Well, 2021 is finally here and I’m fairly certain you are ready for a fresh start on all fronts! This year more than ever, people are searching for ways to lose the quarantine and holiday weight, feel great, get back in shape and figure out how to keep it going past January. Unfortunately, most people are looking at what they can take out of their diet, but I’m going to encourage you to look at what you can add instead!
Eating better is not just about losing weight, it’s about improving your choices to improve your overall health. What good is a crazy diet or cleanse if you only do it a week or two? No good at all and a waste of time and effort, if you ask me. So, let’s get real in 2021 and focus on what you can add to your eating plan to trim down and shape up! Here are 5 additions to get you started!
- Fat – Yes, you should eat fat, healthy fat that is! Foods like salmon, trout, tuna, soybeans (edamame), walnuts, flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that help your cells fight off inflammation. Not to mention, fat helps you feel full for a longer period of time, which ultimately can help you fight off cravings. Add other healthy fats like nuts, nut butters, avocado, healthy oils (avocado, canola, grapeseed, olive, etc.) and hummus too! Note that fat does yield more calorie per gram, so you don’t need as much; a little goes along way! Think of it like a garnish to meals and snacks.
- Green things – Blend them in a smoothie, dip them in hummus, eat a salad or sauté them up – just eat your green veggies! Only 10% of Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and their health is suffering from it! Green veggies are a great way to cut back on calories at meals as their fiber helps you feel full faster. Not to mention they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and more! Get creative in 2021 and try some you haven’t tasted!
- Herbs, spice and all things nice – Recipe searching for the new year? Look for recipes that include turmeric, ginger, capsaicin (found in peppers) and even pineapple for its bromelain. These herbs and spices are well known anti-inflammatories and can help your body fight off that tacky inflammation. Not to mention, adding herbs and spices can help you cut back on salt, which many people need to do for a healthy blood pressure.
- Bite-size anti-inflammatories – No, I don’t mean Advil! I do mean berries and cherries! Rich in antioxidants blueberries and their berry siblings are a win for helping your body recover from your new exercise routine. And tart cherries? Full of the antioxidant anthocyanin, these are a must! With 5x the antioxidant power of vitamin C, they are a win for exercise recovery as well!
- Squirmy foods – Sardines! I’m not joking! Sardines might be one of the most nutrient-rich foods out there. For just 3 ounces, you get 61% of your dietary omega-3 fatty acid needs, 87% of your selenium needs (a strong antioxidant), 44% of your vitamin D needs, more vitamin B-12 than you’ll ever need in a few days and 22 grams of protein! Can’t imagine stomaching the little guys? Try blending them into a tomato-based sauce and topping zucchini noodles! A low-calorie, nutrient-rich way to eat pasta and get a ton of nutrients!