40 Foods to Get Lean and Energized

By on March 8, 2015
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I often say that exercising 2-4 hours per week is the easy part, it’s what you do with the knife and fork the remaining 164 hours per week that is the hard part. The best way to set yourself up to be successful is to purchase the correct foods at the grocery store.

Here are 40 foods we always keep in the house that help us get lean and energized:

Walnuts, pecans, almonds are delicious and great sources of healthy fats – Try to get raw nuts if possible as roasting strips away some of the nutrients.

Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt (grass-fed and organic if possible) – We like to mix them together with chopped nuts and berries for a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.

Chia seeds and hemp seeds – I add these highly nutritious seeds to yogurt, smoothies, or salads for great texture and loads of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals.

Whole eggs – One of nature’s richest sources of nutrients and the FDA finally recognized that the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t translate to higher cholesterol blood levels.

Salsa – You can buy natural salsa at the grocery store or make your own, but just make sure you avoid salsa with added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Avocados – A great source of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients.

Nut butters – Peanut butter is okay, but isn’t as healthy as other nuts due to aflatoxin. Using a variety of nut butters like almond or cashew gives you a broader range of vitamins and minerals and other micronutrients, and gives you variety instead of boring old peanut butter all the time.

Mixed greens – From spinach to arugula, the more variety the better. Try to get at least one salad in each day.

Home-made salad dressing – Use balsamic vinegar, spices, and extra virgin olive oil. This is much better than store bought salad dressing which mostly use highly refined canola or soybean oil (canola and soybean oil are both very inflammatory in the body).

Some of the staples in the freezer:

Frozen berries – When in season, I only get fresh berries, but during the other 10 months of the year, I always keep a supply of frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, etc. to add to high fiber cereal, oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, or smoothies.

Frozen fish – Mix it up and try a couple different varieties of fish each week. There are so many varieties out there, just make sure to always choose wild fish instead of farmed versions, as the omega-3 to omega-6 balance is much healthier in wild fish.

Frozen chicken breasts – Very useful for a fast addition to wraps or chicken sandwiches for quick meals.

Grass-fed steaks, burgers, and ground beef – Grass-fed meats have been shown to have as high as, or even higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than salmon (without the mercury). Also, grass-fed meats have much higher levels of fat-burning and muscle-building conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) compared to typical grain-fed beef that you’ll find at your grocery store.

Frozen veggies – Again, when the growing season is over and I can no longer get local fresh produce, frozen veggies are the best option, since they often have higher nutrient contents compared to the fresh produce that has been shipped thousands of miles, sitting around for weeks before making it to your dinner table.

Oatmeal and steel cut oats – Higher fiber than those little packs of instant oats, which are typically loaded with sugar.

Coconut, extra virgin olive oil, and unrefined macadamia oil – But other than that, all “vegetable oils” (which is usually soy and corn oil) are total junk and very inflammatory. Never use soy or corn oils! Also, always avoid canola oil, as there is nothing healthy about canola oil, despite the deceptive marketing claims by the canola oil industry.

Tomato sauces – Delicious, and as I’m sure you’ve heard a million times, they are a great source of lycopene. Just watch out for the brands that are loaded with nasty high fructose corn syrup.

Stevia – A natural non-caloric sweetener, which is an excellent alternative to the nasty chemical-laden artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine, and sucralose.

Raw honey – Better than processed honey… higher quantities of beneficial nutrients and enzymes. Honey has even been proven in studies to improve glucose metabolism (your efficiency in processing carbohydrates).

Organic real maple syrup – None of that high fructose corn syrup Aunt Jemima crap, only real maple syrup can be considered real food.

Cans of black, garbanzo (chickpeas), or kidney beans – I like to add a couple scoops to my Mexican dishes for the fiber and high nutrition content. Also, beans are surprisingly one of the best sources of youth enhancing antioxidants!

Dark chocolate (as dark as possible – Ideally more than 70-75% cocoa content) – This is one of my treats that satisfies my sweet tooth, plus provides loads of antioxidants at the same time. It’s still calorie dense, so I keep it to just 1-2 small squares after a meal, but that is enough to do the trick, so I don’t feel like I need to go out and get cake and ice cream to satisfy my dessert urges.