Deciding to eat whole and healthy food can seem daunting-especially if you're not really used to it.
But I gotta say, there are so many good-for-you recipes out there (on the internet, in magazines, in cookbooks) not to mention there just being so, so, so many strait-up tasty good for you foods right outta the earth, that if you find yourself thinking "I can't so this! I can't eat healthy!", then take a deep breath, Google "whole foods recipes", or go to your library and look up some healthy cooking recipe books, or just go to your grocery store and walk around the produce department and see all the amazing things that are there!
What I want to share today are some of my favourite healthy recipes & foods!
A favourite snack of mine is fermented or pickled vegetables! It may seem gross, but I love having a snack that is A: a vegetable, and B: extra good for me by being pickled or fermented! There is a difference between something being pickled or fermented, but I feel like I can just save that conversation for another time. For now, let's just lump them together, knowing they are the same and different!
I realize if you need to watch your sodium intake this option may not seem so great, but as an occasional snack, it can be very beneficial. You can read this article from Wellness Mama about the benefits of eating fermented food.
Not only do I love pickled and fermented foods, I often drink the "juice" that the food is in as a relief for heartburn. Wait-what? Drinking acidic "juice" to help with heartburn?!? Oh yes. To be honest, there isn't a whole lot of research out there as to the "why" this works, but I'm telling you, it does. If I feel heartburn coming on (often at bedtime), I'll take a tablespoon or so of pickle juice, and my heart burn instantly (no, seriously, instantly!) goes away!
Anywhooo, recipes for homemade pickled and fermented foods can be found all over, but I wanted to share with you a simple pickled carrot recipe (a favourite in this house--though I add a lot more garlic because we love it) from It's A Love/Love Thing.
Other pickled or fermented foods include pickles (obviously!), some yogurts (look for labels with "Live & Active Cultures" on it)-and try to make sure you buy a kind without any, or too much, added sugar, sauerkraut, and kefir which is a fermented milk product (cow, goat or sheep milk) that tastes like a drinkable yogurt.
Another favourite snack of mine is having a big, beautiful bowl of fruit! The photo above is an actual bowl of fruit I sat down to as a snack! Yum, right?
So, salads seem like a pretty expected fall back meal when thinking about healthy eating, and can admittedly get boring! But salads can be super-crazy delicious, you can make them in so many ways, and with so many flavours! Above is an awesome (I'm joking, I clearly know it's ridiculous!) selfie of me with my Taco Salad (...sans taco). I love this salad because it's everything I love about tacos, except with waaaaaay more veggies!
Some more favs:
Comfort food is something people seem to miss when they're eating healthier, but they don't need to!
Look at some of these delicious examples.......
From Julia's Album comes this amaaaaaa-zing Chicken with Bacon Mustard Sauce....mmmmmmmmmmm.....
Potato soup gets a health boost from cauliflower in this Faux-Tato Soup from Bushel & A Peck.
How good does this shepherds pie from Noshtastic look, right? Yum!
Cooking classy created these Philly Cheesesteak Zucchini Boats that are so good! Not into zucchini? Feel free to try my Philly Cheese Steak Peppers!
As for sweets that are healthy, well, the opinions are so varied I don't even want to go there! I will give my 2 cents though.....when in doubt about a sweet treat, start with a favourite fruit. You may find that you can knock your sweet craving with a naturally sweet treat. I find mangos really hit the sweet spot for me, but find something that feels treat-ish to you!
Think fruit as a sweet treat is dumb (haha, I know some of you are thinking that!!!)-then try some dark chocolate. Look for 60% or higher dark chocolate with little added sugar or any other funky ingredients. To get the health boosting antioxidants from the cocoa, you do need to choose a dark chocolate, as milk (in milk chocolate) binds to the antioxidants and makes it unavailable to the body. I honestly love eating a handful of my Pascha 100% cocoa chips (link below) and it always hits the spot.
I think that's all I'll share with you for today!
A few snacks, a few salads, some comfort foods, and my 2 cents about sweets should help you change your mind at least a little about healthy food being boring! Get creative about your food, try new things, and see how much fun good for you food can be!
Alrighty, I'm signing off!
It's Me, Amy-Lyn!
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