I Love Food!
I am a foodie. Always have been, and always will be. I try not to let food determine my day, but I have been known to cry if my dish doesn’t turn out right. We must eat to live, but we should enjoy the eating as well. Over time, learning to “adult” more has brought me back to experimenting with foods. Trying ways to prepare those less than exciting but nutrient rich foods into something I actually wanted to consume.
Sometimes I think I am craving some greasy drive thru fare, but when I give in to those spur of the moment decisions, I almost always regret it sooner than later. Not because I am worried I may have had too many calories or ate gluten. More so because I know I am actually not going to feel good after such meals. Sure, the initial taste is great – but a few days of crap food, and you feel like… well, crap.
New Concept in “dieting”
I heard an interesting concept on a podcast one day. In discussing women, and diets, and how we berate ourselves and starve ourselves in the intent of being “healthy”, she mentioned a simple idea that has stuck with me: choose foods that will bless your body.
Instead of looking at food to be “good” or “bad” – ask yourself what will BLESS your body right now? Maybe it’s been a rough and emotional day, and an indulgent treat would actually bless you and lift your spirits. Go for it! On other days, look for what your body is actually craving – not what your brain thinks you want. Every day, all day long, WATER will bless you! I know I do not drink enough water in my normal day to day. More is always good.
Choose to Bless Your Body
Have a headache? Drink Water! Feeling drowsy? Drink Water! Feeling anxious? Drink Water! (yes, it actually works)
But aside from the obvious H20 – I have found these 5 superfoods are amazing at battling inflammation, cleansing toxins from your body, and boosting the immune system! I will admit, I avoided these for the most part for a long time unless someone else prepared them. I had little experience as a kid eating them, and each of those encounters left a bad taste in my mouth (haha).
Yes, Good Food Actually Tastes Good!
It took some experimenting and testing out different methods and recipes – but I found ways to enjoy them and add them to the normal meal planning repertoire even with young kiddos!
So without further ado – here are some great additions to your meals that will definitely BLESS your body, WHY they are important, and HOW to prepare them:
Beets contain multiple antioxidants and have both cleansing and detoxification properties. This food helps boost immunity and liver function as well – breaking down waste and flushing toxins out of our system. They’re also an amazing source of fiber and vitamin C, which acts as the digestive system’s cleaning crew. The deep purple color adds a bright contrast to any dish.
My favorite way to prepare beets is to pair them with another powerhouse veggie – sweet potatoes similiar to this dish from Yummly.com – it’s a favorite even with the young ones.
“Garlic, the ultimate detox food, supports liver enzymes and processes important to your body’s natural cleansing regime,” says New York-based dietitian Deborah Malkoff-Cohen. It is the most effective antimicrobial food out there – with over 40 different anti-fungal/bacterial/viral/parasitic agents. The added benefit of Vitamin C also boosts immunity and supports the liver.
Raw garlic is best, but that can be hard to do. I am not a fan of sticking a fresh garlic clove in my mouth and just chomping away. Aside from the breath I know I will have, the taste can almost feel like it is burning the inside of my cheeks.
Instead, to get your daily dose of ½ a clove – simply chop a clove up into small pill sized shapes, and swallow with a drink of your choice. It can be a little tough on the stomach, so many times I will take mine with some milk or a smoothie.
Brussels sprouts are an excellent staple for anyone who wants to give their waistline a trim. One cup contains more than 100% of the daily dose of vitamin C and 3 grams of fiber, but only 38 calories. This gem is also jam-packed with sulfur-containing compounds, which may help reduce inflammation and deactivate carcinogens.
I used to hate brussel sprouts as a kid. My grandma blanched them in vinegar water – serving them up like a soggy pile of alien brains. Yuck!
However, I have found baking them with just a little olive oil and some salt and pepper and they are actually quite good. Turn it up a notch and try this spicy version:
Simple but SO GOOD Thai Chili Brussel Sprouts:
1 Lb Brussel Sprouts
Drizzle with Olive oil
Lightly salt/pepper and toss
Drizzle 1/4 -1/2 C Thai Chili Sauce on top
Bake at 350 for 15-20 min
Plain Greek Yogurt
We have all heard about the healthy microbiome—the community of living bacteria in your gut— and that it is key to ensuring that your body functions at its best. Having a healthy inner biome aides in digestion, regulating the bowels, and reduces bloating. To replenish good gut bacteria enjoy a daily serving of probiotic-packed foods such as plain greek yougurt (the non sugary kind, of course).
“Most varieties contain live and active cultures, but check the label to be sure,” Boston-based dietitian Sheri Kasper, RD, recommends. Specifically, make sure your yogurt contains Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Pair it with Spinach or Kale (mentioned below) to make a great Green Monster Smoothie:
1 Medium Banana
1 Tbl Nut Butter of your choice
1/2 cup Plain or Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 cups baby spinach / kale
- Blend up some morning bliss!
Spinach / Kale
Last but surely not least, we have our dark leafy greens – Spinach and Kale! Hooray!! Right? It’s okay, not many people get excited about Spinach unless you have a big anchor tattoo and your best friend loves hamburgers.
One of the miracles of nature – these powerful little leaves are full of trace minerals, vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and more. Low calories, but hefty in benefits like 600% of your daily Vitamin K and 3 grams of fiber in each handful. Spinach is not a complete food, not by any stretch, but it’s perfect as a side dish or an addition to a meal.
Use it as a bed for a fresh garden salad, throw some in your morning eggs, blend it up in a smoothie. The possibilities are limitless. There is virtually no flavor to Spinach and Kale – and in this case that is a good thing because you can add it to ANY dish and add some amazing health bonuses without putting a bad taste in your mouth.
See recipe above for a great smoothie – feel free to experiment with adding your favorite fruits or some vanilla protein powder.
Choose Blessings Everyday
These were just a few easy and available options to add some power packed foods to your normal repetoire.
The bottom line is to choose every single day to bless your body – bless your mind – bless your soul. And live your life in pursuit of blessing the world as well.