Eating light, eating right

February 28, 2012

Food, Health, Lifestyle

Berries, together with almonds, make a great topping on all-natural granolas and high-fiber cereals to provide your body the tools it needs for proper digestion.

by Dr. Nicholas Warner — 

Even cooks with the most basic skills can take advantage of the wonders of summer foods and prepare delicious, good-for-you meals in just minutes. When you combine a little bit of know-how with simple preparation, it can be fun to mix and match flavor combinations with natural ingredients to create well-balanced meals with optimal benefits. Here are a few quick examples.

Berries start the perfect day: Berries, together with almonds, make a great topping on all-natural granolas and high-fiber cereals to provide your body the tools it needs for proper digestion. While the granola/cereal supplies the whole grains needed to fuel your body, the fruit is full of antioxidants and fiber. Best of all, this meal can take on entirely new flavors by making the slightest changes, such as strawberries one day and raspberries the next.

Berries that are more exotic, such as goji berries and yumberries, are becoming a healthy trend and easier to find in natural food stores. These are also great when added to your favorite breakfast foods, like whole-grain waffles.

Add fun to lunch: There are a few key factors to creating a lunch that incorporates the season’s fresh produce. First, focus on healthy fats and omega-3s. These fats, which provide energy and have heart-health benefits, can be found in avocados, olive oil, walnuts and other nuts. Try adding these simple ingredients to salads and sandwiches.

For example, avocado goes great in a turkey sandwich with a slice of fresh tomato, or as a delicious and nutritious salad topper. Speaking of salads, skip the premade dressings and opt for olive oil to make your salad nutritious. Be sure to sprinkle a few nuts on top for added protein and crunch.

Taste the summer nights: The best way to make any dinner festive is to experiment with seasonal vegetables. Exotic whole grains and fish are great complements. Start with brown rice or quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), which are easy to prepare in a rice cooker and can be flavored with carrots, broccoli, spinach and sunflower seeds.

Also try adding tamari or a Bragg’s product, such as Bragg Liquid Aminos. These are great soy-sauce alternatives for seasoning your vegetable dishes. Another dinner favorite is turkey sausage and fresh tomato quarters prepared on the grill and placed on a bed of mixed greens, dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

After you learn how to prepare a dish or two, take some time to experiment in the kitchen and come up with your own favorite healthy meals. For more ideas, try searching online or talking to your doctor. Discovering healthy summer meals will make this wonderful season more memorable for you, your family and friends.

 

Dr. Nicholas Warner is a certified massage therapist and a doctor of chiropractic with Wellness in Motion, Inc., in Phoenix. He is an instructor for The Southern California University of Health Sciences and Utah College of Massage Therapy. 602-863-4252 or www.wellness-in-motion.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  4, Aug/Sept 2009.

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