By Dr. Jenna Arts
Eating By Design is so much more than just meat and vegetables…meat and vegetables…meat and vegetables.
It has even been criticized as being too rigid, strict or restrictive.
And it isn't that eating real food is restrictive (I know it can feel like that sometimes... don't worry I have some tips that will help!), it's that there is a chance you haven’t yet realized the abundance of ingredient combinations you have to choose from to create really simple and delicious meals. Keep reading, for 5 of my favourites will help get your mealtime out of a rut.
And it is definitely not a one-size-fits-all diet.
If you love sticking to a couple basic meals (steak and potatoes, chicken and broccoli or salmon and asparagus) then all the power to you. But if you are looking for more variety on your plate…one that keeps your meals interesting while still offering nutrient dense foods, check out these 5 foods.
Below are my top 5 new food choices that you should be adding into your diet, but have maybe never made yourself or tried (or heard) of before.
1. Bone broth. What is so good about it? Bone broth speeds up recovery time from a flu or cold, promotes healthy digestion, reduces joint pain and inflammation, promotes strong bones and keeps your skin, hair and nails healthy looking. Really, is there anything bone broth cannot do? What do I do with it? Use it to replace conventional boxed chicken or beef broth in your favourite soups or stews, or enjoy a warm mug of it first thing in the morning instead of coffee.
2. Organ meats (from healthy, pasture raised animals of course). What is so good about them? Organ meats are packed with B vitamins, iron, protein, cholesterol, omega-3 fats and vitamin D. They are literally one of the most nutrient dense foods, and definitely a bang for your buck because they are an acquired taste (not very popular cuts) and are often sold at a fraction of the price than grass fed beef or pasture raised chickens are sold for. What do I do with them? My favourite is to dip apple slices in our chicken liver mousse or to fry grass fed beef liver with onions, mushrooms and figs.
3. Fermented vegetables. What is so good about them? The fermentation process in fermented vegetables produces probiotics, which are extremely important in promoting gut health and a strong immune system…think less flus, colds and allergies. What do I do with them? Add kimchi, sauerkraut, or fermented carrots to a salad or as an easy veggie side dish that requires no cooking at all. Think about it…you could cut your dinner prep in half if you only needed to consider cooking your protein.
4. Coconut oil. What's so good about it? Coconut oil contains saturated fat (yes, it is actually good for you…not bad!) while helping you burn more fat. Most people think that weight loss is as simple as calories in versus calories out and if you just eat less calories you will lose more weight. Not so fast…the QUALITY of your calories and food matter most. Coconut oil has been shown to increase daily energy expenditure by an average of 120 calories a day all while helping your hormones work better too. What do I do with it? What DON’T you do with it? I use it as a cooking oil, take a spoonful when I am craving sugar, take my makeup off with it, oil pull my teeth with it and use it on my skin as a daily moisturizer.
5. Kombucha. What is so good about it? Since it has been around for more than 2,000 years and has a history of helping things like cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases, kombucha is an all-encompassing immune strengthening drink. It is made from sweetened tea that is fermented by a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and straight up yummy! What do I do with it? It tastes like a carbonated iced tea, so replace your juice, iced tea or pop with this good gut bacteria-promoting drink.
I hope you found these suggestions helpful. These are foods to definitely consider adding to your diet if you're feeling like you are getting bored, in a food "funk" or are just looking to expand your real food palate all while healing and helping your gut at the same time.
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