Sound boring? There is nothing ordinary about eating healthy. All of the recent trends -- Whole 30, Paleo, and others -- share something in common: they don't allow for processed carbs.
No Avocado Toast Here
Our modern starches -- rice, corn flour, wheat flour -- are heavily processed giving them a high sugar content. And then, of course, there is just plain old gooey, syrupy, sweet sugar, which is one of the most processed sugars of all.
The Most Healthy Foods
Recently, there has been an interest in the healthiest fresh foods. The list includes things that might surprise you, such as kiwi fruit. And it leaves out things that you may think of as healthy comfort food, such as whole grains and lentils. Here's a largely vegetarian version of the list.
FRUITS: Apricots, Cantaloupe, Cherimoya (Custard Fruit), Cherries, Currants, Figs, Grapefruit, Kiwi Fruit, Kumquats, Oranges, Pomegranate, Prunes, Sour Cherries, Tangerines
VEGETABLES: Arugula, Beet Greens, Broccoli Raab, Brussel Sprouts, Butter Lettuce, Carrots, Cauliflower, Napa Cabbage, Collard Greens, Green Beans, Hubbard or Acorn Squash, Kale, Leeks, Lima Beans, Mustard LeavesPeas, Navy Beans, Plantain, Pumpkin (and seeds), Red Cabbage, Red Leaf Lettuce, Rhubarb, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Summer (Yellow) Squash, Sweet Potato, Swiss Chard, Taro Leaves, Tomatoes, Watercress, Water Chestnuts, Winter Squash
NUTS: Almonds, Walnuts
HERBS & SPICES: Basil, Cayenne Pepper, Chia Seeds, Chili Peppers, Chili Powder, Chives, Coriander, Ginger, Green Onions, Jalapeño Peppers, Paprika, Parsley
Looking through this list, you may realize that many of the comfort foods we are used to are not included, partly because it does not include rice, bread, roti, naan, or tortillas. So, for many of us, it means we have to re-think our entire approach to food and to cooking.
If you begin to think about these very fresh and whole ingredients in terms of textures and flavors, then it all begins to make sense.
As you can see, if we reimagine how we put food together, we can come up with some amazing surprises. A rough chop of bright vegetables leavened with fresh lemon and basil brighten up the salad.
The interesting thing about the West African Peanut Soup is the use of some gorgeous ingredients, many of which appear on the list, such as kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and peanuts.
The turkey meatballs are a great way to sneak in a whole bunch of healthy bits such as carrots, kale and bell peppers. Since the meatballs are baked, there is no extra oil, and as a bonus you can eat the meatballs alone, or smother them in your favorite spicy marinara.
We hope you are inspired that these options can easily be made into a full-time lifestyle approach. And the surprising thing is that you don't have to eat less when you choose healthy, unprocessed ingredients.