All the bombardment of health tips can get overwhelming. Dairy is bad- no wait it’s good! Don’t drink alcohol- just kidding red wine is healthy! Margarine vs. butter. Meat vs. soy. And heaven forbid never, ever eat refined sugar. Excuse me?
If you’re like me, trying to live on greens and tofu is depressing. And depriving yourself of anything that you like to eat tends to lead to binge eating on all those little temptations later. But I want to be healthy! I want the energy of a 10 year old and the glowing skin of my youth. Plus I want a healthy heart, brain, body etc. Where is the balance?
For me it comes with trying to eat healthy and tasty. I can’t deprive myself. So what I do is mix what I think of as ‘Super Foods’ into my diet. There are a lot of these, but I’m going to talk about my top five. They are easy to incorporate and I really like eating them.
It’s hard to imagine that such a tiny little thing can pack a whole lot of vitamins. But blueberries are one of the best fruits for you. Easiest way to eat them? Throw them in a morning smoothie with ice, almond butter, frozen mango and half an avocado. Add some water and voila! One super food down.
Now don’t go gagging on me yet. This one took a little bit to get used to. In fact, I probably shouldn’t share how I eat it, but I will. We sautee sliced brussel sprouts in olive oil, shallots and onion till it’s all carmelized. Then add a pinch of sea salt or truffle salt and they are scrumptious. I usually add some crispy pancetta or bacon. But if you’re a vegetarian, it doesn’t really need it. Now a lot of people might be shaking their fingers at this- saying you should eat them raw. But I just haven’t found a good way yet. And eating them period is better than eating pizza.
This one’s an easy one! Who doesn’t love almonds? And they’re packed with protein and vitamins. A really great way to snack on them is to half them and throw them in a tupperware with a very small chunks of cacao. (Look for the chocolate that is at least 70% cacao.) Or they give your salad that extra crunch in place of croutons.
Ok- I’m not sure if this exactly qualifies as a super food on a normal list. But when I have a hankering for something filling and veggies just aren’t doing it, brown rice is a great option. Brown is different than white rice in that the nutrient rich shell isn’t taken off (hence the browness and slight nutty flavor). It’s great cooked with Tamari and vegetables. Add a dash of Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce and you’ve got a killer meal that’s completely satisfying.
I use this stuff in place of sugar all the time. It’s got a wonderful sweet taste but it’s not as overpowering as honey. You can get it raw. It’s yummy in salad dressings, coffee/tea. It’s great drizzled over strawberries. It sweetens up marinades for meats. Pretty much any place you’d use sugar or honey, you can use agave. And it’s one of the healthiest choices out there. It’s become a staple in our house.
There are 20 other foods I could list that are tasty and healthy, but these five really are easy to work into your diet. And remember to reward yourself for eating healthy! It can be as small as a piece of chocolate. But like all things in life, your diet should be balanced.
Lisa Coronado is a content writer for City Chiropractic, a Downtown Seattle Chiropractor.