The hectic pace of modern life often takes a toll on nutrition--as we fuel our fast-paced lifestyles with fast food and squeeze our meals into the corners of ever-tightening schedules. But the busier our lives become, the more crucial it is to provide our bodies with nourishing foods that will sustain the level of energy we need to keep us going. So, if delivery, carryout, fast food, snack foods or skipped meals have become a regular part of your routine, it's time to get back on track with good food and sound nutrition--and Frontier and Simply Organic can help! Here are the basics of healthier eating--along with some tips and recipes to help make it easier and more enjoyable.
A healthy diet consists of a combination of grains or grain-based products, vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and fat. Each of these areas offers daily opportunities for healthy choices.
Grains (barley, cornmeal, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, rye, or wheat) or grain products (bread, crackers, tortillas, hot or cold breakfast cereals, pasta, or couscous) should be enjoyed regularly as part of a healthy food plan. Whenever possible, opt for whole grains or whole grain products rather than refined grain products, as whole grains contain the dietary fiber, iron and B vitamins that are lost when grain is milled and processed.
To make sure you're purchasing whole grain products, read the ingredients panel. If "whole oats," "whole rye," "whole wheat," "oatmeal" or other whole grain is listed first , you're purchasing a healthier product. Many breads, crackers, and grain products sound as though they're whole grain, but may or may not be--including "seven grain," "multi-grain," "100% wheat," or "cracked wheat." Also compare the percentages of fiber listed on the nutritional panel — a higher percentage offers a greater quantity of whole grain.
To boost your grain intake, add whole grains to your soups, combine grains and greens for salads, or prepare grain salads or pilafs as side dishes. If popcorn is popular in your household (it's a great treat that offers an excellent way to get more grain and fiber into your diet), enjoy it often--but healthfully. Instead of topping it with butter and salt (which add calories, fat and sodium), substitute Frontier Popcorn Seasonings. Choose from Nacho Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Cheddar & Spice, and Sour Cream & Onion.
The grains in your diet can provide a wealth of fiber and nutrition, as well as a great selection of flavors and textures. They're delicious on their own, or when combined with nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. But factor in the variety of taste sensations you can create with the addition of herbs and spices, and the possibilities for delicious, healthful meals are practically endless!
Virtually any Frontier or Simply Organic herb or spice can be added to a grain dish. Try adding cumin, cayenne, chili powder, dried chiles and/or cilantro for a Southwestern flair. Basil, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, or bay leaf will bring a savory aroma and classic flavor to rice and other grain dishes. Sweet spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice, are key to many ethnic grain specialties, and you can also use them to create delicious grain-based desserts or grain-and-fruit combinations.
Remember to add herbs and spices to your grain or other recipes sparingly. Your goal is to enhance the flavor of your dish, not overpower it. On average, a dish that serves four to six people would call for 1/2 tsp. of spice, 1/2 tsp. of powdered herbs or 1 1/2 tsp. dried herbs. It's always better to be conservative at first and add more if necessary.
To save time, grains and rice can be easily prepared in a crockpot--by the time you get home from work, the mainstay of your evening meal will be ready to go! Grain recipes are easy to create on your own, but you may also want to try a special recipe, like Risotto-Style Barley, with thyme, saffron, leeks, garlic, white wine and Parmesan cheese. Or, for a grain-based salad, try Couscous, Cranberry and Garbanzo Salad, a lively, colorful combination of couscous, vegetables, cranberries and spices.
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» A Guide to Healthy Eating
» Vegetables & Fruits
» Dairy & Protein
» Fats & Quick Healthy Meals
» Healthy Substitutions