In this first month of the year, our thoughts are often on improving ourselves and our health. These improvements tend to focus on the “bad” habits or foods that need to be eliminated. There are certain things in our lives and diets that our bodies would be better off without, but this approach can promote a pattern of negative thinking that is a bad habit in and of itself. So this year why not make a more positive promise to yourself to improve your health by adding more of the super-good-for-you things that you might be missing?
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Seeds – Sunflower, pumpkin, and hemp seeds can be sprinkled on salads, used to top your morning breakfast bowl or yogurt, or baked into bread for a boost of healthy fats, vitamins, and essential micronutrients.
- Beans/Legumes – Excellent sources of plant-based protein, substituting a meat-based meal for a bean-based stew or curry a couple of times a week will boost your fiber intake while providing you with B vitamins and the essential minerals magnesium and potassium.
- Leafy Greens – My personal favorite, greens are loaded with vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium, and fiber and they are easy to find locally in the winter months. Try making a kale salad (great for packing for lunch) or add tougher greens, like collards, to soups and stews. You can even add a handful of greens to your morning smoothie and you’ll barely taste them!
- Berries – Antioxidant-rich blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and kiwis can be eaten on their own or added to a bowl of yogurt sweetened with honey for a nourishing snack.
- Dark Chocolate – Yes, chocolate. Dark chocolate is packed with a surprising number of nutrients, including antioxidants. Choose a quality bar with less sugar (at least 70% cacao content, but 85-90% is even better) and treat yourself to a piece (up to 1.5 ounces daily) when a sugar craving hits. You might be surprised how satisfying just a small square can be!
- Water – Staying hydrated is one of the most basic things your body needs to keep functioning properly, but it’s also one of the easiest things to let fall from our priority list. Make a habit of carrying a reusable non-toxic (not plastic) bottle of water with you and sipping all day long. Hydro Flask is having a sale right now!
If you find yourself wondering how best to incorporate some of these items into your lifestyle, schedule an appointment with one of our skilled providers here.
Interested in learning more? Schedule an appointment with us to get support on your journey to holistic and kind health.
|Written by the Starkel Nutrition team.|
Moore, M. Leafy Greens: Nutrition Rock Stars. Food & Nutrition. March/April 2014. http://www.foodandnutrition.org/March-April-2014/Leafy-Greens-Nutrition-Rock-Stars/