Grazing the Healthy Way
Healthy Cove


Almost every great adventure begins with a reluctant hero fighting against seemingly unconquerable odds. But it ends with a victorious feast, new friends made, and lessons learned. It may seem like a stretch, but this is no different from my first experience making a charcuterie board.

Also known as a gazing board, this party platter urges you to find the best food you can and share it with those you care about (or want to impress). And you can make it as healthy as you want. From the herbal, nutty aroma of exotic cheeses to the sweet, sour flavor of pickled olives surrounded by wild berries and fresh veggies—be your own hero as you embark on the unforgettable adventure of making and presenting your first grazing board.

Searching for Flavor

Your first obstacle is to find all the ingredients you need. Because you’ll need a lot of them. As you make the quest to look for unique foods, seasonal fruits, and the freshest veggies you can find, you’ll discover you must search out boutique grocers in every corner of the land.

Go all out with your ingredients. And remember, quality and abundance are key. It also helps to know early on there really isn’t a wrong way to make a grazing board.

  • Cheese and meat: Traditional charcuterie focuses more on cheeses and cured meats. For healthy options, try fresh cheeses, like Mozzarella or Ricotta, instead of aged ones. And go with lean protein options like eggs or shaved turkey. For more healthy ideas, click here.
  • Fruit and veggies: pickled olives, grapes, and berries go well with traditional cheeses and meats, but don’t be afraid to pile your board with all kinds of healthy, tasty options. You can easily ditch the meat and cheese and make veggies the centerpiece if you want. This is your chance to go to the local farmers market and discover something new.
  • Everything else: Don’t forget all the delicious extras you can add. Pistachios, almonds, and other nuts are great for adding flavor and texture. You can also include sweet or savory jams and jellies, mustards, or other pickled items or garnishes. Herb sprigs and flowers can bring even more color and aroma to your board.

You’ll quickly learn that searching for the perfect parts of your grazing board is a real-life adventure. It will get you out into the community discovering new flavors and cultures, supporting local businesses, and encouraging you to meet new people and places.

If you want to make a vegan grazing board, check out this article

Crafting an Experience

Now that you have all your fancy, fresh, and unique ingredients, you can actually build your board and craft an experience of gastronomical grandeur. This is the second trial you—as the hero of your story—must overcome. But, as with the first, you’ll quickly realize it’s just another part of your awesome, new adventure.

  1. Find your foundation. You can use a glass or ceramic platter or go with a wooden board. Just make sure it’s the right size for what you want to do.
  2. Start by placing the two or three largest items like cheese wedges, bowls of jelly or olives, or large vegetables.
  3. Begin filling in the spaces working from bigger items to smaller ones. Keep everything bite-sized, and try to keep similar items together.
  4. Add some style and asymmetry by placing items in threes. You can go with an elaborate design you find online or just make your board a chaotic cornucopia.
  5. Add the finishing touches with herb sprigs, flowers, berries, nuts, and seeds.

This is your chance to showcase all the delicious goodies you’ve found on your journey. Find foods with striking colors and try to complement them. Make it your way and add your style. There really aren’t any rules as to what can or can’t be on a grazing board. If you love gardening, it could be filled with all of your home-grown vegetables. Or if you want to focus more on protein options, you could go more traditional and cover it with cheese and antipasti.

The experience you craft is in your hands. For design ideas click here.

Celebrating Your Journey

Now that your board is complete, you need some friends and loved ones to share it with. So invite them over for a relaxing evening and good food. Place your board in an easily accessible location, typically close to the drinks.

Then stick around and share your healthy grazing board with pride. You traveled far and wide, discovered new places and flavors, and now you get to have some fun and tell your stories. Where and how you got the ingredients really can become the main talking point around your board. So get ready to be the expert on the heirloom tomatoes or locally sourced fresh cheese you included.

Nothing is quite as photogenic as a well-made grazing board. So make sure to snap plenty of nice photos and share them, along with your stories, on social media as well. It’s a great way to showcase healthy habits in an artistic way that’s all you.

