FOOOOOOOODalicious Friday

Posted: September 30, 2011 in Recipes

My girlfriends and I are obsessed with someecards and this just perpetuates the love... and truth of them.

Big weekend for me — We’re launching BODYPUMP at one of my gyms tomorrow, so I’ve been practicing like a madwoman to memorize and get the beats down. It’s a TON harder than I thought… *GULP* Not to mention I have to plan two 10-min. cardio segments to go along with them as part of our introduction. After that’s done in the morning, I’m off to Mt. Pleasant to visit my best friend (yay!) and get Turbo Kick certified on Sunday (woo!). But I forgot that that requires testing, both practical and written (ugh).

So… I’m a bit stressed. And speaking with honestly, I’ve been wanting to gobble many-a-things in my stressed-out and tired path. I’ve been dreaming of cheesy, saucy burritos with chips and salsa as I sip margaritas… ColdStone ice cream… Tim Hortons donuts… Pizza and beers at my favorite little micro brewery… But what I remind myself is that after I eat that stuff I feel 1) sick to my stomach because I’m not used to eating like that, and 2) guilty because I often OVERindulge when I eat those things in an emotional tizzy and feel just all-around gross.

What do you do, then? We’ve all been there. We’ve all wanted to emotionally eat. We all DO emotionally eat. Guess what, though — YOU have the power to tell yourself to grow up, not spend the cash at a restaurant, and make something healthier and just as delicious with the things you have at home. Because the good news is that the 10 healthy foods below can be used to make some of the most scrumptious meals ever. Really. Seriously. I’m not lying.

10 of the healthiest foods out there:

  1. Lemons — Just one lemon has more than 100% of your daily vitamin C, which may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones. Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory.
  2. Broccoli — One medium stalk of broccoli contains more than 100% of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 200% of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C, two essential bone-building nutrients. The same serving also helps stave off numerous cancers.
  3. Dark chocolate — Just ¼ of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals. Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce “bad” LDL
    cholesterol and increase “good” HDL levels.
  4. Potatoes — One red potato contains 66 micrograms of cell-building folate, about the same amount found in one cup of spinach or broccoli. One sweet potato has almost 8 times the amount of cancer-fighting and immune-boosting vitamin A that you need daily.
  5. Salmon — A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease, and cancer. A 3-ounce serving contains almost 50% of your daily dose of niacin, which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
  6. Walnuts — They contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce cholesterol, of all nuts. Omega-3s have been shown to improve mood and fight cancer; they may protect against sun damage, too.
  7. Avocados — They are rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22%. One has more than half the fiber and 40% of the folate you need daily, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
  8. Garlic — It’s a powerful disease fighter that can inhibit the growth of bacteria, including E. coli. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, works as a potent anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood-pressure levels.
  9. Spinach — It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two immune-boosting antioxidants important for eye health. Recent research found that among cancer-fighting fruits and veggies, spinach is one of the most effective.
  10. Beans — Eating a serving of legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) four times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by 22%. That same habit may also reduce your risk of breast cancer.

 

Now, what can you make that’s delicious from that list? Um, a bunch!

Walnut-crusted salmon with a lemon-garlic sauce and steamed broccoli.

A baked potato stuffed with spinach, broccoli, avocado, and garlic. That not enough? Through in some beans!

Dessert, anyone? Make a cup of green tea with some lemon and have a few (read: a few, not 7) squares of dark chocolate.

Here’s the thing: When you tell yourself that you have food at home, you want to save money, and you’re trying to stay within a certain range of healthiness, making your own dinner at home and then enjoying it while watching a movie you love is the best, simplest, and cheapest way to feel better and reign in your emotions. Grab a friend or your significant other and it’s even better. Trust me, I’ve done this the past two nights and plan to do it again tonight — I’m hungry for comfort food, but I don’t want to blow the cash or the greasy calories. So what’s on the menu for me tonight? Homemade burritos full of veggies and beans while I watch Lord the of Rings: The Return of the King. Yep, it’s true.

 

Can I get a WOOHOO for that!? What’s your healthy comfort food?

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