If you are trying to stay fit and truly love food, there will come a time when you need to consider the convenience of what you’re eating. As a personal trainer, I’ve spent years eating on the fly, trying to get healthy, supportive meals and snacks on the go that don’t take much prep, that don’t cost a fortune and that are high in nutrients, but low in saturated fats, sodium, sugar and additives.
With this in mind, I took a look at my pantry and fridge at home to come up with a list of my top 10 favourite “superfoods”. In no particular order, here they are.
1- Greek Yogourt
Talk about an easy way to get a daily protein boost! Greek yogourt has about 4 times the amount of protein vs. regular yogourt. Mix it with berries and whole grain cereal and you’ve got a super healthy, delicious parfait. Read the label to make sure that you get a lower fat version. Also, check for the sugar content in the fruit flavoured versions. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
2- Frozen Broccoli
An amazing low fat source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fresh is great, but, frozen is so convenient. It’s always ready when you are and can be added to pasta dishes, soups, stews or eaten as a side dish without any salt or fat added.
3- Spicy Thai Tuna
I love this product because of the taste, the nutrition… and again the convenience. Single serve cans of protein make for a great snack with some raw veggies or rolled into a wrap with salad veggies. Keep a few in your pantry.
4- IsaLean Pro- Meal Replacement Shakes from Isagenix
The New Zealand Dairy Industry is perhaps the most advanced dairy producer in the world, and this is reflected in their very high standards for product safety, environmental sustainability, and humane treatment of livestock. Dairy cattle are grass fed (as opposed to grain fed) and raised without growth inducing hormones or antibiotics. The whey derived from their milk is the highest (and purest) source in the world. Isagenix uses only NZ Whey in their products and IsaLean Pro comes in super- convenient individual serving pouches. When you can’t get to a meal, mix some IsaLean with water, ice and fruit.
5- Organic Quinoa
Quinoa is a whole grain that is extremely high in protein. It takes the place of couscous or rice (or pasta) as a side, or main, dish. Somewhat exotic to North Americans, quinoa can be made savoury or sweet and eaten hot or cold. A favourite is cold quinoa with banana and peanut butter for breakfast.
6- Presidents Choice Whole Grain Flax Tortillas
I love these wraps for using up leftover meat, fish, chicken and veggies to make a great, easy lunch. Roll up some cold meat from the dinner the night before along with some salad veggies and drizzle with honey mustard or balsamic vinegar. Really great stuff.
7- Canned Salmon
Salmon is an amazing source of protein and Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids. Pop a can and mix with some chopped celery, onion and a bit of salad dressing and you’ve got the basis for a great high protein meal. Most of us should be eating more fish and this is an easy way to get it.
A delicious dip from the Middle East, hummus is made from chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice. Great with whole wheat pita and raw veggies, hummus can provide you with a good, vegetarian source of protein when you want something a little lighter.
Delicious and exotic enough to feel “special” every time you eat one. Probably the best dessert fruit which needs nothing else to make it taste indulgent. They are high in Vitamins A and C as well as in Potassium. Mangoes are also high in fibre.
10- Pre Washed Baby Spinach
We all need to eat more dark green, leafy vegetables. Especially spinach. Buy a bag of pre- washed baby spinach and then toss it into your next salad, add it to your next wrapped sandwich, scramble some in your next omelette or add a few leaves to soup. It is rich in several vitamins and especially high in iron.
Stock your kitchen with the above and then come up with YOUR top 10 and it will be a snap to feed yourself the kind of stuff that builds muscle, burns fat and moves you in the direction of great fitness.
Ernie Schramayr- All Canadian Fitness