One of the most important things I’ve realized in the years since I lost weight is that healthy eating does not need to be complicated, time consuming, or even all that expensive. All of these foods are readily available and relatively cheap, making eating well a breeze! Here are some of my current favorite “fast foods”:
1. Oatmeal. I used to buy the packets of instant oatmeal until I realized that “real” oatmeal is much healthier for you (less processing, less sugar, etc) and just as easy to prepare. In fact, once I started experimenting with rolled oats, I noticed that I like the texture better than the instant stuff. You can do so much to spice it up, too. Add bananas. Add peanut butter. Add jam, or cinnamon, or cottage cheese, or pumpkin. You get the idea. It’s foolproof and delicious. You can’t go wrong!
2. Canned beans. Currently, I have an infatuation with black beans and garbanzos (or chick peas). I’ve been making homemade black bean burgers (anyone interested in my recipe?), homemade chickpea/falafel burgers, and just topping salads with the two. They are a fantastic source of protein and fiber (read: you stay fuller longer) and you can buy a 3 serving can for about 89 cents a pop!
3. Frozen berries. I keep at least two bags of frozen berries in my freezer at all times during the summer. You know I’m smoothie obsessed, and frozen berries result in the creamiest smoothie imaginable. They’re packed with fiber, as sweet as candy, and relatively low in calories per serving.
4. Sweet potatoes. I will never stop proclaiming the beauty of the sweet potato. Bake it, mash it, steam it. Add cinnamon, maple syrup, peanut butter, ketchup. Filling, delicious, and simple.
5. Bananas. Ever since I found out I was low on potassium, I’ve been eating bananas like it’s my job. I add them to PB sandwiches, oatmeal, smoothies (if they’re frozen), or just eat them for a snack. Bananas are something like 60 cents a pound right now. Super foods for super cheap? Fantastic!
6. Peanut butter. This may be one of my favorite foods. Ever. It’s definitely calorie dense (generally around 200 calories per 2 tbsp serving), but it’s loaded with protein. I add PB to pretty much anything!
7. Greek yogurt. So this is one that isn’t always cheap, but it’s definitely worth the price. Greek yogurt is creamier than regular yogurt, lower in sugar, and WAY higher in protein. I love using it to make my smoothies, especially after a strength workout. A smoothie made with Greek yogurt can keep me full for HOURS (rare for me!).
8. Kashi Go Lean. This cereal has ridiculous nutritional stats: super low in calories, super high in protein and fiber. Bonus: it doesn’t taste like crap. In fact, it’s slightly nutty and just sweet enough. Best of both worlds!
9. Cottage cheese. I don’t know when or how I finally started liking cottage cheese. For YEARS, the mere thought of it made me gag. There used to be something about the texture that freaked me out, but I guess I got over it. I’ve been eating cottage cheese most mornings for breakfast for the last few months, and I find that it keeps me full and satisfied.
10. Cocoa powder. I know this doesn’t exactly seem like a “health food,” but you’d be surprised. Most cocoa powders have under 25 calories per 1 tbsp serving, and it makes smoothies and baked goods taste just chocolaty enough (not too sweet!). Apparently, it packs some serious antioxidants too. Who knew chocolate could be so good for you?!
I could go on and on and on!
What are your favorite healthy foods? Any that are missing from my list?