What’s up everyone! John here coming at you with another amazing blog post about how to amp up your diet with some foods that are hugely good for you! Here at our San Jose indoor bootcamp studio we are rocking another round of our 6-week Body Transformation Challenge and so pumped for all of our new members here at FAT. Recently I’ve been reading a bunch of great information on some whole foods that are going to truly help all of our, including our 6-weekers, be more successful in their journey to shed those unwanted pounds. Keep reading because I’ve got a list of foods for you to try, if you haven’t already! I’d be excited to hear what your take is on these foods so don’t forget to leave me a comment at the bottom!
‘Whole foods’ is a term used to describe a food that is as close to it’s natural form as possible. No processing, no leaving parts behind, nada. This means that by eating everything from the roots to the leaves, the husk to the grain, and the flesh to the core we are getting all of a food’s vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber.
Whole Foods and a Slim Body
Our body needs to feel totally supported in the nutrient department before it will start giving up unwanted fat. It’s a survival mechanism in case there happens to be a long-term famine. By eating whole foods rather than just parts of foods such as the grain only (white rice, white flour), the juice only (fruit or veggies juices, even 100% juice), or the roots only (potatoes, beets without the leaves) we are able to deliver the most nutrients possible without tons of extra calories. Also, increasing fiber in your diet has been shown to reduce cholesterol, reduce inflammation in your gut, and promote fat loss. Adding a whole food will give you a huge dose of fiber without having to take a cardboard tasting supplement. You’ll never look at an apple core the same way again! Now you can envision that little core being a fat eating machine!
Eating Whole Foods From the Ground Up
Obviously the list is much more expansive then what I’ve got here, but Lourdes Castro, a registered dietitian with the IDEA fitness journal, recommends eating these foods to help you become a healthier and fitter you.
Roots, Tubers, and Bulbs:
Focus on: Beets, Garlic, and Sweet Potatoes
Why: Roots, Tubers, and Bulbs contain a plant’s nutrient-storage system, so it’s no surprise that they are packed with vitamins and minerals. The color of these roots come from their phytochemical content. Phytochemicals are great antioxidants and research is starting to show their role in disease prevention. Although the cooking methods may be different, like when preparing beets and beet greens, try to eat the entire plant because there are loads of good stuff in those parts which we regularly see as garbage. (Even if you think beets taste like dirt, you know they are still good for you!)
Try this: Roasted beets, Roasted garlic, Roasted Sweet Potato ‘fries’
Top of the Plant: Dark, Leafy-Green Veggies
Focus on: Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Watercress
Why: These cruciferous vegetables, which have a ton of carotenoids and other good things, may play a role in preventing all types of cancer.
Try this: Make your own kale chips by tossing kale in olive oil and baking in the oven at 400 F for about 15-20 minutes. Sounds like an awesome snack!
Fruits With Edible Skins and Seeds: Berries
Focus on: Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, and Blueberries
Why: These high-fiber fruits satisfy a sweet tooth but have a low glycemic response, which means your blood sugar will not go haywire after eating them. Also, the pigment in berries (Long name: Anthocyanin Pigments) has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect as well as reduces the risk of heart disease.
Try this: Add a cup of fresh or frozen berries to that Green smoothie in the morning or make your own granita by blending up some partially defrosted berries and eating as an afternoon treat.
Seeds and Nuts:
Why: All seeds and nuts help to regulate your blood sugar by serving up a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat, but these ones listed above specifically have high doses of omega-3 fatty acids which can lower inflammation throughout the body. This is especially good if you’re dealing with some arthritis, muscle soreness, or other inflammatory conditions.
Try this: Add some Chia seeds to your water with a little lemon, or add them to your morning green smoothie to thicken it up a little. These little guys absorb water and have an odd texture when plumped up, but man are they good for you! Or on the flip side, for a nice little crunch sprinkle these nuts and seeds on your oatmeal, YUM!
Not only are all these foods ‘superfoods’ due to their high nutrient density, they are jam packed with tons of fiber to help you stay fuller for longer. Obviously staying full is important so you don’t follow your Coldstone Creamery cravings all the way to the bank!
As I’m sure you’ve heard before, “Food can either be our medicine or our poison.” When you intentionally try to add less processed, whole foods to your diet, you are telling yourself that your body deserves the very best. You’ll look better, feel better, and feel energized to take on whatever comes your way! Here’s to the best 6-week Body Transformation Challenge yet!
I’m always looking for more healthy, delicious foods to add to my repertoire, too. So remember to leave a comment below if you have any other tips or foods that you’d like to share with me and the rest of our F.A.T. Rockstars!
Dedicated to your success,