29 Ways to Make 2022 Your Healthiest (and Most Delicious) Year Ever

Un-boring your diet—for good.

By Paul Kita |

They’re bland, they’re boring, and they don’t really work. Plus, all they talk about is rules, rules, rules. Who likes being told what to do all the time? What are diets, anyway, your mom? This January, kick-start your year with 31 days’ worth of healthy cooking tips from the latest research and cookbooks.

Oh, did you not see this article, like, the day it came out? Well, guess what? There’s nothing special about these tips that you have to do them in January. They aren’t any less effective in, say, February 2022, or even June 2056, for that matter, unless in June 2056 we no longer eat salmon but instead eat some kind of lab-grown, salmon-like protein and instead of eating it we just inhale it through some weird stillsuit-looking get up because the future is an uncertain and scary place.

READ MORE: If You Want Vitamin C, These 7 Foods Are Better for You Than A Supplement

I’m no Nostradamus (or am I? reader in June 2056), but I can bet that unlike real salmon, trendy diets will almost certainly still be around in the future doing damage—the eternal sandworm of nutrition culture.

The advice that follows aligns with what we at Men’s Health have long preached, for decades, and likely will preach for decades into the future, that a healthy approach to eating wins out over a trendy diet.

1. Turn Cauliflower into Fibre-Rich Tacos.

Working in batches, blitz 1 head of cauliflower florets (chopped) in a food processor till pebbled. In a large bowl, mix with 3 Tbsp canola oil, 3 1/2 tsp chili powder, and salt to taste. Divide between 2 baking sheets. Roast in a 230°C oven till browned, 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway. Serve with warmed hard taco shells, shredded lettuce, and grated cheese. —Big Little Recipes, by Emma Laperruque

2. Hate Salad? Cook It.

plate of salad

In a large, oiled pan on high, add the leaves of 1/2 head iceberg. Toss; add 1 garlic clove (thinly sliced), bird’s-eye chili (minced), a li’l fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, black pepper and a handful of toasted sesame seeds. Cook till charred. Serve. Cooking at Home, by David Chang and Priya Krishna

3. Load Up on Healthy Greens in One Sitting.

Into a large, oiled wok over medium-high heat, pour a whole bag of spinach. Cook till wilted, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve as a side.

4. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables…

…even if you think you eat plenty. People who ate the most plant-based foods had a 9 percent lower risk of getting Covid than people who ate the least, a 2021 Gut study found. Goal: add 2 more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Do this by working more produce into your cooking. Like in the next few tips.

5. Turn to Onions for Disease-Fighting Antioxidants.

Yes, onions! If chopping the suckers turns you into a blubbering mess, close your mouth. If you’re not inhaling gulps of onion-tinged air, you’ll be fine.

6. Or Roast Those Onions Whole.


Slice the top inch off the tips of 4 yellow onions and set on a baking sheet covered in 2 cups kosher salt. Mound the salt around the base of each onion. Drizzle each onion with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and roast in a 175°C oven till tender, about 4 hours. Remove, allow to cool, peel away the burned parts, douse with more olive oil and lemon juice and serve. Food IQ, by Daniel Holzman and Matt Rodbard

8. Shroom Your Mind.

button mushrooms in a blue bowl on a blue table
Food photo created by azerbaijan_stockers – www.freepik.com

People who regularly ate mushrooms were less likely to have depression than those who ate none, according to a 2021 study.

The key to cooking any mushroom: In a large, hot, oiled pan, cook a big handful at a time, stirring only once or twice, till deeply browned. Add salt at the very end.

READ MORE: 5 Immune-Boosting Mushroom Recipes To Try This Week

9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Pack in Even More Fibre

Only 5 percent of men get their recommended 38 grams of the gut-filling nutrient daily. Here are 5 easy snacks that’ll help you eat at least 5 grams.

Insta Guac: 1/2 avocado + lemon juice + sea salt + spoon

The Nothing Fancy: 1 medium pear, straight up

Pod Power: ⅔ cup edamame + drizzle of sesame oil + sea salt

“Dessert”: 1 large banana + 2 Tbsp peanut butter + shake of cinnamon

The Traditionalist: 1 medium apple + small handful of almonds

14. Don’t Forget the Entire Rainbow

Greens are great, but people who regularly ate from the full colour spectrum—strawberries, blueberries, oranges, peppers, apples—had a 20 percent lower risk of cognitive decline compared with those who ate fewer, a 2021 Neurology study found.

