I hate counting calories. Honestly, what could be more annoying than tracking your food on a daily basis? Unfortunately, I’ve learned that there are times when that is exactly what we must do (temporarily).
When you have completely fallen off the path of eating high nutrient foods.
When you are facing medical conditions or injuries.
When you need to track a certain individual category such as sodium, carbohydrates, etc.
When you’ve hit a plateau in your wellness journey.
You may also want to track when you are traveling just so you don’t go crazy when eating out.
My 3 friends (that I grew up with) and one grown daughter were at our bi-weekly (okay, sometimes weekly) lunch last week when the subject of “my fitness pal” came up in conversation. It seemed that most of us used this method of tracking at one time or another. Super easy to utilize!
If you are looking for a good way to track your daily nutrients and/or exercise, check it out.
They also have a phone app, which makes tracking incredibly easy.
Happy tracking! ;)
Don’t you just wish someone would tell you which fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious? I’m not talking about exotic or rare plant and fruit species that you can barely pronounce properly let alone find in a regular supermarket. I’m talking about common fruits and vegetables that you grew up on.
I’m well aware that not everyone has time to shop for different types of produce and then go home and prepare gourmet meals with them. I don’t even work outside of the home and I don’t have time for all that jazz. Okay, I could make the time, but I rather study. :)
So, I compiled a small list of easy to find nutritious fruits and veggies (and some seeds) that will help you stay healthy. Honestly, you don’t have to do anything with them but…eat them!
Spinach: Is one of natures best all round nutrient providers. Use it in place of lettuce for a salad, throw it in a smoothie, sauté it or just eat it. One time at the airport I saw a lady eat half of bag of fresh spinach for breakfast. I was like, “Hey, why didn’t I think of that!”
Romaine lettuce: Is an excellent source of vitamins A, K and C, folate, manganese and chromium. Use it in a salad, smoothie or again, just eat it. I’m going to get sick of writing, “just eat it” huh?
Red Peppers: They have more Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene than green or yellow peppers. Cut them up or I’ve even seen people eat a pepper like an apple. I love them with hummus.
Strawberries: Ranked one of fifty best antioxidants. Dipped in dark chocolate? OR yes, just eat them. :)
Tomatoes: Excellent source of Vitamin C. Wash, slice (or eat whole), sprinkle a little sea salt and eat it. I eat a medium tomato this way everyday.
Carrots: Some call them the “King of the Vegetables”. You can find baby carrots all ready to eat in a bag. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Blueberries: Memory protecting food. Wash and go.
Oranges: Yep, you guessed it, lots of Vitamin C. I’m pretty sure you know how to eat an orange. :)
Sunflower seeds (low or no sodium, non flavored): Contain a wide variety of nutrients. They are known to be the perfect easy snack.
Red grapes: Have a high content of antioxidants which green grapes only have a small amount of. Wash them, put them in a sandwich bag and carry them with you for a snack.
Eating healthy doesn’t need to be complicated! So, you may want to add these 10 powerhouse fruits and veggies to your grocery list.
*The simplest things are often the truest.-Richard Bach
On the way home from being “officially” diagnosed with numerous food intolerances, my husband asked me what kind of diet would I follow if I could eat anything I wanted; no food was off-limits. I pondered the question for a few minutes and not only was he surprised by my conclusion but I was as well.
After ten years of researching nutrition on my own and now, after almost a full year of classes, I think I would pretty much eat the same way I do now. Why, you ask? The easiest way to answer this question is because I focus on high nutrient/ whole food so I don’t have to count calories, fat grams, how much protein, carbohydrates or keep a food journal. Okay, so maybe I sound lazy, but eating shouldn’t be a chore and until you start eating real food that’s exactly what it’s going to be.
I’ve taken many courses and I have struggled with a couple of their “theories”. For example, I’ve actually stayed up a few nights disturbed by the fact that any class or program would promote eating animal meat three times a day. It’s just careless and I feel these programs are only saying what the average American wants to hear. You may (or may not) be able to lose weight this way, but are you going to be healthy in the long run? I can only advise people on the same theory I would advise my own children with.
So for those of you that are wondering what I do eat on a daily basis, please follow the link below. I posted this October 2011 and it has pretty much stayed the same although I may eat even more veggies now.
Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid is the closest example of how my husband and I eat everyday.
Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Fuhrman are two of my favorite health experts that I follow on a regular basis. I would definitely advise Dr. Fuhrman’s book “Eat to Live.”
Remember: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”-Michael Pollan
I’d like to welcome all the new people following Vitamin De and I’d also like to thank all the people who have been following me since the beginning. I enjoy posting new information to help you stay healthy and I’ve learned (and continue to learn) so much through working one on one with so many of you. This kind of sounds like I’m leaving, but I’m not! I’m just getting started. :)
I have my certification as a Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and as a Fitness Chef and I’m working on my certification as a Nutrition Coach. I believe the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is what is causing most of the health problems in our country and I truly believe healthy food HEALS!
Below are the main links to help you get started on the path that will make you feel your best. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. That’s what I’m here for! :)
If someone asked me one change they could make to improve their health significantly, I would say to drink the smoothie listed below every morning. Drinking vegetables and fruit first thing in the morning is going to set you up perfectly for the rest of the day. This smoothie will give you more energy than you can imagine.
Below is an example of how I try to eat everyday.
My grocery list.
If you are feeling really ambitious, below is a great detox. Let me know if you have any questions. There is also a “detox” folder to the right of my blog. You will find recipes and information there while you are detoxing.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Per request, I’m posting my master grocery list. I’m not suggesting you go out and buy this stuff but it gives you an idea of what my husband and I eat on a daily basis. We try to buy organic when possible and I prefer to make my own peanut butter when I have time. Otherwise, I use a natural peanut butter. I always look for the lowest sodium products and rinse thoroughly before using most canned foods. I buy gluten-free except for a few items that my husband prefers. We are living overseas (only 6.5 more months) so we are limited on our choices. I grocery shop once a week (on average) and occasionally I try to stretch it out to one and 1/2 weeks. :) I always print out my list and mark off what I don’t need that week. Save’s time and money. Last but not least, I take my reusable grocery bags.
|Mushrooms||Apple||Wild Rice||Garbanzo Beans|
|Portobello Mushrooms||Pears||Brown Rice||Kidney Beans|
|Celery||Tomato Sauce (no salt added)|
|Sweet Potatoes||Organic Vegetable Broth|
|Red Bell peppers||Salsa|
|SPICES & SUCH||FROZEN||SNACKS||NUTS|
|Garlic Powder||Blueberries||KIND bars||Almonds|
|Dill Weed||Sweet Cheeries||Dark Chocolate||Walnuts|
|Chili Powder||Blue Tortilla Chips|
|Red Pepper Flakes||Mary’s Gone Crackers|
|Mrs. Dash assortment|
|Apple Cider Vinegar|
|Low Sodium Soy Sauce|
|Dried Black Beans|
|Corn Taco Shells|
|Corn Tortilla Shells|
Recently I’ve had quite a few people ask me about the smoothie my husband and I drink every morning, so I thought I’d re-post the recipe. It’s changed just a little bit from when I started making it last summer. We both drink 40 ounces for breakfast everyday.
2 handfuls of spinach (Try frozen)
1 handful of celery
1 handful of carrots (I use thawed out frozen baby carrots)
12-16 ounces of distilled or purified water
3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (optional)
6 ice cubes-optional (We like to drink ours cold)
If you use a high-powered blender, you can just cut up the apple and pear and throw it in the blender with the skin on.
*We’ve found that adding a half a handful of red cabbage on occasion really helps to “clean you out” if you know what I mean.
You will feel much more energized drinking this smoothie for breakfast than you would if you had consumed a typical breakfast. BECAUSE it’s blended, you don’t have to use your energy digesting what you would normally eat in the morning. AND just think of all the fruits and veggies you consume right off the bat! It’s a win-win situation. :)
Recipe inspired by: Kimberly Snyder
Seriously, it seems like I’m always eating! Because I follow a high nutrient diet, I don’t have to worry about counting calories, fat grams, points or any of those other weight loss “methods.” You will automatically lose weight by eating this way so if you are like my husband (who is very active and loses weight easily), you may have to add a couple more snacks. I also make sure he eats healthy fats like nuts (not peanuts) and avocados.
Below is a sample menu of what I eat in a day.
8-16 ounces of water (Room temperature is recommended but to be honest, I have to drink my water cold. Also, if you have time, squeeze some fresh lemon in your water.)
