Vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods, yet only 9 % of adults and 2% of high school students eat the recommended servings! The best ones are dark, leafy greens, cruciferous veggies (arugula, Bok choy, broccoli, kale, cabbage), allium vegetables which are chives, garlic, leeks and onions, sprouts, and all other brightly colored vegetables. To boost veggie intake in your home, stock up and prep them on the weekends, buy already prepped ones to save time, learn to love salads, slip veggies into everything you can think of – smoothies, soups, casseroles, loaves, and oats. Here is something interesting – children need to be offered a new food 20 TIMES before they accept it, so never give up! Find new ways at meatlessmonday.com and have a marvelous Monday too!
Fruits improve our gut health, promote healthy weight, reduce risk of heart disease type 2 diabetes and cancer, offer protection against asthma and other respiratory diseases, bone loss and depression. Only 12% of us get enough fruits and our children get even less! Add fruit every chance you can – to smoothies, on cereal, in salads, as your snack and dessert, and always focus on whole foods, not processed, canned or sugared-up. Dried fruits are great but make sure they do not have any added sugar. Again, a reminder that children need to be offered a new food 20 TIMES before they are accepted, so never give up! Have a terrific Tuesday and never forget the power of the plate in improving your family’s health!
Grains are important energy-giving foods, including barley, corn, millet, oats, rice, teff, rye, and wheat. Though not technically grains, buckwheat, quinoa, and wild rice are also excellent. Grains provide about half of the world’s protein and fiber! They are wonderfully nutritious if not “refined.” The best is those that are most colorful – go for red or black quinoa or rice, black barley, and other new colors. Intact grains are the most nutritious – whole grains that can be added to salads, soups, wraps, curries. Sprouted grain breads are the only breads Dr. Cheryl recommends – Ezekiel bread is available in the frozen section of almost every store. It is frozen because there are no preservatives. It is a wonderful Wednesday and stock up your health on the shelf with great grains!
Beans are a frequent topic of our morning messages and along with other legumes like lentils and peanuts are the protein powerhouses of all plants. They are so healthy that we should eat them EVERY DAY, up to three times a day! Add them to all your meals, make hummus from chickpeas, lentils, or edamame. For a burst of those miraculous phytochemicals, sprout them! Soy products like tofu and tempeh are excellent and can be used in so many ways. There are also chickpea pastas, bean pastas, “RightRice” that is 90% beans, and of course peanut butter and soy milk! Make them the “main event” for entrees or make your smoothies smoother by adding them. The “How not to Die Cookbook” is a great place to find ways to use them, to boost your wealth of health!
Nuts and seeds are the healthiest sources of fats and essential fatty acids and are loaded with great nutrients as well. The best choices for Omega-3 fatty acids are chia, flax, and hemp seeds, as well as walnuts. Pumpkin and hemp seeds have the highest protein and fiber AND more omega-6 and omega-3 than nuts. Sunflower seeds are stellar in vitamins, and almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews are rich in vital nutrients as well. Choosing them raw and soaked overnight is best. Add them to breakfast, use nut butters as part of salad dressings, use nut-based milks and cheeses, try different seed butters for fun, and power up your main dishes with them, particularly salads. They are a wonderful snack as well but remember portion size, because they are higher in dense fat and calories than other foods. Have a fantastic Friday everyone!
Reference: Nourish: The Definitive Plant-based Nutrition Guide for Families by Reshma Shaw, MD and Brenda Davis, RD
From the Archives…
It is JULY and the year is half over! SIX MONTHS AGO, we made those New Year’s Resolutions and many of them were about improving our health. It’s a great time to do a check to see how much improvement we’ve made, and to update our goals If you’re wanting to improve your nutrition, think about adding more veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans to your diet and retreat from meat and dairy, slash sugar, eat “whole” instead of processed, and ramp up the hydration in hydrating foods and by drinking more water. What about goals to move more and get more exercise? fresh air and sunshine goals? Community connection goals? All these important lifestyles contribute to our wealth in health. It is a wonderful day to start something NEW or elevate what you are already doing – there is nothing to lose and much to gain, like energy, stamina, joy, and better health! Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!
We have mentioned many times that the worst meat for you to eat is PROCESSED meats. But what exactly does that word “processed” mean? It is any meat that is cured, salted, smoked, canned, or has additives. Why care? It has been consistently shown to increase risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, bowel and stomach cancers and a host of other illnesses. Sodium nitrite which is added to most of these meats is the cancer-causing culprit. So not just on Meatless Monday, but EVERY day, stay away from processed meats which are…. ham, bacon, hotdogs, sausages, smoked meats, beef jerky and lunch meats – for better health, and to live longer and stronger! Have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY everyone!
There are some who believe that the Bible mentions “all things in moderation” and though there are many passages instructing us to not do things in excess, it was the writer Oscar Wilde who said, “All things in moderation”. In fact, there are MANY things that are harmful to us that should never be done, taken, risked, or ingested at all, let ALONE in moderation. 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 20 says “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
It is Friday’s holistic habit of the day and we are talking more about our health on the shelf…many times we have talked about replacing deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, perfumes, cleansers, creams, cosmetics, soaps, and lotions with botanical and chemical-free alternatives. But what about doing away with them completely? Do we need perfumes, shower gels, and all the other products we have gotten into the habits of using? There is an amazing company called NORWEX that has microfiber cloths you can use and no cleansers or soaps are needed – sounds crazy but it’s true, and they have great little cloths that work like magic to take off cosmetics. Check out Norwex to improve your health and have a fantastic Friday everyone!