Here's What Our Staffers Do When They Want to Feel Healthy
Sometimes half the battle of being healthy is feeling it.
Though New Year’s resolutions can be great, they’re often pretty hard to keep. While eating certain foods in moderation and exercising regularly are necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, they're not only way a person can feel good. In fact, even the littlest thing, like drinking an extra glass of water throughout your day can make a huge impact on how you feel about yourself and your health overall. From eating an ultra-comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup to supporting brands that give back, here are a handful of things our Food Network staffers do when they want to feel healthy, stat.
Customize Your Food
If I find myself in a healthy eating rut, I turn to grain bowls. The ultra-customizable nature of them makes it easy for me to mix-and-match grains, veggies and proteins all week without getting sick of any one flavor. Plus, it’s an ideal Friday afternoon lunch solution when all I need to do is clean out a fridge full of random leftovers before the weekend. My favorite combo is a base of farro dressed with olive oil and vinegar, topped with arugula, grilled chicken, mozzarella, olives and roasted veggies. Finish it off with some syrupy balsamic glaze and you’ve got a flavorful meal with tons of nutrients. Follow these steps to make your own favorite grain bowl here.
— T.K. Brady, Senior Editor
A Smoothie A Day...
Something I’ve recently accepted is that I will always eat a more carb-focused diet. I love rice and pasta and, more importantly, I have a very sensitive stomach and carbs are good for helping with that. Instead of fighting it, I’m trying to listen to what my body wants and work with it rather than against it. That’s why I’m starting most mornings off with smoothies. That way, I can eat a sandwich or a rice dish later on and still feel balanced from the fruits and veggies earlier. This Cherry Almond Smoothie always kicks off the day on the right note (especially if you toss a handful of spinach in there, too!)
— Leah Scalzadonna, Associate Editor, Programming
Meal Prepping and Planning for the Win
My best strategy for feeling healthy is making a meal plan and prepping for a week of balanced meals. That way, when my mid-week motivation (and willpower!) is running low, I can rely on what I’ve already prepped, rather than default to my favorite takeout or a charcuterie board for dinner. This meal plan is the perfect starting point — pick proteins, vegetables and grains based on what’s on hand and do the bulk of prep over the weekend, which leaves me with minimal work each night and meals that make me feel my best.
— Julie Hines, Managing Editor, Food Network Kitchen App
Tea That Tastes Just Like Dessert
I cannot get enough of this tea! It’s decaffeinated, which makes it a great late-evening sip I can enjoy after the kids go to bed, and the flavor is unmatched. It honestly tastes and smells like a fresh loaf of glazed lemon bread, but it doesn’t undo an entire day of healthy eating (like a big slice of quick bread could!).
— Meghan Hynes Cole, Associate Editor
Snacks that Give Back
This might sound a little strange, but whenever I want to feel healthy, I always find myself grabbing a piece of dark chocolate. Like most people, I’ve found myself baking a lot more recently, especially on weekends. While this is great way of keeping myself busy while I'm at home, trying not to snack on the various cakes, cookies, doughnuts and quick breads I've made during the work week is nearly impossible. Seriously, you try eating a salad when there’s a chocolate cake sitting on the counter a few feet away! Endangered Species Chocolate’s delicious line of dark chocolate bars lets me have my sweet treat fix without feeling the least bit guilty. Completely free from artificial sweeteners and other additives, each bar is made from high quality and health-conscious ingredients like fair-trade vanilla, cinnamon and sugar, Pink Himalayan sea salt and American-grown raspberries, blueberries, cherries and other fruits. The brand also donates 10% of their net profits to wildlife conservation organizations like the National Forest Foundation and The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, so I'm doing good while eating good too! I love munching on their Oatmlik and Dark Chocolate bar — not only is it completely dairy-free, it’s also creamier than any other chocolate bar I've ever had. I also love adding a fistful of their new Oatmilk Dark Chocolate Baking Chips to yogurt and oatmeal.
— Michelle Baricevic, Online Editorial Coordinator, Food Network Magazine
When I hear “healthy,” I don’t just think about adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet anymore. Lately, I have been thinking about the term in relationship to my community and the environment — and how my shopping decisions can make an impact. So, I’m trying to choose brands and companies that not only make delicious food, but give back, too. My new favorite? Luv Michael. This company sells delicious, high-quality granola and provides jobs, education and training to individuals with Autism. My morning bowl of yogurt, bananas and granola has never made me feel so healthy (or happy!)
— Trish Clasen, Digital Programming Manager
All About Avocados
Any time I go to the super market and leave with some avocados, for some reason I automatically feel 10x healthier 😆. Just knowing that I'll have it in my fridge that week makes me feel better because I can add it to almost any dish to freshen and lighten up! Although, my favorite meal with them would definitely be some Homemade Avocado Toast! It's a healthy AND tasty way to start your day.
— Lauren Tom, Associate Content Producer
Chicken Soup for the Soul
When I want to feel healthy I always crave chicken soup full of veggies. This recipe is extra soothing with a ginger and star anise spiced broth and extra hearty from a combination of noodles and frozen wontons or dumplings. It’s filling and hydrating while also feeling light.
— Melissa Gaman, Recipe Developer, Food Network Kitchens
For mind and body boosts I always turn to chicken soup — the fragrance of simmering chicken broth always makes me feel cozy. Instead of noodles or rice, I love to add tiny dumplings and a whole grain like in this Chicken Soup with Dumplings and Quinoa. I’ll ladle a giant serving into my favorite yelow soup mug, sip on the broth first and then dive into the goodies with a spoon. It’s hearty, warming, hydrating and super filling.
— Leah Brickley, Senior Editor, Culinary
You Just Can't Beat Salmon
When I’m feeling unhealthy, whether from too much sugar, alcohol or meat, I turn to clean flavorful dishes, broths, and lots of seafood and vegetables to get me back on track. This Slow-Poached Salmon and Soba-Noodle dish is exactly what I crave. Salmon is full of healthy fats, and poaching it gently in a super flavorful broth gives it a silky texture. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, (which isn’t a wheat at all) so they are hearty but also good for gut health, and can be gluten-free, depending on the brand. The dish is finished with some lightly cooked vegetables and fresh herbs for some contrast. After eating it I always wonder why I don’t eat dishes like this more often!
— Alexis Pisciotta, Purchasing and Events Manager, Digital Culinary
One of my go-to dishes when I’m craving something simple and soothing is miso soup. It’s great with rice and oshinko (Japanese pickles) for breakfast or bulked up with salmon and vegetables for dinner. This Glazed Salmon Miso Soup Rice Bowl hits all the right healthy notes — as a fermented food, miso is good for the gut; salmon’s got those omega-3 fatty acids; bok choy and mushrooms are packed with antioxidants — but most importantly, it’s satisfying and delicious every time.
— Frances Kim, Digital Programming Manager
Junk Food Without the Junk
Nothing makes me feel healthier than making “junk food” from scratch. Right now, I’m loving these super-flavorful, Oven-Baked Potato Chips. Even though I’m still snacking on lots of salty potatoes dunked in a sour cream dip, I feel good about the fact that the chips aren’t deep-fried — and that they’re made fresh with just 3 simple ingredients.
— Kristie Collado, Digital Programming Manager
H2O and You're Good To Go!
Whenever I feel like I need a reset, the first thing I do is up my water intake. Just the once conscious decision to drink more water in a day always makes me feel more awake and focused. To make drinking the right amount of water easier, I always turn to my beloved Hydroflask fitted with a straw lid — a couple of those in a day and I’m good to go!
— Rachel Trujillo, Associate Content Editor