I went vegan in 2012. I was desperate to take control of my eating habits, desperate to make changes in the way I approached food, environmentalism, and my own body. I hung in there for 8 months, then fell in love with the science of a modified Paleo diet. So this year starts with me 20 pounds lighter and ever-willing to try new things. Because after all, when we change our food choices, we change ourselves. Learning to be in control of those changes means you start to see results. And results are so rewarding, and so worth the time and sacrifice it takes to reach your goal.
For me, one of the most fun parts about adopting a new approach to eating is learning to navigate all of the food and product choices on the shelves. The process can take a lot of trial and error. A lot of good taste tests…and a lot of bad ones. To help you start to navigate a more healthful eating regime, without having to make a lot of beginners’ errors, here are six favorite healthful eating foods that I think are worth the money, calories, and flavor.
1. POWER BREAKFAST
Swap out an empty-calorie breakfast bar for a delicious smoothie! All-natural and plant-based, Vega Energizing Smoothie is great to keep on hand for a super-quick, super-simple breakfast. It’s seriously this easy: mix one scoop of smoothie mix into 1 cup of ice-cold water, juice or non-dairy beverage, shake and go.
2. BUILD A BETTER SANDWICH
Upgrade your “fortified” sandwich bread for the naturally nutritious Ezekiel 4:9 Flax Sprouted Whole Grain Bread. The bread is made from sprouted grains, legumes, and seeds, with each slice containing 90mg of Omega-3′s, 5g of protein, 4g of dietary fiber, 18 amino acids from vegetable sources, and it’s a source of complete protein. How’s that for some serious nutrition in the sandwich you were already going to eat anyway?!
3. GO FISH!
Swap your traditional tuna for albacore tuna, like the sustainably-fished Wild Planet Albacore. Setting it apart from traditional storebought brands, each can of the Wild Planet tuna contains a whole tuna steak, cooked only once to capture the natural flavor and retain 600% more natural Omega-3 than any of the big three tuna brands. Wild Planet tuna also has less than half the mercury levels because only smaller, individually-caught fish are used.
4. BAKE A PERFECT PIZZA
Traditional frozen pizzas can be loaded with sodium, artificial ingredients and preservatives. If you don’t like those sorts of additions to your pizza, but are craving it anyway, try VitaPizza. It has a unique, thin and crispy crust and just the right amount of toppings to satisfy pizza cravings without the guilt (each pizza only has 190- calories! Hello, happy!).
5. BETTER SNACKING
So it’s Friday night and you need to munch on something crazy delicious? We’ve got you covered. G.H. Cretors popcorn is made without GMO’s, artificial colors or flavors. Better yet, it tastes crazy delish. Holla!
6. MAKE GOURMET EASIER THAN TAKEOUT
Indian food is all the rage lately. But who has time to cook up a full meal along with fresh naan? Not I. Which is why I kind of adore Stonefire Naan, which is literally the best store-bought naan I’ve ever found. Cool fact: Stonefire’s breads are hand-stretched and prepared in small batches following a traditional recipe, as well as made without artificial colors, preservatives, additives, trans fat, or hydrogenated oils. So good!