Often when we think about weight loss and nutrition, we focus on foods that we shouldn’t eat. So changing our eating habits becomes a negative experience of food deprivation. I like to focus on the wonderful foods that we should eat. Now changing our eating habits becomes something positive.
Foods You Should Eat:
- A variety of colorful fresh vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, artichokes, avocado, asparagus, cauliflower, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, and onions
- A variety of colorful fruits such as blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, and cherries
- Legumes such as kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (including hummus), pinto beans, black-eyed peas, and lima beans
- Wild fatty fish and sustainable seafood such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, bay scallops, clams, mussels
- Organic chicken and grass-fed beef
- Whole grains such as quinoa, millet, barley, oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, cracked wheat, and wild rice
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, pecans, almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds
- Good fats: Fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil (extra virgin cold pressed), and small amounts of butter
- Dairy: greek yogurt, small amounts of cheeses such as feta, goat cheese, and aged cheeses
- Antioxidants: red wine (in moderation), dark chocolate, fresh herbs, cinnamon
- Beverages: lots of water, green tea, small amounts of coffee
- Sweeteners: honey, Stevia, raw cane sugar
- Desserts: small amounts of dark chocolate
10 Tips for Reading Food Labels
- Read the ingredient list, not the grams of fat, carbs, protein, etc… Quality of ingredients beats quantity every time.
- Choose foods with few ingredients… less than 5, you get an “A”.
- The ingredients should be recognizable and sound like they belong on a recipe, not in a chemistry lab.
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup and foods that have many different sugars (ingredients ending in “ose” or “ol”, maltodextrin, corn sweetener, barley malt, any kind of “syrup”, fruit juice concentrate).
- Avoid anything partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated (trans-fats).
- Avoid any grains or flour that are not “whole”, such as unbleached or bleached enriched flour. Look for the word “whole” in front of the grain (ex: whole wheat flour).
- Avoid artificial colors and flavors.
- Avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate or anything “autolyzed” or “hydrolyzed”).
- Avoid nitrates (sodium nitrite)
- And last but not least… eat more foods that don’t have a food label (foods in their natural state).