Thursday, January 2, 2014

6 Superfoods You Should be Eating in 2014

Nothing crazy but there are some amazing superfoods you need to add to your training table for 2014!
There are so many off the chain resolutions we make each January 1st. Now this can be a good thing but so is having a game plan that you can actually stick with. Rather than bog you down with a list of supplements a mile long, how about adding three servings of each of these foods to your menu each week? I promise it will be painless and you will see results within the first month before you run out of motivation. Here's number 1:

1.) Eat More Omega 3 Fish & Shellfish
If you are still doing the chicken breast deal, try swapping out three servings a week with salmon, mackerel, sardines, or shrimp. The Omega 3 fatty acids are something we often do not get enough of so try some panini grilled salmon or shrimp over sauteed spinach and mushrooms. Those lightly cooked vegetables are complex carbohydrates which require more energy to digest and break down. Much better for you.

Salmon fillet grilling on a panini press. 3 ozs is all you need / serving.
2.) Chia Seeds (Cha cha cha CHIA!)
Organic Chia Seeds like these from Nature's Approved can be added to smoothies and ground up into a meal (literally)! Rich in ALA Omega 3, protein and fiber, they are power-packed. Add ground seeds to natural whole grains like oatmeal and whole wheat pancakes. Speaking of which, natural, multi-grain hot cereals are easy to prepare and delicious with lots of protein and fiber. Add in your Chia Seeds for even more nutrition.

Organic Raw Chia Seeds and Chia Omega Supplement.
3.) Lowfat Yogurt
Here's another powerhouse food that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. In fact if you like Greek Yogurt, you'll love this Icelandic version by Siggi's. Whichever you choose, lowfat or nonfat and low sugar is the way to go. Make sure they yogurt you choose also has active live cultures which will help your immune system and digestive track. You'll be getting extra calcium along with the protein without very much added fat. Study participants excreted significantly more fat than individuals who did not consume low fat dairy products.  I call that winning!

Low-fat Icelandic and Greek Yogurts offer more protein but less fat & sugar.

4.) and 5.) Dried Super Fruits like Cranberries & Plums
Here's another way to get both extra fiber and antioxidants in your diet, especially during the winter months. Did you know that the humble dried plum aka PRUNE has more ORAC rated antioxidants than blueberries? They are also higher in antioxidants than strawberries too and easy to take along. Dried cranberries, also known as "Craisins" by Ocean Spray, likewise offer a lot of vitamin C in a small package along with fiber. Add them to breakfast smoothies, whole grain cereals and yogurt.

Dried Cranberries and Plums are rich in antioxidants and fiber.
6.) Go Nuts Over Pecans
Raw nuts like pecans offer rich, natural oils that help keep dry skin and inflammation at bay. However, they are also rich in antioxidants, even more than peanuts, walnuts or macadamia nuts with NO additional salt. That's an added benefit along with protein and fiber. Try adding these superfoods to your training table diet for the new year and see how quickly you recover from your weightlifting and workout sessions. Commercial energy bars are often highly processed and loaded with sugar to make them taste good. Try any of these as a snack or meal item and you'll not have room for that other nonsense!

Rather than buy energy bars, invest in some raw food like these pecans.

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