You’ve broken out of your comfort zone. You’ve fostered a community of people you care for. You’ve had a healthy adventure and created something to be forever proud of. But it’s not the end of your story, because you can always do it again. Maybe next time you’ll add some mango pieces or a bowl of fresh salsa.

Here at East Coast Life Solutions, we know that it’s easy to get off track. Healthy food tips and ideas make it easy to keep going in the right direction. When there is good healthy food at your fingertips you are less likely to be tempted to indulge in less healthy temptations.

And we know many of you are already healthy grazing board experts. Please share your tips and tricks below to help us new adventurers on our journey.


Healthy Cove


For those in the northern hemisphere, the winter season brings shorter days with dark mornings, darker evenings, and for many, symptoms of winter blues. With less time for sunrays, we typically spend more time indoors, finding refuge in the comfort of Netflix and family.

Winter blues strike many of us, especially in the later months of the season, and can mark changes in mood and energy. While feelings of “blah” are often experienced during dismal winter months, you don’t have to succumb to the atmosphere. Low energy levels could stem from deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals often depleted by the onslaught of a feeling of stress, poor nutritional choices, and the ever-waning hours of UV light.

Support Winter Health with Supplementation

A healthy lifestyle including a clean diet, consistent sleep habits, stress management, regular exercise, and self-care can go a long way to help manage your overall well-being. But if you can’t get healthy levels of essential vitamins and minerals naturally, especially during the dark months of winter, supplementation can be beneficial to bolster your health while you wait for the brighter, sun-loving months ahead.*

Minerals and Their Role in Winter Health

Minerals must be present in the body to achieve healthy cellular metabolism, the biochemical reactions that fuel the daily operations of a cell and maintain life.  They build the structure of the body from the bones outward—you quite literally need them to live.*

Calcium, a commonly mentioned macromineral, is the most abundant mineral in the body. It’s found mainly in your teeth and bones. About 99 percent of calcium exists in your skeletal system. In the past, calcium has been widely portrayed as the key nutrient for bone health. And while it’s integral to build and maintain a healthy skeletal structure, this elemental mineral is only one player in a team of minerals that account for healthy bones and work to execute vital physiological processes throughout the body.*

Magnesium is another abundant mineral, a heavy hitter on the cellular level, that aids in many of our internal physiological functions. It’s an essential component that triggers over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Despite this important role, most people don’t get enough of it.*

One of magnesium’s most important operations in the body, other than to help maintain bone density and healthy insulin function, is energy production. Converting the foods you eat into a usable form of cellular energy requires adequate levels of this important mineral. The body needs a large amount of this essential macronutrient to carry out these numerous functions throughout the body. Supplementation is a great option to promote optimal health.*

Vitamin D’s Role to Resist the Shorter Day Gloom

Vitamins, as we all know, are an essential part of our diet. They are vital to create important chemical reactions on a cellular level. Perhaps you’ve heard vitamin D referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”. This happy vitamin is as crucial to our health as it is our psyche.*

Occurring naturally when your skin is exposed to the sun, vitamin D signals a reaction to a “preform” of the vitamin that exists in the skin’s epidermis. So, when you’re exposed to the sun’s powerful UVB rays, the body goes to work producing vitamin D3. *

Vitamin D has many benefits, including bone health, immunity support, mood support, maintains blood pressure already in the normal range, and supports muscle strength. It’s true your body can create vitamin D naturally, but for those who live far from the equator, we often fall below adequate levels in the winter months.*

USANA® MagneCal D™ for a Brighter Season

Stress and poor dietary choices, hurdles we all face throughout the holidays, often hinder our pursuit for a healthy lifestyle. Optimal sleep, clean nutrition, and less sun heightens our risk to become deficient in vitamins and nutrients necessary to help us push through seasonal slumps. For example, without the proper levels of magnesium and calcium, the body begins to borrow from the skeletal system­—a process called resorption. This natural process ensures you maintain the required level of these minerals to function. However, over time, mineral levels in the blood and in your bones can be negatively affected.*

