The #1 Key To Healthy Eating + Best Oven-Roasted Veggies Recipe

Photo by  Vishang Soni  on  Unsplash

The #1 Key To Healthy Eating

So your doc says you need to get healthy/lose weight/whatever. Hopefully she mentioned something about eating your veggies. Of all the things you can do to make your body healthy, eating more fruits and veggies tops the list.

This should come as no surprise to anyone. But what’s the key to eating more veggies and making the habit stick long term? THAT’S the real trick!

The #1 key to healthy eating — and all healthy living — is this: you have to like what you’re doing. You have to get enjoyment out of eating healthy food, engaging in exercise, and doing things that make your body healthy.

And the reward has to be immediate. It’s not enough to know you’re going to look great in a bikini in 6 months. It’s not enough to know you’re going to have a healthier heart and stronger muscles next year. You have to feel the benefit every time you do something to make it into a habit.

Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

The #1 Key to Making Healthy Habits Stick

Human biology is pretty simple, but few people understand it. We humans evolved into the incredible species we are today by two main avenues: seeking pleasure and avoidance of pain.

Imagine if things like sex and eating did not cause a pleasure response. We’d be like “meh, don’t need it”…and down our species would go in history. Similarly, if we didn’t try to avoid the pain of being eaten by a lion, or the horrible taste of a poisonous mushroom, or the feeling of being ravenously hungry, our species would have gone extinct long ago.

Our ancient biological wiring still applies in modern times. If it’s painful, you won’t continue to do it…whatever “it” may be. Conversely, if an activity doesn’t cause some level of immediate pleasure, it will be difficult to form that activity into a habit.

Example? Eating kale without dressing is painful…and certainly not rewarding. You might eat it a few times, but your brain will quickly help you start avoiding raw kale in favor of things that are much more delicious.

The key to making healthy food transitions easy is loving what you eat. If you love raw veggies with no dips or dressings, that’s great! But it gets pretty bland, pretty quick. And for those whose palates are used to more processed foods, veggies can taste a bit like cardboard at first.

That’s where simple recipes like this can help you jazz up your #veggielife and encourage you to eat more of the good stuff!

The best oven-roasted vegetable recipe

This simple oven-roasted vegetable recipe is one of my favorites. It yields a delicious side dish with few ingredients and minimal effort. Plus it’s a great way to use up vegetables that are about to go bad, or use up the bounty from your garden.

Veggies that work great for this recipe: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini squash, snow peas, green beans, beets, garlic, onion, tomato, eggplant, bell peppers, hot peppers, potatoes, and mushrooms.

Best oven-roasted vegetable recipe

1 to 2 lbs. rough-chopped vegetables

2 to 4 T extra virgin olive oil (more if you have a lot of veggies)

2 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Italian seasonings (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Juice from two lemons or limes – roughly ¼ cup (you can use bottled juice too)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Rough chop and add all veggies to a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper.

  3. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything until the veggies have a light coating of oil. If it seems like there’s not enough oil, drizzle some more on and mix again.

  4. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. You can put the veggies directly on the cookie sheet, but the parchment helps tremendously for quick clean up.

  5. Dump the oiled and seasoned veggies onto the cookie sheet and use the spoon to spread them out into an even layer.

  6. Drizzle or squeeze lemon juice all over the veggies. Add more salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings, if it suits your taste.

  7. Pop the veggies in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. If you are cooking a lot of root veggies (carrots, beets, potatoes, etc.), cook time may be longer.

  8. Remove from the oven and serve hot! Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days, and are great mixed into a morning egg scramble!

The #1 key to healthy eating: Love what you eat, and eat what you love! Buon appetit!


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Blog Author: Kelly Bailey, IIN certified holistic nutrition coach, and NPTI certified personal trainer

Learn more about the author here.