15. Fruit-ify Your Salad

This recipe hits that sweet spot on the color spectrum. On a rimmed baking sheet, roast 120g Genoa salami (roughly chopped and sliced) in a 200°C oven till crisped, 10 to 20 minutes. In a bowl, add 1 ripe medium cantaloupe (roughly chopped), ⅔ cup pepperoncini (thinly sliced), 1/4 cup of their brine, and 1/2 cup pitted oil-cured olives (roughly chopped). Top with the salami. —Big Little Recipes

16. And Rethink What “Counts” as a Serving of Fruits or Vegetables.

Work in these options, says Dr. Chris Mohr, a Men’s Health nutrition advisor.

1/2 cup olives // 1/2 cup salsa // 1/2 cup tomato sauce // 1 glass vegetable juice // handful of raisins

17. Harness PUFA Power.

A 2019 study found that for every 5 grams of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) people ate daily, their risk of lung cancer dropped by 5 percent. Foods high in PUFAs: sunflower seeds, walnuts, salmon.

18. If You’re Thinking Sunflower Seeds?

You’ll be thinking sunflower seeds! after you start adding spices and flavours to your sunflower seeds. Don’t believer us? Try this recipe for Smoky Chili Lime Sunflower Seeds.

19. If You’re Thinking Walnuts Are Booooooring.

Add a handful to your morning shake. The nuts are heart-healthy but also contain natural oils that make your smoothie smoother, says Mohr.

READ MORE: 21 Best Snacks Recommended By Dietitians That Are Under 200 Calories

20. If You’re Thinking Salmon Again?


Try salmon porchetta. Season 2 skin-on salmon fillets with salt. Mix 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds (crushed), 1 garlic clove (minced), 1 tsp rosemary (chopped), the zest of 1 lemon and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add the fish, skin side down, to a large, hot, oiled pan and top with the mix. Broil till juicy, about 6 minutes. —Food IQ

21. Whitefish is Also a Great Source of Lean Protein.

And flavour! Easy recipe: In a shallow bowl, stir 1/4 cup white miso, ⅓ cup mirin, 1/4 cup sake, and ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar. Add two 170g frozen cod fillets; turn to coat. Refrigerate 12 hours. Pop the fish on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon some marinade on top, and broil, 5 minutes. —Food IQ

22. Limit “Ultra-Processed” Foods.

Americans now get 57 percent of their calories from stuff like frozen pizza, soda, fast food, sweets, and salty snacks. Because flavour. Fight back with the following really tasty ingredients from Cooking at Home.

23. Turn to Cumin Seeds.

They bring smokiness and savoriness. Bloom seeds in hot oil as a base for curries and chili.

24. And Chaat Masala.

It’s tangy, funky and fruity. Try it on fruit, on boiled potatoes or with almond butter on toast.

25. And Asafetida.

When cooked in fat, it adds a pungent, savoury taste. A dash supercharges the flavour of onions and garlic.

26. And Furikake.

It’s a mix packed with dried fish, seaweed, sugar, salt, and sesame seeds. Try it on top of rice.

27. Annnnnd Sichuan Peppercorns.

They’re spicy, in a numbing way, and fantastic sprinkled on cubed cukes.

28. Power Up Your Microwave.

Ban “I don’t have time to cook.” In a large glass bowl, microwave 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 8 to 10 minutes. In a pan, cook some onion and garlic in oil, 1 minute. Add 2 strips of bacon (chopped); cook till crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add a big handful of spinach and the thighs (cut into pieces) and cook, 5 minutes. —Cooking at Home

READ MORE: 6 Muscle Meals You Can Make In The Microwave

29. Don’t Forget to Enjoy Food.

For Mohr, that means a purposeful weekly trip to the bakery with his daughters and homemade pizza every Friday night. “I don’t have cheat meals—or cheat days. While my diet is healthy, it isn’t devoid of joy, either.”

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health US.

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