Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
Let’s talk about food! As a health and fitness professional I’m often asked about my favorite foods. There’s a lot to consider when answering this question. I consider how a food tastes, its nutritional impact on my health, and even how versatile it is in my kitchen, since I cook at least 90% of my meals at home. And of course I find it interesting to hear what other nutrition professionals choose as their favorite foods and see if any of mine match up. Are their go-to healthy foods the same as mine? Are the foods they would recommend the same as the ones I recommend? I asked around and got some interesting choices. See what you think!
1. Can’t Fail With Good Fats
One of the keys to smart eating is choosing foods that help you stay full. Refined carbohydrates and high-sugar foods may fill you up fast, but they leave you feeling flat soon after that. Good fats are the antidotes to hunger. For example, avocados contain the unsaturated fats that are a heart-smart way to help keep you full. And from what I can tell with avocado toast being all the rage these days, more people seem to be enjoying avocados than ever. One of my go-to snacks is half of an avocado sprinkled with a little kosher or sea salt. I just eat it with a spoon. I know I’m getting some good fat, some good fiber, and it fills me up. Located in southern California as I am, avocados are a staple in my diet, so I’d agree with the “can’t fail with good fats” choice.
2. Powdered Peanut Butter
Here’s an interesting choice I heard someone mention. I never even knew such a product existed until I recently saw it in a friend’s pantry. It’s basically powdered peanuts with the oil removed, so there’s 85 percent less fat and calories than you find in traditional peanut butter. If you have a hard time once you start eating nut butters because you tend to overeat them, this might be something to try. You can add powdered peanut butter as a flavor enhancer or for extra protein in your yogurt and smoothies. I haven’t tried powdered peanut butter and since overeating nut butters is not something I do, I doubt this would ever be a food choice for me. I’d be interested to know if any of you have tried it. Let me know!
3. Live It Up With Cruciferous Veggies
I’m a huge fan of vegetables with both lunch and dinner, so when I hear health professionals LEAVE this choice OUT, I get upset. Cruciferous vegetables are particularly potent when it comes to nutritional benefits. These vegetables contain fiber and vitamin C. My crunchy favorites are Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, broccoli, and cabbage.
4. The Ever-lovable Egg….. or Maybe Not
Many foods bring on controversy, and eggs might top the list. I align with the nutrition professionals who recommend eggs. I’m a fan of eggs because they provide high-quality proteins, choline (a nutrient important for maintaining a healthy metabolism) and vitamins D, B2 and B12. Also, eggs are so versatile for cooking and relatively inexpensive. I use hard-boiled eggs in salads and sandwiches and also add them to soups. If I make egg salad I use an avocado instead of mayonnaise. If you haven’t tried this, it’s delicious. Also, I’m extremely particular about the source of my eggs. Best source? Find a neighbor with chickens!
5. Fermented Food Fans Unite
It looks like fermented foods are definitely on the upswing again. I see people drinking kombucha everywhere I go. It’s a lightly fermented tea that’s a little fizzy, a bit vinegary in flavor, and good for gut health. Fermented foods are best known for the good bacteria benefit. I’m not a kombucha drinker. I’d say my favorite fermented food is sauerkraut. If you enjoy fermented foods, go for it. It’s a fun food category to explore.
6. Savory Porridge in the Pot
Here’s one I’ve heard dietitians talk about that sounds quite interesting. I’m not a cereal eater and don’t eat many grains, but if YOU do, this sounds delicious. Basically, if you have grain, some liquid, and leftover vegetables, add them together and you have a savory porridge. You can add an egg or other protein and some flavoring to enhance the taste. Someone told me there are now Porridge Pop Ups in, you guessed it, San Francisco. It sounds like a very European dish and when the weather is chilly, I could definitely see this as a great use of leftover veggies.
7. Maybe There Are No Secret Best Foods! Skip the Secret Foods Altogether?
This may be my favorite piece of advice I hear health professionals offer. I enjoy a wide range of foods, which of course vary in their taste, nutritional value, and versatility in my kitchen. I eat mindfully, with no guilt. I also eat modestly. I don’t see foods as perfect or bad. I even love to eat pastries! If you haven’t read about my recent trip to Portugal and my pastry love affair, please do!
So there you have it. A brief look into what health and nutrition professionals, including myself, are eating and recommending these days. How do your favorite food choices match up and what’s most important to you when you choose? Let me know!
I hope you find Joyinmovement each and every day, and as always, thanks so much for reading!
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