USANA® MagneCal D™ combines an ideal ratio of 1:1 magnesium to calcium with the added boost of vitamin D. This smart combination provides the following benefits:

  • Strong, mineral-rich bones and teeth*
  • Healthy muscle and nerve function*
  • Energy metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular health*


Ideally, we’d like to rely solely on our diet to provide appropriate levels of essential vitamins and minerals. But the truth is, most of us don’t regularly consume adequate levels because of the poor nutritional choices we make. Magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D, in combination, make up an important foundation for health. And MagneCal D is one small part of whole-body health. If you don’t have a scientist in the house, read more about the benefits of MagneCal D to help balance your mood, increase your energy levels, and support cardiovascular and bone health.*

East Coast Life Solutions product partners with USANA Health Sciences.  We are passionate health influencers who want you to make self-care a habit. 


Coast Lifestyle


Old Blues Eyes had it figured out.

Frank Sinatra’s 1956 tune “You Make Me Feel So Young” hits all the right notes. It starts with a blasting horn line underscored with soothing strings and a walking bassline guaranteed to get your fingers snapping. And then Sinatra lends his voice to one of his all-time greats.

It’s about a young man swooning in love with his new lady friend. When he is with her, he’s unstoppable. She gives him the strength to bounce the moon just like a toy balloon. All he wants to do is pick flowers with her and spend every moment together. And it ends with the perfect message: “And even when I’m old and grey, I’m gonna feel the way I do today.”

It’s a wonderful message and hopefully one we’re all lucky enough to feel just once in our lives.

Bells to be Rung and Songs to be Sung

Evidence shows being in love may elevate your heart’s health. It’s more than running through meadows picking lots of forget-me-nots (although this is a good cardiovascular activity). People in committed relationships actually have improved heart health.

A recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health followed 620 married fathers and found that those who were in flourishing marriages experienced improvements in several cardiovascular risk factors, including cholesterol and body mass index (BMI). Comparing those in happy relationships to ones that deteriorated over time, happy relationships showed lower rates of high blood pressure. The report suggests several reasons why people in healthy relationships tend to have fewer health issues. It starts with the social support offered by each partner.

Those in happy relationships encourage the other to take care of themselves, provide care, and cheer on new, healthy behaviors.

Men seem to benefit more from these relationships. The study found that men in happy relationships have better health outcomes, including fewer hospitalizations, fewer severe disease, and less physical pain. The thinking behind this research suggests people who have partners who can share things are more likely to address problems sooner than later. Those in harmful relationships are more likely to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can lead to arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Every Time I See You Grin

The better the relationship, the bigger the payoff. Harvard Medical School published an article stating there are biological and behavioural benefits when people stay in long-term, happy relationships. Looking at over 309,000 subjects, they found people in solid relationships were less likely to suffer from “harmful levels of stress, which can adversely affect coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulations, and the immune system.”

Essentially, the article encourages people to pursue healthy, couple-building activities. When you’re working toward common goals, you’re less likely to develop habits damaging to the relationship. Take care of your partner and they’ll take care of you.

Just as important as fostering a positive relationship is being conscious of the dangers of being in a negative relationship. An article published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that partners who annoy you, demand too much, ignore you, or pressure you to do things you don’t want to do are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases.

It makes sense. When you’re feeling unvalued or neglected, you’re likely to develop resentment or depression. These stressful life events and other social strains are associated with early indicators of cardiovascular disease. By avoiding harmful relationships, you are mitigating the risk of developing unnecessary stress which can manifest in a number of health issues.

Tips for Good Heart Health

  1. Get exercise 
  2. Drink plenty of water 
  3. Eat healthy foods 
  4. Get good sleep

East Coast Life Solutions product partner with USANA Health Sciences. We are passionate health influencers, sharing a message of prioritizing self-care and making it a habit.

