20 Food Faves in our Kitchens

 

Four years ago, you wouldn’t have found many of these foods in our kitchens. A few cancer avocado - sweetonveg flickrdiagnoses and a couple health coaching credentials later, you’d be hard-pressed to not see most of these items in our pantries or refrigerators. Why? Because we eat pretty differently than they way we did several years ago. We focus on whole, plant-based foods. And we didn’t make these changes overnight – it happened in baby steps – and we’re still learning, experimenting, tweaking, and just having fun with all that whole, real, nutritious food has to offer.

That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy or treats and sweets too, but eating foods like those listed below is our focus. And it’s gotten pretty easy, and not to mention, darn delicious! The best part – we can truly feel what a difference it makes in our bodies, our minds and our moods. It’s such a drastic change, that besides the occasional takeout pizza or summertime ice cream cone, we prefer eating this way. This is the real deal. Real food. No drastic dieting. No restrictions. No guilt. Just enjoying food in a way that supports our health and not worrying too much about the rest.

It can take a little discovery, a little planning and an open mind (after all, much of the “food” available these days is far from what Mother Nature created), but if you begin with one small step and turn that into part of your lifestyle, it’s easy! Then take another step. And another.

So, check out our list below – 20 of the top foods you’ll find in our kitchens – and see how many you have in yours. Maybe you’ll find a few new foods to try. Maybe you have some healthy faves to add. But what better time than right now to start adding in some great foods? It’s a brand new year! Happy 2013! 20 food faves

  1. Kale
  2. Brown rice
  3. Quinoa
  4. Steel cut oats
  5. Coconut oil
  6. Raw almonds
  7. Avocado
  8. Tempeh
  9. Miso
  10. Garlic
  11. Ginger
  12. Carrots
  13. Sea vegetables
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Tamari
  16. Onions
  17. Broccoli
  18. Seeds (pumpkin, hemp and chia)
  19. Lentils
  20. Beans

7 Steps to Finding Your Food Groove

Making the decision to begin changing your diet can feel overwhelming and confusing – possibly so much so that you end up making no changes at all! And that’s not what we want to see happen. Once you’ve decided you’re ready to begin eating better (which is really the first step!), then take on the rest in baby steps. Go one day at a time and one goal at a time.

Perhaps you decide to begin eating a leafy green vegetable every day or 4 days of the week. Maybe you want to try drinking more water or eating more whole grains (like brown rice) instead of processed grains (breads, pastas – especially the white flour ones!). Start small and add on as you go.

Here are 7 general steps to finding your groove with food. These are great areas to start with, and you may want to break down your steps and goals even more. Remember to be realistic, but also push yourself to see just what you can do! You’d be surprised!

1.) Drink more water: There is no right amount of water to drink, but generally the bigger and more active you are, the more you should drink. A good rule of thumb is a 1/2 ounce of water per pound of weight. So a 160 pound person might start with 80 ounces of water (or 10 eight-ounce cups). Staying hydrated is imperative during cancer treatment! This will help to increase your energy, support your immune system, reduce nausea and other treatment and cancer side effects.

2.) Practice cooking: Cooking is a fundamental step to healthier living. By making your own meals you know what’s going into them. Meals don’t need to take hours to prepare and involve multiple ingredients. Pick a healthy recipe or two a week to add in to your routine. 

3.) Increase leafy green vegetables: These are seriously lacking in the American diet and they are most essential for creating long-lasting health. More specifically they help eliminate depression, improve liver, gallbladder and kidney function, increase energy and boost your blood. Try kale, collards, mustard greens, dandelion greens, spinach, and chard.

4.) Increase whole grains: It’s not these types of carbohydrates that have led to the obesity epidemic, but rather the processed goods like doughnuts. Whole grains are some of the best sources of nutritional support and provide long-lasting energy. Try brown rice, quinoa, oats, and millet. 

5.) Increase sweet vegetables: People forget that these exist and they are the perfect medicine for the sweet tooth. Instead of depending on processed sugar, you can add more naturally sweet flavors to your diet and dramatically reduce sweet cravings and better support your body. Try sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and squash.

6.) Experiment with protein: The majority of Americans eat way too much protein and mostly in the form of animal meat. Pay attention to how different types of protein make you feel. Try other forms like beans, lentils, nuts or fermented soy (tempeh, miso).

7.) Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods; consume less coffee, alcohol and tobacco: Did you notice we said eat less instead of don’t eat? If we told you not to drink coffee or eat sweets you would want them even more. By increasing your whole grains, vegetables and water you will naturally crowd out the more processed items, so this step often comes naturally (and it’s much easier to add in good food than try to restrict yourself from the not-so-good foods).

 

Adapted from 10 Steps to Boost Your Health for Life, Joshua Rosenthal, IntegrativeNutrition.com