased risk of metabolic syndrome- diabetes and cardiac related conditions.

March is Nutrition Month- why not make a change in our dinner habits now?


Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?

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