Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Mine was very relaxing. I hung out with my family, slept in a lot, watched holiday flicks, caught up on some good reading, and of course ate lots of delish food. :)
I'm excited to be back and starting a brand new year with you!
So to help you start the new year off right, here's my #1 tip for making sure your food is healthy and green in 2016.
Eat these 5 foods every single day:
Fruit (especially berries, fresh or frozen)
Greens (especially dark leafy greens twice a day)
Whole Grains (muffins, quinoa, brown rice, spelt toast)
Beans (hummus, lentils, black beans, tempeh)
Nuts (flax seeds, walnuts, pecans, almond butter)
Here's how to add these easily add these foods to your plate each day.
Add a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or other berries (because they're among the healthiest and lowest-sugar fruits) to a smoothie in the morning or eat them fresh as a snack in the afternoon. Then eat 3 other pieces of whole fruit or 3 cups of cut-up fruit, like an apple, orange, pear, banana, persimmon, or others.
Twice a day, make sure that 1/2 of your plate or bowl is filled with dark leafy greens (at least one cup of chopped greens), including kale, collards, chard, spinach, mustards, arugula, or others). You can also add a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen spinach or kale to your morning smoothie. Then add one cup of other veggies, like cabbage, carrots, string beans, corn or others to your plate for lunch or dinner. Don't be afraid to have more than one vegetable at a meal. You do it with salads all the time!
This one's easy. Just make sure you swap out a cup of white rice for wild rice, brown rice, red rice or black rice. And swap out white pasta for a 100% whole grain pasta. And for more variety, swap out a cup of quinoa and millet instead of rice and pasta. And when baking or buying bread, muffins, cupcakes, and more, make sure they're made with 100% whole grain ingredients. Whole grain tortillas and wraps count, too.
Yes, you should eat beans every single day! Whether it's in the form of lentil soup, hummus, tofu, tempeh, curried chickpeas, bean dip for baked chips, bean burritos, or just tossing some cannelini beans into your salad, you want to be sure you're getting at least 1 1/2 cups worth a day. I usually buy organic pre-cooked beans that come in a box or pouch and contain water as the only other ingredient.
If you're worried that eating nuts every day will make you gain weight, don't be. In fact, the opposite is true. Having a 1/2 cup of nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter each day is not only healthy for you, it can help manage your appetite by making you feel full and satisfied longer, especially as a snack between meals. Just make sure you eat a variety of raw, unsalted nuts or nut butters throughout the week.
So there you have it--the 5 foods you should eat each day. If you get this one thing right, you'll know that you're getting good nutrition each day, wherever you are on your healthy eating journey.
JOIN ME THIS WEEKEND IN DC
Come join me for a talk and book signing this Saturday, January 9th at 1:30pm at the FREE NBC 4 Health and Fitness Expo at the Washington, DC Convention Center, the country's largest health and wellness expo. I'll be speaking at the Healthy Book Fest pavilion (then it's off to the Dance Zone). See you there!
Black Vegans Rock has launched
Check out this wonderful new website created by Aph Ko that spotlights an incredible black vegan every day. Shout out to Olympian Seba Johnson for being the first featured black vegan who rocks! Subscribe and help us spread the word. (I'm a proud advisory board member for the site.) And if you're a black vegan doing awesome work in the world, submit your story to be featured.
The 20 Best Vegan(ish) Cookbooks
I just recently saw this article by Paste.com about their list of the 20 best vegan-ish cookbooks (not all the books are 100% vegan, but all include vegan recipes.) It was great to be included in such awesome company. Check out these fab resources!
Have a wonderful week, family! (I'll be back in your inbox Thursday with a reminder about the health expo this weekend.)