Healthy Cove

Clean Eating for Energy

Elevate Your Cells with Clean Eating

Clean Eating: Sleepy We all have those tired moments when we could use a little extra oomph. It’s 3:00 p.m., an important project is due, and the motivation to rally through is lacking. Many people turn to coffee, energy drinks, candy bars, and other quick fixes to push them through the afternoon lull. But these “solutions” can have serious side effects: caffeine too late in the day means restlessness at night, added sugars cause a sharp rise and fall in blood sugar levels; many energy drinks have a laundry list of artificial ingredients. You may feel a boost of energy initially but will ultimately be worse off than if you hadn’t eaten that Snickers at all (no offense, Snickers lovers; I’m right there with you).


So, what’s the best way to get your fix? The most effective way to address a lack of energy is to prevent the problem in the first place. Shoot for the long term, creating consistent energy through proper nutrition. Conscious (or goal-oriented) grocery shopping/eating and utilizing supplements to make up for deficiencies will super-charge your cells. There are also several options for a quick boost that are healthier and more natural than the ones listed above. Read on to learn more about using clean nutrition for energy.

Food for Thought

With food, timing is everything. It’s important to have a steady eating schedule. Eating snacks high in protein and complex carbs between meals can keep the energy steadily flowing. Foods like cottage cheese, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, or a protein bar can provide a controlled amount of energy. Such foods will satisfy your hunger for longer periods of time than quick-digesting sugars or other simple carbs. Protein bars, or even powdered protein, are also good substitutes when you’re unable to eat on your normal schedule. They are both portable and don’t need to be refrigerated. Make sure to stay hydrated, too, as any amount of dehydration can leave you feeling light-headed or fatigued (and continually debating that trip to the vending machine).

Out Shopping

Clean Eating: Groceries

When shopping for groceries, sometimes all it takes is reading the label to know whether a food item will contribute or detract from your long-term nutritional goals. I know when I shop mindlessly (aka, if it looks good I buy it), it inevitably leads to some poor purchasing decisions and, worse, I often completely omit an important food group or nutrient. Planning ahead not only saves time but could also save you money, by committing you to just the items on your list. Luckily, there are many ways to keep track of your shopping list; I use Google Keep, but there are plenty of great apps available.

Supplements: An Essential Foundation

Of course, it isn’t always easy to get all of your nutrition from food alone. For example, if you wanted to get the American Heart Association’s recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids, you’d have to eat two servings of fish per week. This might not seem like a big deal to a seafood fanatic but, if fishy flavors aren’t your thing, it’s just not realistic to fit in those fatty acids. That’s where supplements come in. For omega-3s, you could try BiOmega™, an ultra-pure fish oil supplement that offers both omega-3 fatty acids and a dose of vitamin D.*

Another benefit to supplements is they can go above and beyond when it comes to full-body health, especially at the cellular level. CoQuinone® 30, one of USANA’s high-quality nutritional products, contains coenzyme Q10, which is key to the production of natural energy (ATP) in cells. It’s a cleaner, more sustainable option for energy on a cellular level. It has also been shown to support a strong and healthy cardiovascular system and contributes to overall antioxidant protection.* Nothing can completely substitute a balanced diet, but you can certainly enhance your nutrition—and energy levels—with the right supplements.Clean Eating: healthpak

If you’re like me and don’t have time to manage all of your supplements, it’s worth checking out the HealthPak™ from USANA. It’s a 28-day supply of core nutritionals, separated into individual AM/PM packs. It definitely beats trying to keep track of four, five, or more individual supplements multiple times a day. If you want a more custom solution, check out the MyHealthPak™. It’s similar to the regular HealthPak, except you get to build your own daily supply of nutritionals by selecting which supplements to include—and how many. My favorite part is you can choose which supplements go in the AM and PM packs, making once-a-day supplements easier to incorporate.

