Atlanta

Not long ago, I sat in this very chair and vowed to eat cleaner and healthier. Unfortunately, somewhere between the organic produce section of the grocery store and free-range eggs, there was cheese, chocolate and a few bottles of wine staring me down, daring to breathe. Though moderation is key, I found myself overwhelmed with what exactly “healthier” should look like. Looking down at my dismal shopping cart, I realized I was going to need some help if I ever wanted to reach my final destination.

The next afternoon, I pulled up a seat at the charcuterie bar at Saltwood, located inside Loews Atlanta. After a few brief moments drooling over the cheeses and meats being prepared before me, I sparked up conversation with Sous Chef, Jeremy Williamson. Thirty minutes, several post-it notes and two charcuterie boards later, I left with the inspiration needed to get myself back on track.

Whether you’ve already fallen off the resolution wagon or still hoping to hop on, consider Chef Jeremy’s 3 suggestions to eating clean at home:

Plan

Plan Ahead

The value in making your grocery list prior to shopping is essential if you’re looking to avoid a grocery store failure like mine. Truth be told, healthy decisions start at home. Cooking healthy at home is time-consuming and requires advance planning. But, with a little preparation, you will save both time and money.

The same principle applies when traveling as well. Be sure to check the menu of your hotel restaurant or dining locations to ensure your dietary needs are met. Otherwise, you may find yourself drooling over a burger menu simply too tempting to pass up.

Veggies Final

Eat Your Veggies

Mom was right. There is no denying the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, so go ahead and identify your favorites. Chef Jeremy emphasizes the importance of fresh, not frozen, vegetables and warns against the perils of overcooking them. Ever notice why green beans are always so much better in a restaurant? It is because they are seasoned and only slightly sautéed. Never overcook vegetables as it drastically diminishes their nutritional value.

Fats Final

Consider Your Fats

For years, fat was a three-letter word banished from our diets. We glorified the ‘fat-free’, failing to keep the ‘good’ fats. Truth is, we can’t live without them! The good guys are what are referred to as unsaturated fats, which (in moderation) provide an array of health benefits: a source of energy, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease. Consider adding some of the good fats listed below to your shopping list and scratch out the bad.

Don’t continue to beat yourself up if you stumbled, fell or even jumped off your New Year’s Resolution wagon because you still have 353 days to be better. Remember to set yourself up for success before heading to the grocery store and plan your meals ahead. Don’t skimp on the veggies and be sure to include the right fats into your diet.

And, if you find yourself lingering around the wine section don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember everything in moderation.

Thank you, Chef Jeremy, for re-energizing the person I planned to be this year!

Karen