Better choices with food

On Wednesday I said I’d publish a post about good quality foods to eat throughout the day. It’s now Friday. So sorry about that.

I am a big fan of Dr Nicholas Perricone’s food theories and the Mediterranean Diet (which is not a diet so much as a lifestyle).  Dr. Perricone espouses how eating an inflammatory diet causes a myriad of aging problems but seems to focus a great deal on selling anti-aging skin products. I am not a fan of all the skin products he sells on his website…just his approach to eating anti-inflammatory foods.

So things like oatmeal (never instant) or scrambled eggs with veggies, curry, thyme and turmeric for breakfast. Those spices are some of the many with anti-inflammatory properties so I enjoy them where they fit. Compliment your meal with an apple, blueberries or cantaloupe

Snacking, as I’m sure you’ve read and heard, is very good for you so long as you’re picking the right foods to snack on. I opt for almonds, avocados, strawberries, cantaloupe, a couple tablespoons of peanut butter. One of my favorites (it’s a Perricone thing) is a Wasa cracker with one ounce of goat cheese spread on top. I have four ounces of yogurt every day for the probiotics yogurt offers. I usually mix in strawberries or oranges. A person can take a probiotic supplement but I choose food over pills whenever possible. Notice some of these items are ones you’ve heard for years to shy away from because “they’re fattening.” They are full of good fats. Our bodies need fat so you might as well feed them the good stuff. In fact, remember that fitness competitor I worked with? She told me never to eat anything that says ‘non fat’ on it. Again, our bodies crave it, they need it, you might as well make sure you’re controlling the quality of it.

When I’m short on time or feeling uninspired, I tweak a lunch idea I read about in a Perricone book. I drain a 5 ounce can of tuna, ¾ cup of drained beans (garbanzo, kidney, black), one tablespoon of olive oil, mash ½ an avocado, some crushed dill seed, some onion powder, two tablespoons of sliced or slivered almonds, mix it all together and…voila…lunch packed with protein, good carbs and good fat.

What I’m not a big fan of with the Mediterranean Diet is pasta. I like pasta but, due to the way it’s cooked in restaurants, it can spike your glycemic index “The Glycemic Index (GI) relates to the way your body’s sugar levels respond to certain foods” so, if you’re going to eat pasta, make sure it’s whole wheat and it’s been cooked for the least amount of time you can get away with. Point of reference: fettuccine cooks in three-five minutes. The less cooked pasta is, the longer it will take the body to digest it thereby warding off spiking your glycemic index. I aim for one pasta meal a week and try not to eat it out where it could be sitting in a pot for 20 minutes or more.

Another good tip is always eat your protein first. For me, that’s veggie burgers, organic chicken, salmon or a well thought out bean dish. The theory is that protein fills you up. You’ve heard a lot over the years with protein-rich diets that protein suppresses your appetite. While I don’t think a heavy protein diet is healthy long-term (my personal opinion, I’m not a doctor), it makes sense to eat your protein at the beginning of each meal and then go for the complex carbs and good fat. I like to cook up sweet potatoes and compliment the meal with a salad and some raw pumpkin seeds or long grain brown rice (it takes 18 minutes to make this over the stove) with grilled zucchini.

I could go on and on but there are plenty of other bloggers out there talking about health and fitness…that actually have degrees not just decades of life experience. So, we’ll just call this a three part series on health and fitness in an attempt to come alongside my friend, Heather, who’s on her own journey. Here’s to you! Establishing better habits is always worth it.



I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

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