The anti-resolution: Three bits of food advice we’re not wasting our time on in 2019

Have you noticed a resolution reluctance this new year?
Freezer Breakfast Burritos. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.
Freezer Breakfast Burritos. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.
Published January 7

Have you noticed a resolution reluctance this new year?

Instead of making detailed resolutions, more people on my social media timelines seem to be choosing a word or broad intention they want to stick to in 2019. “Consistency,” “togetherness” — just some of the buzzwords I’ve seen heartfelt posts about.

I get it. In this era of self-love, why would we set ourselves up to fail with specific resolutions that, say, don’t allow for a basket of french fries every other Friday? There are ways to set goals for yourself without depriving yourself of things you love, and that is especially true when it comes to food.

I haven’t set an intention for my 2019 yet (“relax”? “eat more chocolate”?), but I have considered a couple of food resolutions. Specifically, some things I would not like to adopt in the new year. Antiresolutions, if you will. Seemingly well-intentioned bits of advice that pop up this time of year mostly in health magazines and other places urging everyone to eat less. I’m on the health train too, sick of the gluttony of the past couple of months. But some things I just can’t get behind.

Don’t put fruit in your smoothies: The idea here seems to be that fruits have a lot of calories and sugar, and therefore you shouldn’t load up on them in one cup, and it is an idea that has invaded health and fitness bloggers. It always baffles me. I know that juicing fruits often removes their fibrous skins, meaning you’re not actually consuming the part where most of the nutrition is. But blending fruits into a smoothie yields the same results, good or bad, as eating them. If you were going to eat a banana today anyway, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting that banana in your smoothie. Also, fruit makes a smoothie taste good. Can we stop pretending like kale, spirulina, fresh ginger and flaxseeds whizzed with a couple of ice cubes are the key to a delicious breakfast? My taste buds need more. Instead of limiting yourself to a quarter of a banana (actual advice I saw recently on Instagram), try bulking a fruit-forward smoothie up with protein like peanut butter, pea protein powder and half an avocado (much more mild in flavor than other veggies).

Don’t snack after 7 p.m.: Guess what? Snacking mindlessly at 7 a.m. isn’t a great idea either. There doesn’t seem to be concrete evidence that it’s inherently harmful to eat late at night, especially if your internal clock keeps you up later than the norm or you don’t get home from the gym until 9 p.m. and need to feed yourself. The better advice is to be more mindful about what you’re eating throughout the day. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re eating because you’re bored, try eating just a handful of potato chips instead of the whole bag.

Don’t eat carbs: Carbs are having a tough go of it right now, what with high-fat, low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet gaining in popularity. Simple carbohydrates, like all those cookies we ate in December and white breads and french fries and stuff, are no doubt loaded with sugars that don’t do much for your body. But I’m a fan of some carbohydrates in a healthy eating plan, especially the kind that help to keep you full and ward off excess snacking. Whole-grain carbs like whole wheat bread and brown rice are at the top of my list for 2019, mainly as vessels for healthy fats like avocado and proteins like roasted chicken and low-fat cheeses.

GOOD FOR YOU, AND YUMMY, TOO

This recipe tracks with my philosophy on New Year’s eating plans: something wholesome made from scratch that’s good for your body but also still pretty yummy. And there’s cheese. The idea is to make a batch of these burritos ahead of time, then simply remove them from the freezer and microwave in the morning for a fast, filling breakfast.

I added chicken and veggies to a standard breakfast egg scramble, which means these will keep you full for much longer than a bowl of cereal. I am often hungry the moment I wake up, so I like a hearty breakfast but don’t always have time to make one. These burritos help get me one step closer.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

1 large chicken breast

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

1 green pepper, cut into strips

large white onion, sliced

1 teaspoon paprika

4 large eggs

4 whole wheat flour tortillas, large or small

cup guacamole

cup black beans

cup salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breast on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. A thermometer inserted into the center of the chicken should register 165 degrees. If not, cook longer.

Remove chicken from oven, place onto a cutting board and let cool.

Meanwhile, add a drizzle of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add green pepper, onion and paprika and cook for about 15 minutes, until veggies are softer. Transfer veggies to cutting board with chicken and return skillet to heat.

Lower heat to medium-low, then add eggs and scramble, cooking for about 5 minutes until cooked through.

Place tortillas on a flat surface. Spread guacamole on tortillas, dividing the cup among the four tortillas. Divide eggs among tortillas. Cut or shred chicken into small pieces and divide among tortillas. Divide veggies among the tortillas, too, along with black beans. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes, so contents of burrito can cool to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then top with an equal amount of salsa per tortilla.

Roll tortillas tightly into a burrito, secure with a toothpick, then place seam-side down in a large zip-top bag. Place in freezer. When ready to eat, remove from bag, microwave for 1 minute or until warm and eat.

Makes 4.

Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times

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