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Happy New Year 2022!

2022 is here! What a year. Covid is still playing a big part in our lives. Every year, we discover new and better ways to become or stay healthy. Plant-based eating is still trending since COVID-19 hit, and consumers everywhere are cooking more and more at home. Consumers are choosing plant-based foods over meat and chicken; imitation animal proteins are one of the most popular foods around, even making their way into fast-food restaurants!

Ready-made foods in local supermarkets are growing in popularity. Convenience is the priority, but it is becoming more mainstream than in the past: ready-made, healthier foods, and more and more prepared food delivery services are available, making it mindless! You can also meal prep, which requires a bit more planning.

Many Americans are still working from home because of COVID-19; meal prep is a great way to stay on track for the whole family. Start by making a list of the foods you want to eat, then figure out how much you will need for each meal you plan to prepare. Generally, planning for lunch and dinner in the same prep session will save time and money. There are several plant-based proteins available at retail, so if you’re planning to go plant-based, try one of these or buy a versatile protein, such as Melissa’s Steamed Lentils, Melissa’s Steamed Red Kidney Beans, Melissa’s Steamed Six Bean Medley (or lean chicken, which you can prepare in more than one way). Then, if you buy two or three of your favorite vegetables and add a piece of fresh fruit or a grain, you have a filling, great meal.

Image of Steamed Vegetables and Beans

After you prepare each ingredient, divide them between your containers, seal and label. You are all set!

Melissa’s also brings you simple, healthy, and convenient products to help you start your new year on the right foot. Not just produce, but produce enhancers, too. We have spice grinders, microwavable items, ready-to-eat items, salad items, and our usual delicious fresh fruits and vegetables.

New Year’s is the time for resolutions, and most of us vow to eat healthier and start exercising. Many of us have been fortunate to work from home during COVID-19, allowing us to add more exercise to our daily routine. Exercise is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, along with starting a diet or losing weight. Instead of thinking about a diet, think about a new way of life—this is where meal prep can help, too. Try to eat more whole foods, plant-based foods, whole grains and more fresh fruit and vegetables that will not only satisfy your taste buds but will also help shed some unwanted pounds without much effort. If you can slowly add more and more fresh items to your food intake, you will be pleasantly surprised as well as feel better, too.

Eating healthy to feel good or eating healthy for taste, fresh fruits and vegetables are the way to go. After heading to the local produce market and buying some delicious fruits and veggies, make sure you don’t just stick a whole melon in the fridge, but you take the time to wash, slice and put it in an easy-to-get-to container for snacking. When the kids come home from school or play, they can just grab a healthy snack that is naturally delicious instead of going for the bakery sweets that are high in processed sugars. Set out a plate with carrots and low-fat dip. You will feel so good when it disappears!

Image of veggie with dip

Here are some suggestions that will make achieving your “new way of life” simple and delicious:

Eat five to ten fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Studies prove that you will feel better and stay healthier when you eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Take fruits and vegetables along as a snack instead of "junk food." It's easy, and you'll notice a difference. Melissa's makes it easy with so many items to choose from. Our new Clean Snax® are a great on-the-go snack item as well as dried fruit, fresh blood oranges, or kumquats! Try them, and you will see how easy it can be.

Image of Blood Orange Salad

Eat more whole foods and unprocessed foods. For example, make your own chicken soup instead of buying store-bought. This way, you can control the salt, fat, and other additives.

Add plant-based foods to your diet. Several new companies are producing plant-based meat at your local supermarket, so you have a choice! Also, tofu is another great meat substitute. Add it to sauces, stir-fries, soups, or make delicious drinks. Tofu can help reduce cholesterol, and it’s high in fiber. Melissa's also has many soy products: Soyrizo, Soy Taco, Organic and conventional tofu and more. Check out our Plant Protein section at Melissas.com for all the details.

Image of Soy Ground recipe

Try our line of ready-to-eat steamed vegetables. Use the beans in soups or stews, the beets and artichokes in salads and dips, and butternut squash in side dishes or entrées.

Substitute meat alternatives for your hot dogs, bacon, ground round, lunchmeat, and more. (Including the plant-based meat mentioned above!). You'll be pleasantly surprised at the flavor and fat reduction. Our Soy Ground is so delicious!

Image of Soy Ground

Drink eight glasses of water daily. Try drinking a glass of water before a meal and you will get full faster and possibly take off a couple of pounds without even trying! Keep a water bottle with you so that when you get the urge to snack, take a drink! There are so many delicious flavored waters out there, so it will make it even easier! (Just make sure you get the ones that are not carbonated or full of sugar!).

Walk around the block once or twice a day. This is an excellent habit to get into. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel.

Try starting with small changes and it will eventually become easier.

Happy 2022!

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