8 Easy New Years Resolutions for Health: Diversifin’
Eating the same thing, especially a diet that is imbalanced with starches and sugar, leads to all sorts of health ailments. But big changes can also be difficult to sustain. That is why I resolve to welcome more healthful yet simple additions to my usual repertoire… to diversify my food portfolio. Here is my exploration of some healthy ingredients and supplements to add into the mix–new grains… or pseudo-grains as some are really seeds, raw slaws, special oils and supplements. All easy ish to commit to. And because many healthful foods don’t have slick packaging and the benefit of semionics, I boast a little for them.
1. Change your grains, part 1.
Ditch the white for more nutritionally dense grains/pseudo-grains. Like these buckwheat groats I soaked and blended with superfood cacao powder to make a bottom layer for my usual overnight oats with those almighty chia seeds.
Gluten-free, low calorie buckwheat is loaded with nutrition–antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Buckwheat lowers blood pressure and cholesterol (source) and has been found to fight cancer (source). It also contains two more obscure essential amino acids, lysine and arginine, that aren’t easily available for vegetarians. It’s high in fiber and also protects the digestive track (source). They’re also a great source of B vitamins and minerals including manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron and folate. And! Buckwheat is low on the glycemic index. That means that they don’t spike blood sugar levels, help prevent diabetes, and support weight loss (source).
Good stuff all around. I am going to be recipe experimenting with buckwheat and other new-to-me non-glutinous, super grains in the coming weeks–millet, amaranth, and teff. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes, dear blog.
2. Change your grains, part 2.
Incorporate sprouted grains when you’re able to. Sprouted grains are classified as “vegetables” by the USDA. They are easier to digest, requiring no pancreatic enzymes to break down, and their nutrients are more easily absorbed. You can find sprouted pretzels and sprouted breads at your upper-crust supermarket. I switched out my usual Sunday bagel with some Manna Bread. Saturday’s bagel remains the same.
3. Add some raw slaw.
Don’t just eat your veggies, let some powerful raw, shredded veggies blaze a path for your meal’s easy digestion. The “raw” means maximum nutrient absorption and the “shredded” means your body doesn’t need to do much to break it down. Choose cleansing, non-starchy veggies… or use what ever you have to clean out of your produce drawer. Throw in some almonds for quicker satiety and be sure to toss in a zesty dressing made with healthy fat, apple cider vinegar, and antioxidant-rich herbs and spices. Also make sure to devour the slaw first. Otherwise it can get you all bloated as it waits for your body to process more complex food in front.
4. Take some shots and swigs.
Sometimes a little dab’ll do. Incorporating healthy shots and swigs is a great way to quickly add in some magic into your diet with minimal effort. And, the motion of throwing back a shot of vinegar fools you into thinking you’re doing something a bit naughty.
I take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar as soon as I wake up, a tablespoon of Nutiva MCT Oil in my morning coffee thermos (which makes it supple and coconut-y in a delightful way), and 1 ml of VeganSafe B-12 (an easy-to-handle berry-flavored elixir by Global Healing Center) before I eat my breakfast. Then I pour on Udo’s Oil whenever appropriate. It’s nutty and yummy on pretty much any savory dish or in a dressing. These nutritional boosts help balance some of my less thoughtful food choices throughout the day.
5. Plan better sweets.
You know you’re going to want some sweets. At least I know I am going to want some sweets. So plan for having better sweets on hand when a craving strikes, like these date-sweetened raw bites with the nutritional goodness of cacao, the amazing coconut oil, and powerhouse almonds. This great recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life (from Rawsome Vegan Baking) is perfection, right down to the pinch of chili powder in the chocolate. They are rich and packed with flavor, so cut them into small bites. Share some with those around you, the ones who have good taste.
6. Drop a pill.
Supplements can, er, supplement your nutritional needs. That means that most importantly you eat as best as you can… and then you take a supplement to help support your complete nutritional needs and wants. And because taking a pill is so easy and your insides are the most important part of your existence, why not? But choose wisely. I am going with Stamba because it’s nutrients are in wholefood form, not synthetically reproduced like “Big Vitamin” companies. It costs a pretty penny, but contains a broad collection of nutritionally dense superfoods that would be difficult to get through my regular diet: anthocyanins, beta glucans, curcuminoids, flavonoids, gingerols, polyphenols, xanthones, etc. Plus, the bottle is beautiful. I am also incorporating a month of Latero-Flora from by Global Healing Center, a probiotic for digestive health. Because digestion is everything. That is why fart jokes never get old.
7. Keepin’ it clean.
And on the topic of digestion… Oxy-Powder, an oxygen-based intestinal cleaner. Wait, what?! Yes, intestinal cleaner.
You probably take a shower everyday. You probably wash your face and hair before applying multiple creams and salves for beauty and protection. Well what about your intestinal tract? Doesn’t it deserve a good cleaning every once and awhile? Who is looking out for your large intestine?!
I am going to be better at looking out for my intestinal tract, like I look out for my head and my heart. Because like the head and the heart, it is the foundation for feeling ok. And feeling ok is almost everything in life. Plus the organs of the digestive tract are over 20 feet long! And a million and one ailments are linked to digestive health. Sure, it’s true that eliminating (cough) waste and toxins is the very job of the intestinal tract, but! Normal daily living in an industrialized nation means toxins all about. There’s no way your internal organs can keep up with expelling the level of toxicity present in the modern age. Even the couch I sit on as I type this is likely pumping weird chemicals into me from the flame-retardant coating and plastic-derived synthetic fabrics. A cleanse with Oxy-Powder gives your intestinal tract a needed break. And its active ingredient: oxygen. Nothing scary there.
8. Consider your energy output.
Doing a food blog sometimes pushes me to eat more than I need to… especially when my energy output is low, like when I am driving for hours traveling to the next place to eat. But I am getting better at balancing my food intake with energy output. That is why eating well in the morning is best since you need fuel for the entire day… a large dinner followed by down time and slumber doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think it’s odd that our bodies want to store away fat continuously, like non-stop. It’s like a throwback to our more primal days as homo sapians in the modern world. Hm, is there a theme here? Modern industrialized systems are killing us slowly. This assertation is behind so many current food trends: slow food, whole food, paleo, small batch, non-gmo, plant-based, regional cuisine, clean eating, farm to table, sustainability, green eats, etc. All of these more mindful. Yes, think about what you eat as it is a very intimate act. The food you eat touches every part of your insides.