You Should Create a “75 Favorite Healthy Foods” Master List

Posted June 19th, 2019 by admin and filed in Blog

1st, a special announcement….

We’ve been working hard on an eBook we’re creating called Organized Eating. I say we because my fiancé Nate has volunteered to occasionally help write for the blog (this blog!). Nate reads a ton and has a killer memory and therefore probably knows as much about healthy eating as me.  So welcome him aboard as an occasional writer and at the very least contributor/editor/moral supporter!

Anyways, back to Organized Eating….

We’ve been hard at work creating this eBook that has the potential to help a lot of people save time and eat better.  The eBook will be released sometime in the next few months and it will be absolutely free, no e-mail sign-up or anything will be required. Its going to be AWESOME my friends!

While putting together a section of the book about strategic meal planning, we decided to make a list of our ultimate favorite healthy foods.   We posed the question: “If we could eat/drink nothing else for the rest of our lives besides 75 things, what would they be?”  AND…here’s the catch…they must be considered healthy (by someones definition at least).

I have posted the results below and I encourage you to create a list of your own.  Sit down and write it with the people you cook for- trying to shoot for 75 items.  It’s a great list to have on hand as a personal resource; use it as your base of reference when you sit down to plan meals.  Or take it to the grocery store and buy lots of stuff off it –  try to eat it all before anything goes bad (using common sense!).

Here is our list (excluding herbs & seasonings):

  1. carrots
  2. milk (soy or reg)
  3. cantaloupe
  4. tuna (troll or pole caught only, from US or B.C.)
  5. wild salmon
  6. sardines
  7. grass-fed beef
  8. Sriracha sauce
  9. quinoa
  10. brown rice
  11. tamari
  12. chicken
  13. lamb
  14. romaine lettuce
  15. turkey
  16. hazelnuts
  17. onion
  18. eggs
  19. yogurt
  20. butter
  21. extra virgin olive oil
  22. cheese
  23. parsnips
  24. spinach
  25. tomatoes
  26. strawberries
  27. blueberries
  28. avocado
  29. garlic
  30. shallots
  31. almonds (and processed for almond butter/milk)
  32. banana
  33. potato/sweet potatoes
  34. chia seeds
  35. black beans
  36. coconut/coconut water
  37. walnuts
  38. pinto beans
  39. whole oats/oatmeal
  40. kale
  41. kombucha
  42. tea
  43. coffee
  44. beets
  45. oranges
  46. grapefruit
  47. blackberries
  48. raspberries
  49. dark chocolate
  50. lentils
  51. chickpeas
  52. pine nuts
  53. sweet peppers
  54. hot peppers
  55. sunflower seeds
  56. sun-dried tomatoes
  57. pistachios
  58. coconut oil
  59. whole-wheat bread (esp sprouted!)
  60. grapes
  61. beer
  62. cherries
  63. red wine
  64. asparagus
  65. green beans
  66. watermelon
  67. artichokes
  68. cucumber
  69. pears
  70. pluots
  71. honey
  72. squash
  73. celery
  74. red snapper
  75. dates

(notice how we cleverly said the all inclusive “squash” instead of zuke, butternut, or pumpkin.  You can find clever ways to cheat on the 75 things limit too if you want)

I know I’m going to remember some favorites that I left off here, so don’t hold me to this list forever.  You can look at updated versions whenever you want at  Feel free to try and talk me into adding something to my list if you want, but make sure to also mention what I should remove in the process!  (haha, tricky stuff right!)

###updated 4/22 – since I first ran this piece, I have removed celery and cucumber and added water and broccoli (thanks Jess).

So, are you considering making a list?  Think your family’s input will give you greater confidence to cook for that picky kid/husband/wife of yours?  Do you think it would make meal-planning easier for you?  Tell us in the comments.

It would be really fun if you created your own list and blogged about it!  If you do, give us your link in the comments so we can check it out.

If you enjoyed this post, you better subscribe right away!  Don’t want to miss another fascinating article, right?

(photo by Rennett Stowe)

5 Often Forgotten Power Foods

Posted June 19th, 2019 by admin and filed in Foods

Overlooked and underused in the american kitchen, these five foods pack a nutritional uppercut.  Shoot for incorporating at least two of them into your diet each week.

1. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

With potent lycopene levels, these delicious gems may reduce cancers of the lung, stomach, and prostate.   Sun-dried tomatoes are also high in antioxidants and vitamin C.

Throw them in your next pesto dish, on a home-made pizza, or in a lunchtime veggie wrap.   If your feeling really frisky, head over to to learn how to make sun-dried tomatoes all by yourself.

2.  Sardines

You’ve been told a million times to eat more fish, specifically salmon and tuna for the high Omega-3 fatty acids.  Well, dare I say, these are even better (for you).  They are tiny little fishes, so they haven’t had the time and energy to bio-accumulate so much mercury.  They are extremely low in mercury contaminants.

Buy them packed in extra virgin olive oil and you’ll see they totally deserve a spot on your caesar salad tonight.  Yum!  Or, Sometimes we buy them packed in mustard sauce and spread on whole-wheat crackers for a mid-afternoon snack.  Crown Prince brand is really good and you can buy them in bulk on Amazon to save time at the grocery store if that’s your thing.

#update:  important new video clip about sardines:

3.  Sunflower Seeds

Firm and tender?  Yes, that’s totally possible!!  And sunflower seeds are the perfect example.   These anti-inflamatory mini-guys pack a huge amount of vitamin E in every serving, which is a very important nutrient.  Vitamin E is the body’s main source of fat-soluble antioxidants.  They are also high in thiamin and magnesium.  And BONUS: the flowers are beautiful!

The eating possibilities are many.   Throw them on salads or just eat them by the handfuls.  You can also incorporate them into your favorite granola bar recipe.

