We all want to shed that holiday weight after the season of cookies and cheesy treats, but how to get started? One good way to get yourself eating healthy and thinking about healthy food is to grow indoor plants that produce healthy, edible fruits, vegetables, and herbs! Here are some of the healthiest options for indoor growing, and how to take good care of them!
Avocados are well-known for being "healthy fats" in the same realm as peanut butter. Rather than using butter or oil in dishes, add a little bit of avocado for a delicious and healthy creaminess that makes everything from salads to burritos a little bit tastier.
Growing a dwarf avocado tree indoors is quite simple, but you'll want to start with a potted tree if you want to get a harvest within a year. If growing from an avocado pit, you may wait 10 years and still not get fruits! Once you do have a great tree, however, keep sand in the bottom of the pot to prevent waterlogging and be careful not to overwater.
Cucumbers are mostly water with just a little fiber, so they are a great snacking option. Put out cucumber slices when you'd normally eat potato chips and watch the pounds slip away!
Cucumbers require quite a lot of room, but with a nice sunny window, they grow fast and furious! Make sure to water 3 to 4 times a week, but harvests can be a matter of just a few weeks. Aim for varieties that say they yield early and in partial sun.
Greens are a must for keeping the weight loss going. By layering your tasty meal items onto a salad rather than a bed of rice or potatoes, you lower the calorie count, and still get a nice watery crunch for your efforts.
Lettuce is very easy to grow indoors, and yields all winter so long as you reseed an area whenever you pick the lettuce. Alternatively, if you love those baby leaves, clip the plant when you need some leaves and let it continue to grow new "baby lettuce" leaves all winter.
Curly, dark kale can be used in salads or just eaten on its own. It has an amazing amount of nutrients and antioxidants that make it terrifically healthy in addition to just being tasty. You can also bake it into crisp,salty kale chips if you miss some of your favorite snacks. Just make sure you stick to the types of kale that are commonly preferred for eating.
Kale grows well in the winter given a sunny window to blossom. If you plan to keep harvesting leaves all winter, make sure you leave plenty of room between seedlings and give them big enough pots. These plants will become monsters if you let them, and you'll have more kale chips for your trouble!
Mushrooms are a healthy, low-calorie alternative to other meaty, umami-flavored items, making them a nice Meatless Monday choice that will also help you with the weight loss. They are full of flavor and healthy nutrients as well.
Growing mushrooms requires a moist, dark environment. You can talk to your garden center or look online for kits that help you grow the best and tastiest edible mushroom varieties. More importantly, talking to an expert at a center will help you avoid toxic, non-edible mushrooms!. Expect to wait a month or so for a harvest, no windows or light sources necessary!
Ginger is a great way to liven up your stir-fries and Asian-themed cuisine, and it is very healthy as well. Growing ginger root indoors is also fun: you don't know till you uproot a section just how much has flourished, but don't worry, a little goes a long way. A nice side effect is that it also is an anti-nausea food, meaning that it might quell some of the tummy aches from this holiday season's overindulgence.
You can grow ginger from a nub of ginger purchased at the store in partial sunlight; bury it and wait for new growth to emerge. Once the new growth has appeared, you can periodically uproot it gently, harvest a small piece, and replant, being careful with as many of the microroots as possible to maintain consistent growth.
Sometimes it is easy to lose interest in healthy food because, let's face it, it can be bland. Not so with chives! They add an onion-y kick to any dish, pepping up your salads, soups, and other dishes. They also pack a vitamin punch and are high in antioxidants.
Chives require only a light layer of soil over them, so plant them in a pot where they can get partial sun; keep them constantly watered and moist. As you harvest, make sure to just snip small sections so that they will continue to grow, providing you tasty, healthy flavoring throughout your weight loss journey.
All of these delicious plants will give you the chance to water and plant your way to a lower weight; the reward of eating something you grew yourself is way better than any sugar-filled holiday treat anyway!