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Whether it’s trying a new food or attempting a new recipe, the rewards far outweigh the risks.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve urged my kids to try a new food—a food they claimed to “know its disgusting”—only to hear them say, “Wow mom, I didn’t know delicata squash (or kale, pomegranate, clams) was so not gross! Can I have some more?” Sure, sometimes (as with the pureed broccoli-and parsley salad I foisted on them last night), they confirm it to be disgusting. But they don’t gag, vomit, or die.
This time of year, people tend to go in one of two directions, eating-wise: Either they double down on their dedication to a healthy diet and forego every sugar cookie, candied pecan, and cheese plate they encounter—or they say some version of “screw it” and dive head first into the buttered mashed potatoes (or cookie platter).
Healthy eating begins with two simple principles:
Processed Foods = Bad
Whole and Minimally Processed (WAMP) Foods = Good
The idea that eating whole foods is good and processed foods is bad may seem self-evident, but it’s not as obvious as you might think. In fact, pinpointing WAMP foods isn’t simple. Processed foods can be sneaky and disguise themselves as healthy foods without our noticing.
For example, we all know that chips, fries, and doughnuts are processed junk-type foods — that’s obvious. But what about bagels, cereal, and yogurt? Maybe not—it all depends on the ingredients that make them what they are. Most bagels are full of refined, processed wheat, and mainstream cereals are stuffed with processed sugar — they’re certainly not WAMP foods. The fact is there isn’t a standard, regulated definition of the words “whole” or “minimally processed.” You’ll need to learn what makes a food WAMP and what doesn’t because labels on packages won’t tell you.
Luckily, there are a few key attributes that flag a food as WAMP.
Want to eat healthier? Skip the whole-wheat bread and start eating wheat the right way — with wheat berries!
Wheat berries are wheat kernels direct from the stalk with only the hull removed (the inedible portion). Wheat berries represent wheat in its least processed, most nutrient-dense form.
by The FIRM nutrition expert Sara Ryba, R.D., C.D.N.
In past years, I felt bad throwing out our Halloween pumpkins, especially if they were still in good form. So last year I decided to use them for delicious post-Halloween dishes. Pumpkin has an impressive amount of vitamin A and other valuable antioxidants. Plus, it’s low in calories and sugar. Check out the nutrition info below, then enjoy these three pumpkin-themed recipes!
I admit I’ve got some serious hoarder tendencies, especially when it comes to food. While I’m not especially proud of my mismatched assortment of Pyrex and Tupperware, I have to say that opening the door and seeing those myriad containers of leftover food makes me feel good.
There are several pieces to this unique and oh-so-yummy recipe.
The first has to do with the use of bitter greens. Bitter greens, such as radicchio, arugula, mizuna, escarole, endive and watercress, bring a pungent yet wonderfully unique flavor to the palate. Their bitter notes, similar to what you get from citrus zest and coffee, are also tinged with a fresh coolness, and do wonders for your digestive health. In many cultures, bitter greens are used to stimulate and tone the digestive system and in Ayurvedic medicine, bitter tastes aid in weight loss and help control food cravings — particularly the craving for sweet. When paired with natural sugars, such as what you get with ripe, luscious oranges, bitter greens will make your mouth sing!
Seasonality is another key to the dish. Winter signifies the orange harvest, especially in Northern California, where I currently reside. In this recipe I used small clementines, but feel free to experiment with Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges or any local orange that you can get your hands on. The more local and sustainable, the tastier the fruit!
But the real “pop” to this recipe is the dressing! The rich and deep sweetness of the balsamic paired with fresh-squeezed orange juice coats the greens and vegetables with just the right amount of bitter, sweet and salty. Then, combined with a hint of spicy Tabasco, myriad tastes come alive!
With the addition of pasture-raised, organic eggs, this dish packs in one of Mother Nature’s most complete proteins. Just remember to accompany a poached egg with some whole-grain toast to soak up all that yolk. Enjoy!
Looking to add more kick to your oatmeal, baked goods and salad toppings? Why not give these super seeds a try?
Grain-like seeds such as chia and teff have been gaining popularity in the mainstream over the past few years. And what’s not to enjoy? They are versatile, gluten-free nutrition powerhouses rich in protein and fiber, among other important nutrients.