Archive for the tag - food

20 High Protein Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating!

Dear Davey,

I really don’t like the taste of protein powder, so I’ve been looking at other ways to increase my protein intake. What are some healthy high protein foods that I can include in my diet?

From,
Sammy

DSC_8067It’s no secret that protein powder doesn’t taste great. But it’s important to remember that you’re eating it for other reasons than flavor. It’s fuel for your body.

Having said that, there are certainly plenty of other options for increasing your overall protein intake. Here are a few of the healthier options that I’d recommend:

  1. Quinoa (24 grams protein / 1 cup, uncooked)
  2. White beans (47 grams protein / 1 cup, raw)
  3. Peanut butter (8 grams protein / 2 tablespoons)
  4. Edamame (17 grams protein / 1 cup, cooked)
  5. Tofu (20 grams protein / 1 cup)
  6. Seitan – wheat-meat (18 grams protein / 3 oz serving)
  7. Dry roasted mixed nuts (14 grams protein / half cup)
  8. Raw almonds (15 grams / half cup)
  9. Lentils (18 grams protein / 1 cup, boiled)
  10. Chicken (43 grams protein / 1 cup, cooked)
  11. Canned tuna (42 grams protein / 1 can)
  12. Tilapia (26 grams protein / 100 grams fillet)
  13. Salmon (20 grams protein / 100 grams fillet)
  14. Octopus (30 grams protein / 100 gram serving)
  15. Tuna (30 grams protein / 100 gram fillet)
  16. Halibut (23 grams protein / 100 gram fillet)
  17. Turkey breast (34 grams protein / 1 serving)
  18. Eggs (6 grams protein / 1 egg)
  19. Plain Greek yogurt (17 grams protein / 1 container)
  20. Cottage cheese (11 grams protein / 100 gram serving)

If you have any suggestions for protein-packed healthy foods, share them in the comments below!

Love,
Davey

P.S. For more nutrition tips, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Is A Raw Diet Healthier?

rawdietI get a lot of questions about raw diets – and if they’re a health alternative or simply over-hyped.

As with most things in the health and fitness world, the answer isn’t cut and dry or black and white. If you’re looking for a simple yes or no, you won’t find it.

It’s accurate to say that there are aspects of a raw diet that are very healthy. Most raw diets are heavily plant-based – and most of us aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. Diets that include plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables are associated with a number of health benefits.

Raw diets also eliminate most processed foods. As such, raw diets tend to have lower amounts of sugar, sodium and trans fats.

It’s also true that some foods are healthier when eaten raw. Heat can destroy some nutrients and reduce the benefits of certain foods. For example, the benefits of extra virgin olive oil are greatly reduced once it’s heated beyond 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, by eating raw foods, you never have to worry about charring meats – and the carcinogens created by that process.

However, not all foods are healthier when consumed raw.

David Katz, M.D., who is director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, notes:

Raw food advocacy ignores the fact that some foods are more nutritious when cooked. The nutrient lycopene makes tomatoes red. It is a potent carotenoid antioxidant, long thought to reduce prostate cancer risk, although that effect per se is in doubt. Lycopene is fat-soluble, and much more “bioavailable” – that is to say, available for absorption and making contributions to our health – when tomatoes are heated in combination with an oil. Tomato sauces with olive oil are ideal, and raise blood lycopene levels far more effectively than eating raw tomatoes.

There’s another reason we cook food. To kill harmful bacteria and thus prevent us from getting sick. Uncooked and unpasteurized foods are more prone to illness; as such, raw diets aren’t recommended for young children, pregnant individuals or the elderly. If you have a weak immune system or chronic illness, then a raw diet probably isn’t a good fit.

Nutritional deficiencies can also become problematic. Protein and calcium, for example, are commonly deficient in raw diets. While it’s possible to get a balanced diet while eating raw, the reality is most people are ill-equipped or lacking the time and effort to formulate a proper nutrition plan.

For most of us, it makes more sense to incorporate those aspects of raw dieting that are healthy and sustainable rather than following the diet fully and completely.

