A No-Diet Resolution for the New Year


“New Year, New You.”  A common New Year’s resolution centers around healthy eating– often kickstarted as a “cleanse” or framed as a specific and restrictive diet.  To maximize success, I recommend neither of these, but instead a more simple and attainable goal of moving your eating in the right direction, in a realistic and sustainable way.  My one size fits all advice is to simply eat more plants.  Whether you’re interested in a vegetarian or plantbased diet or simply adding more vegetables to your diet, here are my top culinary tips for making this a delicious transition:

  1. Build every meal around a star vegetable, instead of a meat or carbohydrate.
  2. Use the flavor and health power of herbs and spices—this can transform flavor from bland to exciting.
  3. Use different cooking techniques to bring out different flavors—for example, roasting a vegetable can bring out sweetness; grilling a vegetable or tofu can bring out the smokiness you might usually enjoy in meat.
  4. Use a variety of textures—build a more interesting and satisfying mouthful by layering different textures, such as crunchy, chewy, and smooth.
  5. Get saucypestos are a great way to add flavor.
  6. Make cashew cream—a lot of people miss the creaminess usually associated with dairy products when they transition to a plant based diet.  Raw cashews, soaked and then puréed, make a great substitute for cream.
  7. Go with the graingrain bowls are a great way to get a meal on the table quickly and to improvise different combinations of grains, vegetables and proteins.
  8. Caramelize onions—these make an excellent flavor addition to almost any food.
  9. Make your food beautiful— we eat with our eyes first, so attention to presentation makes your food more satisfying, and the wide variety of fruits and vegetables are naturally beautiful.

I wish you good health, happiness and delicious food in 2019!


If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and want a chance to learn how to put these concepts into action, come cook with us in the first class of the 3rd year of the Thrive Kitchen on 1/9: Soups and Salads of the World.  A few spots are still available.  Call 415-833-3450 or email SFHealthEd@KP.org to claim your spot! And follow along at our healthy cooking page at www.Facebook.com/TheDoctorsSpicebox for recipes, nutrition articles and more.


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