Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, new changes....

I know if you are anything at all like me, then the new year always brings about new things, and changes.  While I try and adhere to those changes all year long, I don't always succeed.  However, I have been working hard for  year now to eat better and in a more healthy way.  I've read countless articles on foods that are better to eat for a healthier you and they all seem to list the same ones.  So I would like to share what those are with all of you.  I have found that I have been able to incorporate them more and more into my family's daily eating.  I plan to continue to do that in this new year.

1.  Mushrooms:  Mushrooms are found to be very high in vitamins as well as satisfying when substituted for meat in many dishes.  Portobello mushrooms are especially meaty and make a great substitute.  By doing this you still get a satisfying feeling of being full, but you are cutting your calories and fat in take significantly.  One of my favorite ways to do this is to make a "veggie burger".  I grill or saut√© a portobello mushroom cap.  Then I drizzle a bit of basalmic vinegar on it.  I like to top it with a grilled or roasted red pepper and perhaps a slice of sharp provolone cheese.  When I want a bit more zing, I like to add some grilled onions to the mix.

2.  Eggs:  I realize that for some with cholesterol issues, eating eggs may not be a viable option.  However, if this isn't your medical issue, then studies have shown that people who eat eggs for breakfast are fuller longer and lost twice as much weight as those who ate bagels or other bread products for breakfast.

3. Apples:  There is truth to an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Apples are low in calorie and very high in dietary fiber.  Boosting your fiber is good for weight loss and digestion.  It is also a great way to stay full and satisfied longer.  If you are looking for a protein option to pair with your apple, try a bit of natural peanut butter or a slice of cheese.

4. Low calorie desserts:  Okay while not "healthy" per say, studies have shown that by not completely denying yourself sweet treats, helps you to stick to your eating plan longer and achieve your goals more readily.  By planning in some calories each day for a treat you don't feel deprived and since you know you have a treat coming you will be more likely to not binge.

5. Soup:   Several studies have shown that those who start their meal off with a vegetable based broth soup are more likely to eat 20 percent fewer calories over all at each meal.  So make a big batch of vegetable soup and start your dinners off with a nice warm bowl.

6. Oatmeal:  Steel cut unprocessed oats are a great breakfast option for those looking to eat carbohydrates at breakfast.  They take longer to digest, they do not cause a spike in insulin production since they digest slower than refined carbohydrates, they are fiber filled so they keep you full longer.  You can also make them ahead of time so that they are ready for the eating.  you can also add in fresh fruit or nuts.  Or even some dried fruits.  Lots of different options for your oatmeal.

7. Hot Chili Peppers:  Studies have shown that those who eat spicier foods eat about 10 percent less in calories than those who don't.  It also showed that if you consume a hot pepper 30 minutes before eating your meal your metabolic rate increases slightly helping you to burn calories faster.  So indulge in some really yummy spices.

8. Almonds:  Almonds are a great mid day snack when eaten whole and raw.  They take longer to chew and thus you feel more satisfied.  They are also high in protein and healthy fat so that you insulin stays balanced.  They are one of the brains super foods and are just an over all great addition to your daily diet.

9.  Greek Yogurt:  I can't say enough great things about greek yogurt.  While it took me awhile to get used to its thicker consistency, it is a great source of both protein and dairy all in one.  It's also versatile. You can use it as a savory addition in many recipes.  You can also sweeten it with a bit of honey and some fruit and you have a great breakfast or snack.  Its higher in protein than other yogurts, lower in sugar, and filled with good fats.  It's really a great food to incorporate daily.

10.  Olives:  Lastly Olives are one of those great foods that you should try and have a few every day.  They are filled with healthy fats, they will help fill you up while cutting down on calories.  They add lots of flavors when you use them in a recipe, or you can enjoy a few along with a slice of cheese, or a handful of nuts as a quick snack.  They are easy to take with you on the go, and they also satisfy any salt cravings you may have.  It's a winning food!

So in 2013, live well, be well, and eat well.

3 comments:

  1. This is a great list of foods that are good to have around. They are regular staples at the lunch counter in our bistro. I wasn't aware of pre-cooked oatmeal - might try that.
    If I may also suggest a favorite of Californians - avocado slices and red/yellow peppers. We also have EVO (olive oil) and balsamic vinegar around with various spices to dress up the vegetable mix we serve daily.

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  2. Nice to read, Jen. I wish I could get Greek yogurt, or any kind of yogurt, here.

    I used to be fussy about my food - vegetarian for a long time, even vegan for a while. But now I eat anything I fancy. I find the mental stress generated by fussy eating is more destructive than eating anything you like. I'm well into my eighties now so I can say that it's more important to feel good about eating than to eat the "right" stuff. The body is amazingly adaptable. Just don't eat more than you really need, that's the main thing.

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  3. the pectin in apples also helps you feel full longer if eaten right before or after a meal!

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