Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Food recovery for after the holidays

With all the diets and pills and powders out there promising all of our weight loss and health goals come true in the new year, what works and what doesn't? Well, in my opinion, one of the things that everyone can do that doesn't cost extra money or giving up our favorite foods is to eat a variety of whole, minimally processed foods. I don't mean that you need to shop at Whole Foods, the whole foods that I'm referring to are things that come from nature and are eaten in their whole form (i.e. an apple from a tree)

Basically whole foods are:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains (quinoa, corn, brown rice, oats)
  • unprocessed, natural meat, eggs
  • natural dairy
  • nuts, beans, potatoes
Why might a person want to eat mostly whole foods instead of processed foods? Oh, let me tell you...

  • When you eat whole foods like an apple instead of drinking apple juice, you get all the vitamins and minerals working together to power your body the way they were made to do so…instead of extracting one part of the food.
  • Whole foods are more nutritionally dense meaning that you get more nutrients that our bodies need per serving
  • You automatically avoid harmful additives like antibiotics, hormones, added sugars, preservatives, etc
  • More fiber…yay! Many processed foods, especially processed grains, have processed the fiber right out of the food. And we need fiber for proper digestion. 

A little trick that I use when I shop is to shop around the edges of the grocery store first where most of the produce, meat, dairy and frozen veggies and fruit live and then venture into the center isle for whole wheat pasta, brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread, nuts and beans.

So what might some whole foods meals look like? Well here is an entire weeknight dinner menu of super tasty and SUPER easy meals made of whole foods!

Monday: Slow cooker, super clean chili. This is one of my favorite things to prep the night before and then just pull it out of the fridge and into the slow cooker before I leave the house Monday morning.
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday. This super simple and yummy burrito bowl is a big hit in our house most Tuesdays. 
Wednesday: Salmon and Sides. This looks fancy, but takes less than 30 minutes!
Thursday: Chicken and angel hair "pasta" pesto. This is great with zucchini noodles, but even better with spaghetti squash. I double or even triple/quadruple the pesto recipe as it freezes really well for the next time!
Friday: Baked potatoes with leftover chili on top. Because, let's face it, sometimes at the end of the week it's hard to make yourself cook. 

So there you have it! Have fun adding more whole foods into your day...I bet you will feel and even look your best! :) 

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