EAT MORE PLANTS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

 

We have ALL heard that we need to eat more FRESH and CLEAN foods… but why does that sound like we need to walk around with a bag of carrots and celery and deal with a grumbling stomach all day, only to sabotage all efforts by eating a HEAVY dinner because we just can’t stand the hunger anymore!?!?  Thus, making us feel like failures and that ‘eating more veggies just isn’t for me.’ Continuing the cycle of bad health and feelings of failing because we can’t make ourselves choke this stuff down!!

It doesn’t have to be this way!!  Below are lists of tips and ideas to help you create a fresher, cleaner diet.  You don’t need to give up the foods you love, just eat more of the food you NEED in order to live a full and vibrant life!

    1) Keep It Colorful – Dress your salads according to colors, make it vibrant! Red, Green, Orange, Yellow, White, Purple, Blue, Brown (nuts and seeds), etc.

2) Drink Green Smoothies – Go to www.simplegreensmoothies.com or www.greensmoothiegirl.com to learn more about how to make it nutritious and delicious!

3) Make a List of veggies from every color group that you like or are willing to try.  A great website to help with this is www.colorsofhealth.com.

4) Be Prepared – Before you put your produce away from the store, prepare it as you’ll need it for recipes or snacking.

5) Eat First – Instead of eating cake, cookies, candy, or treats, reach for fruit. Never eat treats on an empty stomach.

6) DRINK PLENTY OF WATER – Half your weight in ounces as a base for a sedentary lifestyle. So the more active you are, the more you drink. Flavored or sugary drinks have no place in your regular diet. Let them be treats you only have on occasion.

7) Eat More Veggies Than Fruit – And eat more produce, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes than you do animal protein. Get your healthy fats from plant sources, before animal sources.

8) Measure It Out – One serving is about a cup. Eat 3-7 CUPS of veggies per day (depending on caloric needs), and 2-6 cups of fruit.

9) Carb It Up EARLY – Consume most starchy carbohydrates (limit to 1/2 – 1 1/2 cup daily) in the morning and lunch, that way by dinner your consuming MORE veggies and fruit with your protein.

10) Make a Meal Plan!! Plan out your menu weekly or monthly. Giving yourself 1-2 left over nights weekly depending on how much is typically left over from your meals.

11) Baby Steps – Don’t change your entire menu at once. Start small. Add a salad to your dinners, try quinoa in place of rice, decrease your protein to one serving, increase your veggies to two. Try one new recipe at a time. Learn what flavors/spices you like best and add them to new recipes to make them yours!

12) Don’t Throw it Out – Produce is tricky to keep fresh, so only but produce for a few days to a week at a time. The fridge slows it’s ripening process down, apples and bananas ripen produce faster. Know which fruits bruise easily, and if food starts ripening faster than you can eat it, chop or peel it and throw it in a freezer bag in the freezer to use in a smoothie or over cereal.

13) LEARN MORE – Finally, watch Forks Over Knives, Hungry For Change, Food Matters, Engine 2 Diet Rescue, or any film that promotes more fresh foods and educate yourself on WHY you’re eating better. OR read Eat to Live, In Defense of Food, or something that helps you better connect with eating fresh foods. Just like you had to become a professional at your occupation, you need to learn how to FEED your body!

14) SEARCH For Ideas  – Pinterest, Google, Facebook, Instagram, blogs and so much more are FULL of ideas and tips to help you eat healthier.

Some of my favorite sites are:

www.yummly.com

www.greensmoothiegirl.com

www.simplegreensmoothies.com

www.ohsheglows.com

www.plantbasedonabudget.com

www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com

www.forksoverknives.com

www.engine2diet.com

www.colorsofhealth.com

And so many more!

After MANY years of searching, these are the simplest food lists I can find!  Although, I eat mostly plant based, I wanted to include ALL of the options, as everyone eats SO differently! These are great lists to reference when you go grocery shopping for more fresh and CLEAN foods!  These are in order of MOST nutritious (that doesn’t mean to avoid the stuff at the bottom, as it is ALL nutritious!). *Courtesy Beachbody, LLC; the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme.

VEGETABLES (Serving size = 1 cup)

• Kale, cooked or raw

• Watercress, cooked or raw

• Collard greens, cooked or raw

• Spinach, cooked or raw

• Brussels sprouts, chopped or 5 medium

• Broccoli, chopped

• Asparagus, 10 large spears

• Beets, 2 medium

• Tomatoes, chopped, cherry, or 2 medium

• Tomatillos, chopped or 3 medium

• Pumpkin (regular or West Indian), chopped

• Squash (summer), sliced

• Chayote squash, chopped

• Winter squash (all varieties), cubed

• String beans

• Peppers, sweet, sliced

• Poblano chiles, chopped

• Banana peppers, 3 medium

• Carrots, sliced or10 medium baby

• Cauliflower, chopped

• Artichokes, ½ large

• Eggplant, ½ medium

• Okra

• Cactus (nopales), sliced

• Jicama, sliced

• Snow peas

• Cabbage, chopped

• Cucumbers

• Celery

• Lettuce (NOT iceberg)

• Mushrooms

• Radishes

• Onions, chopped

• Sprouts
FRUIT (Serving size = 1 Cup)

