Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Healthy Eating

Continuing from my last post, another key to looking 20 years younger is nutrition. This wasn't a huge change for me because I have always been a pretty healthy eater and have included a lot of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy in my diet. My problem is sweets. I have a really hard time passing on a cupcake or chocolate bar. Also, I think when life gets a little crazy, going out to a restaurant or grabbing fast food is just an easier option. A lot of places do offer healthy choices, but in all reality they aren't that great tasting. I have met a few exceptions. But, I deserve a better tasting, flavorful meal cooked at home. I really prefer home cooked food.

Bob Greene suggested including "super foods" in your diet. A few of the "super foods" he talked about were seaweed, blueberries, sweet potatoes, eggplant, brussels sprouts, and edamame - basically, a lot of fruits and veggies. He said half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables. Also, he said to add fresh herbs to your food for flavor (which are also powerful disease fighters). He also mentioned that whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and heart healthy oils are "super foods." I was thrilled because those are the foods I usually eat and I have never met a fruit or veggie I didn't like. I am always buying and trying new ones. I love to shop at farmer's markets because they always have new fun things to try, like lemon spinach (so good!). Bob also talked about counting calories. He suggested eating about 1700 calories a day if your active. I am not a calorie counter, I am a Points counter. Always have been, always will be. It makes sense to me. Last, Bob suggested taking a multi-vitamin, calcium supplement, and fish oil supplement daily. I have always taken a multi but added a fish oil which is good for your skin, nails, and hair. Olive oil (a "super food") is also good for those things and I am going to try and get a Tablespoon a day in. 

I have cut back to almost no sweets but do have an occasionally York Peppermint Pattie or cupcake. They make me happy and I am not going to beat myself up over them. I just know that for the most part I am eating very nutritiously and I am saving a ton of money eating at home. Plus, I just feel so much better and I am eating way better tasting food. Bob stated that "this is not a diet, it's a way of life" and I couldn't agree more. 

I will share a recipe we made last night because it was insanely delish. They are our version of Chipotle Veggie Tacos (one of my favorite healthy restaurants - gotta love Chipotle Mexican Grill, right?). These tacos are so good, flavorful, high-fiber, low-calorie, and don't take long to make at all. I think I may have a slight addiction to black beans (maybe more than cupcakes, but don't tell anyone I said that)... so if you like black beans, you have to try this recipe. Also, you have to like Cilantro too, because it's in the Pico, guacamole, and rice. 

Black Bean Veggie Tacos
Crisp white taco shells
Cilantro rice
Seasoned black beans (like Bush's)
Pico De Gallo
Guacamole (click for recipe)
Shredded green leaf lettuce

Heat black beans according to the directions. Layer cilantro rice, black beans, Pico De Gallo, guacamole, and shredded lettuce (don't you dare use iceberg lettuce - it has zero nutritional value) in your taco shell. Enjoy!

Cilantro Rice
White or Brown Jasmine rice (preferably brown)
Lime Juice

Cook rice according to package directions. Add cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste. So easy and so good.

I will post about my other two changes coming up.

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