Quick Fixes

We all know, even with the best preparations, life has a way of throwing a wrench in things. Maybe you wake up late and don’t have time to make your high-fat, high-protein avocado toast. Perhaps work or life stresses are draining you, preventing you from eating when you’d like. Whatever the issue, sometimes we just need a quick pick-me-up. Whole fruit is a great, clean energy source that’s perfect for these situations. They have carbs, fiber, and the good kind of sugar that will give you a more sustained energy boost—unlike that Snickers bar we had earlier. So wolf down an apple or orange (or, my favorite, grapefruit) and get to it! Even if you need to go on a fast food run, a lot of restaurants offer fruit or vegetables as a side in place of those deliciously devilish fries.

If you do cave and go for that Snickers bar, it’s not the end of the world. Moderation is both fine and healthy (even those maybe-not-quite-so-evil simple carbohydrates I keep hounding on). Just make sure these little fixes don’t become long-term habits. In reality, the more you focus on getting the proper nutrients at the proper times, the less likely you’ll feel the need to turn to that late-afternoon chocolate bar.

Clean Eating: Recipe

Here at East Coast Life Solutions, we know that food and energy are synonymous with good health. Please feel free to shop for any of the above-mentioned supplements on our site, which will be delivered to your door.


Energized for Life

Healthy Cove

Intuitive Eating: The Non-Diet

intuitive eating

Picky eater.

Bored eater.

Stressed eater.

Cautious eater.

Will-eat-anything eater.

I’ve gone through each of these stages throughout my life.

Picky, bored, and stressed led to body image issues as a teenager. Cautious helped me lose weight—perhaps not the healthiest way. Now, being seven months pregnant, I want to eat constantly. (I tend to get “prangry”—pregnant, angry, and hungry—a lot.)

After getting over morning sickness, I’ve started following internal cues regarding food. If I feel hungry, or my tummy rumbles, I eat—which happens quite frequently these days.

This physical internal cue is called intuitive eating. Rather than rely on emotions (eating due to depression or boredom) or the environment (eating due to food odor), intuitive eating follows satiety signals.

Intuitive eating is a relatively new nutrition philosophy—at least when it comes to research. However, it shows the potential to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Often called the non-diet or conscious eating, intuitive eating relies on listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, while understanding when to eat and how much. Additionally, you can reconnect with food by not allowing it to control you. This also means trusting yourself around foods you would normally consider off limits. (I’m looking at you, chocolate cake.)

intuitive eating non dieting

  1. Listen to Your Body—If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.

This is the basic principle of intuitive eating.

It seems simple enough. However, emotional or environmental factors can overpower the ability to listen to your body. It takes time to understand when you’re hungry and when you’re not, especially if you’re “required” to eat.

Parents encourage their children to “clean their plates” during meals. And if you go out to eat with friends in a social setting, they might question why you’re not eating. That pressure to eat is part of the problem.

If you’re thinking this will cause you to overeat, pay more attention to when you’re hungry. By eating foods you like when you’re hungry, you may be less likely to binge eat.

For me, I’m almost always hungry at the same times every day, so I have snacks—mostly healthy—for when hunger hits.

2. Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food—We live in a diet-obsessed society. South Beach, Atkins, and Slim Fast are some of the more popular diets. The issue comes when people can’t stick with them.

Dieting, especially if started at a young age, can have a negative impact on healthy behaviors. In fact, dieting can have the opposite effect and lead to weight gain.

Simply taking away the stigma associated with restricting a certain food or food group from your diet—and not putting limitations on eating—can promote a healthier relationship with food.

Intuitive eaters are more mindful of what they eat and when. Focusing on the food’s nourishment, or the satisfaction of “forbidden” foods, provides a healthier approach to eating. With intuitive eating, there are no good foods or bad foods—and nothing is off limits.

3. Trust Your Mind—But don’t focus on “brain hunger.”

In order for intuitive eating to work for you, you have to be mindful and trust yourself. Don’t take hunger cues from your brain, but from your body (like it was mentioned in No. 1).