But what do you think? Have you ever tried a raw diet?

Nutrition Tip: You Eat What You Buy.

rainbow-fruit-skewers-2You’ve probably heard someone say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” The meaning behind this idiom is simple. If you don’t see or hear about something, you’ll stop thinking about it. And when applied to nutrition, this strategy can prove extremely powerful.

If your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator are stocked with unhealthy options like chips, chocolate, candies and sugary cereals, then you’ll see those products every time you’re searching for a snack. The temptation can be too much for even the toughest amongst us. If you put unhealthy foods in your kitchen, those unhealthy foods will end up in your body.

If, on the other hand, you stock your home with healthy options like fruit, vegetables, hummus and unsalted nuts, then those are the foods you’ll eat. If you put healthy foods in your kitchen, those healthy foods will end up in your body.

Here’s the powerful truth: The biggest predictor of what you’ll put in your body is what you put in your kitchen.

Of course, the foods in your cupboards and pantry don’t appear there by magic. It begins in the supermarket. When you make healthy choices while shopping, it becomes infinitely easier to make healthy choices when you get home. For some healthy grocery shopping tips on a budget, check out my video.

Easy Way to Eat Healthy!

photoOne of my favorite fitness gurus is a YouTuber/yoga instructor/mother of four kids/backyard farmer named Rebekah Borucki. She’s an endless source of inspiration and her Instagram is basically the best thing since unsweetened almond milk.

The other day, Rebekah Instagrammed a quote that I want to share:

When coming from a place of self-love & not denial or punishment, all eating decisions become effortless & worthy of you.

Consider the following scenarios.

John walks by a pizza shop serving fresh slices. He’s hungry – and he’s tempted by the crispy pepperonis, melted cheese and oozing greasiness. He thinks to himself, “I really want to eat that pizza but I know that I shouldn’t.” He knows that he’s trying to cut calories and the pizza won’t help. Though he desperately wants to eat a slice or two, he musters up his willpower, denies himself the pizza and manages to continue on his walk.

Anna walks by the same pizza shop and sees the same slices. She is also on a weight loss journey, but is immediately reminded of the important roles that her body fulfills. While she has her ups and downs, she knows that her body is beautiful in its own right and that it is deserving of the very best. She knows that junk food is for junk bodies – and that her body is worthy of so much more. An effortless and knowing smile comes to her face, and she continues on her walk.

While neither individual ate the pizza, it’s clear that Anna’s experience is one that’s centered around true power. Rather than wrestling with denial or deprivation, Anna’s perspective comes from an abundance of self-love and worthiness. Not only does it help foster a healthier mindset, but it’s a perspective that is sustainable – and one that can result in powerful life changes.

So… If a healthier lifestyle is one of your goals, with whom do you wish to identify? John? Or Anna? The choice is always yours.

You Are What You Eat, So…

you-are-what-you-eat-so-dont-be-fast-cheap-easy-or-fakeYou’ve probably heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” And quite literally, it’s true. The food that we consume is used to build our bodies; each of the 75 trillion cells in your body is made from stuff that you once ate. It’s pretty crazy if you think about it.

Today, I heard a great variation on that old quote:

You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap or fake.

It’s funny. But it’s also true.

I’ve mentioned that I exercise because I’m passionate about life. If you’re passionate about life, you want to keep the vehicle through which you experience life (i.e., your body) tuned up in good working condition. I want to have the best, most amazing experience possible on this planet – and working out helps ensure that goal by minimizing disease risk, extending longevity and giving me the strength and energy to do everything that I want to do.

I feel the same way about food; nutrition is really the other side of the equation. And truly, nutrition is just as important as exercise. Some might argue it’s even more important. Any benefits from exercise can be quickly undone with a diet of ice cream, cookies and fried foods.

When I spend time preparing dinner for myself – even when I’m eating alone – it never feels like a chore. In some ways, it feels like an expression of gratitude. It’s a way to thank and reward my body for all that it does, and it’s a way to thank the universe by honoring the life it has given me. I feel more connected with the source or the universe or God (or whatever label you might use) while cooking than I have ever felt in any church or at any shrine.

