By: Dr. Melissa Carr Most of us love to eat, fewer of us love to cook, and none of us love to stare into a sink full of dirty dishes. One of the best ways to skimp on the mess without skimping on taste is with one-pot meals. They’re easy to prepare, super delicious, and good for you—with no major clean-up to worry about afterwards. Sounds too good to be true? Here’s a great guide to healthy one-pot meals that’ll help change the way you cook and eat, and get you back to loving your kitchen again. Load Up a Large Pot When it comes to preparing a one-pot meal, go big or go home. Having a large enough pot will let you add all the fixings you want without worrying about overload. Plus, you’ll probably have enough for leftovers, saving you even more time in the kitchen. Pick Your Protein Protein is a vital part of any diet, providing your body with the essential building blocks to develop, grow, repair, and function properly. But that doesn’t mean you should toss in just any old hunk of meat—or that it even needs to be meat at all for that matter. Choose organic free-range meats, wild fish, or some of the many yummy vegan options available, like legumes, nuts, and seeds. Vamp It Up with Veggies You may remember my earlier article on all the benefits of eating more veggies, from managing health conditions to lowering our environmental footprint. Besides being great for your overall health, a vegetable-rich diet has also been shown to decrease inflammation and reduce joint pain. So, don’t be shy. Load up your one-pot meal with plenty of veggie goodness, adding sweet potatoes, squash, beets, and carrots—whatever floats your boat. Grab Some Grain Eating whole grains (and gluten-free grains) have a ton of health benefits, including lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Brown rice and millet are great sources of vital nutrients that support joint health, like fibre, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium). Additionally, quinoa and buckwheat are not actually grains, but are seeds that are cooked like grains, and as such are also great sources of protein and essential fatty acids. Don’t forget. For every cup of grain you use, add an extra cup of water into your pot. Flourish with Fats Our bodies need healthy fats. They help protect against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, inflammation, joint pain, and many other health conditions. Heathy fats are not only an important part of a nutritious eating plan, they also make your food taste great. When you’re finished putting together your one-pot meal, drizzle on some flax seed, chia seed, olive, or coconut oil. Adding healthy fats to your one-pot meal can improve your mood, boost your energy, and even help you lose weight. Step Lively with Supplements Of course, not everything health-wise can be achieved just through food. Natural health supplements can help you with your wellness goals. If you suffer from joint pain, take SierraSil! But take it timed away from your delicious one-pot meals so you can gain full benefits from both food and supplement. Have a recipe for a great one-pot meal? Let us know! Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with 15 years of clinical practice and a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In addition to using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, supplements, biopuncture, and nutrition to treat pain, digestive issues, stress, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and more, Dr.Carr is also a natural health and nutrition consultant, lecturer, and writer. www.activetcm.com.