As March marches on, I’m still finding ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month’s theme of “Eat Right, Your Way”.
I was on WBAL (watch the full WBAL clip here) and Let’s Talk Live DC recently and shared some ideas to make eating healthier work for you. It’s all about personalized nutrition. My view: Not everything has to be absolutely perfect all of the time. I wrote about that in my blog for US News Health. Instead of thinking “all or nothing,” make choices that work for you and help you enjoy your meals.
We know that eating wholesome foods delivers nutrients. The “My Plate” guidance of half plate fruits and veggies, getting whole grains on your plate, and eating fish at least twice a week is simple and practical advice.
In this post, I offer some of my ideas to help you get more whole grains, fruits and veggies and fish.
Everybody loves bagels for breakfast, but not everyone needs those big deli-size bagels all the time. Thomas’s Bagels Thins might be a better size for you! They have only 110 calories, and the 100% Whole Wheat variety has 21 grams of whole grain and 5 grams of fiber, which makes them good for your heart. Try them with peanut butter and sliced fruit, hummus and avocado, or make your own breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs and sautéed veggies. They’re also available in Cinnamon Raisin, Everything and Plain varieties.
Avocados From Mexico
Many people don’t know this, but avocados are actually a FRUIT. They’re nutritious and delicious, and are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are the “good fats.” Avocados from Mexico are available year round, so you can enjoy them any time of year. They’re extremely versatile, beyond just guacamole. Use them in breakfast burritos, over your morning eggs, or topping your lunch sandwiches. Heck, I’ve been known to literally eat a ripe avocado with nothing but a spoon! This smoothie I made, is full of pineapple, avocado, and lime juice — so refreshing! You can find this recipe and more at www.theamazingavocado.com.
Know any “chip lovers”? I get it. Sometimes nothing beats the crunch of a snack chip. How can you make it “work” for you? The USDA recommends consuming 48 grams of whole grains a day, and these crunchy SunChips multigrain snacks have 18 grams in a 1 oz serving – about 15 chips. (And I do recommend you stick to portion sizes to keep it balanced.) Pair multigrain Sunchips with your whole grain sandwich and you are almost at your daily whole grain recommendation at just one meal. The new flavor, Sweet & Spicy BBQ SunChips, is packed with flavor, like hints of chipotle and smoked pork. They are really delicious, and satisfy that “crunch craving”.
The USDA recommends at least two servings of fish per week because it may help prevent heart disease. I love all types of seafood. When it’s flavorful and easy to prepare, I’m even happier. Gorton’s offers delicious seafood options that are 200 calories or less per serving including Skillet Crisp Tilapia, Simply Bake Tilapia or Shrimp Scampi. They’re so convenient and easy to prepare as a main entrée (paired with a fresh salad), or as part of a recipe or a substitution for a dish that typically calls for chicken or beef — like fish tacos. Keep them on hand for busy weeknights and you’ll have a balanced dinner ready in minutes.
Of course eating more fruits and veggies is smart. But what about “drinking” them? Why not? Everyone loves smoothies, especially when you make them taste good. This spinach coconut pineapple smoothie is made with fruits, veggies, and hydrating Vita Coco coconut water. Vita CoCo coconut water contains only 45-60 calories/serving and has key electrolytes and nutrients like potassium (more than a banana!), magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C. To make the smoothie, just combine 1 cup coconut water, 2 cups spinach, 1/2 cup pineapple, 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt and a little ice. Blend, and enjoy!
This may be my husband’s favorite crunchy snack. Just please don’t tell him it’s baked and not fried. He has no idea. If you have never had Pirate’s Booty – check it out. It’s a great choice to have around at a party or add one of the single serve bags to your “lunchbox.” They’ve got great taste and crunch but, they’re baked, all-natural and have half the fat and fewer calories than regular fried chips. They’re also safe for people with common food allergies, like gluten, peanut and tree nuts.
What do you think? How do you get veggies, fruits, fish, and whole grains?
Disclosure: I was compensated by brands mentioned above for my TV appearances, but I was not compensated for writing this blog post.