Quinoa Salad

Fresh Quinoa Salad

There are many healthy food trends out there for 2014 so I just wanted to take a moment and give you a quick snapshot of what healthy food trends I am currently focusing on and incorporating into my diet everyday.  I hope you find this post helpful and interesting.

1. Quinoa – pronounced (keen-wa).  This item not only tastes super good but is very versatile and easy to cook and prepare.  To cook quinoa, you simply have to measure 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.  Viola!  You have cooked quinoa.  You can either serve this item hot or cold.  Quinoa makes a delicious cold salad with fresh ingredients and homemade dressing.  The main benefit of quinoa is that it is “gluten-free” and it packs 8 grams of protein in a 1 cup serving.  That is more protein that some meat items.  Quinoa also contains twice as much fiber as most other grains.  Quinoa is also high in iron, magnesium and B2.  I recently was at a fast food place inside Disney World and I was amazed that they had a Salmon Salad on the menu on a bed of quinoa.  Even Disney has recognized the value of putting quinoa on their menus.  Therefore, my recommendation is for you to incorporate more quinoa into your daily diet.

 

Kale

Kale Leaves

2. Kale – we are hearing about eating kale all the time now.  Are you tired of kale yet?  As a former professional chef, I used to use Kale as a plate garnish and not as something to consider eating.  But now, kale is super good for you to eat with many benefits.  Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and has zero fat.  How about that?  Also, kale is super rich in vitamins, nutrients and phytochemicals which are rich in antioxidants that aid in fighting cancer.  I have personally started to eat kale for the first time after I did a detox cleansing program called the Beachbody Ultimate Reset which is a 21 day cleanse designed to completely “re-set” your body.  I was actually impressed with the kale recipes on the Beachbody Ultimate Reset and how easy this item was to prepare and how delicious it tastes.  I now buy Kale once every other week and incorporate it into my diet.  I have definitely noticed a huge difference in how good I feel on a regular basis after eating this wonderful vegetable.

Purple Sweet Potato

Purple Sweet Potato

3.  Sweet Potatoes – I love sweet potatoes now like I have never before.  Not only do they taste real good, but they are so good for you.  Lately, I have been baking 3-4 very large sweet potatoes per week and using them for meals throughout the week.  This has proven to be a great practice.  Here is what is so great about sweet potatoes.  They are rich with iron and magnesium which is an “anti-stress”  and relaxation mineral.  Who couldn’t use some “anti-stress” on a daily basis?  Sweet potatoes are also high in vitamins B, C and D.  These vitamins help your body function in so many areas including increased energy and immune functions along with promoting healthy bones, heart, nerves,skin and teeth.  If you haven’t had a sweet potato lately, now you have a good reason to begin eating them on a regular basis.

Avocado Jicama Salad

Avocado Jicama Salad

4.  Avocados – Did you know that avocados are a Superfood?  I learned recently that avocados are high in fat and calories but are one of the best foods you can eat on a regular basis packed with nutrients and heart-healthy ingredients.  Avocados are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants such as lutein.  Avocados also help you get valuable nutrients from other foods.  A great way to take advantage of this is to add avocado to a salad.  Avocados also make you feel full which is a great benefit if you are trying to lose weight.  I usually get 2-4 very large avocados when I go to the grocery store every week so I can eat them often.  I highly recommend for you to do the same to take advantage of these great benefits.

5. Breakfast – I know that this is a more general trend but it is a very important one.  If you are eating breakfast everyday, hats off to you. 80% of Americans now claim that they eat breakfast everyday.  Breakfast eaters tend to be healthier and less likely to eat empty calories throughout the day.  When I started working out on a daily basis, I started eating breakfast everyday and began to reap the benefits of increased metabolism and energy.  You can easily heat up some oatmeal and top it with fresh blueberries.  Breakfast improves so many areas including increased strength and endurance, improved concentration and performance and lower cholesterol levels while maintaining a nutritionally complete diet higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

After I completed the Beachbody Ultimate Reset which is a 21 day meal program and cleanse, I experienced the benefits of eating these foods and meals listed above that are also healthy food trends.  I have experienced a much better quality of life after modifying my daily diet to include these items.

When it comes to workouts and nutrition, it is critical to eat healthy foods.  As a matter of fact, your results with your workouts are fueled by 80% of what you eat.  If you want great results, start with your diet and nutrition plan.  My results started to change for the better when I changed my diet.  I now help people with workouts and staying accountable to their nutrition plan.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at chefstaceyrocks@comcast.net.