You don’t have to be a professional chef to know how to prepare a meal that’s both healthy and delicious, promise.
When you vow to “eat better” for your New Year’s resolution, getting started can feel overwhelming. Before you bail on your plans altogether, we asked chef-to-the-stars Jourdan Cha’Taun to weigh in on how to get going, without the headache. Cha’Taun has been tapped by some of the biggest stars (like Diddy, Floyd Mayweather and Trey Songz) to create healthy meal plans for their hectic, on-the lifestyles. As a personal chef to busy celebs, Cha’Taun has to think fast and focus on nutrition every time her phone rings.
“As diligent as we women are about shopping and putting things on the outside of our bodies, we need to start making sure we're that diligent about what we put inside of our bodies,” she insists. Agreed! But how?
We asked Cha’Taun to lead you down the fast track to healthy living on the go. Follow along and you can’t lose.
The Grocery Store Requires A Plan
“If you are going to bigger chain grocery stores, you should just want to stay in organic and you want to stay on the outside skirts,” Cha’Taun says. “Everything in the middle of the grocery store should be off limits to you. Anything packaged, anything in a box, anything with preservatives because you have to start thinking that anything you put into your body should die, and it should die within 30 days because it's alive. Anything you put into your body you have to start looking at it as being something that's alive.”
You Have A New Weekly Appointment
If you can schedule in those regular mani-pedis you can make time to nourish your body properly. “You have to look at health as being a top priority and make if fun for you,” says Cha’Taun. “You have to put it on your schedule, whether it be one day a week you go down to the farmer's market, or at certain points in your day, you head to Whole Foods or your local organic grocery store.” Grab your smart phone and lock it in to your calendar as a reoccurring appointment now, so you won’t ever be able to say “I didn’t have time” again.
Make It Work, No Excuses
If it’s hard for you to get to the healthy groceries, bring them to you. “There are a lot of quality delivery companies now, and I know that a debate is the price of organic food and things of that nature, but a lot of farmer's markets now take EBT cards too,” says Cha’Taun. They also deliver, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Sometimes, farmer's markets even believe in bartering systems, so if you have something that you can barter, not always food, you can still get some of the food you need.”
Don’t Let Good Groceries Go To Waste
Just as you must schedule a regular time to shop smart, you should also make room in your day to prepare healthy meals instead of picking up fast food. “If the night before or whenever you have in between time, you kind of want to set up your oatmeal for the next day to start your day or you want to preset your salads so your salad is done,” suggests Cha’Tuan. “You can take it with you. Your setup for success is always having something to take with you to keep you going through to the next little meal, because if you don't have something with you in your purse or your bag, you're going to end up eating junk.”
Fully Commit To Organic, Now!
“You have to make sure you buy organic,” Cha’Taun emphasizes. “If it's not organic produce, it's totally counterproductive, because non-organic, conventional fruits and vegetables are laced with toxins from the pesticides, so they're just soaking and breeding in them.” This also causes a lot of allergies, she adds. “If you change your diet and you start juicing, that will help.”
Juicing? Start Slow, Then Build!
When it comes to juicing, don’t rush it. “Gradually maybe do one 16 ounce green drink a day, and ideally, you want to then work up to three,” says Cha’Taun. “Once you're doing three a day, you're kind of doing in-between meal replacements. Typically, we should all be having three small meals a day or six small meals a day, right? If you're using jsuices 3 times, then you're eliminating three small meals, and you're putting juices in the in-between.
Know Your Snacks
“Almonds are your friend,” says Cha’Taun. “Almonds that are unsalted and not roasted, raw almonds. Just one handful will curve your appetite.”
For daily healthy eating and living tips follow Chef Jourdan Cha’Taun on Twitter!