Living a healthy lifestyle. Isn’t that everyone’s goal? We all want to feel good, look good, and live long lives. But there’s so much information out there. And guess what, most of it is wrong.
The recommendations from the government and food agencies are wrong, cutting calories is wrong, and fasting never delivers long term results… So what should you do?
Ben and I follow the SANE diet from Jonathan Bailor’s The Calorie Myth. If you’re at all interested in health, fitness, and wellness, I highly recommend reading this book. It will literally change the way you think about food, and it’s sustainable for your entire life, which is hard to come by in your traditional “diet book.”
SANE diet, CliffsNotes version:
– Don’t focus on cutting your calories!
– Eat 10+ servings of non-starchy vegetables
– Eat your body weight in grams of protein (130lbs = 130 grams of protein)
– Eat 3-6 servings of whole-food fats
– Eat 0-3 servings of low-fructose fruit
One of the biggest parts of eating a healthy diet is being prepared and having healthy food around. If there’s only healthy food in your kitchen, you’ll only eat that healthy food.
17 healthy staples to always have in your kitchen.
Non-starchy veggies are one of the best things you can put in your body. What makes a non-starchy vegetable? Generally, think of the veggies you can eat raw. These types of vegetables are always high in nutrients and keep you full, for longer — AKA exactly what you want.
Why: Packed with tons of vitamin A, vitamin c, and antioxidants. Also, for a deep-colored veggie, it doesn’t taste like much which makes it quite versatile.
How to eat: Stuff it in your smoothie, create a spinach salad, or add in to your scrambled eggs.
Why: TONS of vitamin A and decent fiber for a water-based veggie.
How to eat: Chop it up and use as a base to your salad. Taco salad is my favorite for romain.
Why: Packed with tons of vitamin A, vitamin c, potassium, and fiber.
How to eat: Add it to your smoothie or add to your dishes by steaming it. Kale chips also make a fantastic snack.
Why: Again, tons of vitamin A.
How to eat: Baby carrots make excellent snacks. Eat raw dipped in hummus, homemade guacamole, or just plain. They’re also excellent baked. Chop, salt, pepper, and put on a baking sheet. That’s it!
Why: Very high in vitamin c and a solid source of fiber.
How to eat: Another go-to snack. Eat them plain or chop up to add to meals.
Why: High in potassium, fiber, and surprisingly high in protein for a vegetable.
How to eat: Excellent side dish and addition to any stir-fry. Steam for 5 minutes, roast for 20 in the oven, or cook in your stir fry until tender.
Why: Very high in fiber, potassium, and also surprisingly high in protein for a vegetable. It’s also packed with tons of vitamins and antioxidants.
How to eat: You can snack on this raw. It becomes a true star when used as a carb-swap. Cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower rice are a few of my favorites.
Protein helps you feel fuller, allows your body to build muscle, and renews your lean tissue. Focus on concentrated sources of proteins AKA more calories coming from protein instead of fat or carbs. A good rule of thumb is to eat your weight in grams. So if you weigh 130 pounds, aim for 130 grams. Adjust based on activity level as well.
Ground Turkey Breast
Why: Lean turkey breast is packed with protein and very low in fat.
How to eat: Brown in a pan and use almost any way you can think of. Make taco meat, a meat sauce, or add veggies for a different take on stir-fry. It also makes a healthy burger. Pro tip: Trader Joes sells 99% fat-free turkey breast.
Why: Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
How to eat: Grilled or baked. Makes a great star of the meal or addition to a salad.
Why: Very high in protein and low in fat.
How to eat: Grilled, baked, or stir-fried. Chicken breast goes with pretty much everything!
Why: Usually protein bars aren’t actually that good for you but Quest bars have over 20 grams of protein and only 1-2 grams of sugar.
How to eat: Carry around as a snack. For a real treat, soften it up in the oven at 225 degrees for 7ish minutes and you’ll end up with something that resembles a brownie. The smores flavor works best in my opinion. You’re welcome.
Our body’s first instinct is to burn sugar for fuel when you consume a lot of starches and sweets. When you eat whole-food fats, your body starts burning fat for fuel instead of that sugar. Long story short: whole-food fats allow your body to healthfully burn fat.
Why: Avocados are whole-food fat all stars and provide almost 20 essential nutrients.
How to eat: Add to salads or on top of your eggs. They’re also a sneaky good addition to smoothies for an extra creamy texture. And of course, GUAC.
Why: Tons of fiber and protein. Just be cautious of serving size.
How to eat: Snack on plain. Chop up and add to salads or top
Why: Tons of fiber and the best fats for your body. Contains medium-chain triglycerides, which boost metabolism. Also can curb your sweet tooth!
Why: High in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and antioxidants.
How to eat: Add a spoonful in your smoothie, as a topping on a smoothie bowl, or throw some on your salad. Chia pudding is also amazing, just be sure not to add sugars.
Almond or Peanut Butter
Why: Good fats and protein. Also can help curve cravings and keep you feeling full.
How to eat: Use as a dip, spread, or eat a spoonful (which is my method of choice).
Low-fructose fruits like berries and citrus are best for us because they have low levels of sugar. Technically, there’s no biological reason to eat fruit BUT fruit is nature’s candy. So when you’re eating clean, it’s the perfect treat. I can honestly say I couldn’t live without fruit. Just limit your servings to under 3 a day.
Berries (Blueberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries)
Why: Berries provide you with the most nutrients and the least amount of sugar.
How to eat: In your smoothie, over low-fat plain greek yogurt, or plain as a snack.
So much information. If you made it all the way though, congratulations! Stock your kitchen with these 17 healthy foods and you’ll be on your way to a healthy diet.
The recommendations I made are from Jonathan Bailor’s, The Calorie Myth. Bailor covered more than 1,200 scientific studies in his research to expose myths about obesity and weight-loss, and in turn he provides clear guidance on what you should be eating.
*This post is in no way sponsored.*