In the words of *Daniel Tiger (from the PBS cartoon), “You gotta try new food cause it might taste gooooood!!!” Daniel Tiger has influenced my 3 1/2 year old niece who once said, “I HATE BEANS AND I’M NEVER GOING TO TRY THEM!!! One day I will, but not this day,” to try new foods so maybe he can influence us as well!
I tend to get bored eating the same old food, so trying new foods is fun for me and keeps things interesting! I grew up a pretty picky eater, but as an adult, I’ve discovered so many things that I thought I didn’t like that I now love. And happy for me, a lot of them are very healthy. Here’s a food list of things I’d recommend including in your diet (not like going on a diet, just diet meaning what you eat) that I’ve found to be delicious and all have a lot of great health benefits!
BERRIES: There are a bazillion health articles out there about the benefits of berries. I like to eat them on their own, in smoothies, with yogurt, or with sugar-free vanilla pudding. For a delicious smoothie, I like to add about a cup of flavored Greek yogurt, a handful of frozen berries, a handful of fresh spinach (or you can freeze spinach and use that), and a little soy milk (or any kind of liquid would work). I know adding spinach sounds gross, but you don’t taste it and it adds a lot of healthy goodness. It’s simple and good and I don’t think needs more sweetener but if you like, you could add honey or agave nectar to have a healthier sweetener than regular sugar.
AVOCADOS: There are a bazillion and one health articles out there about the benefits of avocados. Avocados are good in lettuce salads, guacamole, on a turkey sandwich, to top a Mexican dish, and although I haven’t tried this, a lot of people include these in smoothies. Supposedly, you don’t really taste them but they add a creaminess to the smoothie. They have fat in them, but the “good” kind of fat that is good for your body.
NUTS: Nuts also rank up there in health articles for foods that are great for you. They, like avocados have fat, but the “good” kind of fat. They are higher in calories though, so I’d recommend portioning them out. Almonds seem to be at the top of most lists for healthy nuts. You can buy these at Costco/Sam’s AND they are great right out of the freezer (and stay fresher longer). I like nuts by themselves and on lettuce salads best.
**CAULIFLOWER: This is BY FAR my favorite find. There seem to be a million different ways to cook and use cauliflower. It can substitute for so many comfort foods. Cauliflower itself is inexpensive (the frozen kind works just as well on most recipes), is low calorie, and since it has a fairly bland flavor on its own, it soaks up the flavors & seasonings that it is cooked with. I’ve tried and loved recipes using it to substitute for rice, potatoes in potato soup, mashed potatoes, and pizza crust. I’ve also found some recipes where they make tater tots and mac & cheese with them and plan on trying these recipes. If you want me to share these recipes, let me know!
SPAGHETTI SQUASH: I’ve already raved on spaghetti squash on a previous post (https://eating2livenotliving2eat.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/spaghetti-squash-deliciousness/), but I will go ahead and add that I continue to love it. See my previous post for lots of recipe ideas. Spaghetti squash substitutes best for noodles, but is also good for potatoes in a hash brown type casserole.
**ZUCCHINI: My newest treasure. I also wrote a post about this recently (https://eating2livenotliving2eat.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/zoodles/), so I won’t reiterate all I said, but just want to say, TRY IT. It works great as noodles and I’ve also come across a recipe for pizza crust that I’m going to try. Zucchini is very low cal and also has a fairly bland flavor, so like spaghetti squash, takes on the flavor of the seasonings.
And finally, I’m not really sure if this has great health benefits for you, but it’s a low-carb option for tortillas:
RICOTTA CHEESE: This is a brand new one for me, but I recently made crepes with this and then used them to make a chicken enchilada casserole. YUM! They are a little tricky to make but I think after making several times, I’ll get a lot better at it. Here’s the recipe I used for the crepes. http://www.djfoodie.com/All-Purpose-Crepes. This guy has a great website for low-carb recipes.
Another recommendation for low-carb recipes is Celebrity Chef George Stella. Stella and his family lost a ton of weight and gained back their health through low-carb eating. Stella has a great low-carb cookbook that I recently bought from a recommendation from a friend (thanks Court) and I love it. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Low-Carb-Cookbook-Best-Presents/dp/1934193968/ref=ase_blendingintot-20/002-5394164-3952838?v=glance&s=books He also has a good website with lots of recipes and tips. http://www.stellastyle.com/
I’ll keep you updated as I discover more yummy stuff, but my challenge to you, is to try some new foods, you never know what you’ll like, it might taste gooood!!!
*Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a great show and models healthy eating habits as well as SO many other good lessons. Check out this article about it. (http://www.bonbonbreak.com/modeling-healthy-eating-habits/)
**Note on cauliflower and zucchini. They both naturally have a lot of water in them SO, after you grate or cut the vegetable, I’d recommend trying to strain out extra water either by using cheesecloth (you can buy at any grocery store) or by using a colander and pushing down with paper towels to get out excess water.