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Article posted: 2/4/2013 6:00 AM

Keys to healthy eating: Planning, prepping, cooking

Having healthy ingredients in your kitchen will help you make healthy meals.

Having healthy ingredients in your kitchen will help you make healthy meals.

 
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By Joshua Steckler & Mark Trapp

If you're serious about maintaining your health for the long haul, you'll probably find yourself spending more time in the kitchen. This isn't to say that you'll eat more, but the extra time will be spent planning, prepping and cooking your meals.

Our most successful clients are no strangers to the kitchen. They understand the importance of knowing exactly what they're eating and having it available when they need it.

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The first step is to have your kitchen stocked with the right foods. This takes a bit of planning before you go to the grocery store, but it gives you the options needed to put together healthy snacks and meals. Foods like lean meats, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats should be abundant in your shopping cart.

Once you have your kitchen stocked with the proper foods, it's time to put together complete meals to ensure your body is getting everything it needs for healthy energy production.

A balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates will ensure a proper macronutrient profile and get you a variety of vitamins and minerals. In addition, try adding herbs and spices for flavoring, as many are nutrient dense and lessen the need for salty or sugary additives.

Since you're going through all the work of preparing the perfect meal, you might as well make leftovers. Prepare a few extra servings so you have go-to options for your meals or snacks the following day. This way, you're less tempted to skips meals or make the mistake of grabbing something less appealing. Therefore, you'll have no excuse for eating poorly.

Try the following recipe for a healthy meal that's sure to satisfy:

Makes one to two servings (make extra):

• 4 to 6 ounces salmon filet

• 1 red pepper

• 1 medium zucchini

• 1 ounce coconut oil

• Lemon wedge

• Garlic powder, pepper and dill

Melt coconut oil and rub on a baking sheet. Dice up the red pepper and zucchini and spread out on baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Stir the vegetables a couple of times as they bake.

Place the salmon filet atop a cedar plank on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper and dill. Place in oven and broil for a few minutes until the outer layer of salmon begins to brown. Remove from broiler and finish baking at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until it reaches your desired doneness.

Add salmon and vegetables to a plate, top with fresh squeezed lemon juice and enjoy.

So learn how to make the most of your kitchen by taking the time to prepare your meals. You'll know exactly what you're eating and you'll have healthy meal options available when you need them. For more healthy recipes, visit our website at PushFitnessTraining.com or follow Push Fitness on Pinterest.

Joshua Steckler and Mark Trapp are co-owners of Push Fitness, a personal training studio in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning and nutrition. Contact them at PushFitnessTraining.com.

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