There is no one in the world more deserving of your time and attention than yourself. This isn’t selfish, because as you invest in yourself, you’ll have so much more to give to others. When you’re the best version of yourself, you’ll light up the world with your greatness and lift up everyone around you.

P.S. I will add that cooking healthy is probably faster and cheaper than most people think. Sure, it might not be as efficient as a drive-thru at McDonald’s, but there are plenty of ways to cook healthy on a budget and with a tight schedule.

 

 

Eating Healthy is More Affordable Than You Think.

Healthy-Snacks-Looking-DeliciousA common excuse for eating unhealthy foods is that the more nutritious options are too expensive.

As I’ve said before, the excuse is untrue; it’s a myth. It’s totally possible to eat healthy without spending a lot of money. In fact, I even made a video about it.

A new study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest take things a step further. According to the study, fruits and vegetables are not only more nutritious than packaged snacks and side dishes, but also more affordable.

For the study, 20 snacks and 19 side dishes were analyzed. After the numbers were crunched, the study found that the average price per fruit or vegetable snack was $0.34. The price per unhealthy packaged snack was nearly double at $0.67. The nutritious vegetable side dishes averaged $0.27 while packaged side dishes averaged $0.31.

Some examples from the study:

  • Half-cup of apple: $0.26 / One Fruit by the Foot: $0.45
  • Half-cup of grapes: $0.46 / Package of M&M candies: $0.75
  • Half-cup of sweet potato: $0.31 / Stovetop stuffing: $0.38
  • Half-cup of sliced cucumber: $0.14 / An ounce of Lay’s Potato Chips: $0.27

In other words, this study challenges the notion that eating healthy is expensive. In fact, the opposite is often true. And since most Americans aren’t getting their recommended servings of fruits or vegetables, all of us would be well served – in the waistline and the wallet – to replace some unhealthy packaged foods with healthier alternatives.

Unhealthy foods also come with a hidden, long-term cost. For instance, medical expenses. Obesity accounts for 21% of U.S. healthcare costs. In fact, obese people incur annual medical costs that are $2,741 higher than non-obese people.

Of course, to be fair, fruits and vegetables often have a shorter shelf life than packaged options like M&M candies or potato chips. But remember that frozen fruits and vegetables are a great option – and are often cheaper and even more nutrient dense (as they’re picked and frozen at the peak of freshness). If you want the fruits and veggies to last longer, buy frozen!

Does this study jive with your own person experience? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

How Much Food Does the Average American Eat in a Year?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American eats nearly 2,700 calories a day. With the exception of athletes and very active individuals, this caloric intake exceeds expert recommendations by several hundred calories. Over time, all those extra calories add up – and it’s no wonder that 2/3 of Americans are overweight.

In the journey to eating smarter, we need to look at where we’re at today. We need to assess the situation before decided which areas of our diet are most ripe for improvement. To that end, and while these numbers will vary greatly from individual to individual, I think today’s infographic is a great place to start.

(Scroll down for additional commentary)

For me, there are a few important takeaways.

At first glance, it can seem encouraging that we consume 415 pounds in vegetables annually (which translates to more than 20% of our overall food intake by weight). That is, until you realize that corn and potatoes account for 173 pounds of that. Though there’s nothing wrong with corn and potatoes, let’s make more space for other veggies in our diets.

An obvious area for improvement is the 110 lbs of red meat we consume. In a frequently cited study, Harvard researchers found that 9% of male deaths and 7% of female deaths would be prevented if we lowered red meat consumption to 1.5 ounces (or less) per day. That would be just over 34 pounds annually. In other words, replacing 2 out of 3 beef dishes with a leaner meat – or vegetables – would be a wise move for the average American.

We also eat a lot of non-cheese dairy products. In other words, we a great opportunity to substitute with dairy alternatives that are less calorie-dense, like almond milk.

Speaking of calorie dense foods, we’d all be well served by reducing the 141 pounds of caloric sweeteners consumed annually. In part, this is fueled by the 53 gallons of soda we drink annually. And the 24 pounds of ice cream. Replacing just a few glasses of soda and other high-sugar products per week would go a long way to a healthier lifestyle.

