The new year is coming! And New Years resolutions following closely behind. One of the most common resolutions is to eat healthier, exercise more, and lose weight.
(Stepping on my soap box now)
Weight loss is an extremely large business that greedily takes your money year in and year out. As a Registered Dietitian, it is my passion to guide people toward a healthier way of living. Of course this does touch on eating healthier and being more active. But that does not begin on January 1st. It does not begin at the stroke of midnight with the promise of changing every part of your life (while simultaneously drinking champagne). It is accomplished in baby steps. It is accomplished by small changes that, over time, lead to a new way of thinking…to balance.
Balance is powerful thing. People often say to me “oh, I shouldn’t tell you what I ate for dinner last night because it was unhealthy” or “I love chocolate…but I shouldn’t say it in front of the dietitian”. These comments only make me shake my head (fellow RDs out there will agree) because being healthy is not about depriving yourself of chocolate, desserts, fried foods, and all of the other foods that are adorned with the label “bad”. In fact, I have never met a nutrition professional that does not love a decadent dessert. Balance means indulging on occasion, but often eating foods that nourish your body from the inside out.
So, let’s start the new year not with a resolution, but a step toward a healthier way of thinking about food. When I feel out of balance its best to go back to the basics. Fruits and vegetables (and lots of them). I shared this recipe last week as part of my Christmas menu, but it deserves a step-by-step post as well. Eating your veggies has never been easier…or more delicious. Balsamic vinegar is the secret weapon to turning an ordinary root veggie into a side dish that you will not be able to stop eating!
- 2 lbs carrots (I love the multi-colored variety at Trader Joe’s)
- ~ 2 tbsp olive oil
- ~ 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt/pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. (On Christmas I was slightly limited on the oven temp due to other dishes cooking, but not today!)
Peel the carrots and slice off the tops and bottoms.
Cut the carrot in half. If you have a really large carrot you may prefer to cut it in thirds instead.
Cut each half down the middle lengthwise.
Slice into matchsticks.
Repeat with the remaining carrots and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season lightly with salt and pepper then toss with your fingers so each carrot is coated with the delicious dressing.
Bake for 10 minutes, toss with a spatula, then bake for 15-20 minutes more. The carrots are done with the edges begin to turn golden brown but they still retain a little crunch. They will begin to look like carrot fries.
Remove from oven and serve with just about anything. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!