At this time of year we are all thinking about eating a more health-conscious diet.  Many people choose to look at that in terms of what unhealthy foods they should eliminate, and I considered writing a blog post featuring my worst food offenders.  But, and I believe this, when you focus on what you should not do you are still putting energy into bad foods.  Think of it this way:  When I say, "Stop eating mayonnaise," you picture mayonnaise.  But when I say, "Eat more greens," you picture eating greens, right?  So in this spirit I decided to come up with a top ten list of my favorite healthy foods.  Incorporating more of these foods into my diet will be easy; I already love them.  And if they kick some unhealthy foods to the curb, so much the better! 

1.  Greens of all sorts  I love kale and spinach in particular.  I always have frozen spinach on hand and toss it into tons of recipes when my children aren't expecting it.  Shhhh.

2.  Canned tomatoes  I love tomato sauces and use them in Italian, Mexican and Indian cooking regularly.  I'll try to add more tomatoes to my soups and stews.

3.  Steel-cut Oatmeal  I am nuts about this stuff.  I even eat it cold.  And some of my other favorite health foods can be added to it.  I think this is something I should try to eat daily.  My whole family loves it....except Sam, who has an issue with all hot cereals.

4.  Nuts  Now I know that nuts are high in fat and calories, but they are very satisfying.  A handful of pistashios in the shell can help get me through the afternoon.  I toss almonds and pecans on top of pastas, into salads and in rice dishes.  They're just good and good for you.

5.  Cherries  I love cherries, dried and fresh.  Full of fiber and vitamins, I have bags of locally grown cherries just waiting for me in the freezer.  I'm going to mix up dried cherries, nuts and bits of dark chocolate for a snack this week.

6.  Fish  I love all kinds of fish, canned and fresh, so does my family.  And the great news is that I tend to prepare fish in healthy ways.  I love opening a can of tuna in olive oil or sardines for a snack Sunday afternoon. 

7.  Soup.  Soups, when not made with cream, are so good for you.  I love bean and pea soups, which require very little meat, but are full of fiber and protein.

8. Beans.  I love beans of every kind, whirred with garlic into a dip, tossed with olive oil and vinegar, added to soups and stews.  I am completely in love with good lentils.  I'm planning on trying out Mark Bittman's Lentils and Rice.

9.  Yogurt.  I'm not talking about the pre-flavored, saccharine sweet variety.  I'm talking about the velvety smooth, rich, tangy, plain old yogurt.  I don't even mess with the low-fat stuff.  I flavor this with my own jam or local honey.  My whole family is nuts about this stuff.

10.  Eggs.  I love eggs.  From my hair down through my legs.  But really, eggs are cheap and delicious.  You can eat them any time of day, and when they are locally raised and free-range, you can feel great about eating them...and they're healthier for you!  Eggs are also lower in fat than other sources of protein.  I'm going to try to incorporate more eggs entrees into our dinner rotation.

So there.  Ten healthy foods that I love (and probably some that you hate).  Why not make your own list? 

1/25/2011 08:02:25 am

The wife and I discovered sweet potatoes last year and have enjoyed making oven-baked sweet potato fries. Delicious, and a super-food to be sure! :)

Great list! :)


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