For the past two months or so I have been on a bit of a health journey. After a routine doctor's appointment where quite a few things were out of balance, I decided to really kick my wellness practices into high gear and remove some bad eating habits while adding in anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods that heal. Because I truly, absolutely believe that we can heal most of our health issues with diet and lifestyle changes - often very drastic ones.
So I made some very drastic food changes. For the last 8 weeks I've cut out all dairy (so sad because I LOVE cheese), cut out all coffee, cut out heavy grains like pasta and bread, cut out all non-natural sugar and limited my salt intake to probably about 80% less than what it was before.
And then added into my diet things like nuts, oats, balanced grains like quinoa, a very hefty portion of fruit every day, quality vitamins, more water than I've ever drank, green tea, and lots of ginger and turmeric supplements.
Within two weeks of that lifestyle change I lost almost 15 pounds (which was not the goal, but a side effect nonetheless), my follow-up doctors appointment - which I was so so nervous for - showed a huge improvement in things like blood pressure and cholesterol. And that was just after two weeks.
I still have quite a few things I need to sort out with my health, but this is just an note of encouragement to you that if you love food as much as me, love coffee as much as I do, and can't imagine giving up those things to change your health, I did it and I've never felt better. Literally never felt better.
Here are a few meal ideas for every meal if you need a jumpstart:
On most days, we start the day out with a cup of coffee for Lee and a cup of either green or chai tea for me. Then about 10:30 I've been making us a nutrient-dense smoothie that normally includes:
- frozen berries
- orange juice
On the weekends we might do some avocado toast with a poached egg on top or pancakes for a bit of extra substance.
Lunch in our house has always notoriously been leftovers, a random assortment of foods, sandwiches, etc. But most research points back to lunch being the best meal of the day to eat the most amount of food - especially for the sake of digestion and nutrient absorption. We're still working on it, but a few of my favorite lunches include:
- easy to make summer rolls – I roughly follow HBH's recipe
- spinach salads with a hard boiled egg, hummus, and whatever veggies I find in the fridge
- rice noodles with leftover chicken or veggies - if I have homemade broth I love to add it in for a bit of a modified ramen situation
- a hummus and greens sandwich with sprouted grains bread that's lightly toasted and rice crackers on the side
- chia seed pudding
- tuna salad or chicken salad in a lettuce wrap - substitute the mayo for plain greek yogurt
- salmon, quinoa, avocado, and roasted sweet potatoes
- big cobb salad with homemade honey mustard dressing
- stir fry lots of veggies with some chicken and add over rice noodles or wild rice
- black bean burgers in a lettuce wrap with baked sweet potato fries
- chickpea or lentil pasta with lemon garlic sauce
- greek chicken pitas - whole wheat pita bread with lemon chicken, quinoa, red onions, greens, peppers, and hummus
- taco stuffed sweet potatoes
- roasted broccoli and zucchini with honey mustard chicken thighs
So, if you're like me and needing to totally switch up your diet or your just curious about what eating a little healthier looks like, hopefully that gives you a better idea of some healthy and delicious meals you can eat.