I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite awhile now, not only to share with you, but as a reminder to myself of how I’ve changed my daily eating and health habits in order to live a better lifestyle.
#1 Sprinkle Chia Seeds on Anything You Can! Make overnight oats, sprinkle on almond butter on a whole wheat bagel, sprinkle onto yogurt, mix 1 tbsp in any and all smoothies and shakes, or add a sprinkle to your oatmeal.
Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many
other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium,
zinc and phosphorus.
1 tablespoons of Chia = 3.5 grams of fiber, 1 gram
of protein, 102 milligrams of calcium, 2.5 grams omega-3
#2 Eat Local and Organic Fruits and Veggies! Find your town’s local farmer’s market! The city of Charlotte has multiple farmer’s market, you just have to find them!(Atherton Mills, King’s Market, Yorkmont Farmer’s Market) If you do not have a farmer’s market, just be aware of where you are buying your fruits and veggies. When it is the off season for markets, I just focus on buying the organic fruit and veggies that have ‘skin’ that you consume (i.e. strawberries, tomatoes). It is not as a neccessity to buy bananas and oranges organic, because you throw the peels away.
I used to not go to the farmer’s market to get my fruits and veggies. I used to buy from the grocery store because that’s what I was brought up on. Then I learned how such a high percentage of fruits and veggies you buy from the grocery store are genetically modified so that you can buy tomatoes as large as your head. Should we be eating fruits and veggies on steroids? Is that what YOU want to put into your body? I certainly don’t.
#3 Focus on buying Whole Wheat Pasta, Breads and Grains. Whole grains offer vitamins and minerals, plus high levels of antioxidants and other healthy plant-based nutrients. Studies have shown that eating more whole grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. New studies show that whole grains may lower triglycerides, improve insulin control, help in weight
management, and slow the build-up of arterial plaque (WheatFoodsCouncil).
I remember a time that I used to not pay as much attention to what was WHOLE wheat vs. just regular wheat bread. I thought wheat bread was healthy, so that’s what I bought. Make sure you are buying whole wheat breads and grains, and not being fooled as I once was. Whole wheat foods are full of fiber because they’re made from the entire wheat kernel: germ, bran, and endosperm. Fiber takes up room in your stomach, which then sends your brain the signal that you’re full. Take advantage of the added nutrients whole grains offer, it will be worth the extra 50cents or so to help maintain your health.
#4 Eat Healthy Snacks to Speed Up Your Metabolism! Whenever I can at my job, I snack on something healthy. I often bring some type of ‘bar’ or almonds or a ziplock of fresh fruit to speed up my metabolism as I work and keep my blood sugar regular. Nut tip–always go for RAW nuts! You don’t want the added sodium in salted or honey roasted nuts, eventhough they may be tastier.
I like to think of it this way, make healthy snacks your ONLY option! While I’m running errands, I tend to bring a banana or pack of raw almonds with me as my only option if I need a snack. Don’t fall for fast food cravings, etc.–I mean do I really have to say that? Hopefully not. I’m going to make my own Larabars soon, and I will post the recipe on here as well.
#5 Buy Bulk! I wish I have buying bulk items FOREVER, but at least I can start buying them now. Sometimes I feel like a kid in the candy store when I visit the bulk foods section of a grocery store. No I don’t mean the bulk CANDY department either!! All your whole grains, flours and nuts can be found in bulk in some grocery stores–(i.e. EarthFare, Healthy Home Market) just to name a few in Charlotte.
I love going home and storing my bulk items in Mason jars tightly sealed as well. It makes for great kitchen organization and you’re more apt to use your whole grains and other bulk foods, if they are out in plain vision on a shelf in your kitchen, rather than shoved in cabinets up high.
#6 Cashews Create A Great Lowfat Cream Sauce! So Brandon and I enjoy making pasta often at our house, and we’ve even started to buy vodka sauce lately, which is made with heavy cream. Instead of using this sauce, we have most recently been making our own sauce using RAW CASHEWS! Genius, right? Here is the recipe for this Tomato Basil Cream Pasta made with cashews, of all things.
#7 Drink Non-Dairy Milk!! So tell me again, why are you drinking milk from a cow? Eww…gross. It’s ok, I used to drink milk from a cow too, then I realized that’s kinda crazy that humans are the only mammal that consume milk from another mammal. So now we only buy non-dairy milk, this includes but is not limited to…almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and rice milk.
“Naturally, almond is a type of nut which provides people with high content of vitamin E, omega (6 and 9), fiber and also protein. Besides, almond is rich in magnesium, selenium and flavonoids. If you wish to get more calcium, then cow milk is much better to take. However, nothing is better in providing good level of calcium except cow milk.”
“When it comes to talk about the milk production of almond milk vs cow milk, almond milk offers the healthier and safer process. If you look at the steps to make both milks, you will soon find the fact that getting the milk from a cow is a process which is prone to contamination. In fact, many cows are mostly injected with some different antibiotics and hormones which can possibly affecting people health.”
#8 Whey Protein Absorbs Faster Than Casein Protein after a Workout. So after a workout I used to think eating cottage cheese was a good snack because it contained protein. WRONG! I recently learned that cottage cheese contains casein protein, a slow-digesting protein. After a workout, the best thing to have is a whey protein shake. Whey protein absorbs quickly in the body and helps with rebuilding muscle after a workout. Sometimes I just mix 1 scoop of protein powder with water and drink it after a workout. We currently have chocolate protein powder, so it basically tastes like chocolate milk. Stay tuned for a simple post-workout protein shake update.
#9 Try NEW-to-you Foods!
Since I’ve been reading blogs more often and trying out new recipes, I come across new ingredients all the time I’ve never tried much less bought. I have to sometimes research or ask a friend how to prepare, where to find or buy certain ingredients because I’ve never bought them before. There are tons and tons of great foods out there–from tofu to tempeh to beet burgers to overnight oats. You just need to explore your options and try them! I’ve been eating sushi for close to 10 years now, so sushi is not so new to me, although I’m sure there are still some out there that have never tried it or have no desire to, that’s why I picked this picture to include. Get out of the meatloaf, spaghetti, grilled chicken, fish, steak dinner rotation! Bottom line—try new foods when given the opportunity, you may have a new favorite!
#10 Bring Reusable Bags with You to ALL Stores–not just the grocery store!
I thought this was a great paragraph I just read on (www.wholeliving.com) so I’d thought I’d share this one! “For one week, count how many disposable bags you get. Make a couple of trips to the grocery store, grab lunch from your favorite sandwich shop, pick up a prescription at the pharmacy — it seriously adds up. In the United States alone, we go through 100 billion plastic bags per year, less than 1 percent of which get recycled. Bringing a sturdy tote wherever you go is one of the easiest Earth-friendly changes you can make.” Yessir!! It’s true!!
This is my trunk already ready to go grocery shopping, or to Target or wherever!
Overall these are MY Top 10 ways I’ve been eating healthier every day and I hope this post has inspired you to do the same. 🙂
Lots of happy puppies and love,