My Breakfast Smoothie
A HUGE Salad: with all my favorite toppings such as, red pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, black olives, black beans and I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast (for B12). Some days, I’ll make a gluten-free, vegan taco salad. I’ll top it off with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar or my favorite, salsa. Just make sure you mix it up so you never get bored.
Nutritional Yeast: Yellow in color and with a nutty cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is a favorite amongst many vegans because of its unique flavor and similarity to cheese when added to foods. Sprinkle some on hot popcorn or garlic bread, or add a generous spoonful to a stir-fry or pasta sauce. Nutritional yeast is also the only reliable food source of vitamin B12, so if you’re vegan, it’s a good idea to add some to your food regularly. Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk foods or supplement section of your health food store. You can look for either nutritional yeast flakes or powder, but be sure you don’t get brewer’s yeast by mistake, as it’s quite similar in appearance. In Australia and New Zealand, nutritional yeast is also called “savory yeast” or “savory yeast flakes”. About.com
A handful of “Mary’s Gone Crackers” crackers and hummus.
Dessert: 2 squares of (70% or more cocoa) dark chocolate.
“Kind” bar: My favorite! Some days, I’ll substitute for a handful of nuts.
I’ll eat a “regular” meal with my husband. I am gluten-free, I don’t eat dairy and I only eat fish, so our meals are planned accordingly. If you don’t have any food in- tolerances, than I would encourage you to eat a sensible meal.
Dessert: Two squares of dark chocolate or 2 of the Chocolate Turtles.
Most nights, I’m too full to eat an evening snack but when I can, I usually make a fruit smoothie. For me, this is a substitution for ice cream or a milkshake. I’ve posted an easy recipe below. Just allow yourself a good amount of time to digest it before going to sleep.
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 cup of frozen blueberries
*I never think about what I can’t eat; I think about all the delicious food I can eat! I was never a big vegetable eater (until this year) but now my eyes light up when we hit the farmer’s market. I keep my focus on all the great benefits that healthy food is doing for my body and for my mind.
Stay with me, the best is yet to come. :)
Have you ever wondered why you can’t lose weight or no matter what you do, you just never feel quite right or you feel sick all the time? I could have checked all three of these boxes (if they were actual boxes) for years and years until I finally got fed up and started to taking matters into my own hands.
I’m not a doctor or a dietician so I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you what I would do if I were you. :) If I were you, I would look into the following 5 issues in the order they are presented. I personally fell under categories 2, 3, and 4. After getting these issues under control, I’m fifteen pounds lighter and feel amazing!
- Processed foods
First step on your way to feeling better and losing a few lbs, DITCH the PROCESSED FOOD! Be leery of anything that comes in a package, can or box.
I beg of you, INCREASE your servings of vegetables a day! You will lose weight (unless you are sucking down quarter pounders with the veggies) and feel so much more energetic. My husband and I eat 6 servings of vegetables by 1:00 pm everyday and that’s JUST veggies, our fruit is not included in that figure. This weekend, I will post the smoothies we drink everyday.
I wasn’t even aware of the serious digestion problems I was having because they didn’t present themselves in the typical heartburn, acid reflux manner. I could write a whole other post on digestion alone. My chronic chest pain is gone now that I’m eating right. (Always, contact your doctor immediately if you have chest pain.)
4. Food intolerances
I like the article below because it explains food intolerances straightforwardly. Although, I was pretty bummed to discover that I was intolerant to a list of food, I was relieved to know why I was feeling so bad and grateful I can live the next half of my life comfortably.
I’m still learning about this condition but find it fascinating how much this can affect our health. The chart will blow your mind.
Of course, not all these situations are going to apply to you. Thanks goodness, right? :)
If you have any questions, please let me know and I can guide you in the right direction.
I’ve come a long way in my nutrition studies and the way I eat but one of the first things I learned was if I was going to eat processed food (I rarely ever do now) was to find the products with the least amount and most recognizable ingredients. It’s such an easy way to eliminate toxins and it only takes a minute to figure out. This would be one of the first steps I would encourage a beginner to take. I really wish I had this information 20+ years ago when I was raising my children. (I still can’t wean my 23-year-old son off the Dorito’s!)
The first bag is the ingredients in a bag of Dorito’s. The second bag is the ingredients from Kettle Chips which only has 3-4 ingredients.
*I apologize for the quality of these pictures, they were taken from my phone.
Next time you are at the grocery store, check out the ingredients in the food you are buying. TTL! :)