We all want to eat healthier in the New Year, but sometimes the thought of extra cooking, food prep and diet changes can seem daunting! But don’t let the details stop you before you get started! You CAN eat healthy while keeping your meals stress free and super simple. Here are some basic strategies for eating healthier in 2016!

1. Organize Your Kitchen and Sharpen Your Knives

Clear clutter from your counter tops and keep your most used tools easy to reach and accessible. Cooking is so much more enjoyable with clean, organized drawers and tools! Get rid of useless gadgets and make your cooking space as enjoyable and easy to manage as possible.
While pulling out all your kitchen goodies, be sure to inspect your knives carefully. Keeping your knives sharpened makes food prep a snap AND prevents kitchen mishaps and injuries – dull knives can be dangerous! Haven’t sharpened your knives in awhile? Come by the Visalia Farmers Market and get your cutlery sharped from Central Valley Knife Sharpening!

2. Stock Up Weekly Groceries at the Visalia Farmers Market

Do the bulk of your grocery shopping at our Saturday Farmers Market (year round) or Thursday Night Farmers Market (in the spring and summer), and buy enough produce to cook ahead and prep on your days off.
Eating healthy is so much simpler and enjoyable when you are not making frequent trips to replenish your pantry. Working fresh, local produce into a one stop weekly routine is easy, fun and a great outing for the family!

3. Prep Your Meals in Advance Immediately After Purchasing

Chop vegetables and fruits to store in airtight containers in the fridge as soon as you get them home, this way your busy work days will be ready to go with premade healthy bites to grab. Cook up recipes that keep well (soups, stews are stir fried are great!), and refrigerate or freeze; you can reheat them or steam them during the week for a meal in minutes.
You can also pre-prep smoothie ingredients! Wash, dry and tear leafy greens and combine with berries or other ingredients in air-tight containers or plastic baggies. This makes the morning easier when you can just dump the ingredients into the blender.
Crave snacks? Stock your refrigerator with easy to eat seasonal fruit, cut up carrot sticks chilling in clean water, or keep some freshly mixed guacamole on hand. When you have pre-cut and cleaned veggies or melon cubes in sight, you’re more likely to munch on the healthy stuff when a craving pops up.

4. Make Your Meals Super Simple

Cut up veggies sticks and scoop out some hummus from Baba Foods, wrap leftover wild salmon in romaine leaves from Oak Patch Farms and top with pepper jelly from Top of the Hill Farms.
Or enjoy a breakfast of scrambled free-range eggs from Terry Ranch or Tartaglia Farms, tossed greens with sliced avocado from Stearns Foothill Farms and cut up raw carrots from KMK Farms. All of our local farmers offer foods that can be turned into simple, yummy, and fast meals! The possibilities in keeping it fresh, delicious and EASY are endless!

5. Make Your Healthiest Foods Easy To Reach

If you see it, you will most likely eat it! Pile whole fruits in a fruit bowl on the table, where they are easy to reach for a quick snack. And instead of stuffing your healthy leafy greens in the drawers where they’ll be forgotten, place them on the top shelf where they’re easy to reach. Every time you open the fridge, you’ll be reminded to make a quick salad!

We hope this tips help make your New Year the healthiest yet! See you at the Market!