Wednesday, April 9, 2014

15 Superfoods To Eat

I eat healthy 90% of the time, but am no different from anyone else. It takes discipline, then extra discipline to stay the nutritious course. Juicing is a popular fad, but I'm not into it. No way. I like to eat. It's not just about flavor, it's about chewing and enjoying different textures. I will always want to eat real, whole foods. I mean, we have teeth for a reason. I intent to use mine daily. Give me protein, carbs, and vegetables. Pass the fiber, please -- I will chew it up! (Lemon, hot water for breakfast, ha!)

So. Here's what I can do. I'm making a conscious effort to work the following superfoods into my meals for the next 90 days. A super food is one that has plenty of nutrients and benefits compared to its calories. It means getting lots of pow per serving, be it protein, vitamins, minerals or dietary fiber.

1. avocados - This one won't be hard. I love guacamole. Avocados are good sources of B vitamins, vitamins C, E, K and potassium. They lower your risk of stroke and heart disease too.

2. berries - Another easy one. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are delicious. Done. I will add blackberries. Berries are antioxidant rich.

3. cauliflower - I already eat it, so I'll try cauliflower in new ways: mashed, grilled and as a healthy casserole. It has loads of vitamins and minerals, plus fiber to prevent cancer.

4. nuts - I eat nuts, but I'm going to grab a handful whenever I crave corn chips, a/k/a, crack.

5. kale - I will cook kale once a week. It has cancer reducing properties and tons of vitamins like beta carotene, vitamins C, K and calcium.

6. oatmeal - Oatmeal will be my breakfast 6 days a week for 90 days. (I have one month under my belt.) Scoop 3/4 of a cup of 1 minute oatmeal into a bowl, add water, a pinch of sea salt and microwave for 90 seconds. Sweeten and enhance however you like. I stir in 5 tablespoons of dry powder milk.

7. quinoa - Contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. I simmer quinoa with a bouillon cube, garlic, onion, celery, and ground pepper. Eat as a hot dish. I drizzle the leftovers with vinegar and eat it cold the next day.

8. tomatoes (cooked) - We get more lycopene, a heart-healthy antioxidant, through the simple act of cooking the tomatoes. I love big, juicy raw tomatoes, but I am going to cook them!

9. beans - Sometimes I buy refried beans, mix them with salsa, jalapeno peppers and top with a layer of cheddar cheese. Microwave until hot and bubbly. Delicious!

10. yogurt (homemade) - For 90 days yogurt will replace my nightly cheddar cheese snack. I will get protein, calcium and probiotics. 

11. ginger  - Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, increases circulation, lowers blood pressure and clears sinuses among other remedies. It will take a conscious effort to add more of this condiment to dishes. I use ginger to make peanut noodles, but that's about it. Send me your ginger suggestions.

12 vinegar - An ingredient I use in sauces and salad dressing. Germans tend to eat vinegar-based foods and have agile minds and bodies at 90. I'm taking a cue from them!

13. salmon - 3 delectable ways: sushi, salmon patties grilled in a pan brushed with olive oil, salmon (like tuna) salad. Fresh or canned, wild Alaskan salmon is low in mercury.

14. cantaloupe - High in vitamins A and C with a satisfying crunch, low in calories.

15. eggs - "The incredible, edible egg" - Good as omelets, or sliced to make a sandwich, with olives, tomatoes and low-fat mayonnaise. Don't use fat-free mayonnaise. It has no taste.

Eating these superfoods won't be difficult at all!

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