Power Foods

Written by anjo

You are what you eat. Probably the most generic and clichéd phrase about eating healthy/dieting. What makes it even more bothersome is that it’s a true statement. After mowing down two pieces of red velvet cake, I awoke the next morning feeling as if I was a slice of red velvet cake. Feeling like a sugary, carbohydrate loaded block for an entire day is not enjoyable – I would rather feel like an avocado.

Before I start rambling on about foods I want to be and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (see this movie and you will understand), I personally think it’s important to discuss everyday eating habits. For those of you who are in their early 20s, can consistently drink alcohol, eat Cheetos and not work out, but are still mysteriously skinny, kudos to you. After you pop a few children out, you will gain weight like the rest of us, and appreciate my diet tips.

Torturing yourself with cleanses and starvation are only going to hurt you in the long run – you will age fast and probably die before the healthy ones. Seeing results both physically and mentally, takes a very long time. It means taking the motivation you have on a given day and running with it, literally or figuratively. Reminding yourself of your goals daily, and making that motivation into a habit. That habit, over time, will turn into a lifestyle, and you will forever be a healthy, sexy, human being. But, it is easier said than done.

One thing I learned while attempting a lifestyle change is that you have to learn to limit yourself to food. Don’t starve yourself, just limit yourself. Don’t eat unless your stomach is growling. If your stomach is growling, chug water and see if that helps (hint: most of the time it does). Don’t go to the grocery store hungry – you WILL buy banana split ice cream and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreos. Yes, those are real and God’s gift from heaven, but super bad for you. (I hope my previous purchases aren’t making you crave these horribly processed foods. Just try to think about all of the insects that probably fall into the Oreo batter).

Any who, here are some nutrient-packed, unprocessed super foods that will help you get full, stay full, and inevitably lose weight: Pomegranates, walnuts, broccoli, whole grains, cinnamon, dark chocolate, avocado, dark leafy greens, wild salmon, green tea.

All of the foods listed above could easily make up a daily diet, with a lot of flexibility in recipes. Substituting these foods for other poultry, fruits and vegetables are okay too, because who seriously likes the taste of kale besides, well, no one. Below is a chart of perfectly acceptable foods to replace if you do not like my power list above.

Power Food Acceptable replacement
Pomegranates Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, banana. Make smoothies or juice with these fruits, or just pop them into a Ziploc bag for convenience.
Walnuts Plain, unsalted, uneverything almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.
Broccoli Carrots, green peppers, asparagus, squash, zucchini.
Whole grains There is no replacement to whole grains. Every carb you eat should be 100% whole grain, or refrain from eating it. There are many breads, noodles, chips and snacks are made 100% whole grain, you just have to know what to look for.
Cinnamon Cayenne pepper, but I’d much rather have cinnamon.
Dark Chocolate No chocolate.
Avocado If you aren’t a fan of avs, you need to start being one. It is barely noticeable in a salad, sandwich or wrap, and if you don’t like guacamole, you are insane. Avs have multiple benefits through consumption.
Dark leafy greens (This includes spinach, kale, collards, turnip greens, chard, lettuce) These greens are vital to your health. You should at least try eating some kind of green veggie for at least 2+ meals a day. If you are anything like me, you probably have a juicer, which is where you can put some of these veggies so that you consume them without tasting them. It is great – I mix all of my kale into the juicer with apples, oranges and carrots, and it tastes great! If you don’t have a juicer, try adding lettuce to your everyday food items. Wraps, lunch meat sandwiches all can have dark leafy greens and other vegetables added to them and still taste great. Eggs with spinach, tomatoes and onions are also a very filling meal, instead of cheese and salt.
Wild Salmon Any lean meat – chicken, turkey, other fish that is made by you to avoid other unwanted additives. I am not a huge fan of fish, so I eat a lot of chicken/turkey to get the source of protein I need.
Green tea Water. Green tea has an uncountable amount of benefits for your health, and can be consumed hot or on ice. Either preference, drinking green tea should be a habit to start.

I hope this helps you like it has helped me. Obviously these foods will help you lose weight and feel better. But, pairing this with consistent exercise will really make you see results faster! I have been combining these foods throughout my work-week and having one cheat day where I can drink and eat Ian’s Pizza on the weekend. I have been slowly seeing results, and that is motivation enough to make my habits a lifestyle.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started in these habits, and sometimes life gets in the way and your healthiness is derailed. But don’t get discouraged! Keep motivating yourself and surround yourself with people who share similar goals with you!