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Happy New Year 2024!

Celebrate 2024 with Melissa’s and the “freshest ideas in produce”!

Every year, we discover new and better ways to become or stay healthy. Good diet and exercise are usually at the top of the list. Plant-based eating is gaining popularity, and consumers everywhere are cooking more and more at home. Shoppers are choosing plant-based foods over meat and chicken, and imitation animal proteins are everywhere… They’re even making their way into fast-food restaurants!

Ready-made foods in local supermarkets are becoming mainstream since convenience is the priority; ready-made, healthier foods, and more and more prepared food delivery services are available making mealtime mindless! You can also meal prep, which requires a little more planning.
Image of Legume Assortment
Meal prepping 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. With all the plant-based proteins available at retail, you can try one or buy a versatile protein, such as Melissa’s steamed lentils, black-eyed peas, six bean medley, etc. or lean chicken, which you can prepare in more than one way. Then, if you buy two or three of your favorite vegetables, add a piece of fresh fruit or a grain, you have a filling, great meal.

Once you’re done cooking your ingredients, divide them between your containers, seal, and label, and you are all set!
Image of Spice Grinders
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. Add flavor to dishes with our newest spice grinders, use our convenient microwavable and ready-to-eat items for quick and easy meals; and enjoy our salad items paired with our usual delicious fresh fruits and vegetables to make great lunches and sides. One of our newest items is our escabeche; this is a jalapeno relish, perfect as a topping with sides, hotdogs, chips…you name it, you can add it! And we’re heating it up a little by adding serrano peppers to the mix. Look for the new version in your local produce department!

New Year’s is also 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 since our world has changed due to the pandemic…flexible hours and less driving time allow 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 a lot of 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 actually 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 ranch dip. You will feel so good when it disappears!

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 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.
  • Eat more whole foods and less 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. There are several new companies producing plant-based meat at your local supermarket, so you have a choice! Also, tofu is another great substitute for meat. Add it to sauces, stir-fries, soups, or make delicious drinks. Tofu can help reduce cholesterol, and it’s a good source of fiber. Melissa's also has many soy products: Soyrizo, Soy Taco, Organic Pressed Tofu, conventional tofu and more. Check out our Product Catalog section for all the details.
  • 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.
  • Drink 8 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 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 off with small changes and it will eventually become easier.

Happy 2024!
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