Sometimes we’re more like children than we are adults, aren’t we? We know, full well, what foods we should be eating more of and what ones we should be eating less of – yet, off we go on our merry way to the nearest hamburger in a hurry joint. What’s worse, when we get there we almost always make our sinister selection as large as possilbe and, yes, of course, we would very much like fries with that.
Maybe, just maybe, if we were to concentrate more on the Positive Foods and less on the Negative Foods – we’d fill up so much on the good stuff that we wouldn’t even want the bad. Worth a try? Worth a try.
The following are a few ideas for sneaking more of the highly recommended foods into your day. If we fill up on what we SHOULD, it’ll leave very little room for what we SHOULDN’T. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
Garlic is known to be one of our heart’s favorite foods. Fortunately, it’s very simple to up our garlic intake. Garlic goes beautifully with just about every meat and bread you can think of. To get the most from garlic, we should eat several cloves a day, so we need to work it into our meals as often as possible.
In addition to serving garlic with meat dishes, minced garlic is heavenly when served over steamed green beans. If, like me, you’re trying to wean yourself off of bacon fat for seasoning (Yum….sorry, but yum), garlic makes a great substitution. I’ve also used slivered almonds (more on them later) on my green beans.
Crushed Garlic can be added to Salad Dressing or Mayo to create a Kicked Up Sandwich spread.
If you don’t get too crazy, garlic can also be addded favorably to Ranch Dressings for salads. It’s especially good if you add a little finely chopped basil with it.
Since our heart also loves Olive Oil, it would be a great idea to keep a bottle or two on hand at all times. Even though you may think it sounds excessive, keeping regular olive oil AND Extra-virgin olive oil each in your pantry is a good idea. Why? Extra-virgin olive oil packs extra polyphenols (compounds that keep LDL cholesterol from sticking to artery walls) than the other varieties. But, since it costs several dollars more, I’m not that keen on cooking with it. I like to save it for drizzling over salads, pasta, breads, and steamed vegetables.
Almonds are proven to lower LDL levels – they’re brillaint at it, actually. While all nuts are healthy and should be included in our daily diets, almonds have a bit of a heart-healthy edge – they have vitamin e and are also a good source of calcium. If you toast them in the oven, you’ll bring out more of their flavor, without lessening their nutritional benefits.
A Harvard University study found that a half cup of dark yellow vegetables, like carrots, eaten daily cuts the risk of diabetes in women by 27 percent. They’re one of those foods that seemingly increase their nutritional value daily, so it would be ridiculous NOT to use them in our meals more. As an added bonus, they’re not nearly as costly as other vegetables. (I made a huge salad last night with a Ravioli meal that nearly required a small loan. Cauliflower and Broccoli should be ashamed of themselves.
Personally, I love carrots (and celery, for that matter) enough to eat them in the raw – them, not me. But, if you require a little more flavor, a buttermilk ranch dressing is always a delicious way to go. You can work a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil into your portions and get a one-two punch by drizzling it over steamed carrots. Finish it off by snipping a little thyme on top. Fresh herbs are also healthy – and add an aggreable flavor to everything. Rosemary and Thyme are perfect with everything known to man or woman.
Salmon is one of the biggest of shots when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids. I can’t understand anyone NOT love, love, loving salmon – but if it’s not your favorite thing, experiment with different flavors. Add a little dill and lemon, and never forget the pepper.
In a Saving the Best for Last type of thang – see the following post on Self Help Daily. Of course, if (nudge, nudge) you’re really just not that into chocolate, don’t bother.