The Minimalist Guide to Eating Healthier

Eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated. Nowadays, supermarket shelves are filled with nutritious foods for meals and snacks. We just have to ignore those shelves of donuts, candies, cookies, and all those overly processed foods that wreak havoc on our bodies as well as our minds.

If you’ve made up your mind to eat more nutritiously, here are some easy ways to do it:

In the produce department, opt for brightly-colored fruits and vegetables.

  • Dark green and red salad greens. Skip iceberg lettuce. Instead choose nutrient-filled options: kale, spinach, Swiss chard, romaine, red or green leaf lettuce, bibb or Boston lettuce. To add fiber to your salad, add celery, cabbage, cauliflower, and green pepper.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts – They are “super vegetables,” according to this WebMD article. These veggies contain phytochemicals, nutrients, and fiber, all very important for our daily diets.
  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, tangerines, clementines, lemons, limes – for vitamin C.
  • Berries of all kinds for their anti-oxidant powers. Apples because they’re crunchy and good with peanut butter. Bananas to top your cereal.
  • More must-have veggies: tomatoes (contain lycopene for fighting cancer) – carrots (containing vitamin A and C) – bell peppers (contain lycopene and folic acid)
  • Sweet potatoes – contain great cancer-fighting nutrients, high in fiber and iron)

You get the picture. Fill up that cart with fruit and veggies and your body will thank you.

While fresh fruits and vegetables are the best choice, frozen produce is a good second choice. They are usually frozen right after they ripen and are harvested, so their nutrients remain intact.

Fiber is fundamental! We need 20 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Fiber keeps us feeling fuller between meals, helps with weight management and can lower our risk of heart disease and cancer. Eating more veggies and fruits will help provide our dietary fiber. Other options include:

  • Whole-grain breads and cereals. Brown rice. Beans of all kinds. Whole-grain pastas. Read more about the benefit of a high-fiber diet here.
  • Tips for buying breads from WebMD (Avoid bread “myths”)

In the meat department, be a savvy shopper – think lean.

  • Choose boneless, skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets. For any chicken cuts you buy, choose the skinless variety.
  • Ground turkey, extra lean ground beef (90% + lean).
  • Look for the word “loin” in pork products (pork tenderloin, etc.).
  • Leanest beef: round steak, round roasts, top sirloin, chuck shoulder and arm roasts.
  • Fatty fish such as trout, tuna, salmon and mackerel.

Choose good snacks.

  • Nuts of all kinds (not salted and dry-roasted)
  • Instead of buying packaged cookies, make your own and look for recipes that use whole wheat flour, oatmeal, fat substitutes and less sugar)
  • “Light” string cheese – low-fat cottage cheese in single serve packages –
  • Plain Greek non-fat yogurt (add your own fruit and some honey to sweeten it up a tad)
  • Frozen fruit bars – Dole has a good variety, around 70 calories each (with some added sugar)
  • Moderate amounts of dark chocolate – try strawberries dipped in melted dark chocolate
  • Kind bars – filled with nutritious ingredients and taste great  Check ’em out at the Kind Website.
  • Find a list of fat-fighting snacks in this article from Health.com.

Miscellaneous:

Use monounsaturated oils for cooking and salad dressings: canola, olive, or peanut oil

Drink more water and unsweetened iced tea rather than sugary drinks

Add ground flax seed to your oatmeal and fruit smoothies

Eat protein with breakfast – egg, turkey sausage or turkey bacon, etc.

For further reading:

Harvard School of Public Health: Vegetables and Fruits

Great Guidelines for Eating Healthier

How to make wise protein choices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous tips:

Eat the right fats – choose monounsaturated (canola, peanut, olive oil)

Drink water and unsweetened iced tea instead of sugary drinks.

 

Bea’s Wellness Beat: Trivia Day – May 8th Birthdays

For your intellectual wellness pleasure, here are some famous people born on May 8th:

1884: Harry Truman, 33rd U.S. President, died: 1972

Quote:  A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.

1895:  James H. “Dutch” Kindelberger, American aerospace pioneer, died: 1962 Inducted in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1972.  Read his biography at the National Aviation Hall of Fame website.

1911: Robert Johnson, blues singer, died in 1938 at age 27.  Visit the Blues Foundation to read about the singer, whose work influenced the Stones, Allman Brothers, and more.

1916: Swami Chinmayananda, Indian Spiritualist, died 1993.

Quote: See Positive, Seek Positive, Stay Positive….. Every day may not be good…   but there’s something good in every day….   Every person may not be good…   but there is something good in every person.

1940: Peter Benchley, author of Jaws and The Deep, died 2006.

Quote: “If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rain forest with respect, man will become extinct.

1947: Phil Sawyer, rock singer, Spencer Davis Group:

I’m a Man:  http://youtu.be/POCUgBSVENQ

Last but not least:

1969: Akebono Taro, retired sumo wrestler: 6’8″ tall, 514 pounds (well, what other career could he have chosen?) He has a Facebook page, in case you want to “Like” him. Read more about Akebono at Wikipedia.