In all honesty, for me, one of the hardest parts of eating healthy is the sheer planning aspect of it. Finding nutritious recipes that actually taste good with ingredients that I can afford to buy (#realtalk) takes effort! For the weeks where I want to eat well but am short on time, I find grabbing at least a small list of good-for-me food makes eating healthy a whole lot easier. If you’re trying to live a healthy life but don’t know where to start, here are 10 items that—at the least—will offer opportunity for some easy, nutritious meals and snacks:
On a week full of willpower, I eat strawberries for dessert. They’re low in sugar with only 7 grams per cup (naturally occurring) and one serving has more than a day’s worth of Vitamin C. They also taste great over vanilla ice cream…
I won’t lie, it takes some getting used to if you’re used to Jif, but your system will thank you! You can choose from almond, peanut, cashew, or even sunflower seed, so pick your favorite. It’ll give you energy from protein and lots of positive fats. Make sure whatever butter you choose doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils, though; these are chemically altered oils that turn into unsaturated and trans fats. Basically, you want as unprocessed and natural as possible.
Coconut oil provides the kind of fats your body needs a lot of – unsaturated – and it’s a yummy thing to cook veggies in. These fats help to maintain the healthy cholesterol your body needs to function properly. By increasing the good cholesterol, you’re promoting heart health (a major and scary cause of death for women!). Make sure it’s unfiltered, too – Whole Foods has a ton.
Drinking warm lemon water in the morning is a relaxing way to detox your system and get energy, so lemons are constantly on my list. They are packed with Vitamin C and are an easy way to season veggies, chicken or salad dressing with. Lastly, they go great in cocktails.
If you work out often (first off, you go girl!) and need strong muscle function, try loading up on golden beets. They’re full of potassium, which contributes to nerve and muscle function, not to mention other vitamins. Super simple to throw into a salad or even a smoothie.
Blueberries are the superfood. Studies show they combat aging, promote brain health, benefit your skin and even contribute to weight loss. Score! To reap all of these benefits, make sure to eat them in their freshest, most raw form. I like to throw some on top of oatmeal or cereal.
Asparagus can literally be cooked a million ways, or not cooked at all, so it’s one of my favorites. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a smart option because it’s loaded with fiber, which will help you feel fuller longer. I probably roast asparagus 4x a week in the summer – it’s just so damn easy.
Other than ordering avo toast at brunch, you want to keep this fruit at home as well. It’s loaded with (healthy!) monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats promote good cholesterol levels, healthy weight and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. I make my own guacamole to dip chicken or veggies in or eat them with eggs.
Whole Wheat Bread
If I don’t have bread in my house, there’s going to be a problem. Whole wheat is way better for you than white, which is made from refined white flour and usually very processed. I try to grab the bread with the most grains a.k.a the one that looks the healthiest, and make avocado toast or sandwiches for lunch.
If you’ve tried your hardest to jump on the kale train and just can’t do it, you’re not alone. Spinach is a fantastic second option with less bitterness than kale and will still get you all those “superfood” nutrients like iron, copper, multiple B vitamins, zinc, potassium, protein, vitamin K… the list goes on and on. I add a handful to my morning smoothie and make salads out of it all week.
What healthy foods do you always grab?