13 ways to ‘up’ your nutrient intake
The cold winter months and holiday stress often cause us to eat and drink more comfort and stimulant based foods like sugar, alcohol, caffeine, treats, rich foods…and the list goes on. I don’t know about you, but I found myself reaching for more stimulants to keep my energy levels up post holiday. This is a sure sign that you are running on empty nutritionally, and need to increase vitamin and mineral intake and to stablize insulin levels. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. But how do you get that balance back?
Try the following suggestions…
1. An article in the journal of Environment and Behaviour stated that if you keep fruit and vegetables close by in a clear bowl, you are more likely to eat them…so that is the first way to up your nutrient intake. A bowl of hummus or raw nuts on the side makes a perfect pre-dinner snack.
2.Instead of Romaine or iceberg lettuce, opt for nutrient-packed spinach, collard greens, or kale. The dark green leafy’s are superior and should be consumed daily if you can. (try…Kale, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad)
3.Instead of starchy foods like potato or rice, try sautéed spinach in garlic or a kale salad.(Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing) Just as satisfying with far more nutrients and less carbs.
4.Make fresh or frozen fruit your dessert of choice. Have you tried frozen cherries or grapes in Greek yogurt? Or, try blending fresh fruit with almond milk and make into popsicles.
5.Try a new vegetable or fruit at the farmers market or through a local farm share like Plan B Organics. Make it an adventure and pick something like pea sprouts or something you have never had before.
6.Make vegetables into starch alternatives. Instead of mashed potatoes, make faux-tatoes (mashed cauliflower). I’m not going to say you won’t notice the difference, but it’s pretty darn close and far healthier. Or swap the fries for baked sweet potato fries.
7.Snack on apple slices with almond butter. Delicious, sweet, crunchy, and easy to make. Even your most finicky eater or sugarholic will love these.
8.Bring a vegetable or fruit tray to your next party. Skip (or cut down) on the pastries and other carb choices and enjoy fresh broccoli or cauliflower with delicious dips like hummus instead.
9.Make a veggie omelet for breakfast (or any meal). An easy way to up your veggie intake. Or, begin your day with a smoothie. You can add dark green leafy’s into your smoothie or a greens powder. Try this Smoothie recipe.
10.Top your protein with salsa and/ or guacamole. These nutrient and fiber-rich toppings make grilled chicken or grass-fed steak even more flavorful and enjoyable. Say ‘pass’ to rich cream sauces.
11. Add seaweeds to your meals. Try adding a peice of kombu to the water while cooking beans and/or rice. The rice will become infused with the minerals from the seaweed and the seaweed also works to reduce the gas from the beans. A win win!
12. If you hate cooking and want something simple to grab on the run, try a Metegenics Ultra Meal bar. You will get a boost of nutritients while satisfying even the worst craving for sweets.
13. Do a metabolic cleanse to re-start your sytem and bring it back into balance. Cravings literally dissappear. Call me at 289-291-0254 to find the right cleanse for you!
Linda Ljucovic, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Oakville