Are your New Year’s Resolutions often too challenging? There are easier ways to make your 2015 healthy by eating delicious and nutritious food, and doing it conveniently. Here are some tips from Dr. Solmaz Amirnazmi of Summit Medical Group in Livingston. She specializes in internal medicine with a focus on preventive medicine, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle behaviors. Dr. Amirnazmi has delivered numerous presentations at prestigious medical institutions on the Mediterranean diet and its effects on longevity, reduction in cardiovascular disease, and role in preventing other diseases. Here, she provides insights into making 2015 your healthiest year yet using manageable and easy to implement techniques for eating healthy at work.

What are some of your favorite healthy lunches that can easily be prepared ahead of time to eat at work?

Start with poached or grilled chicken. Combine chopped chicken with fat-free Greek yogurt (instead of mayonnaise), curry powder, scallions, cilantro, chopped red apples, pecan pieces, dried cranberries and a dash of salt and pepper. Enjoy in a lettuce wrap or on a slice of toasted wheat bread. Or, combine cubes of chicken with baby spinach, grape tomatoes, avocado, corn, scallion, cilantro and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is also delicious using grilled salmon or shrimp instead of chicken

Sign Up for E-News

Another one of my favorite options is tabouli. You can either use bulgur wheat or quinoa. Chop up your favorite fresh herbs (cilantro or basil), grape tomatoes, and mini cucumbers, then add them to a bowl of the grains. Finish with garbanzo beans or edamame, some feta cheese, and finally a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. If desired, add your favorite nuts like pistachios or almond slivers and pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

During the wintertime, nothing hits the spot like a hearty soup or stew. One of my favorites is to prepare a large batch of lentil and kale minestrone or lean turkey chili over the weekend and dish it into containers for the week. You can even freeze some of the portions and enjoy them later. In general, if you don’t have time to prep over the weekend, just make extras for dinner during the week and pack the leftovers for lunches.

How do you stock the office to make sure you can eat healthy meals while at work?

I make sure my office is stocked with plastic silverware, a can opener and either plates or bowls. My non-perishable essentials to have on hand include balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, a large bag of nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts), a few of my favorite herbs and spices (curry powder, cinnamon, granulated garlic), honey and tea. 

Canned items include tuna and my favorite beans (garbanzo, cannellini, kidney). If you have an office refrigerator you can stock up on a loaf of whole wheat bread, a large container of greens like spinach or arugula, and fat free Greek yogurt.

What are a few good lunch ideas that people can actually make while they are at work?

Now that you have your “office pantry” stocked effectively, try a dash of curry powder for a tuna salad sandwich with greens, substituting Greek yogurt for mayonnaise. Or bring an avocado and create a delicious and satisfying arugula, avocado, garbanzo bean and Brazil nut salad with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. 

I like to make a big bowl of trail mix with cashews, shredded wheat cereal, dried cranberries, dark chocolate pieces and pumpkin seeds and place individual portions into plastic bags for the week.

This is just a New Year’s start, but it’s a good one. Listen to the full Q&A podcast at http://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/about/Press_Room/Radio-SMG/.

ABOUT SUMMIT MEDICAL GROUP

Summit Medical Group (SMG) is the largest privately held multispecialty medical practice in New Jersey. SMG maintains a 42-acre healthcare campus in Berkeley Heights and more than 50 additional practice locations in central and northern New Jersey. As an East Coast premier multispecialty group, SMG has provided exceptional primary and specialty care since 1929. For more information, visit www.summitmedicalgroup.com.