I can rehash what you read in probably every health magazine article: "Eat brown rice instead of white," "Grill rather than fry your chicken breast," and "Eat more veggies!"
OR, I can try to give you tips that you can actually use.
At this point, you get it. We all get it. But we all don't do it. Why? Because grilled chicken breast, brown rice and a bucket of broccoli is boring, basic and not sustainable. Unless you want to be a big, cranky b****, I would highly recommend incorporating a variety of food in your diet (trust me, I've been there. It's not fun for you or anyone in your immediate area.)
But what I can do is explain why and how to vary your food.
Vitamins and Minerals
Macronutrients--proteins, carbohydrates and fats--aren't the only important aspect in a balanced diet. The quality of the food is equally vital. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. The majority of America is deficient in one or more micronutrients without even realizing it. This is why the supplement industry and food fortification exists.
Pellagra, a disease characterized by "diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia" that reached epidemic proportions, was recognized by doctors as a niacin deficiency disease. Flour was fortified with niacin 1938 in order to reduce the incidence of pellagra.
Micronutrient deficiencies can easily be avoided with a whole food based diet and certain supplements when necessary.
Only four Brazil nuts provide your daily requirement of selenium!
By simply eating a variety of food sources on a daily basis, you will practice safe healthy eating. Here are a few examples and how I vary my diet below:
- Protein sources: white fish, omega-3-rich fish, lean beef/bison, turkey/chicken breast, Greek yogurt
- Carbohydrate sources: sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, grapefruit, berries, oats, Ezekiel bread, freekah, chickpeas, black beans
- Fat sources: avocado, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter, variety of nuts and seeds
- Cup of coffee: VERY necessary. Spruce it up with Stevia, cinnamon and unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Trader Joe's is my favorite based on taste and no crappy chemicals--carrageenan-- that some mainstream brands contain in their almond milk.)
- 3 egg white, 1 whole egg omelette with spinach, salsa and hot sauce
- 1/4 cup oatmeal with 1/4 cup frozen organic blueberries. Make it taste better with Stevia and cinnamon
3 ounces of a homemade bison burger
Variety of my roasted veggies: asparagus, onions, mushrooms and eggplant
- 3 ounces of my rosemary chicken breast (used the same marinade, but I baked it instead of the CrockPot this time.)
- 3 ounces of sweet and spicy sweet potato wedges
- 1 roasted eggplant
- 3 roasted asparagus wrapped in turkey bacon
- 4 ounces tuna, avocado, egg salad on a bed of spinach
- Roasted eggplant, mushrooms and asparagus
Meal 5 (not pictured):
- Chocolate-chia protein shake (1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seed, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp cacao powder, dash of cinnamon and Stevia and ice, blended)