Eating intuitively can help you focus on the foods that make you feel good (fruits, vegetables, whole grains) instead of those that may not. That’s not to say you can’t ever eat sweets when hungry, but listen to your mind and body when you eat certain types of food.

If it makes you feel good and gives you lots of energy, eat more of it when hungry. If it makes you feel lethargic, maybe don’t eat so much of it. Eat that cake, but stop when you’re full.


How Can I Lose Weight if I Eat Anything?

This is one of the downsides to intuitive eating. There’s no structure. With an “anything goes” mindset, it can be easy to binge or overeat—especially on junk food.

But the point of this eating philosophy isn’t necessarily to lose weight. It’s about getting better in tune with your body and your hunger cues and enjoying food again, especially if you’ve had a negative relationship with it in the past.

Like anything, learning how to eat intuitively can take time. While this may not be the non-diet for everyone, it can at least help you listen to your body.

Healthy Cove

Clean Eating 101: Setting Up for Success

It’s the start of the New Year and many people are striving to make healthy food choices and adopt a healthier lifestyle. But we can easily fall short due to time restraints, hectic schedules and lack of planning. As health professionals, we want to share some strategies including preparing fast healthy meals. All this will help you eat clean.

The Quick Prep Solution for Cleaning Eating

If you are willing to set aside a couple hours per week for preparation, you can have a fridge, freezer and pantry stocked with quick, ready-to-assemble meals for your entire family.

Shop once a week, prep twice!

Choose two cook days per week, such as Sunday and Wednesday evenings.

Step 1: Cook two to four protein sources you can use in meals over the next few days.
Amounts prepared will depend on family size. Store in airtight containers and place in the fridge for quick meals. Some great choices are fish, chicken breasts, extra lean ground beef or turkey, tofu, beans, and lentils. Store in airtight containers and place in the fridge for upcoming quick prep mix and match meals.

Step 2: Chop or slice fresh, cleaned vegetables. Place in airtight containers. Also consider preparing a large fresh salad. Try spinach and a variety of mixed greens. (Greens remain fresh and crisp if you add vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini just before serving).

Step 3: Prepare salsas, spreads and healthy dressings for the upcoming week using fresh herbs. Check out the Low-glycemic Meals E-Book for great low GI recipes.

You are now ready to assemble healthy meals for the week.

Fridge & Freezer Prep

Your fridge is now stocked with ready to use vegetables, healthy proteins and condiments. Complete your fridge prep by having an assortment of fruit, dairy products, eggs, healthy oils (flaxseed oil), and home-made or commercial condiments.

Your freezer should contain bags of frozen fruit and vegetables, good quality protein sources, and ice for your Nutrimeal or My Smart Shake Smoothies.


Your pantry should only be stocked with items that are low-glycemic, such as dried or canned legumes, slow cook oats, canned fish, salsas, tomato sauce and healthier condiments ( see additional sheet I sent) I have a complete label reading handout but perhaps we should save that for another blog. If your pantry has left over “goodies” from the holidays, this is the time to start fresh and remove temptation!

For more information on the Quick Prep Method, Recipes and Tips for an on-going healthy lifestyle, go to the resources page at

Here is how simple your next meal can be!

Quick Prep Spicy Pineapple Chicken

Hawaiian Aloha Shake Recipe

East Coast Life Solutions start date on the 5 Day RESET is January 14th, if you are interested in participating, we have a time limited offer if you purchase a RESET Kit this week, you will receive a FREE Blender Bottle. Just click the link SHOP the RESET Special.

Healthy Cove

USANA’s Healthy One-Bowl Cookbook


All You Need To Know About One-Bowl Meals

Read it all at once, or book mark it and come back for the goods. Click the icons below to quickly jump between cookbook sections.