• Raspberries

• Blueberries

• Blackberries

• Strawberries

• Pomegranate, 1 small

• Guava, 2 medium

• Starfruit, 2 medium

• Passion fruit, 3 fruits

• Watermelon, chopped

• Cantaloupe, chopped

• Orange, divided into sections or 1 medium

• Bitter orange, 1 medium

• Tangerine, 2 small

• Apple, sliced or 1 small

• Apricots, 4 small

• Grapefruit, divided into sections or ½ large

• Cherries

• Grapes

• Kiwifruit, 2 medium

• Mango, sliced

• Peach, sliced or 1 large

• Nectarine, sliced or 1 large

• Pear, sliced or 1 large

• Pineapple, diced

• Banana, ½ large

• Green banana, ½ large

• Dwarf red banana, 1 ½ small

• Breadfruit, 1/8 small

• Papaya, chopped

• Figs, 2 small

• Honeydew melon, chopped

• Salsa, pico de gallo

• Tomato sauce, plainor marinara

PROTEIN (Serving Size = 3/4 Cup)

• Sardines (fresh or canned in water), 7 medium

• Boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast, cooked, chopped

• Duck breast, cooked, chopped

• Squab, cooked, chopped

• Goat, cooked, chopped

• Lean ground chicken or turkey (≥ 93% lean), cooked

• Fish, fresh water (catfish, tilapia, trout), cooked, flaked

• Fish, cold water, wild-caught (cod, salmon, halibut, tuna, mahi mahi), cooked, flaked

• Game: buffalo (bison, ostrich, venison, rabbit), cooked, chopped

• Game: lean ground (≥ 95%lean), cooked, chopped

• Eggs, 2 large or egg whites, 8 large

• Greek yogurt, plain, 1%

• Yogurt, plain, 2%

• Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster), cooked

• Clams, canned, drained

• Octopus, cooked, chopped

• Squid, cooked, chopped

• Red meat, extra-lean, cooked, chopped

• Lean ground red meat (≥ 95% lean), cooked

• Shakeology®, 1 scoop

• Tempeh

• Tofu, firm

• Pork  tenderloin,  chopped, cooked

• Tuna, canned light in water, drained

• Turkey slices,*fat-free, 6 slices

• Ham slices,*fat-free, 6 slices

• Ricotta cheese, light

• Cottage cheese, 2%

• Protein powder (whey, hemp, rice, pea), 1½ scoops (approx. 42 g depending on variety)

• Veggie burger, 1 medium patty

• Turkey bacon,* reduced-fat, 4 slices

Starchy Carbohydrates (Serving Size =1/2 Cup)

• Sweet potato, chopped

• Yams (regular, white, tropical [batata]), chopped

• Plantains, sliced or ½ medium

• Quinoa, cooked

• Beans (kidney, black, garbanzo, white, lima, fava, pink, pigeon [gandules], etc.), cooked, drained

• Lentils, cooked, drained

• Edamame, shelled

• Cassava (yuca), 2 ounces

• Peas

• Refried beans, nonfat

• Brown rice, cooked

• Wild rice, cooked

• Potato, mashed or ½ medium

• Corn on the cob, 1 ear

• Amaranth, cooked

• Millet, cooked

• Buckwheat, cooked

• Barley, cooked

• Bulgur, cooked

• Oatmeal, steel-cut, cooked

• Oatmeal, rolled, cooked

• Hominy, cooked

• Pasta, whole-grain, cooked

• Couscous, whole wheat, cooked

• Crackers, whole-grain, 8 small crackers

• Cereal, whole-grain, low sugar

• Bread, whole-grain, 1 slice

• Pita bread, whole wheat, 1 small (4-inch)

• Waffles, whole-grain, 1 waffle

• Pancakes, whole-grain, 1 small (4-inch)

• English muffin, whole-grain, ½ muffin

• Bagel, whole-grain, ½ small (3-inch)

• Tortilla, whole wheat, 1 small (6-inch)

• Tortilla, corn, 2 small (6-inch)

HEALTH FATS (Serving Size = 1/3 Cup)

• Avocado, mashed or ¼ medium

• 12 almonds, whole, raw

• 8 cashews, whole, raw

• 14 peanuts, whole, raw

• 20 pistachios, whole, raw

• 10 pecan halves, raw

• 8 walnut halves, raw

• Hummus

• Coconut milk, canned

• Feta cheese, crumbled

• Goat cheese, crumbled

• Mozzarella (low-moisture),shredded

• Cheddar, shredded

• Provolone, shredded

• Monterey jack, shredded

• Parmesan, shredded

• Cotija cheese, crumbled

• Oaxaca cheese, crumbled

• Queso fresco, crumbled

SEEDS AND DRESSINGS (Serving Size = 2 Tablespoons)

• Pumpkin seeds, raw

• Sunflower seeds, raw

• Sesame seeds, raw

• Flaxseed, ground

• Olives, 10 medium

• Peanuts

• Coconut, unsweetened, shredded

• 21 Day Fix® DRESSINGS

Oil and Nut Butters (Serving Size = 1 teaspoon)

• Extra-virgin olive oil

• Extra-virgin coconut oil

• Flaxseed oil

• Walnut oil

• Pumpkin seed oil

• Nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.)

• Seed butters (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame [tahini])

FREE FOODS

• THE WATER BAR (for infused water use berries, citrus, herbs, etc. infuse overnight before drinking)

• Lemon and lime juice

• Vinegars

• Mustard

• Herbs such as parsley, cilantro (fresh and dry)

• Spices (except salt)

• Garlic

• Ginger

• Green onion

• Chile varieties (jalapenos, serrano, ancho, cascabel, pasilla, guajillo, habanero, etc.)

• Hot sauce (Tabasco or Mexican only)

• Flavor extracts (pure vanilla, peppermint, almond, etc.)

• Achiote paste
If you need more tips and ideas, email me at ashley@healthyandfitforlife.org. OR find me on FB at www.fb.com/healthynfitforlife.  This journey is hard to do on your own!  I needed help getting started for sure!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Susie says:

    Hi! I like your list.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s