In the comments below, let me know how your personal eating habits differ from the average American. And what areas for improvement are there in your diet?

 

100 Foods to Try Before You Die.

Fish tacos. #33.

When in Toronto, one of my favorite activities is to shop for food in the city’s Chinatown. There are so many different dishes, fruits and vegetables that I’ve never even seen – let alone eaten – and it’s always fun to push my boundaries and try something new.

It never ceases to amaze me how many delicious foods there are on this diverse planet – and yet how narrow our personal menus tend to be. Many of us stick to what we know, but there’s a whole cornucopia of exciting flavors out there just waiting to be experienced.

Moreover, when we try new foods, we broaden the base of nutrients and vitamins and minerals that we’re consuming. Man can not live on bread alone, and so discovering new dishes is a great way to expand your options.

Yesterday, while on Facebook, I came across a list of 100 foods that you “must” try before you die. From what I can tell, the list seems to be very representative – though, not particularly nutritious. But fear not; life is about moderation and it’s fine to splurge on the occasional funnel cake (#42) or Hostess fruit pie (#52).

Using the list below, count off how many of these 100 foods you’ve already tried. I’ve crossed off the 53 foods that I’ve eaten. What’s your number?

  1. Abalone
  2. Absinthe
  3. Alligator
  4. Baba Ghanoush
  5. Bagel & Lox
  6. Baklava
  7. BBQ Ribs
  8. Bellini
  9. Birds Nest Soup
  10. Biscuits & Gravy
  11. Black Pudding
  12. Black Truffle
  13. Borscht
  14. Calamari
  15. Carp
  16. Caviar
  17. Cheese Fondue
  18. Chicken and Waffles
  19. Chicken Tikka Masala
  20. Chile Relleno
  21. Chitlins
  22. Churros
  23. Clam Chowder
  24. Cognac
  25. Crab Cakes
  26. Crickets
  27. Currywurst
  28. Dandelion Wine
  29. Dulce De Leche
  30. Durian
  31. Eel
  32. Eggs Benedict
  33. Fish Tacos
  34. Foie Gras
  35. Fresh Spring Rolls
  36. Fried Catfish
  37. Fried Green Tomatoes
  38. Fried Plantain
  39. Frito Pie
  40. Frogs’ Legs
  41. Fugu
  42. Funnel Cake
  43. Gazpacho
  44. Goat
  45. Goat’s Milk
  46. Goulash
  47. Gumbo
  48. Haggis
  49. Head Cheese
  50. Heirloom Tomatoes
  51. Honeycomb
  52. Hostess Fruit Pie
  53. Huevos Rancheros
  54. Jerk Chicken
  55. Kangaroo
  56. Key Lime Pie
  57. Kobe Beef
  58. Lassi
  59. Lobster
  60. Mimosa
  61. Moon Pie
  62. Morel Mushrooms
  63. Nettle Tea
  64. Octopus
  65. Oxtail Soup
  66. Paella
  67. Paneer
  68. Pastrami on Rye
  69. Pavlova
  70. Phaal
  71. Philly Cheese Steak
  72. Pho
  73. Pineapple & Cottage Cheese
  74. Pistachio Ice Cream
  75. Po’ Boy
  76. Pocky
  77. Polenta
  78. Prickly Pear
  79. Rabbit Stew
  80. Raw Oysters
  81. Root Beer Float
  82. S’mores
  83. Sauerkraut
  84. Sea Urchin
  85. Shark
  86. Snail
  87. Snake
  88. Soft Shell Crab
  89. Som Tam
  90. Spaetzle
  91. Spam
  92. Squirrel
  93. Steak Tartare
  94. Sweet Potato Fries
  95. Sweetbreads
  96. Tom Yum
  97. Umeboshi
  98. Venison
  99. Wasabi Peas
  100. Zucchini Flowers

The best thing about trying new foods is that you’re bound to discover something that you love. 53 down…. 47 to go!

