I'm not an expert or anything, but I do have rudimentary knowledge on what I should be eating to keep myself healthy.
I'm not super crunchy...but I'm crunchy enough. (for those of you not familiar with the term it simply means the difference between tree-hugging healthy and Trader Joe's healthy.) I enjoy snacking on Soy Nuts, Cliff bars, fruits, and guzzling Naked Protein drinks.
I supposed I should give you all an idea of what I put into myself to make sure I have energy and that I'm supplying myself with what my body needs for my workouts and well...just general health!
My breakfasts don't really vary much. I LOVE breakfast. You can usually find me eating oatmeal, eggs and toast or Cream of Wheat with hash browns and eggs. Sometimes, not very often, I do eat bacon. I do love bacon...see, I'm not totally crunchy.
My lunches...wow, for some reason I'm TOTALLY clueless how to feed myself come lunch time. BUT, if I do eat, I love making a turkey sandwich on Ciabatta with a little mayo, mustard , monterey jack cheese and avocado. And if I'm out and about during lunch hour and didn't pack anything along, it's Subway all the way. I eat the sweet chicken Teriyaki with lots of veggies. Yum! And my kids love that place, too. Other times when I'm at the house...well, it's a free for all and probably not as healthy as it could be. I will make the kids something to eat but I won't eat. Weird.
Dinner...now we're talking. I love making dinner. Sometimes it's a six hour process from start to finish with prep time. My family is my inspiration. We tend to eat a lot of chicken and pork. I always, always serve a fresh veggie and then I have the starch, either potato or rice.
Lately, I've been obsessing more and more about how many calories are in my food and portions for myself. For some reason, I eat so much. I'm not gaining weight because I'm running so much, but my appetite has hit the stars. Kind of cool and nerve wracking because I'm constantly looking for food. I feel like a wild animal...hah.
But here is a list of important vitamins and the foods which provide them. Take a look and try to add these to your diet if you haven't already:
Folic acid -- This usual helps regulate blood pressure and if you've ever been pregnant you know all about getting enough of this...
Food that supply it Lentils, spinach, asparagus, whole wheat pasta, pinto beans, breakfast cereals. The list goes on.
Niacin -- This increases your "good" cholesterol and lowers the "bad" cholesterol. But, before you start taking pills or anything, try to find out if you're allergic. Niacin can cause a severe reaction that makes you think your skin is burning up.
Foods that supply it Tuna, salmon, turkey, grass-fed beef, potato. The list, once again, goes on.
Vitamin D -- Ok, so we all know what this does for you...calcium! It also helps boost immunity, helps prevent autoimmune conditions (meaning when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system), lowers blood pressure. There are so many positive things that happen when you have enough of the D!
Foods that supply it Salmon, milk fortified with vitamin D, egg yolk, lowfat yogurt, white mushrooms...
Selenium -- To be honest, I had never heard of this mineral...it's a mineral...before. I did a little research and found that it protects your cells against the effects of free radicals (which are atoms with an odd number of electrons that are running free, radical, and are trying to attack the nearest stable molecule. This begins the process of disturbing healthy cells.). Bottom line selenium helps your immune system and your thyroid gland.
Foods that supply it Walnuts, chicken, turkey, fish, onions, whole-wheat bread, shrimp.
Now, this isn't a comprehensive list of all the vitamins or minerals that you need but it's to give you a general idea... I hope it helps. Be sure to count your calories and remember that if you're going to workout...or at least consider what you did to be a work out make sure it's NO LESS than a 500 calorie burn. You must spend those calories, otherwise they'll end up sitting on your hips and putting chins on your earlobes!
Eat healthy, breath easy and live happy!!