Top Foods to Include in Your Diet
I always say, if you include the healthiest of foods into your diet, there won’t be any room left for the junk. Plan ahead, pack your meals the night before, eat everything you wrapped up, and then end the day knowing you filled your body with everything it needed.
My Top Choices
- FLAXSEED – Ground Flaxseed is packed with Omega 3’s, has 4gms of fiber and 3gms of protein in just 2 TBSP. It needs to be ground to obtain its nutrients and should be stored in the freezer. What I love about it is that since its powdery, it can be added to anything. Oatmeal, protein shakes, pancakes, muffins, any baked goods. Sprinkle it in between peanut butter sandwiches or on top of Mac & Cheese. Add to meatballs, meatloaf, hamburgers. I’ve even used it to bread chicken!
- DARK GREEN VEGETABLES – Especially Broccoli, Asparagus and Spinach. Yum, veggies! A whole cup is only 25 calories, so even if you ate ten servings, that’s only 250 calories total. Awesome cancer fighters, the darker the color the more nutrients they provide. (Think spinach vs Iceberg lettuce). Include them in your diet every week.
- QUINOA – The healthiest of grains. 2/3 cup cooked provides 6gms of protein and 3gms of fiber. Use it in place of rice or pasta. You can even use it instead of oatmeal. The great part about it, is that you can add anything to it. For breakfast add nuts and berries (and flaxseed). For a side dish add beans, or cherry tomatoes, nuts and mangoes, edamame and broccoli. Use it as the stuffing for stuffed peppers or stuffed mushrooms! Make your own Greek Tabouli. Serve it hot, or cold.
- EDAMAME – Steam ’em, pop ’em out, and have as a snack. A power packed soybean that has only 90 calories per half cup and 8gms of protein and 4gms of fiber. Woo hoo! They’re perfect for a side dish, or to add to that Quinoa dish you’ll be making. They’re nice and crunchy too!
- BERRIES – Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Add them to your oatmeal, protein shakes, yogurt and even your lunchtime salad. Plop some in a bowl and drizzle with a little chocolate syrup for a dessert. My favorite dessert is a fluffy cloud of Reddi-Whip in a bowl and then pile blueberries on top. Can’t get them in the winter? Pick up a bag of frozen berries and use in your fruit smoothies. At only 60 calories for a half cup, you get 4gms of fiber!
- AVOCADO – A ‘good’ fat. We all need fat my friends and this is a great place to get it. Smear it on your warm toast, use in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches, dollop some in your salad, top your broiled chicken or fish with some too. A half cup cubed provides 2gms of protein and 5gms of fiber.
- MANGOES – You gotta get your yellow & oranges in. 1 cup of mangoes packs in only 60 calories and 2gms of fiber, and all that beta-carotene and Retinol (think skin care). I love making fresh salsa with them to top fish with, and my favorite protein shake consists of coconut milk, pineapple, vanilla protein powder and mangoes! Brings me back to the Caribbean.
- STEEL CUT OATS – Looking for a hot cereal that’s not so mushy? Grab some crunchy, nutty steel cut oats and make it even better by adding walnuts, some of those cool berries, flaxseed and even vanilla protein powder. Packed with fiber and protein, it will keep you satisfied for hours. No more mush and lots of flavors, only 1/4 cup gives you 4gms fiber and 5gms of protein.
- NUTS – especially Walnuts & Almonds. Again, we need fat, and here is where to get it, just watch your portions. 23 whole almonds or 14 walnut halves provides about 5gms of protein and 3gms of fiber, but 170 calories. Add them to everything: Oatmeal, Salads, Quinoa, yogurt, and inside your lunchtime wrap.
- FISH – especially Salmon. Years ago we ate plenty of Omega 3’s. Today our over-processed foods contain more Omega 6’s, (think=bad). The best way to get Omega 3’s are through fish. Yes you can obtain Omega 3’s from Flaxseed and Nuts but there is a conversion process involved. My favorite fish dish is grilled salmon with a fresh salsa that I create. I take diced avocado, mangoes, and red peppers, and then spread it on top for the last few minutes of cooking.
- Okay, I lied. 11. Actually I forgot one! GREEK YOGURT – Regular yogurt contains only 8gms of protein. Greek yogurt has between 15-20gms of protein! What a great way to start the morning. Create your own combinations and add, berries, nuts, mangoes and flaxseed!
There are so many other great foods out there, but get started with these this weekend. Buy everything on this list and start planning your own meals. I tried to create meal ideas for you that combine several of the top foods so you can really get a power packed meal. (and so the food doesn’t go to waste).
Do you already use a lot of these foods? What are your favorite top foods?
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