In the comments below, let me know how many of these foods you’ve tried!

5 Best Easy, Healthy & Delicious Snacks!

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love a good snack. In fact, I’m what you might call a snack connoisseur.

Snacks have gotten a bad rap. And since most people snack on potato chips, cookies or bonbons, maybe that bad rap is partially deserved. But today, I’d like to welcome you to the land of easy, delicious and healthy snack alternatives. They’re not processed, loaded in unhealthy fats, sodium or any of the other crap you might find in many prepackaged snack options.

These are my actual top five favorite simple and healthy snack options:

  1. Almond butter dipped frozen banana. The name says it all. Peel a banana, wrap it in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer. Once frozen solid, remove the banana and slice it into generous chunks. Using a fork, dip each chunk into almond butter and place in a small plate or bowl. Let stand for a minute, and the almond butter will form a frozen shell around the banana. Eat and enjoy!
  2. Carrot sticks and hummus. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of the taste of veggies. But a carrot stick dipped in hummus is both healthy and delectable. Hummi (is that the plural of hummus?) are available in a variety of flavors – so it’s a snack that never grows old. My favorite flavors are spicy chipotle and garlic lovers.
  3. Frozen fruit. Produce can be pricey – especially when it comes to fresh fruits and berries. I’ve discovered a simple trick. Stock up on cut frozen fruits (many are just a few bucks per bag), and mix them together into a small bowl. Frozen fruits are usually flash frozen at their ideal ripeness – and so they’re absolutely delicious. I prefer to eat them frozen; it’s almost like eating candy – I love it. I usually stick to a combination of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. If you’re feeling extra fancy, add a dollop of yogurt.
  4. Apples and fresh peanut butter. Nothing beats a sliced Fuji apple and a few tablespoons of peanut butter. And fear not, though nut butters (like the almond and peanut ones I recommend) contain a lot of fat, it’s not the same kind of fat you’d find in, say, a fried mozzarella stick. If it’s available to you, opt for fresh nut butters. Apples, being rich in fiber, are also very filling – and so this snack is both scrumptious and satisfying.
  5. Hard boiled eggs. Once a week, I boil a dozen eggs and store them in my fridge. When I’m craving a snack, they’re super easy and convenient. They’re also packed with high quality protein. And though eggs have a lot of cholesterol, the impact of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol levels is fairly small. Moreover, if you are concerned, the yolks can be easily removed to eliminate the cholesterol. Eggs become less healthy when we fry them in butter, top them with bacon and cheese and sandwich them between thick slices of white bread. Eating hard boiled eggs is a healthy and delicious alternative.

What’s your favorite healthy snack? Share it below – I’d love to try out some new options!

20 Best Small Changes for a Healthier Lifestyle.

And don't forget to drink your milk!

With the elevators currently out of order in my building, I’ve been forced to take the stairs. It got me to thinking about how all of us can make relatively small changes that add up over time. Cumulatively, they can have a big impact on our lives.

Unfortunately for me, I’m on the 41st floor. But here are are few simple and small things that all of us can do:

  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  2. Use BBQ sauce or ketchup instead of mayo.
  3. Use low sodium soy sauce.
  4. Steam your vegetables.
  5. Replace one non-water beverage with water, each day.
  6. Eat an apple before you go out to eat – it cuts your appetite.
  7. Run, jog or swim an extra three minutes at the gym.
  8. Pop your own popcorn.
  9. Don’t salt your fries.
  10. Use egg whites.
  11. Snack on nuts and berries instead of candy or chips.
  12. Eat breakfast.
  13. Park your car in the farthest spot – it will make you walk more.
  14. Walk your dog five minutes longer.
  15. Blot your pizza to remove the grease – it saves 50 to 100 calories.
  16. Do calf raises when waiting in line.
  17. Eat angel food cake instead of regular cake.
  18. Eat chocolate pudding instead of chocolate.
  19. Order sorbet instead of ice cream.
  20. Use leftovers instead of cold cuts – deli meats are high in sodium and a source of nitrates.

What small changes would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!