Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to be Healthy without the 'er'

I was recently asked if I could write a post, regarding what I would typically eat on a normal day or what I would recommend for a healthy diet. I thought I’d combine the two and I came up with the following.   

Here are just 5 Power foods and how I include them into my diet.

Although I am studying to be a nutritionist, that doesn’t make me qualified in any way at this point. The following information is simply what I do and what I would recommend people try if they were aiming to lead a healthier lifestyle via their diet. 

      What? Tomatoes (Roma, Cherry..many more)
Why should I eat them? You can receive up to 76% of your daily vitamin C intake from just one cup of this bad boys, they contain Lycopene which translates to a potent antioxidant that is linked to not only protecting us from cancer but it also helps us repair after we’ve been exposed to the sun’s rays.
How I incorporate them into my diet: I eat tomatoes like they’re apples, I absolutely love them. My fiancee and my daughter though...absolutely despise them so I’ve had to get inventive (let’s hope he doesn’t read this).
- I like to have at least 1 night out of every fortnight where I make my spaghetti Bolognese. I finely dice some tomatoes, garlic, sweet potato and onion, throw it together with chicken mince and some organic pasta (you can generally find organic products at your local supermarket now)
- I love to have lunches with just rice crackers, sunflower margarine (from my local grocery store), ham (weakness, LOVE HAM) and thinly sliced tomato...soooo yum, and so refreshing. If I have avocado, I generally use it in replacement of the margarine as it’s a healthy fat itself.

 What? Carrots
Why should I eat them? Not only do they contain an antioxidant called Falcarinol which is known to offer protection against cancer properties, they are one of our richest dietary sources of vitamin A.
How I incorporate them into my diet: This may sound boring but I love making carrot sticks and snacking on them at my desk,
- Or if I take my daughter to our local park we always munch on them afterwards.
- I also like to get shavings (use a potato peeler) of carrot and add them to chicken rissoles; they are so discreet in taste, but add quite a punch of colour.
- If we are having a roast chicken (always on a Sunday..just happens that way) I don’t slice, I just boil whole carrots which boosts up to 25% more antioxidants into the carrots and serve them alongside the rest.

          What? Garlic
Why should I eat them? There have been more studies than there are cloves of garlic (not quite) that prove garlic is good for our heart, there are compounds in the garlic that lower our blood pressure and relax our blood vessels to name a few.
How I incorporate them into my diet: Garlic is healthier when it’s fresh so I try to buy fresh and only start cutting/ crushing it when I am right about to include it in a meal.
- I LOVE garlic, so I thinly dice it and add it to spaghetti Bolognese, taco’s, curries, lasagna...I think I add it to everything that lets me.

          What? Sweet Potato
Why should I eat them? Yet another great source of vitamin A, did you know just a cup can equate to 61% of your daily Vitamin C needs too? It’s definitely a great thing to include in your diet.
How I incorporate them into my diet: I love to make potato cakes ( I will later add all the mentioned recipes to a Tuesday Post) with mashed sweet potato.
- Whenever I can, I substitute ‘white potato’ for sweet potato. I’m hooked on the sweetness of it.
- I also love making home-made chips with them too

What? Avocado
Why should I eat them? Great source of vitamin B and also omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats (the ‘healthier’ fat)
How I incorporate them into my diet: I used to hate avocado until last year (2010)
- Now, I can’t get enough of it. I put it on some crispy crackers (Crispketts usually) then layer with some chicken breast and eat it all!!
- I put a smear of it, on a sandwich that is then accompanied by lettuce, tomato and chicken (I eat a lot of chicken) 

Well that's it, just 5 of the power foods that I incorporate into my diet. 
I hope I have been even remotely helpful, if I have left something out that you want to add, or you just want to say Hi, feel free to comment below :)

Until next time, 

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