It's easy to get in a menu rut when it comes to preparing healthy meals. In fact, one study in the UK found that 60% of families repeat the same seven meals every week. (Taco Tuesday, anyone?)
Healthy eating is a basic tenet of Systemic Self-Care, and choosing nourishing foods that provide essential nutrients is vital to your well-being. Knowing where to find healthy recipes is the key to getting healthy food on your table.
As a registered dietitian, I'm always looking for new recipes, but sifting through the interwebs can be frustratingly time-consuming, especially if you don't know where to look. Here are my top 5 favorite places to find healthy recipes:
Pinterest is one of the best online resources for finding new recipes (or finding anything, really). As a powerful search engine, Pinterest can call up thousands of search results in seconds.
Perusing pinned images is much easier than scrolling the web and visiting random websites that are often cluttered up with ads and pop-ups.
Likewise, Pinterest makes it easy to create recipe boards, so you can organize your recipes by category or ingredient.
Just know that if you choose to rely solely on Pinterest to store your recipe collection, you might be disappointed if a website removes one of your favorites. Consider printing out your favorites, or adding the to a recipe card to ensure you don't lose it.
Here are some of the search terms I use to find healthy recipes on Pinterest:
So, let's say I'm looking for a recipe that includes a specific ingredient, like butternut squash. Instead of searching for just "butternut squash recipes," I search for "butternut squash recipes dietitian."
Because recipes developed and curated by dietitians are generally more balanced, especially in terms of fat and sugar. Dietitians weigh food quality and nutrient-density just as much as they do flavor, and that's important when it comes to healthy eating.
Adding the word "dietitian" to your search query makes it more likely that the recipes has been vetted, and most recipes will also include nutritional information.
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Another good place to search for healthy recipes is to ask friends, family, and neighbors within your community. They tend to have collections of tried-and-true recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
This can be extremely helpful, especially when it comes to basic staples, like soups, broths, and casseroles.
It's important to note, though, that many family recipes are not necessarily optimized for nutrition. Many of them fall under the "comfort food" category. But that's okay. Sometimes comfort foods are exactly what you need.
In the Lifestyle Design Studio, we often share recipes as well, so if you're looking for a community that will keep you inspired and motivated to stay invested in your health, consider joining us.
In my twenties, I had a huge collection of cookbooks. They were crammed like sardines into a giant built-in bookcase in my kitchen. At the time, I was still fairly new to cooking and I used them regularly.
But later, in my thirties, I significantly downsized my collection. I held onto the classics, like Better Homes and Gardens* (I love the hardcover version) and Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Meals*, which I referenced regularly.
But by the time I reached my forties, I whittled my collection down to just one cookbook: The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook*, which is geared toward the InstantPot.
I got tired of lugging them around with each move, and when I significantly downsized my life back in 2018, it just didn't make sense to bring them along when they were just collecting dust.
Whether you choose to maintain a collection of cookbooks or not, be sure that you're able to access the recipes you need easily.
Another of my favorite places to source new recipes is magazines. While I'm not a huge fan of the word "diabetic" (after all, we don't go around calling people with high blood pressure "hypertensives"), Diabetic Living consistently has amazing recipes.
Although the recipes are geared for people who are managing diabetes, they are well-balanced when it comes to protein, carbohydrates, and fat. And as a dietitian, I feel the recipes are appropriate for anyone who is interested in improving their eating habits. The magazine is also really great at including healthier versions of comfort foods, like pies and holiday dishes.
Be strategic when you search for new, healthy recipes. Focusing on sources that are credible and have good reviews. Add new recipes to your rotation regularly to avoid burnout and boredom. This will help ensure that you stay excited about preparing healthy meals.
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