It’s Wellness Wednesdays! We’ll talk about 12 ways to sneak more superfoods into your diet. While there’s no official definition for superfoods, most experts agree that our diet has a dramatic impact on our wellbeing. Whole foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients can help you lose weight, avoid illness, and live longer, which sounds pretty super when you think about it.
Still, it can be difficult to make healthy choices if you’ve grown used to processed food that is fast and tasty. If you’re wondering if there’s a way to fit kale and salmon into your diet without a lot of sacrifices, try these tips for making whole foods delicious and convenient.
Blend in Your Superfoods
1. Make substitutions. Adjust the recipes for your favorite dishes. Replace some of the cheese in lasagna with thinly-sliced tofu. Top off your chili with yogurt instead of sour cream.
2. Chop it up. Maybe you dislike the taste or texture of some foods that you know are good for you. Surprise your taste buds with pureed cauliflower. You may discover a new fondness for it.
3. Drink a smoothie. If you have trouble slowing down to eat your vegetables, pour them into a glass. A smoothie is a quick way to consume a variety of whole foods that will help you to meet your daily nutritional needs.
Spread out Your Superfoods
1. Eat breakfast. If you wait until late afternoon to start eating superfoods, you may run out of time to fit them all in. Fortify your breakfast by trading in the usual muffin or sugary cereal for a bean burrito or yogurt with berries and nuts.
2. Redesign your snacks. Is your office vending machine full of chips and candy? Bring your own snacks to work. Keep a jar of natural peanut butter in the refrigerator for spreading on apple slices or whole wheat crackers.
3. Start with appetizers. Appetizers work just as well for every day dining as they do for restaurants and parties. Make a simple meal feel more special by starting out with a spinach and avocado salad or a black bean soup.
4. Multiply your sides. Who says you can only serve one vegetable with your main course? Dish out a variety of fresh or frozen produce that will encourage you to eat more.
Other Strategies for Eating More Superfoods
1. Set goals. Have you been thinking about eating healthier for a long time without seeing much progress? Maybe you need to set more specific targets. You could aim for including at least one superfood in each meal or eating one additional superfood each day for a week.
2. Start small. Your goals can be challenging without being overwhelming. Maybe you’d look forward to sprinkling cinnamon instead of sugar into your coffee.
3. Roast it. Roasting vegetables is so easy, but the results are dramatic. Cut them up evenly and spread them out so they’ll come out crispy outside and tender inside.
4. Add fats and seasonings. A drizzling of extra virgin olive oil with a little grated parmesan can make you want to finish a whole bowl of steamed broccoli. For variety, experiment with different spices and seasonings.
5. Simplify it. Superfoods can be just as fast as a burger and fries. Grill fish or stir fry chicken and bok choy in minutes.
Whether you’re trying to break the fast food habit or already eating a balanced diet, adding a few more superfoods into your daily menu can help you feel more energetic and fit. You’ll want to eat more whole foods when you realize how fast and delicious they can be.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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