while i love to experiment with new recipes and foods, my gut, watch, and wallet can only afford so much. some days are too long to convince myself to stand in the kitchen and cook. today, i share with you my default meals, my regs, the ogs – and why, in my mind, they are a healthy solution to a hard day.
greek yogurt breakfast.
i start every day with this. sometimes i add honey, sometimes a little lemon to add a vit c kicker. greek yogurt can have twice as much protein as regular yogurt. it is also the most probiotic-packed food in the US. probiotics are a “good” bacteria that help with digestion and absorption of nutrients. they aid in the development of your immune system and protection against disease-causing microorganisms.
green tea is also a daily occurence for me, especially in the morning. green tea contains antioxidants, helps prevent heart disease, lowers cholesterol, and gives your metabolism a little boost (so does coffee though, i will never hate on coffee).
blueberries: highest antioxidant capacity of any fresh fruit; vitamins c, b, e, a; iron, which helps boost immune system and prevent infections
raspberries: lots of vitamins; fiber and manganese help you feel full longer; antioxidants
chia seeds: when exposed to water they form a coating of gel, increasing its size and weight to make you feel full longer; protein; calcium; omega-3; antioxidants
i like to have bites like this available all the time. that way, when i am starving, i don’t resort to the chocolate chips or wheat things my boyfriend buys. self-control is a sport when you live with a boy.
cucumber: vitamins a, c, k, b6; water content helps rid your body of toxins and improves skin health; high fiber content helps with weight loss
carrot: rich in beta-carotene which helps improve vision and skin health; vitamin a; known as a powerful antiseptic
bell pepper: vitamins c and b6; beta-carotene; in the nightshade family – if you have joint pain, stop or decrease consumption – the alkaline in them can compromise joint function
edamame beans: antioxidants; isoflavone – reduce risk of prostate and breast cancer, heart disease, and menopausal symptoms; very high in protein but low in fat; vitamins c, b, and e
when i’m really craving carbs i try to stick to one slice of whole wheat, popcorn, or pop chips – try dipping pop chips into pepper-packed non-fat cottage cheese, it’s the best.
pinto beans: high in protein; low in fat and carbs; metabolism boost; improves digestion, heart health, and cholesterol; fights bad bacteria. i actually just learned that adding a bit of cinnamon to a food that you are planning on keeping for a while will decrease its risk of quickly spoiling.
1 can of pinto beans, drained
just under 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of flaky sea-salt
1. put ingredients into a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until boiling, about 4 minutes.
i use a garlic-herb salad dressing recipe-mix packet and substitute extra balsamic vinegar for half of the olive oil. it’s everything you want in a healthy salad dressing: a boost of garlic, a twinge of onion, just the right amount of seasoning, a tangy sweetness from the balsamic, and very little oil.
cranberries: low fat; low cal; fiber
sunflower seeds: anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits; vitamin e, b1, b5; tryptophan – helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
avocado: vitamin e powerhouse promoting your heart, circulation, and maintain healthy skin
onion: known in chinese medicine to treat coughs and bacterial infections; low-cal way to add a bit of flavor to a meal
plum dessert. although a friend of mine (who used to work in diabetes prevention) always tells me, “to prevent diabetes, don’t have fruit after noon,” i figure a piece of fruit is better than a bag of sour patch extreme sours after dinner.