I crave healthy meals that leave me full and energized for hours after the food has been wiped off the plate. And one major thing that you should not take lightly is having rituals at around the same times each day. Take time to be mindfully present in the meal that you’re eating.

So, why not try something a little different? Or something that comes from a different culture with a different set of rituals? It works beneficially to our street knowledge as it is broadening our horizons. At times like weekends, when you spend most of your time at home, count the most on your healthy nutrition. If you think about it, from when the weekend starts on Friday afternoon, until Monday morning, you have almost half the week. So, make sure those are the times when you fuel your body especially well. And possibly even make foods that are going to last you for the rest of the week. Not in the sense that you eat them all during that period of time, but that you stock up your pantry and fridge with healthy options that are ready to grab on the go during a busy week ahead.

Love salads? I do! And this kind doesn’t even feel that is put together of mostly greens. Pair chopped carrots, bell peppers, and fennel on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with a little pinch of cayenne pepper, ground red paprika, cumin, coriander, salt (or I like to use a ground mix of salt with pre-bakes and crushed sesame seeds in place of regular sea salt), and a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil. Add all of it on top of a good bedding of arugula salad and grilled chicken. For vegan alternative use lentils of a kind or tofu.

You can use any other combination of veggies that you prefer. It’s just a way of showing you how simple a meal can be put together. The whole preparing process shouldn’t take more than half an hour; an hour with the grocery store run included.

Another summery addition I like to have always on hand is pesto. It is easily put together with lots of fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts (or you can use a different kind of nuts, or I’ve even used an avocado in place of nuts when nothing else was on hand), pepper, and some salt if you like things more on the salty side. It’s a great condiment to have in your fridge as you can easily add it to pasta, risottos, smear it on top of savory pancakes, or a piece of bread for a filling snack.

If you have guests over and you want to impress them but not make a big fuss in the kitchen, pop some veggies on barbecue sticks. You can always add tofu or chicken to the mix, drizzle with olive oil. If you feel a little adventurous in your tastes, mix together some sesame paste—tahini, with olive oil, spices of your preference, and a tiny splash of maple syrup. Drizzle over, pop in the oven and serve. It’s not much and I guarantee you that your guests will be impressed.

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