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4 Simple Strategies for Sticking to Your Healthy Resolutions

by Maria Oanh Do 

Every year, millions of people promise themselves a year of healthy eating, and a year later, millions of people find themselves in the same place making the same goal. That doesn't have to be you! Lifestyle changes are difficult, especially diet changes, but with a few simple strategies, your resolutions can turn into results! With advice from Austin-based personal trainer and LSU alumna Kathryn Alexander, here are 4 strategies to start and maintain your healthy resolutions:

1. Start thinking about where your food comes from

This very simple shift in thought will change your diet forever (or at least it did to mine)! Just walk into your nearest grocery store and ask yourself, "What did it take for this chicken breast to get here?" If the answer is a laundry list of chemicals and extensive mass transit, it is likely not your best option. Move on and look for more transparent options. Indie Plate is one. Your farmers market is another. This simple question of asking where your food comes from will lead way to maintaining a healthier diet.

Pros

  • With just one question, you'll start purchasing better, healthier food, without even realizing it.
  • You'll begin buying fewer processed items and more whole foods without feeling like you're "on a diet".

How do I accomplish this? 
Shop local.  Most times, the foods you purchase locally from small farms and artisans are free from harmful preservatives, chemicals and hormones. They are also free from mass transit, which drastically reduces their carbon footprint. If you live in the Baton Rouge area, take a look at indieplate.com to get local groceries delivered for free. 

 

2. Get Enough of What You Need

Here, your goal is to simply make sure you give your body what it needs. This means your priority is not restricting yourself but simply adding nutrition.  "First, identify how much protein, fat, carbs, water, and fiber you need. You make sure that you reach these targets every day," says trainer Kathryn Alexander. 

Pros

  • When you get enough of what you need, you have less room to splurge. 
  • You won't be nutrient deficient.
  • You won't feel restricted.
  • No guilt for when you DO splurge because you already have enough of what you need.

How do I accomplish this? 
Drink your fruits and vegetables! Dr. Betsy Buchert, Indie Plate customer and  functional wellness doctor at Mint Health in Woman's Hospital, recommends drinking your colors (see photo below) AT LEAST once a day; twice a day once you've built the habit. It's the easiest and most convenient way to make sure you're getting tons of nutrition with the least amount of work. I personally portion out 7 ready-to-blend smoothies at night twice a week (as shown in photo) and keep them in my fridge to blend for breakfast. TIP: Ensure your smoothies are at least half veggies (greens, squash, etc.) so your smoothies are not high in sugar. 

Options for Smoothie Ingredients

  • Winter CSA Subscription from Inglewood Farm through Indie Plate gets you fresh fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis delivered for free.
  • Place weekly orders for local produce from indieplate.com to stock for your smoothies. You'll be surprised at how quickly you'll run through them once you start drinking your veggies!

 

3. Focus on Fixing Your Worst Habit

According to Kathryn, this can be a game changer.  "The best example is drinking full sugar sodas or sweet teas. I’m a Southern girl and I love my sweet tea, but I can't have multiple glasses every day. (I could, easily. It’s delicious! But I choose not to). This is actually an ok problem to have, because this adds up so quickly, and eliminating or reducing it will add up quickly in your favor, " says Kathryn.

Pros

Just like worst habits add up quickly, the effects of reducing them from your diet will too.

 

4. Don't eat the things you know you shouldn't

Kathryn calls this one the "Common Sense Diet."  If you have definitive goals to lose weight, you know you probably shouldn't have that chocolate cake. This tip is for people who have general self control. Though it requires some willpower, the common sense approach is the simplest alternative to counting calories (which we all know is NOT fun). 

Pros

  • Common sense approach is much simpler than a hyped-up restrictive "diet" of counting calories, carbs, etc.
  • It's common sense. All you need is yourself and your brain!

How do I accomplish this? 
I recommend pairing the "Common Sense Approach" with tip #2 about "Getting Enough of What You Need".  Once you have gotten all your nutrition in for the day (whether it's in a smoothie or a meal), you'll have less room to splurge.

 

You got this.

All four strategies emphasize one thing: eating healthy does not have to be a chore! Unless you are bodybuilding or need to lose a lot of weight for health reasons where you'll need something more thorough, these simple strategies will help you build a healthy lifestyle that will keep you eating well on a regular basis. They're a great start for your 2017 healthy eating resolutions!

 

 

Food Subscriptions to Keep you Eating Healthy in 2017

 

 

 

 

Winter CSA Subscription by Inglewood Farm & Indie Plate

Deliveries start January 12, just in time for New Years
Sign ups accepted on a rolling basis

 

 

Grocery List Subscription by Indie Plate 

The brand new Grocery List subscription delivers grocery essentials on a weekly basis: 2 proteins, 3 vegetables, 1 fruit, 2 prepared foods and printed cooking tips for $50 or less each week. 