Why One-Bowl


One-Bowls are easy


Healthy One-Bowl Recipes


The Down Low on One-Bowls

Looking for healthy meals to cook for dinner can be a major challenge, especially when you need newyummy ideas every day that correlate with your cooking abilities.

That’s why one-bowl meals are becoming a thing, and fast. People are sharing their favorite recipes, and social media is crawling with pictures of the yummiest meals in a bowl.

Chatter is increasing daily around about breakfast bowlspower bowls, protein bowls, chicken bowls, rice bowls, curry bowls, veggie bowls, and many more. Whether they’re making them from scratch or using a combination method, many people are getting creative and making their own bowls.

Fortunately for you, this cookbook will help you from concept to execution. We’ve found the best recipes that meet our requirements of being easy, healthy, and most importantly, yummy. We will give you the down-low on why one-bowl meals are piquing our interest, show you step by step how easy one-bowl meals can be, and give you a list of our top 15 favorite bowls that will make your mouth water without pushing the waistline. We are always looking for ways to encourage everyone to enjoy their meals without breaking their diet goals. These one-bowl meals may be the next greatest foodie hack.

Take a look through the other sections of our cookbook to get everything from why to how on one-bowl meals.

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Why One-Bowl Meals?

One bowl, but many purposes. Let’s be honest. Sometimes planning out your meals for the week can be a daunting task. To find meals that you, and your family, might enjoy, while also paying attention to time to prepare and, obviously, skill level. And let’s not forget about the never-ending battle of finding meals that aren’t going to push your diet limits.

So, we branch out. We ask our friends and family for their favorite meals and recipes, causing them to participate in our struggle. All too many of us recognize this scenario, which is only the beginning as to why one-bowl meals, or meals in a bowl, are becoming so popular.

Planning meals can also get technical and confusing as you look to coordinate starches, proteins, fruits, and veggies. Like matching your clothes for the day, sometimes it’s easier to just not take the time to plan, and instead you may take the easy route by hitting up the fast food.

Take a look at the top five reasons one-bowls are a good way to go.

1. One-bowl meals are designed to have all the components of a well-balanced meal already planned out and coordinated for you.

2. They easily beat the frozen option full of preservatives and lacking in flavor. The one-bowl meals we have in our cookbook are fresh and quench your flavor cravings.

3. One-bowl meals are made with foods with flavors that are meant to jive, so food touching is ok.

4. You don’t have to fake it—they’re yummy. There are many options out there so you can not only find some that you will like, but that your whole family will enjoy, as well.

5. Last but not least, they’re versatile. You can grab them and go, or you can sit down at the table for a family meal. These meals are an easy no-mess option if you’re jumping in the car, can be dressed up to impress your guests at the table, and can be easily held if you’re just looking to eat and watch your favorite show.

Bonus Reason:
For added convenience, you can make several of these bowls at one time, freeze them, and then have a one-bowl meal ready to go in a matter of minutes. Just stick it in the microwave, and voila, your meal is ready to go. Also, singles who feel they always make way too much food for one, this is also an opportunity for you to make several bowls out of one recipe, freeze them, and have one-bowl meals ready to go at any moment.

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One-Bowl Meals Are Easy—My Attempt Step By Step

To prove our five points, we thought we would put them to the test. We wanted to show you just how easy, yummy, and healthy these bowls can be. I mean, honestly, if I can cook this, and if I can enjoy it, we’ve literally covered all the bases.

I apologize in advance, my photography skills are amateur at best. At least you’ll know it’s the real deal.

The meal we chose to try is the famous 7-Spice Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl. You can find the recipe by clicking the link.


To begin, you have to know I am always looking to save money where I can. My wife and I went grocery shopping for the ingredients on the list and chose the most essential, and quite frankly, easiest ones to find. We also tried only buying the spices that we could see being used again in future meals. Feel free to go crazy and buy all the ingredients.

