Monday, January 17, 2011

Focus Topic: Adding It All In

          In a previous post I talked about good fats and bad fats so I'll just refer you to that post so I can spend some time helping you incorporate all this good stuff into your diet. Remember to vote for next month's focus topic. Remember, just because it didn't get voted this month doesn't mean it will never be a focus topic. I promise it will reappear for another month to vote on. And don't forget to leave me some love! I like to know I'm appreciated so feel free to leave a comment or two when you're done!    
          We’ve learned the benefits of adding more fruits, vegetables, (remember, “5 will keep you alive, nine is divine”) and whole grains but the tricky part is adding them into your diet when you’re not use to it. I’ve broken down each meal of the day and given examples of how to add in our super foods. Hopefully this will inspire you to come up with something that fits your likes in foods and that gives you the servings you need.

     - 2 slices of whole wheat/grain toast (or french toast), lightly buttered, with a banana and a glass of orange juice
     - 1 bowl of whole grain cereal with low fat or skim milk (Quaker Life, Cheerios, Quaker oatmeal squares, oatmeal, and soooo much more), a small bowl of cantaloupe
     - make your own parfait by layering granola, low fat yogurt, and your favorite berries (frozen berries work just fine, pop them in the microwave for a bit to thaw them out and you’re good to go!)
     - make your own breakfast burrito by scrambling eggs, low fat cheese, ham, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, a healthy salsa, and any other of your favorite breakfast burrito veggies; roll it all up in a whole grain tortilla

     -Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, loaded with lettuce, tomato, bean sprouts, any other sandwich veggies you enjoy, light mayo, mustard, and low fat cheese. Pair that with a fruit of your choice and a healthy drink (water, low calorie juices, if you have to have a soda, at least make it diet…)
     - Gotta have a burger? Ask for extra lettuce and tomato, ask for light mayo (fast food joints put WAAAAY too much mayo on those burgers…) leave out the cheese and have a single patty burger. Trust me, you don’t need that second patty. Bring a side of fruit or a vegetable to go along with that (no, ketchup and fries do not qualify as a side vegetable).
     - Chicken salad loaded with all different vegetables. Good salad vegetables can include tomato, carrot, green onion, celery, cucumber, avocado (remember, avocados have good fats that you need), bean sprouts, you can even add frozen peas or corn. Use a light salad dressing of your choice.

     - Use as many low fat options as you can while preparing your main dish. If you can use a half pound of ground beef instead of a whole pound, do it. If you can use low fat cream of mushroom soup or whatever, do it. If fat free cheese won’t affect the texture, do it. Cutting out fat and calories wherever possible is always a good thing.
     - Next, always have a side veggie or salad to go with your meal. No room for veggies or salads after your main dish? Switch it up! Eat your salad or veggies first so you make sure you get to eat it. This also keeps you from overeating your main dish which is usually loaded with more calories and fat than your veggie/salad side dishes.
     - Pasta on the menu? Make it whole grain. There isn’t much difference in taste though there is a difference in texture. It’s never bothered me. If rice is on your menu, switch to brown rice. It does taste a little different but not bad at all, just different. I think you’ll love it. ;)
Remember in all things to go as natural as you can. I’m not an organic freak by any means, in fact, I don’t buy organic at all (though I must admit I do buy organic peanut butter from Costco… soooo tasty!) however it is important to buy and eat foods that have not been processed too much. The more it gets processed, the less vitamins and nutrients you get out of it. Take a Twinkie for example. Originally it was made from wheat; however it’s been so over processed that none of those amazing nutrients you get from whole grains are even getting to you. The closer it is to its natural state, the better for you it will be.
            If you eat some of the meal options above and be sure to eat fruits and veggies at each meal, you’ve got at least 3 servings of fruit and vegetables guaranteed. If you ate a salad or had more than a cup of fruits or veggies at that meal then chances are you’ve had five or more servings. By switching to whole grains you’ve done what you need to. If you can’t bear to part with your white bread or white rice, or white pasta, fine. Just make sure that you do switch other things to whole grain and that you only eat the “white” versions occasionally. Shoot for half of your daily grains to be whole.
            Below I’ve listed some healthy snack options that help you get your fruits, vegetables and whole grains in (not to mention a healthy dose of fiber). Enjoy!

- apples
- carrots (you can dip them in light ranch if you want, I do!)
- celery dipped in peanut butter
- whole grain toast or bagel
- bell pepper slices
- oranges
- mangos
- kiwis
- natural fruit leather
- whole grain crackers (Nabisco Multi-Grain Club Crackers are awesome!)
- cherry or grape tomatoes
- grapes
- whole grain Goldfish (I promise they even taste the same!)
- fruit cups with light syrup
- applesauce
- light, real fruit yogurt
- banana
- pears
- plums
- cantaloupe
- cherries
- whole grain granola bars (make sure they’ve actually got good stuff in them… not just crap)
- frozen berries (the beauty about these is that you can take them to work/school frozen and by the time you’re ready to snack on them they’re still nice and chilled)
- Many more! This list is just to get you started. ;)

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