Nutrition

What you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in the gym. To effectively achieve your fitness goals, proper nutrition is an absolute must!

10 Healthy Things To Buy At The Grocery Store.

3555420148_4422399631From good to bad, grocery stores have it all. With thousands and thousands of products, it’s not always easy to determine which foods support a healthy lifestyle.

As a quick shortcut, here are 10 healthy grocery store items that are always on my Davey Wavey shopping list – and why I love them.

  1. Peanut butter. But first, check the ingredients. Real peanut butter has only one ingredient: peanuts. If there is added sugar or oils, don’t be fooled. Peanut butter is great for snacking; the rich, creamy texture is satisfying and helps curb hunger.
  2. Unsweetened almond milk. Did you know that a regular cup of milk has the equivalent of three teaspoons of sugar? Most people don’t. With even more calcium, no sugar and a dramatic reduction in calories, almond milk isn’t just an alternative; it’s a milk replacement.
  3. Chicken. It’s not fancy, but it’s lean, versatile and packed with protein. You can add it to a salad, eat it as a main dish or slice it for a sandwich.
  4. Microgreens. With 4 – 6x the nutrients of their full grown counterparts, microgreens are baby greens picked shortly after germination. They’re flavorful, tender and tasty. I usually opt for baby arugula, sprouts, spinach and kale.
  5. Avocado. Rich in essential fats, avocado is a versatile ingredient that adds life to almost any dish. I use it as a healthy condiment alternative on chicken or turkey burgers, in whole wheat quesadillas or mixed into salads. In many recipes, you can actually substitute butter with avocado.
  6. Apples. Cheap and convenient, apples are nutritionally rich and contain lots of fiber. For me, apples are a great way to snack or to curb hunger before going out to eat. The fiber makes apples slow to digest, which is especially helpful for individuals looking to lose weight.
  7. Berries. Though they can be pricey, berries are a great alternative for traditional desserts and ice cream. A handful or two of raspberries will satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth.
  8. Frozen veggies. It’s a popular myth that vegetables lose nutrients when they’re frozen. In actuality, vegetables are flash frozen at their peak; in many instances, they’re more nutritionally dense than fresh vegetables which slowly travel from farm to table. While french fries or mac and cheese are tempting side dishes, vegetables are always a wise substitution. Moreover, there are so many ways to cook them. Whether you steam, saute or bake your veggies, it’s an easy way to eat smarter. Plus, frozen vegetables last a long time in your freezer – so they’re super convenient.
  9. Eggs. What’s so special about eggs? They’re a cheap and widely available source of protein. Though high in dietary cholesterol, moderate egg consumption will do little to raise actual blood cholesterol levels. I use boiled eggs on my salad, or enjoy a few scrambled eggs for breakfast. Eggs, wheat toast and fruit salad can be a fun dinner, too.
  10. Bananas. My life wouldn’t be complete without bananas; I use bananas for just about everything. With only 100 calories, a banana is a fast, quality source of carbohydrates. As such, I eat a banana before the gym each morning. The carbs give me the energy to power through my workout. I also add frozen bananas to almond milk to create a rich smoothie. For dessert, I blend bananas with quick oats and raisins to create healthy cookies.

What healthy foods are must-haves for your grocery list? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. To dramatically improve the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Use discount code “youtube” to save 25% at checkout!

Are Watermelon Seeds Edible And Healthy?

watermelon_with_seedsWe know that watermelons provide some great nutritional and health benefits. In fact, National Geographic lists their top five reasons to chomp down on watermelon as follows:

  1. Soothes sore muscles
  2. It helps heart health
  3. Could reduce male impotence…
  4. Many vitamins and minerals; few calories
  5. Could fight cancer

But what about the seeds? Most of us are accustomed to either spitting out the seeds or removing them before consumption. Alternatively, there are many seedless watermelon options available for purchase. But by cutting the seeds out of the equation, are we selling our watermelon experience short?

Yes.