As you can see below, we already had the basics (salt, pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch) and we even happened to have a new bottle of rice vinegar, and some ground ginger. We opted to buy the sesame seeds, poppy seeds and orange peel spices, and went without the mirin (because we couldn’t find any).

chicken bowl

I started by salting the chicken (we used breasts because that’s what we had) and set them aside as instructed. Really easy so far.

Chicken bowl

The recipe didn’t mention clearly when to start the rice, so we chose to do it here, just because it takes a bit longer, and we wanted to be sure it was ready once everything else was. We simply stuck it in the rice cooker, because that’s easiest. My wife is a big fan of Asian food, so we had sushi rice (a huge bag of it).

chicken bowl

Next we combined the soy sauce and sugar. I didn’t turn the heat on quite yet, because I didn’t want to burn it while I prepared the cornstarch.

chicken bowl

Here’s a little tip for you. If you set down your cornstarch and water long enough to take a picture, it becomes like hard glue really quickly. So, best to stir it quickly from the get-go. I used a fork to act as a miniature whisk.

At this point I felt safe to turn the burner on to medium heat as I began to combine the cornstarch-water mixture. Quickly after, I combined all the spices (minus the mirin) and added them to my warming sauce pan. NOTE: I only put in 2 ½ tsp. of red pepper, and hesitated to put a full teaspoon of ginger, but did anyway, and the sauce turned out almost too spicy. But, I’m a medium-spicy kind of guy, so if you’re all about the spice, go for it, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

chicken bowl

The recipe said to stir for five minutes or until the sauce thickens; mine got thick pretty fast. Be careful, because the minute it boils, you are at quick risk of burning it (because of the sugar). After boiling the sauce, then briefly simmering it, I removed the mixture from the heat and poured into a separate bowl. You can see how thick it looks here.

chicken bowl

Next, I had to get the chicken cooking pronto. We’re racing the rice, you see. I used our cast iron, lightly sprayed it with cooking spray (oil), and cooked on medium heat for about six minutes on each side as instructed.

Next, I basted the sauce on the chicken, and let cook an additional two minutes on each side.

In the meantime, I chopped up the green onion, used a peeler to shave the carrots, and thawed the frozen edamame (be sure to pour them out somewhere before you put them on your bowl, or else you’ll get edamame juice all over your food—just saying).

chicken bowl

And now you’re close. At this point, it’s all about the presentation—gotta make it look good for Instagram. After all, one-bowl meals aren’t just fast, easy, healthy, and yummy; they’re also “the thing” right now. Below is my attempt to make a good-lookin’ one-bowl meal.

chicken bowl

So there you have it. A couple things to note.

1. The meal took me just under an hour to prepare. Like I said, I’m not the best cook, and I was taking some pictures.

2. The added sauce you see in the above and below pictures made the meal way too spicy/gingery for me, even when adding extra rice. The chicken alone with the rice and veggies was a perfect blend. And sure enough, the meal was a new flavor that I thoroughly enjoyed; it contained a nice balance of protein, vitamins, carbs, etc.

3. The meal was mobile and relatively quick to make.

For the most part, the one-bowl meal did exactly what we had intended it to do. Below, for your viewing pleasure, are other renditions of the final product. Enjoy.

Power bowl

Top 15 Healthy One-Bowl Recipes

Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for. Below is a compilation of the top 15 healthy one-bowl recipes that we found. These recipes are intended to help you have a balanced meal, while also spicing up the flavors in your home. They don’t take long to make, and allow you to be mobile and engage in your busy lives.

We have power bowls and pork and chicken bowls, bowls with flavors from different countries, breakfast bowls and acai bowls. We may even have a little bonus bowl that might just push that “healthy” moniker.

To find each recipe, simply click the link on each item that corresponds with the picture below it.

1. Mexican Shredded Pork Polenta Bowl

Pork Bowl

Veggie Bowl

Breakfast bowl

breakfast bowl

one bowl

chicken bowl

meat bowl

chicken bowl

quinoa bowl

chicken bowl

Beef bowl

breakfast bowl

breakfast bowl

acai bowl

chicken bowl
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