Featured Article by Organic Liaison Health Director Deborah Klein, M.S., R.D.
The key to keeping the body healthy is keeping healthy foods around the house. Being healthy starts with maintaining a clean environment, which also applies to your food environment. The more you surround yourself with clean, healthy food, the better prepared your body will be to stay lean and clean! If you keep junk around, you will be more likely to eat junk. Let’s not treat the body like a dumpster. Give your body the respect it deserves by providing it with optimal, high-octane fuel.
Refer to the Lean Staple Foods List below for your carbohydrate, protein and heart- healthy fat dietary sources. You want carbohydrates for fuel, proteins to sustain you, and good fats to satisfy you for longer. The high fiber carbohydrates listed below are the best energy source for your brain and muscles; however these carbs are typically digested in about 3 hours. Therefore, eating protein combined with carbohydrates helps you feel fuller for longer. Protein takes about 4 to 5 hours to digest; it slows the digestion of the carbohydrate food and helps you feel sustained, which likely prevents overeating during for the next meal or snack.
Aim to eat within an hour after waking and about every 4 hours throughout the day. Give your body at least 1 hour to digest before you go to sleep. We are cheering you on the LEAN and CLEAN Organic Liaison path to optimal health!
Lean Staple Foods
1. Fresh/Frozen Organic Fruit (edible skin or seeds fruit is highest in fiber, (e.g., berries, apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, fig, or kiwi)
2. Organic milk and low fat yogurt (1 cup of milk is 12 grams of carbs; 1 cup of vanilla yogurt is 32 grams of carbs)
3. High Fiber Cereals (e.g., greater than 5 grams of fiber per serving, oatmeal, Puffins, Shredded Wheat)
4. Whole Wheat Crackers (at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, e.g., Ak-mak whole wheat sesame crackers, Triscuit Reduced Fat, or Woven Wheats)
5. Sprouted Grain or Whole Wheat Bread (3 or more grams of fiber per slice)
6. Brown Rice or Wild Rice
7. Whole Wheat Pasta
8. Fresh/Frozen Organic Starchy Vegetables (e.g., yams, sweet potatoes, baked potato with skin, winter squash – butternut, spaghetti, or acorn; green peas, corn, edamame, lima beans, or artichokes)
9. Fresh/Frozen Organic Vegetables (for added fiber and nutrients, not a main fuel source, add with fruit or starch and protein for a balanced meal)
10. Bottled Organic Low Sodium Pasta Sauce and Canned Tomato Paste (for added lycopene)
12. Whole Wheat Couscous
13. Corn or Whole Wheat Tortillas
14. Boxed Soups (Imagine or Pacific Natural Foods Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Carrot-Ginger; 1 cup soup is equivalent in carbohydrates to a slice of bread, ½ cup pasta, or 1/3 cup rice)
1. Organic Omega-3 Eggs
2. Canned Tuna packed in Water
3. Low fat Cheese, cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese
4. Kefir drink (this yogurt drink is a great quick snack, providing carbohydrates, protein, and fat)
5. Canned Beans and Bean Based Soups (count as carbohydrate and protein, e.g., black, pinto, kidney, lentils, or vegetarian chili)
6. Fresh/Frozen Organic Chicken/Turkey/Lean Beef/Wild Fish
7. Edamame (a balanced snack which contains carbohydrates, fiber, protein and fat)
8. Organic All-Natural Peanut Butter
9. Raw and Roasted Nuts/Seeds (Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts, Soy Nuts, Pistachios, or Sunflower/Pumpkin Seeds)
10. Organic milk and low fat yogurt (1 cup of milk is 12 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein 1 cup of vanilla yogurt is 32 grams of carbs and 6 to 7 grams of protein
Heart-Healthy Fat Sources
1. Ground Flaxseeds to provide omega-3’s, essential fatty acids; stir in your yogurt
2. Shelled Hempseeds are an excellent source of omega-3’s and protein; stir in your cereal or smoothie
3. Organic Avocado/guacamole is great monounsaturated fat for increasing HDL-good cholesterol
4. Extra-virgin olive oil, expeller pressed, is another great unsaturated fat
5. Organic Mayonnaise
6. Nuts (protein, fat and fiber source)
7. Earth Balance Buttery Spread (non-hydrogenated margarine)
8. Safflower Oil, Expeller Pressed, for high heat cooking (when adding oil in your pan, add just enough to leave a shine on the pan that can be wiped down with a paper towel, rather than puddles of oil)
Spice up your meals to help boost your metabolism. For example, try fresh garlic, onions, salsa, Dijon mustard, apple-cider vinegar, lemon-pepper, garlic and onion powder, chili powder, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, nutmeg, or turmeric.
Happy, healthy eating!
Learn more about Deborah here.
[Image: Almonds from Elenadan’s Flickr Photostream/Creative Commons]