4.  Quinoa

A favorite amongst vegetarians.  And mayans!

The grain-like quinoa have been gaining popularity for good reason.  They have a perfect set of amino acids which form a complete protein.  Also, there are so many great recipes to make with quinoa.  We are big fans of just putting some lightly sauteed or steamed vegetables over them.   Here is one of my favorite recipe websites, 101 cookbooks, showing you how to do quinoa for breakfast or as an interesting dinner.

5.  Black-Eyed Peas

These are good for you despite being named after the low talent music group (haha, j/k).   And don’t confuse them with the pea family either, they’re actually beans!

Black-eyed peas are all about the fiber – good for your heart and intestines (and pooping!).  They are high in folate, low in fat and sodium, and contain no cholesterol.  And for the protein junkies, good news – black eyed peas are extremely high in protein.

Buy from the bulk bin and relish in your frugality or buy fresh for maximum flavor and nutrients.  Here’s how to cook fresh black-eyed peas:

  • Place black-eyed peas in a large pot or saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low.  Simmer covered until peas are soft when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain and serve.

I’ve got some other ideas for “Often Forgotten Power Foods” so I’ll probably do another post sometime in the not-near future.   Make sure to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss out on all the exciting things I’ve got coming soon, including more free stuff.   Let me know in the comments if your a fan of any of these foods.

(photo by diongillard)

Simple Weight Loss (free PDF poster)

Posted June 19th, 2019 by admin and filed in Blog

The major causes of weight gain are:

  • over-eating
  • under-moving
  • stress

And I’m betting you knew that already.   You already have the knowledge you need to maintain a healthy weight and feel great.   The hard part is finding the motivation for action – getting exercise, cooking a healthy meal, etc.

On occasion, we all need friendly reminders on how these choices benefit us and how great they make us feel.

I’ve created a free poster PDF that will keep you motivated.  Its got 8 little mantras that you can say to yourself to help you eat right, move more, and feel less stressed out.  Hang it someplace you’ll see it everyday and make a point to read over it from time to time.  Maybe reading it will become a short part of your daily routine.

Promise your body the best!  Say it out loud:  “Today is the day I will make permanent lifelong changes so I will feel great and be happy.”

Click here to download and/or print your free copy of the Simple Weight Loss poster.

Be sure to share this with your friends on Facebook.  Or you can click on the retweet button (below-right) to share it on Twitter!  If your a blogger, tell your readers about it and/or give them a free copy directly – no need to even send them here if you don’t want.  Thanks for spreading the love.

Cold Fighting Meal Plan

Posted June 19th, 2019 by admin and filed in Eating Strategies, Foods

Damn!!  I’ve got a cold.

My nose is running and starting to get pretty raw from blowing it.   My head is foggy and eyes are running.  I can’t function all that well. You know how it is….

Colds viruses are extremely contagious.  No one is immune to getting the cold no matter how much you exercise or how healthy you eat.

Cold medicine may give you temporary relief against the symptoms, but it won’t shorten the duration of your cold. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not big on taking medicines in general.   Fortunately, certain foods HAVE been scientifically proven to shorten the duration of colds.

Eat foods that have been clinically proven to benefit people with colds.  Foods that promote draining, shorten your cold’s duration, and relieve pain.  These foods include:

  • Hot Peppers – Capsaicin, the chemical that gives them their spicyness, is the key to their cold-fighting effectiveness.   It acts as an expectorant, pain reliever, and decongestant all at the same time.  They are also loaded with vitamin C.
  • Orange Juice – Fresh-squeezed orange juice has around 120 mg of vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce the duration of cold.
  • Ginger – Studies have shown that it may fight certain types of viruses and have mild pain relieving properties.
  • Chicken Stock – According to the University of Nebraska Medical Center – yeah, your mom’s chicken soup really did help you get over your cold quicker.
  • Garlic – The chemical allicin in garlic kills viruses left and right.
  • Water – Milk/Dairy thickens your mucus and makes it harder to drain.  Water will keep it thin and draining properly.  I won’t include this on the meal plan, but make sure and drink around 10 glasses a day during your cold.  I drink one glass an hour starting at 7am and slow way down after I get my 10.  That way I don’t ruin my sleep by having to get up to pee.

Here is your sample meal plan to get over your cold and moving on with your life.

Breakfast – (garlic, orange juice, hot peppers)

You need a good, hearty breakfast to give you energy for the day.  Try this:

  • glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice (or two oranges)
  • 2 eggs scrambled with tomato, fresh spinach, raw minced garlic, and generous dash of cayene pepper.
  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast

Lunch – (chicken stock, ginger)

No one feels like cooking when their sick, so go to the store and buy the most delicious can of chicken soup you can find.  Make sure you get one that has chicken stock (not vegetable stock).  Drink a glass of fresh ginger tea.  Here is a good ginger tea explanation video for you.

Dinner – (garlic, hot peppers, chicken stock, ginger)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sauté or bake chicken and cube.  Cook brown rice in chicken stock.  Saute garlic and jalapeños for just a little bit and then add diced tomatoes and a grating of fresh ginger, the cooked rice, and diced chicken.  Remove from heat.

Cut a hole in the top of red, green, yellow, orange, or (preferably) poblano peppers (cut a slit in side if using poblano, they don’t stand up well).  Remove the white pulp and rinse them out.    Stuff them with the rice mixture.   Bake them for 20 to 30 minutes.

I’m going to follow this plan and we’ll see how it works.

If you want to prevent colds from ever occurring, make sure your lifestyle is good for your immune system.   Get moderate outdoor exercise (gyms contain tons of bacteria) and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.   Reduce stress through meditation or yoga and smile away your worries.

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