Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Top Ten Foods

I love food.  I love learning new recipes of all types, but since I feel so convicted to eat healthy and take care of my body; I have developed a love for good, healthy food.  Many people believe that healthy food has to taste bland and boring, but I am here to tell you, I don’t believe that!  Eating healthy needs to be a lifestyle, not a fad and not a “diet.” I believe most diseases, cancers, and ailments are a product of the food we eat and our environment (or more discouraging, the food our parents ate) and that food has healing properties.
I’ll start my first blog by listing some of my favorite, healthy, whole foods.  Now remember, everything in moderation!

Top Ten Foods:

  1. Chocolate –  I love chocolate.  Organic chocolate does qualify as a healthy, whole food.  It’s best to buy dark chocolate with 60+ % cacao in it.
  2.  Goat cheese – Mmm…goat cheese J.  I just ate some on my spinach salad for lunch. 
  3. Sweet potatoes – sweet potatoes don’t necessarily need to be bought organic since they are part of the “dirty dozen” (foods resistant to pesticides).  Bake em, roast em, Grill em, make sweet potato chips, and sweet potato fries!
  4. Beef – Hamburgers and Steak are delicious and packed with protein and iron! Make sure to buy grass fed, non-hormone beef and I normally buy anything over 85% lean.
  5. Pasta – Try 100% whole wheat or brown rice pasta.  I have recently discovered brown rice pasta and love it! I have been able to find it at most of the local grocery stores.  I recommend being careful about how long you cook it because I think it’s too soggy when I cook it according to the package directions and make sure you stir it every once in awhile because it will stick together if you don’t.
  6.  Almonds – Go to the grocery store to the bulk food section and buy raw almonds.  Soak them in water and salt (one tablespoon of sea salt for every four cups of almonds) overnight (at least 7 hours) – don’t skip this step; you will see why when you look at the water.  Rinse and drain them.  Put your oven on the lowest setting possible (at least 140 degrees or lower).  If you can’t get your oven to get that low, go online and look up the manual for your oven in google.  Figure out how to change the temperature setting on your oven and force it lower.  Mine was able to get down to 170 degrees and then I tricked it to go down another 35 degrees to make it 135 degrees (but don’t forget to change it back before you try cooking something else!).  Now, roast the almonds for at least 12 hours (at most 24 hours) or until they are the right amount of crunchy.  I usually do about 12 – 14 hours and occasionally move them around on the pan for more even cooking.  Almonds can be incorporated in so many ways! In future posts, I will share some with you.
  7. Justin’s Maple Almond Butter – I have to credit my sister-in-law Tara for turning me on to Justin’s Almond and Peanut Butters, but the maple almond butter is definitely my favorite.  A few times a week I will toast an Ezekiel English muffin or bread or some whole wheat bread and then spread some maple almond butter on it for breakfast.  Mmm…my mouth is watering J.  I have been able to find this at our local health food store and on www.vitacost.com .  But I am sure it is sold many other places as well.
  8.  Coconut – Coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut flakes have many health benefits.  Read this article for more information: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/22/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats-can-make-you-healthy.aspx?np=true (Thanks to my sister-in-law Brit for sharing this article). I will share a coconut-breaded chicken recipe I developed later on, stay tunedJ.  You can use coconut oil in place of oils and butters in most recipes, though some people say they think it adds a little bit of a coconut taste so you may want to pick and choose which recipes you use it in.
  9. Ezekiel Bread – Ezekiel bread has tons of essential nutrients and vitamins.  It’s the stuff of life.  Most people are unsure about Ezekiel bread at first because it looks like a hard, crusty bread.  I love it, so I suggest trying it out.  Usually if you find Ezekiel bread at the store it will be in the freezer section to stay fresh.  I normally thaw a few pieces at a time or use frozen bread to make toast.  However, my favorite type is the English muffins and I have also tasted the pita bread which is difficult to find; it is great as well. I am looking forward to trying the Ezekiel hamburger buns this week or next, my husband John wants to use them with some Bison Burgers.
  10. Kale – I figured I better include fruits or vegetables somewhere in my list! Try making kale chips or a salad with kale in it.  I suggest letting the dressing marinate the kale for a little bit to cut down on the bitterness or combine it with other power greens to make a power green salad (I will share this recipe soon as well, it is one of my favorite salads!), or use it in your next juicing recipe.  Kale is a superfood and powerful antioxidant, high in iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and K, anti-inflammatory, and much more!

There are obviously many foods I didn’t mention that I love as well, but these are on the top of my list.  I hope you enjoy reading some of my tips and recipes! Please feel free to share with me as well!


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