When you’re looking for a fast, easy way to get something done nowadays, the phrase “there’s an app for that” probably comes to mind. But there are decidedly more low-tech ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions. They start in the grocery store and kitchen. Here are some of our experts’ smartest tips for foods that will help you achieve your goals in 2012.
You want to reduce your stress
Holistic pharamacist and author Dr. Sherry Torkos says an unhealthy diet can actually worsen your response to stress. “Conversely,” she adds, “a healthy diet provides your body with sustained energy and the nutrients it needs to recuperate, regenerate, and repair.”
Sherry recommends starting your day with breakfast. “Try oatmeal with cinnamon and flaxseed, yogurt and berries, or poached eggs with whole-grain toast.” Also eat small, frequent meals throughout the day to keep you energized so that you’re in a better position to deal with stress. “Choose low-glycemic carbohydrates such as whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain breads, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables. These foods provide essential nutrients needed to help the body deal with stress,” she adds. And finally, “Eat more fish, flaxseed, hemp and chia seed. These foods contain essential fatty acids that are necessary for proper brain and nervous system function.”
You want to lose weight
With Superbowl parties and other festivities still upcoming, nutrition expert and author Dr. Felicia Stoler has some great ideas for keeping calories out of the equation. “Offer to bring a side dish. That way you will know that there will be at least one thing to eat that’s a little on the healthy side,” she advises. One easy dish is to thread fresh melon balls onto wooden skewers. Then flip over half of the empty melon shell, and stick the skewers into it for a festive presentation. “If you’re short on time, buy the pre-cut melon and stick the skewers in a Styrofoam ball from the craft store or invert a colander. When fruit is presented in an enticing way, people want to eat it.”
And if your Superbowl party is not complete without chips and dip, cut the fat by going Greek. “Low-fat Greek yogurt is a wonderful substitute for sour cream. Try it in your favorite onion dip. Or, I like to mix it with a low sodium packaged taco mix then add my own salt to taste. For a creative salmon garnish, cut lemons in half and scoop out the pulp. Fill the lemon cups with a blend of strained Greek yogurt, lemon juice and dill.”
You want to try functional cooking
Chef Gerard Viverito, an expert at flavorful functional cooking, recommends choosing whole grain versions of your favorite products, if they are available. “Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains may help to lower the risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain cancers. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least three servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily. The message: every whole grain in your diet helps! Other studies suggest that whole grains may help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and aid in weight maintenance, though more research is needed these areas.”
What foods are helping you keep your 2012 resolutions?