If you keep good food on-hand in your refrigerator, on the kitchen counter, and in your kitchen cabinets, you will eat good food. Spring cleaning can be a perfect time to rethink what you buy and what you keep in your kitchen. Some healthy food choices to keep on hand include:
100% whole wheat bread/tortillas/pitas: Most of the carbs in whole-wheat tortillas are complex carbs, so you don’t have to worry about a spike in blood sugar levels.
Eggs: You can eat eggs many ways, such as hard-boiling them as a snack or adding them to your salad you’re packing for lunch. Scrambled, over-easy, or fried eggs make for a vitamin and protein rich breakfast!
Milk: Whether it’s 1%, non-fat, soy, almond, rice, or other variety, milk is full of calcium we need to build strong bones and prevent bone loss.
Almonds/nuts/seeds: Nuts and seeds are full of protein and healthy unsaturated fats. They make a great snack or salad topping, and are a great added punch to your oatmeal or yogurt.
Peanut butter: Peanut butter is packed with healthy unsaturated fats and protein.
Produce: Fruits and vegetables should be an essential food staple in your household, whether frozen or fresh. Always have fruits and veggies readily available to grab and go!
Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is packed with 18 grams of protein per 6 oz. serving. It is a great low-calorie and low-fat substitute for recipes in place of mayonnaise or sour cream.
Beans: Not only are beans inexpensive, but they are also a great source of protein and fiber. One cup of chickpeas has 15 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber.
Quinoa: One cup of quinoa has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. This whole grain is also full of B vitamins. It makes a great grain supplement to add to a stir-fry, vegetable, or oatmeal dish.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal makes a great breakfast and is known for lowering cholesterol numbers and may also help control your appetite. Add protein to your oatmeal, such as nuts, seeds, or even peanut butter.
As warm weather approaches us, spring is a perfect time to take advantage of seasonal spring produce! Seasonal fruits and vegetables are at their highest quality and optimal flavor during the months of March-June. There are also more fruits and vegetables available in season, so they cost less at the grocery store or farmer’s market. What is better than healthy choices at great prices? Some examples of fruits and vegetables that are seasonal during this time are apricots, asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, Swiss chard, chives, mustard greens, mangoes, oranges, spinach, and strawberries! Spring is also a great time to think about growing your own food. Have you ever thought about having your own vegetable garden? Whether you start a garden big or small, there is nothing like picking fresh produce for you and your family in the summer. It also doubles as a great activity for you and your family to do, as well. No matter what time of the year it is, you can always incorporate a lot of healthy, seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. The springtime is just a perfect time to jump start your excitement about eating and living well all year around!
Did you know that the month of May is National Egg Month? Eggs contain high quality protein to keep you full for longer periods of time and energized throughout the day. Eggs only contain 70 calories, making them a wonderful snack or part of a meal. When you think of eggs, think of them as a multivitamin. The nutrients found in eggs can play a key role in weight management, muscle strength, brain function, eye health, and can have other health benefits as well. Did you know that an egg yolk contains a higher percentage of the eggs’ vitamins than the white? It’s true: an egg yolk contains an entire eggs’ vitamins A, D, and E. Plus, egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Dietary protein influences muscle mass, strength and function for all different age groups. The six grams of high-quality protein found in eggs an help children and teenagers build and preserve muscle, and for adults, protein can help prevent muscle loss. Many Americans are in the habit of shying away from eggs because of dietary cholesterol; however, more than 40 years of research has shown that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without impacting their risk of heart disease. So, the next time you’re re-thinking having an egg as part of your meal, go for it! Their nutritional and health benefits are eggstraordinary!!