8 Foods to Help You Stay Healthy Now That January's Over
Once January is over, many New Year’s resolutions go out the window. After one too many indulgences you start to give up. While it may be easier to have the extra bite of chocolate ice cream, there are ways to avoid aborting your resolutions. Samantha Cassetty Director of Nutrition from Luvo says, “It’s so easy to let the ‘I blew it’ mentality spiral out of control. ‘I blew it on this plate of mac and cheese so I might as well have the cake.’ Remind yourself of this: The last time you cracked the screen on your phone, you didn’t stomp on it and cause further damage. If you have an indulgent meal, remember your cracked screen. Pick up where you left off and get back on track.”
There are many ways to get back on track after you’ve slipped up or to stay on track without risking a slip up. Finding healthy alternatives to your favorite foods is a great way to do so. If you’re in the mood for mashed potatoes, try making cauliflower mash. One cup of cauliflower has three grams of fiber to keep you fuller longer — and it’s also low in carbs. It’s the perfect substitute for rice or mash.
Keep reading to find more healthy food suggestions from Samantha Cassetty that can help you stay happy and healthy for the entire year.
Remember the low-fat diet craze of the 90s? Thank goodness those days are long gone! It turns out avocados, with their 22 grams of fat, are extremely filling. One study found that when adding a half an avocado to meals, participants felt more satisfied and reported less desire to eat in the hours that followed. Avocados aren’t just for guacamole, either! Get a half an avocado in each of these creamy smoothies.
Compounds in blueberries have been shown to boost memory. Frozen blueberries keep the fresh going all year round and work well in everything from smoothies to parfaits to chia jam. Use chia jam just as you would jelly — over whole grain toast, atop oatmeal or yogurt, or as a condiment with cheese.
Canned chickpeas are a great pantry staple. Rinse and drain them and use them on top of salads, stir them into vegetable soups, purée them into hummus, and more. A half of a cup serving has six grams of plant protein and five grams of fiber. Another newsflash: Chickpeas and other beans count toward your veggie servings! One of the easiest and most delicious ways to enjoy them is to roast them. Roasted chickpeas are a great salad topper and they’re also snack-able and suitable for nut-free environments.
Mushrooms are exciting because their meaty texture and flavor work well in a number of dishes — from pilafs to tacos. Studies suggest that substituting mushrooms for meat is a good strategy for filling up on fewer calories — and thus helps on the weight loss front. Adding mushrooms to your pilaf is a great way to dial up the nutrition, too: Mushrooms provide niacin, selenium, potassium, copper, and riboflavin.
This breakfast standby is a great source of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and tame belly fat — win-win.
This gluten-free pseudo-grain (so-called because it’s actually not a grain) scores points for protein — eight grams (more than a large egg) per cup, cooked. Load up your quinoa with veggies to create a satisfying main or side dish, or stir in fruit and cinnamon for an alternative to oatmeal. Adding quinoa to cookies is a genius way to bring some of its goodness to baked treats!
Let’s practice a little gratitude for pre-washed baby spinach! Sometimes it seems spinach was kicked to the curb by its leafy green frenemy, kale. But this veggie shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s an excellent base for salads, but a few handfuls go a long way in omelets, vegetable or lentil soup, atop potatoes, and tossed into grain dishes, like this quinoa pilaf. Like many leafy greens, spinach is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that protect your vision.
Sweet potatoes are oh-so-healthy… that is, until they meet excessive amounts of maple syrup, butter, or marshmallows in soufflés, casseroles, and pies. Load them up with vegetarian toppings instead and you have a hearty meal in 20 minutes.
Bonus: Sweet potatoes are a prime source of beta carotene, which is great for giving your skin a warm glow.