As they say, you are what you eat. I just spent a weekend eating very rich, heavy food while I was out of town and am feeling pretty gross. I feel like I need to re-set my eating and get some vegetables and fruit into my bloodstream.
There are foods that are good for your heart and foods that are good for your brain. Having a well-rounded diet can help control weight gain and improve some medical conditions. Of course, it is usually easier and cheaper to eat junk food, so getting proper nutrition can be challenging.
I have shopping tips to save money on groceries here, and have also learned that Costco is becoming one of the biggest sources of organic foods. If you live alone, or are in a small household, purchasing Costco-sized produce can be wasteful. Perhaps you can gather a few friends and share your groceries. It will save money and the food won’t go to waste. We purchase organic ground beef from Costco since we can freeze the individual packages. It usually saves us quite a bit of money to shop there.
There are foods that are known for their brain boosting power. They contain micro-nutrients such as Omega 3s, Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Potassium, Vitamin E, Vitamin D3 and the B vitamins.
To get these micro-nutrients, you can eat the following foods:
- wild fish
- grass-fed beef and lamb
- chicken and turkey
- nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, brazil nuts and hazelnuts
- sea vegetables such as see weed and algae
- green leafy vegetables
- legumes such as black beans and garbanzo beans
- sweet potatoes
- acorn squash
- dried apricots
- wheat germ
- cod liver oil
- whole grains
There are some foods that have been recognized for their energizing properties. As a caregiver, you can probably use some extra energy, so try to load up on these:
- Whole grains
- Herbal teas
- Olive Oil
- Fatty Fish
- Animal proteins
Shortcuts to Healthy Eating
I know that aside from being more expensive, eating healthy also takes more time. You have to prep and cook healthy foods, versus going through a drive through our popping something in the microwave.
While it may not be as easy as picking up food, here are my tips for simplifying healthy eating:
- Portion your proteins before freezing them so that you can cook just what you need. Better yet, when you are portioning it, go ahead and store it in a freezer bag with a marinade so you can go from defrost to grill or skillet.
- If you have time on a Saturday or Sunday, pre-cook a few meals for the week so that you can just reheat during the week. I know people who grill six chicken breasts at the beginning of the week to use in salads. You can also make a casserole, which reheats well.
- You can hard boil a week’s worth of eggs on Sunday to eat during the week. To re-heat, I cut them in half and microwave for 10-15 seconds.
- You can make little trail mix bags for your car and bag. Portion out the appropriate amount of nuts, add dark chocolate chips and raisins or cranberries to a sandwich bag and you are set!
- Peel, chop and roast vegetables at the beginning of the week to have a healthy side dish or turn it into a salad.
- You can also purchase your produce pre-chopped and cleaned for you. I have seen bags of cut butternut squash that you can microwave in the bag. It may be a little bit more expensive, but if you’re like me, you’re either not eating butternut squash because you don’t want to deal with the cook time or you buy one and throw it away because you never had time to cook it.