Friday, February 17, 2012

10 Super Foods!

     Hey y'all! Well I'm here today to sort of take you back to basics in terms of the food we choose to fuel our bodies.  If you read my very first blog post (my introduction), you will remember that I personally do my best to eat natural and simple foods...they are just better for you!  When I eat this way, my body feels "cleaner", my body runs much more smoothly, and my skin even looks and feels much better. 
     With that said, every year Americans spend roughly $42 billion on weight loss foods and services, when in all actuality, many of them will prove to NOT be successful in the long run.  $42 BILLION!!! This is just not necessary. Unfortunately, with so many food choices out there, we often choose convenience over health; however, there is no need for that...we just need to keep it simple! I will give you a list of 10 foods that are not only healthy, but they also help fight hunger and boost your metabolism. When eaten properly and in conjunction with a regular exercise routine, that spells out weight loss! Plus, I will finish with an awesome recipe inspired by some of these foods.

  1. Eggs-Awww....the infamous eggs! Many people often stay away from eggs or simply eat only the whites because the yolks are known for their cholesterol, but did you know that by not eating the yolk, you are making the egg an incomplete protein source.  The yolks contain roughly 40% of the protein(protein is crucial for building muscle!) and contains high concentrations of amino acids required for brain function. It is a nutrient power house! Don't be afraid to eat eggs in moderation.
  2. Oats-Oatmeal (I'm talking the plain jane stuff...not the kind that comes in packets and that is flavored with a ton of sugar) is low in fat and calories and is a good source of fiber...particularly soluble fiber.  When eaten on a regular basis, it may help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. The soluble fiber absorbs water and slows down your digestive process, thus making you fill full longer.  This can help you control your weight.
  3. Whole grains-Whole grains are naturally higher in fiber and help to even out insulin levels and blood sugar which, in turn helps to keep sugar cravings away.  They also help you to have better weight maintenance and healthier blood pressure levels. 
  4. Salmon-Including salmon in your diet-just 2-3 servings/week-is great because it contains omega 3 essential fatty acids, which help to prevent high cholesterol and promote eye health. It's low in saturated fat and calories, but high in protein.  
  5. Nut butters-Think almond butter and peanut butter...and when possible pass on the commercial nut butters (many contain hydrogenated fats) and choose the natural varieties.  Not only do these nut butters taste delicious, but they are rich in monounsaturated fats.  Monounsaturated fats help to reduce levels of cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart ailments. Plus, they help to control blood sugar.
  6. Grapefruit-It's phytochemicals reduce insulin levels, which may force your body to convert calories into energy rather than fat. Grapefruits are low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamin C!
  7. Turkey-Rich in protein, it contains high levels of the amino acid leucine, which helps to stimulate blood sugar and and insulin levels resulting in weight loss.
  8. Avocados-(one of my favs!!!) Although these are known for being high in fat, don't shy away from them. Most of the fat is unsaturated, which can help improve your overall cholesterol levels.  They are also high in fiber, so when combined with the fat, they can improve your feeling of being full and in turn you eat less.
  9. Olive Oil-The main type of fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids.  These are known for helping to lower your risk of heart disease.  Consuming olive oil also helps your body to metabolize fat so that fat doesn't accumulate on the abdomen.
  10. Tofu-One serving of tofu packs roughly 18% of an adult's daily requirement for protein.  It is also a good source of calcium, which makes it a great choice for vegans.  By eating tofu, you get the protein benefits of meat while being low in saturated fat.
Here is a recipe for whole wheat peanut butter waffles! They are homemade so you know they contain real ingredients and no preservatives! They contain whole grains and natural peanut butter so you know they are good for you too ; )!

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  •  1/2 cup creamy (natural) peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbs sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (regular salt is also fine)
  • cooking spray
  1. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the first 8 ingredients with a mixer.
  2. Preheat a waffle iron.  When it is ready, spray it's surface lightly with the cooking spray.
  3. Fill a medium size ladle with batter and pour enough batter on the waffle iron. (make sure it is not over flowing bc when you close the waffle iron, it will just continue to flow out of the sides) Cook until the waffle is golden brown, approximately 3-5 minutes.  Serve hot with your choice of maple syrup and butter or fresh berries. 
            (optional: throw 1 ripe banana into the batter when mixing)

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please comment about it and tell me what you think!

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