My name is Ashleigh and food is my passion. Food that is simple, honest, and real.
I strive to live a healthy lifestyle by eating real, whole foods, staying active, and keeping things balanced. I've read healthy living blogs for quite some time and finally decided to start one of my own! I'm excited to begin this journey and hope that in the process, I can help others to create a healthy, balanced, and fulfilling life. This blog will include healthy recipes, tips, and fitness ideas. I hope you decide to stick around and enjoy what you read!
For my inaugural post, I thought I'd share some basic information on healthy eats.
Healthy Eating 101: The Basics of Nutrition
Eating nutritious, wholesome foods is an extremely vital part in creating and sustaining a healthy lifestyle. In order to live our best, most enjoyable life, it is important that we eat well rounded meals composed of foods with high levels of vitamins and nutrients, as well as protein, fiber, and good for you fats. Putting together a nutritious meal and choosing healthy foods can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have never done it before.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Make it a goal to include at least one fruit and/or veggie per meal.
- Top your morning whole grain oats with 2/3 cup blueberries. At just 30 calories for this serving size, you’ll be giving your body tons of cancer fighting antioxidants in the form of vitamin C.
- Pack a serving of baby carrots (1 oz) in your lunch. Just one serving provides over 77 percent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A (good for the eyes) as well as smaller amounts of vitamins K (aids in blood clotting), B-6 (increases metabolism), and folate (helps to produce and maintain new cells).
- Snack on a one cup serving of snow peas mid afternoon. They are rich with those wonderful vitamins C and A. Additionally, they provide 10 percent of your daily fiber, which will keep you full and satisfied for a longer period of time.
- Roasted broccoli makes a great side for dinner. Tossed with a little extra virgin olive oil and roasted at 425 for 10-12 minutes. For a one cup serving, you’re getting over 100 percent of your vitamin C. You’ll also get the added bonus of roughly 3-5 grams of protein which, like fiber, helps to keep you full and satisfied.
Protein is an important part of our diet as it plays a role in each and every cell in our body. It builds and repairs tissues, assists in the creation of enzymes and hormones, and helps to build bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. There are two main types of protein; complete and incomplete. Complete proteins come from animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. Incomplete proteins come from non-animal products such as legumes, tofu, seeds, fruits, grains, and nuts. When choosing complete proteins, it is best to look for lean, all natural and/or organic products, which ensure you are getting the highest quality foods. Some examples would be…
- Organic deli meats, such as smoked chicken or turkey
- Organic frozen products, such as turkey and/or beef burgers
- Organic, cage free large brown eggs
- Organic fat-free or low fat milk
Fiber Keeps You Full
Fiber, which is found mainly in whole grain foods, fruit, and legumes, is important for many reasons. It can lower our risk of heart disease and diabetes, allows for proper digestion and bowel health, and keeps our blood sugar at controlled levels. Because fiber digests slowly, it leaves us feeling full and satisfied for a longer period of time. With this satisfied feeling, we are less likely snack and eat extra calories. Some fiberific foods are…
- Whole wheat pastas and breads
- Brown rice
- Cooked peas and broccoli
- Rolled and quick oats
Good For You Fats
There are four main types of fat that can be found in our diets; monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, trans, and saturated. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered good fats because they are good for your heart and lower cholesterol. Trans and saturated fats are bad for us, as the raise our cholesterol and increase our risk for heart disease. Roughly 20-35 percent of your daily calories should come from good fats. Below are some examples of good and bad fats.
Chicken with skin
Olive, extra virgin, canola, sunflower, and peanut oils
Whole fat dairy
Salmon and tuna
High fat cuts of meat such as lamb and pork
Our bodies need water to stay hydrated and function properly. Also, when choosing water over a sugared drink such a soda or juices, you can save tons of calories. Make it your goal to get roughly 64 oz in per day.
I hope you found this piece both helpful and enlightening! I had a great time writing it :) I'm thrilled to be sharing information that I am passionate about.
Within the next few days I'll be posting a fun and simple weeknight dinner. Be on the lookout!