November 8, 2011 by Imprint Fitness
Over the years, I have experimented with all sorts of foods. I am a huge believer in finding substitutions for those foods that taste good, but are otherwise considered crap! Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be boring! In fact, I look forward to every single thing that I eat and enjoy every bite! I never crave pizza, or pasta (two foods I literally lived on when I was a kid) and I haven’t had fast food since I was 12.
Here is a list of food staples I am currently loving.
1. Whey Protein:
If there’s a magic bullet among protein, whey is the one. Studies have shown that it helps the human body stay lean, maintain a healthy heart, reduce risk for diabetes and boost our resistance to illness…it even slows down the aging process and helps control inflammation. What doesn’t it do!? By the way, with all the flavors out there to choose from and the added ability to bake with it, or add it to so many other foods-it tops my list of favorites.
2. MaraNatha Almond Butter: I am a huge fan of natural peanut butter. It is one of my favorite foods…or so I thought! Almond Butter is right up there with PB. It may even be better! It is so smooth, rich and has it’s own natural sweetness that is lacking in natural PB. A significant body of research has revealed many benefits of almonds, including the ability to lower cholesterol and stave off the risk of diabetes. Even a single handful of almonds, provides key nutrients that can help maintain a healthy heart. PLUS, it is incredible on just about everything. Try warming it up and drizzling on raspberries. LOVE IT.
3. Organic Low Fat Cottage Cheese:
I was never a cottage cheese person, but it is so versatile! I love that you can use it in sweet or savory dishes and it is such a great high protein food. Since cottage cheese it is high in casein protein it is the perfect food to consume before bed. Casein digests more slowly than other types of protein and supplies the muscles with a steady stream of amino acids while the body is asleep – preventing muscle breakdown and adding in recovery. You’d be amazed at how great it is mixed with a little whey protein and cinnamon.
4. Michael Angelo Natural Baked Eggplant Parmesan:
As much as I try to stay away from packaged foods, this has no preservatives, tastes homemade and is extremely satisfying and with a nutrient breakdown like this: Calories: 270, Total Fat: 12g, Total Carbs: 25g, Protein: 18g-it’s hard to beat!
5. Sabra Hummus:
Another food staple of mine, hummus. Sabra is by far the best brand I have found. I have met people who claim to HATE hummus, until they try Sabra brand-which is super creamy, savory and filling! Hummus as a whole contains plenty of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for improving intelligence and maintaining a healthy heart. On top of it all, this dish also has iron, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, folic acid, and amino acids. Tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine are the amino acids found in hummus that can promote good quality sleep and uplift one’s mood.
6. Wing Time Hot Sauce:
The lowest sodium hot sauce I have ever found. Tastes buttery, flavorful and rich on almost everything! You never have an excuse to call eating healthy boring again! Whether you’re looking to increase your metabolism, remedy a stuffy nose, pain relief, or perhaps reduce cholesterol-hot peppers/sauce is just the thing you need. The capsaicin chemical compound is packed with benefits for your entire body.
7. Wheat Bran:
Bran is the outer layer or husk of grains such as oat, rice and wheat. Interestingly enough, for many years, this outer layer was simply discarded during the milling process until people learned of its health benefits. This makes bran one of the healthiest byproducts in the food industry.One of the most significant health benefits of wheat bran is the dietary fiber it contains. It is rich in omegas, starch, protein, vitamins and dietary minerals, making it a compact nutritional powerhouse. Diets high in wheat bran have consistently demonstrated great health benefits such as lower cholesterol, healthier hearts and improved intestinal health. It’s obvious that when you improve the health of your heart, you help your body fight off foreign invaders and live a longer life. I love 1/2 cup of wheat bran mixed with 2-3 tablespoons rolled oats, add liquid, heat on the stove or in microwave. Add cinnamon, natural sweetener, fruit or whatever you’d like. Very filling and a healthy comfort food!
8. Kobacha (Japanese Pumpkin):
Kobacha is one of my new favorite foods. It tastes like a sweet potato, but only has 7 grams of carbs and 30 calories in 3/4 cup! In addition, it provides a healthy dose of betacarotene and is full of vitamins A,C, iron and potassium. It tastes great cut up into wedges or cubes and baked for 20-30 minutes. You can eat it with the skin on! Try a little olive oil and sea salt & dip in organic ketchup. It’s hard to believe, but it seriously imitates potato wedges/french fries.
Tuna fish is truly a nutrient-dense food. An excellent source of high quality protein, tuna are rich in a variety of important nutrients including the minerals selenium, magnesium, and potassium; the B vitamins niacin, B1 and B6; and perhaps most important, the beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids. Enjoying tuna or salmon just twice weekly may help raise omega-3 levels at least as effectively as daily fish oil supplementation. Try it mixed with a tablespoon of greek yogurt (another staple food of mine!) and wing time hot sauce. Add to salad, a piece of whole grain toast, cracker or whatever you wish. Super filling and always tasty!
10. Coconut Oil
The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc. It is basically a miracle food! Use a few tablespoons to saute ANYTHING or use in baking. Smells incredible, but leaves no strange coconut taste on your food. You can even use it on dry skin / chapped lips.
This list was just a few the foods I am enjoying extra right now!
MORE Food Staples of Mine (basically my entire food library) :
Greek Yogurt, Unsweetened Almond Milk, Salad(Salad and More Salad!!), Oatmeal, Sweet Potato, Natural Peanut Butter, Egg Whites, Tilapia, Salmon, Lean Grass Fed Beef, Edamame, Lentils, Kidney Beans, Chickpeas, Ezekiel Bread, Balsamic Vinegar, Yogurt Ranch Dressing, Turkey, No Salt Added Mustard, Kefir, Oat Fiber, Bananas, Raspberries, Blueberries, Pumpkin, Fennel, Cinnamon, Organic Coffee, Chicken…if I can think of more-I will add them!
I hope this list gives you a few new food ideas to add-you’ll never know until you try them! Be brave, experiment and get the boredom out of your diet today!