Ring the alarm and hide your lunch bags - the food police are coming. What else do people call dietitians? Truth is, I am just like you. There are some days where vegetables and physical activity are my best friends, and then there are other days where I couldn’t run faster to the couch with cookies in my hand. It’s all about balance, right? It's a new year for new nutrition goals. What ever your nutrition goal may be, there is nothing that can replace good old hard work, or as many clients refer to as “will power.” I however, refer to it as “want power.” Let’s not be fooled though; want power isn’t going to show up if you are not logging enough sleep, drinking enough water, and eating regular and balanced meals to keep your energy levels stable. I’m not a sleep therapist, but I am a dietitian that can help save the relationship between you and your want power. How? Include these foods in your diet. There is a reason why you often see these foods stocked up in a dietitian’s fridge, drawers and cupboards.
Fruit and Vegetables – yes, they really are important to include in your diet. They are full of minerals, vitamins, fibre, and plant nutrients. Making them accessible (i.e. put them in your lunch bag) will not only increase your chances of making a healthy choice, but it will help ward off ‘hangry.’ Plus, you can always pair it with a delicious side of peanut butter, low fat cheese, or hummus.
Hummus – makes for an easy pairing option for vegetables. It contains fibre, protein, B vitamins, magnesium and other important nutrients for which your body will benefit from.
Avocados – eat them raw, pair them with crackers, toss them in a salad, or mash it into guacamole - just include them in your diet. They contain fibre, healthy fats, and carotenoids, all of which benefit your eyes, brain, heart and energy levels.
Nuts – good things come in small packages. In this case, the well portioned, unsalted and dry version of nuts (e.g. almonds) will provide your body with heart healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Their nutritional makeup can help suppress your appetite and keep you full.
Dark Chocolate – saves the day! Maybe not the day, but it definitely can help with your 2pm sugar craving/energy crash. Although more research needs to be conducted before we can make recommendations about dark chocolate, this is the least processed and highest flavonoid (i.e antioxidant) containing type of chocolate that may have health benefits.