Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Table for One -- Guest Post by Jeanette Janota

30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge

Jeanette Janota is a Senior Research Associate for ASHA. She's an active member of our Wellness Advisory Team and offered to share her thoughts on cooking for one on the Sonoma Diet. She's included some great snacking tips that everyone should appreciate.  

Image from newyorkette.com

Part of the focus of the New Sonoma Diet is enjoying food with friends and family.  But what if you’re a family of one and eat most of your meals alone?  “(Y)ou can slow down, relax, and be mindful of the meal you are eating (p 13).” The Mayo Clinic has some general guidelines for healthy cooking for one or two people.  They recommend making a plan, stocking your pantry, taking advantage of your freezer, cooking a batch and freezing single portions, preparing one-dish meals, using extras wisely, and shopping with convenience in mind. Above all, keep it fun in the kitchen. For additional resources, see the Healthy cooking for 1 or 2 and 5 Tips on Cooking Healthy For One.  

Sometimes we’re hit with the “Why Bother Syndrome.”  Among the tips to overcome that negativity are these two: (a) eat a late day, healthy snack, before leaving the office, instead of grabbing the wrong types of foods when you walk into the house starving and (b) make a meal of tapas or mezzes, small servings of several convenient, easily prepared snacks. See Why Bother Cooking Just for Yourself? Looking for more healthy snacks to bring with you to work for Wave 1 and Wave 2?  Check out The Sonoma Diet: 10 Sanck Ideas.  

The Extension Service has a 19-page pamphlet with why’s and how’s of cooking for one. Some of the recipes would need to be revised to fit the Sonoma Diet, but there’s a lot of general information, too.