Sign ups accepted on a rolling basis 

Easy Cheesy Egg Souffle

Watermelon Coolers

Two All-Natural Chill Pills for your Super Hot Summer

1. Watermelon Basil Cooler

How to Mix It: Squish the life out of a fresh watermelon for its juices and freeze it in ice trays. Add watermelon cubes to a glass of cold green tea and top with fresh basil
Interesting Twists: Replace basil with mint, add other fruit juices to watermelon juice, or maybe garnish with a lemon. The cooler is your oyster, young grasshopper. 

2. Watermelon Pops

How To Make Them: Slice up large slabs of watermelon and cut them up with your favorite cookie cutters! (Or test your artistic skills with a knife). Drive a skewer through the ends.

Interesting Twists: Stick them in an actual flower pot. Watermelon FLOWER POWER! Your kids will literally think you're a genius. 






Pesto Green Deviled Eggs with Goat Cheese (aka Green Eggs for Adults!)




8 Things Indie Plate Can Deliver to your Mom

8 Things Indie Plate Can Deliver to your Mom

You love your mom. She's a rockstar in your eyes. So, what if we told you Indie Plate could deliver a gift to your mom... for free. How's that for the best Mother's Day ever? Here are 8 things Indie Plate can deliver to your mother without you having to leave your comfy couch:

1. Handcrafted Walnut Wood Cutting Board by JB Woodworking

-Your mom probably uses a cutting board more than she uses a spoon.  Why not give her the best there is? This cutting board is made of walnut & red oak making it state of the art!  The guy who creates them wears flannel and even has a mustache--now that's authentic. 

2. Box of Chocolates by Zocalisa or Chocollage

-Yes, we're being totally cliche because we love Forest Gump. She's definitely not going to know what she's going to get when Indie Plate shows up at her door unexpectedly! 

3. Groceries for a Week by local producers

-What if you could save your mom a trip to the store and have her groceries delivered to her? She'd definitely think you're the best kid ever and pinch your cheeks in public. Only because she loves you that much. 

4. Chef's Basket by local producers

-If she loves to cook, this basket will make her scream "Oh no, you shouldn't have!!" Seriously, this basket has everything. Local raw honey, cold-pressed olive oil, special spices, even bourbon marmalade! 

5. Sweets Basket by local producers

-Sugared pecans, chocoaltes, almond toffee, YUM. Remember how she called you "sweetie" growing up? It's because she was envisioning a cake when talking to you--that's how she survived. So, give her a sweets basket to ease her for a couple more years. She'll be happy, we promise. 

6. Indie Plate Gift Card by Indie Plate

-If she's picky like my mom, give her a gift card. We've got literally hundreds of items in our marketplace. She doesn't even have to go to the store. Favorite kid points for you!

7. Cupcakes, Macaroons & Cakeballs by Les Amis Bake Shoppe

-Sometimes, cupcakes and cheesecake are the only thing that can make her day better. Trust us, once these babies are deliver to her door, she'll forget that time you scratched the family car. 

8FREE EGGS on us

-Starting May 1, every Indie Plate order comes with farm fresh eggs, FOR FREE. So whatever gift you decide on, your mom's getting free eggs. Your siblings will be so jelly. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there! 

Check out our Mother's Day Marketplace for more items!

-From your friends at Indie Plate





Goodbye, Winter Produce...

Goodbye, Winter Produce...

By Maria Oanh Do

While everyone is excited about warmer weather, bathing suit season, and beach vacations, we can't get over the ONE THING we actually care about: saying goodbye to WINTER VEGGIES! That's citrus fruits, root vegetables, and our very favorite brussel sprouts! Over the next few weeks, we're going to indulge ourselves in our favorite vegetables and fruits before they go out of season.

Southern Winter Produce at Indie Plate: 

Broccoli  $2.95/head

Brussel Sprouts  $2.95/pint

Cauliflower   $2.95/head

Collard Greens  $2.95/3 servings

Satsumas (Already out of season!) 

Mustard Greens   $1.95/2 servings 

Naval Oranges   $1.95/2 oranges

Spinach   $2.95/8 oz. 







Indie Plate Testimonials: Paul Bartage, COO

Paul Bartage- His Indie Plate Experience
By Maria Oanh Do

Ah, our operations guru.

Paul’s an intellectually curious MBA student from LSU who brings youth, perspective and wit to the “indie” plate.  His appreciation for local food stems from the simple “it tastes good” statement. So good, that if Paul had his way, we would have to pay him in pork shoulder every week! Paul wears many hats in the 4-person company as the quality control officer, director of operations, and a crucial delivery driver. So if you’re an Indie Plate regular, you just might’ve even met our operations guru!