Not only are watermelon seeds edible, their packed with nutritional benefits. Loaded with heart-healthy fats, these seeds are rich in minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous and copper. Moreover, a one ounce serving has a respectable 8 grams of protein. The only downside to watermelon seeds is that they’re relatively high in calories. But with just a slice or two of watermelon, it won’t be a problem.

I’m not sure who started the watermelon spitting rule, but now is a good time to break tradition. Next time you opt for watermelon, treat yourself to the seeds. Just make sure that you chew them to ensure nutrient absorption.

When it comes to watermelon seeds, don’t spit. Swallow.

 

 

Fast Food Chains Cut Calories From Menu Items.

surgeons-general-warning-for-fast-foodI’m not a fan of fast food. I’m a fan of good, nourishing food. And the two are rarely one in the same.

However, fast food chains could be taking a step in the direction of better nutrition. According to a new study that examined the menu items in 66 of the 100 largest U.S. restaurant chains, new menu items added in 2013 had, on average, 12% fewer calories than the previous year. It amounted to a difference of about 60 calories per food item.

Of course, whether consumers actually opt for these new options over a Big Mac is yet to be determined.

Moreover, it’s unclear whether calorie reductions were achieved through smaller portions, more nutritional ingredients or some combination of both.

Researchers speculate that restaurants are making the changes ahead of impending federal regulations that will require chains to post calorie information on the menu. Whatever the motivation, the researchers believe that reducing calories in fast food menu options may have a significant impact on calorie reduction.

P.S. If you want to dramatically improve the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

These REAL Superfoods Will Shock You.

main_dandelion_thWhen you think of superfoods, do you think of… watercress?

Probably not. But maybe you should.

We hear the term superfood a lot. We generally think of superfoods as those foods with a higher density of critical nutrients like vitamins and minerals. But as it turns out, no federal agency has defined the term superfood. In other words, marketers are free to use it on product packaging at their own discretion.

Marketers have successfully positioned chia, blueberries, kale, acia berries and the like as superfoods. But are they really the most deserving of that title?

A study by William Paterson University sought to shed some light on the situation. Using a 100-point scale, researchers evaluated fruits and vegetables based on their content of 17 nutrients including fiber, zinc, folate, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.

Their findings are quite surprising. At the top of the list was watercress, followed by Chinese cabbage, chard, beet green and spinach. Blueberries didn’t even meet the study’s criteria to qualify as a powerhouse fruit or vegetable.

Below are some of the fruits and veggies and their respective ratings.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 4.52.26 PM

While you might not be tempted to snack on a bushel of parsley, the ratings provide an objective approach for scoring the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables. The finds can also serve as a reminder to favor science over clever marketing.

P.S. For a simple and science-based approach to healthy (but delicious!) eating, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!

 

Is Dark Meat Unhealthy?

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 7.41.34 AMDark poultry meat gets a bad rap – but is this unhealthy reputation deserved?

First things first, dark meat cuts are the drumsticks and thighs. White meat, on the other hand, is breast meat.

There are some notable nutritional differences between the two. Dark meat certainly contains greater amounts of fat. In the case of chicken and turkey, dark meat contains 12.3 grams of fat and 10.1 grams of fat, compared to white meat with 5.7 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of fat respectively.

But this is total fat.

It’s worth noting that more than 2/3 of the fat in dark meat is heart-healthy, unsaturated fat. Moreover, fat slows down digestion and can help you feel full, longer.

hoisin-chicken-legsBut the story doesn’t end there.

Dark meat also tends to be richer in zinc, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate, vitamins A, K, B6 and B12, amino acids, iron, selenium phosphorus and zinc.

Though dark meat contains slightly more calories and higher levels of fat, it’s not as unhealthy as most people think. In fact, quite the opposite. With more flavor than white meat, dark meat can be a delicious and healthy part of any balanced nutrition plan.

Give dark meat a second chance.

P.S. For a simple and science-based approach to healthy (but delicious!) eating, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!