Top Foods You Should Be Eating

Do we live to eat or eat to live? We can appreciate food both ways. Below are a few delicious and nutritious foods to add to your daily menu for cultivating health and vitality while relishing every bite.

Blueberries
These healthy little gems contain protective pigment anthocyanin and antioxidants. Studies reveal blueberries have anti-aging capabilities especially for the brain. Reducing inflammation in the central nervous system and helping prevent memory loss, eating ½ cup a few times per week will bring the most benefits.

Asparagus
A vegetable rich in vitamins, notably glutathione which supports the liver and detoxification.

Avocado
My new besty contains healthy fats, fiber, potassium and vitamin E. Add to sandwiches in place of mayo, salads, omelettes or ½ frozen avocado to smoothie for extra creaminess.

Garlic
Vampires unite. Garlic is rich in phytochemicals which ward off colds, have antibacterial and anti-cancer properties plus helps lower blood pressure. Try grated garlic to pre-roasted veggies.

Dark Chocolate
Wishes do come true. Choose 70% or higher for heart healthy flavonoids which help arteries. A German study tested more antioxidants in the blood stream after eating dark chocolate. Moderation is the key. Dip a square in one TBS peanut butter for a satisfying snack.

Nuts
Nuts get me through the day. They satisfy hunger and offer health benefits. Try walnuts which contain omega 3 fats great for the heart and brain and almonds which have heart healthy polyphenols. Both contain minerals and healthy fats. They are high in calories and fat so a one-ounce serving per day is the perfect amount.

Green Tea
Loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids, several cups per week benefit the liver and blood flow, plus it’s protective against cancer and helps with weight loss. Also rich in theanine to alleviate stress, boost mood and mental clarity. Ditch the evening coffee, drink green tea to promote relaxation.

Oily Fish
Salmon, mackerel, sardines are all cold water fish rich in Omega-3’s which help reduce inflammation. The oils are rich in EPA and DHA which are great for brain and eye health. Regular consumption offers heart benefits as well.

Kale
My new fave green! Rich in A, C, K, calcium, magnesium and iron, Kale is King. Toss a few chopped leaves in your smoothie, soup or fave salad. Make your own kale chips: chop then toss with olive oil, salt and pepper then roast for 10 mins at 350 degrees.

Beans
Hearty in calcium, potassium, magnesium and fiber, beans pack a healthy punch to each dish. Add to salads, chilis, stir-fries or have as a side dish or make into a tasty dip. Studies show beans reduce risk of cancers, diabetes and heart disease.

Seeds
Flaxseed and Chia seeds are two of the healthiest seeds to consume. They are potent plant sources of omega-3 oils and fiber which have heart benefits. Buy whole and ground in coffee grinder or preground. Add to yogurts, smoothies, salads and baked goods.

Resolutions into Action

How do we keep promises we make to ourselves every January 1st? After countless January vision boards, fitness apps, self-help books and pep talks to myself I put my resolutions into action. When March rolls around this year the scoreboard will read: YOU - 10 DORITOS - 0.

I will…exercise more.
ACTION: Don’t over commit, choose three days spending one hour burning calories and enjoying yourself at the same time. Love dancing? Sign up for jazz, ballet, tap or Zumba. Time will pass so quickly you will forget you were exercising plus dancing burns a ton of Dorito calories. Tennis, volleyball, yoga, racquetball, fencing, swimming, rock climbing and spinning are all great exercise and fun too.

I will…go on a diet.
ACTION: 1-Empower yourself and read food labels. Most food manufacturers don’t have your best interest at heart, needing to increase profits and shelf life. This doesn’t serve your health and well being. Shop for food with five ingredients or less. 2-Avoid chemical sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. 3-Incorporate vitamin rich greens into your daily meal with a salad or steamed broccoli or broiled kale drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. 4-Choose cruelty free animal products where the animal had a good life. 5-Limit wheat intake. I love bread but it has little nutritional value and leaves me tired and bloated. 6-Add fiber with beans, greens and oatmeal which aid in the elimination of toxins, excess cholesterol and fats. If you start with these few actions, you will see amazing results in your skin, weight, vitality and health. You don’t have to give up every snack mankind has created just choose wisely. Have one cup of baked potato chips with potatoes, oil and salt instead of Doritos which contain over thirty ingredients.

I will….text less, meditate more, work less, be happier, curse less, turn off TV, do more community work.
ACTION: Balance your time texting, computing, facebooking, tweeting and channel surfing on TV. Enjoy a weekend long computer Sabbath. My computer goes off Friday night until Sunday night. With more free time I am doing fun stuff; movies, reading, a massage, Zumba, lunch out, library visit, homespun pedicure, making a new recipe. Have you forgotten what it’s like to have no computer because it’s been so long? Refresh your memory, have fun with your time.

We all want perfection but there’s no such thing. Simple solutions work. And if you see me at a party eating a Dorito-don’t judge. It was the snack of my childhood and it was a party I didn’t throw.