When Paul’s brother Ben (our CEO & Co-Founder) brought Indie Plate to fruition, Paul saw an opportunity to learn more about the business of food, tying perfectly into his MBA, and to learn more about food itself.  Here’s Paul’s experience with working with Indie Plate and how the business has changed his food perspective:  

“I would say the biggest change in how I view food is the transparency.  I can look at all the inventory we have at Indie Plate and know where each item has come from.  “These carrots here are from Fekete in Albany, the milk comes from Feliciana’s Best out in Slaughter, the black drum is all from the Port of Delcambre”.  And after going to these places and meeting the producers, I have found a great appreciation for knowing where your food comes from and how it’s grown.  Food should not be sustenance manufactured for the masses- it should be personal and have meaning in your life.”  –Paul Bartage, COO





Indie Plate Testimonials: Peru Sharma, Operations Manager


Peru Sharma- Journey to Indie Plate
By Maria Oanh Do

He's probably one of the hardest people you will ever have to track down, if not, THE hardest person to hold down, but every Saturday morning, you can count on catching our operations manager at the Red Stick farmers' market with his familiar brown baseball cap and super cool sweater jacket (his words, not mine).

Peru's love for food stemmed from his childhood in India, a culture whose food makes my mouth water both from utter deliciousness and fiery fear.  Twelve years of school at Texas Tech and LSU got him his PhD in chemical engieering, but soon after, Peru discovered that what he actually wanted to do was something he was passionate about: food.

Chemical engineer turned local food entrepreneur?  It was definitely not the next logical step for any person in his right mind, but for Peru, food was priority and to be able to be an entrepreneur in the foodie world made perfect sense. Plus, Peru's never in his right mind, anyway; he's only a few ways away from being completely insane, but that insane flame ignited what is the Indie Plate we know today. Now, Indie Plate's creation is an entirely different story that definitely deserves another blog, but for now, let's hear from the the food lover himself: 

"Indie Plate has changed my view of food from volume-driven to quality-driven.  I don't read the calorie labels on food anymore trusting that if it's all-natural, grown locally and purchased from a farm, I know it'll be good for me.  As an avid cook, the quality of ingredients makes all the difference.  Everything I cook, even if i mess up, comes out delicious because the ingredients used are so fresh and succulent.  I eat what I want knowing that coupled with an active lifestyle I'm coming out ahead.  And I've seen health differences all around me. The past 2 winter seasons I haven't caught a flu (knock on wood), which like clockwork always came every December.  My energy levels are up and I just feel stronger and healthier overall." -Peru Sharma, CEO & Co-Founder
 





Fall Pork & Kale Soup

A 1-pot warm wintery soup made with fresh ingredients from our marketplace....Perfect for a cold winter night, when you can bundle in on your couch and enjoy dinner and a movie with the entire family!!

What You'll Need

1 Pound Pastured Ground Pork (or any other ground meat of choice)
2 Tomatoes, chopped
2 Turnips, sliced
1 Cup Cream
2-3 Cups Stock depending on how thick you like your soups
1 Bunch Kale of your choice
1 Bunch Green Onions, chopped
8 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons Fresh Butter


How To Make

1) In a skillet, brown ground pork seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. Set aside.
2) In a large pot, add tomatoes, onions, garlic and butter and saute for 2 minutes.
3) Add cream and cook stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
4) Add browned pork and turnips. 
5) Add stock. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Let simmer for 10-12 minutes.
6) Add kale. Let simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes.
7) Season to taste and Serve!




Farm To Table means Head To Tail Consumption, By IndiePlate

All of us want to support the farm to table movement, but sometimes we fail to realize that for this movement to really take hold and grow from a niche to a regional and national phenomenon, we as a people have to change how we look at farm products. We all want the perfectly grassfed ribeye steak or a delicious pastured pork chop, but what we often fail to realize is that a ribeye or a pork chop is a very small part of a whole cow/hog. To give you an example, bones skin fat and organ meats comprise about 30-40% of hogs and cattle while steaks, bacon and pork chops are only about 25% of the animal. What about the rest of the animal? A local farmer puts their blood, sweat, tears and money in humanely raising the ENTIRE animal, but when we all just demand a small part of the entire animal, what's a farmer to do with the rest. So here at IndiePlate, we have taken a pledge to find new ways of making it easy for you to enjoy consuming all parts of an animal, AND TRULY MAKE FARM-TO-TABLE A SUSTAINABLE MOVEMENT - we call this "HEAD-TO-TAIL" eating!