My Best 55 Lean-Body Foods to Boost Your Energy, Balance Hormones, and Reduce Body Fat
In a number of my Newsletters, I love to give a wholesome snack or meal recipe that not only is flavorful and healthy, but also will help to get you closer to that hard-body look that everyone is searching for, while also more importantly, improving your wellbeing. In this guide, I’d love to provide you with healthy food ideas in a different manner. This time, I figured I would just give you a few ideas of what I stock my refrigerator and cabinets with.
Bear in mind, if you do not have crap around the house, you are less likely to eat crap! If all you’ve got is healthy nutritious foods around the house, you are forced to create intelligent choices. Basically, it all begins with making smart decisions and avoiding temptations if you make your grocery store trip. Now these are simply a few of my personal tastes, but maybe they will provide you some good ideas which you will enjoy.
A number of these will be evident wholesome choices, like fruits and veggies… however others on this page that I think will surprise you!
Alright, so let us begin with the refrigerator. Each weekI try to ensure I am loaded up with a lot of varieties of fresh vegetables. Throughout the growing season, I just find local produce, but of course in winter, I need to resort to the produce at the supermarket. The majority of the timeI make sure I have loads of vegetables such as onions, zucchini, spinach, fresh mushrooms, red peppers, broccoli, etc. to use in my morning eggs. In addition, I prefer to chop up some organic chicken or turkey sausage or grass-fed bison sausage to the eggs, together with some swiss, jack, or goat cheeses (rather raw grass-fed cheeses when I could find them).
By the way I am talking about whole eggs, NOT egg whites. Always bear in mind that the yolk is the most nutritious and nutrient dense area of the egg, therefore just eating egg whites is like throwing away the best part… and no, it is not bad for you because of the cholesterol… whole eggs really boost your GOOD cholesterol. Try to find free range organic eggs for the highest quality. Here’s an whole article I did on the subject of entire eggs versus egg whites .
Coconut milk is another staple in my fridge. I love to use it to mix in with smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt for a rich, creamy flavor. Does coconut milk include a rich, creamy flavor to many dishes, but it’s also packed with saturated fats that are saturated. Yes, you heard me right… I said healthy saturated fats ! . . .Healthy saturated fats such as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), especially an MCT called lauric acid, which is vitally important to your immune system.
If the notion of healthy saturated fats is foreign to you, check out my post about why saturated fat isn’t as bad as you think .
Back to the refrigerator, some additional staples:
- Walnuts, pecans, almonds – delicious and terrific sources of healthy fats. Try to find raw nuts if possible as the roasting process can oxidize some of the polyunsaturated fats in some kinds of nuts which makes those damaged fats marginally more inflammatory. Overall, nuts continue to be healthy even if they’re roasted, but raw nuts are optimal.
- Cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and yogurt (grass-fed and organic if possible) – I love to combine cottage or ricotta cheese and cheese with chopped nuts and berries for a excellent mid-morning or mid-afternoon meal.
- Chia seeds or hemp seeds – I include these highly nutritious seeds into yogurt, smoothies, or salads for a terrific noodle flavor and loads of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals. Don’t use pre-ground variations of those seeds since the omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and prone to oxidation, creating high levels of free radicals if you use pre-ground seeds. No grinding is necessary to properly digest these seeds.
- Whole eggs – one of natures richest sources of nutrients (and bear in mind, they raise your GOOD cholesterol so stop fearing them).
- Salsa – I try to get creative and try some of the exotic kinds of salsas.
- Avocados – love them. . .plus a excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients. Consider adding them to salads, wraps, or sandwiches.
- Butter – do not believe the naysayers; butter adds great flavor to anything and CAN be a part of a wholesome diet… just keep the amount small since it is calorie dense… and NEVER use margarine, if you don’t would like to guarantee yourself a heart attack. Most important — select organic butter only, because pesticides and other harmful compounds accumulate in the fat of the milk that’s used for butter, so choosing organic helps prevent this issue. Also, and most of all, always select grass-fed (pastured) butter since it will contain higher levels of healthy omega-3 fats as well as the fat-burning conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). . .Kerrygold is a favorite pasture-raised butter in most shops.
- Nut butters – Plain old peanut butter is becoming a little old for me (and peanuts are not as healthy as other nuts because of aflatoxin concerns), so I get creative and mix together almond butter with pecan butter, as well as cashew butter with macadamia butter. . .delicious and unbeatable nutrition! Using many different nut butters gives you a wider selection of vitamins and minerals and other micronutrients, and gives you variety rather than boring old peanut butter all the time.
- Leaf lettuce and lettuce together with shredded carrots – for sandwiches with dinner.
- Home-made salad dressing – with balsamic vinegar, spices, extra virgin olive oil, and Udo’s Choice oil mix. This is significantly better than store bought salad dressing that mostly utilize highly refined canola or soybean oil (canola and soybean oil are both very inflammatory within the body). Here is an article revealing why to NEVER use store-bought salad dressings .
- Sprouted grain bread for occasional use — My personal opinion from years of nutrition research is that we are not really intended to consume the gigantic amounts of grains (not whole grains) that people do in this day and age… a small quantity might be okay, but our digestive systems are still mainly adapted to a hunter/gatherer sort of diet with just a very small number of grains, so I try to only have breads and other grain-based foods on cheat days. Just do not forget that a lot of gluten (which remains in many sprouted grain breads) can cause some degree of damage to your gut health even when you’re not formally gluten intolerant.
Some of the principles from the freezer:
- Frozen berries – during the local growing season, I just find fresh berries, but through the other 10 months of this year, I 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 – I love to try a few different sorts of fish every week. There are so many varieties out there, you don’t ever need to get bored. Just be certain to ALWAYS select wild fish rather than farmed versions, since the omega-3 to omega-6 equilibrium is MUCH healthier in wild fish. Additionally, as this report shows, there are a number of potential other health problems with farmed fish .
- Frozen chicken breasts – very convenient for a fast addition to wraps or chicken sandwiches for fast meals.
- Grass-fed steaks, hamburgers, and ground beef: Grass-fed meats are demonstrated to have as large as, or higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids compared to salmon (without the germ ). Additionally, grass-fed meats have greater levels of fat-burning and muscle conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in comparison to typical grain-fed beef which you will find in your grocery store. I recently found an exceptional on-line store where I purchase all my grass-fed meats today (they even deliver right to your door in a sealed cooler) – www.healthygrassfed.2ya.com
- Frozen buffalo, ostrich, venison, and other”exotic” lean meats – Yeah, I know…I’m weird, but I can tell you that these are some of the healthiest meats around, and if you are seriously interested in a lean healthy body, these kinds of meats are far better for you than the mass produced, hormone-pumped poultry, beef, and pork that is sold at most grocery stores.
- Frozen veggies – again, when the growing season is over and I will no longer find local fresh produce, frozen veggies are the best option, because they frequently have higher nutrient contents in contrast to the fresh produce that’s been sent thousands of miles, sitting around for months before making it to your dinner table.
Alright, now the principles in my cabinets:
- Various antioxidant-rich teas – green, oolong, white, rooibos (red tea) are some of the healthiest. One of my newest favorite teas is yerba mate, which is a south american tea that’s packed with antioxidants and other nutritional supplements. I have discovered some yummy yerba mate mixes such as chocolate yerba mate, mint partner, raspberry mate, etc..
- Oat bran and steel cut oats – greater fiber compared to those little packs of instant oats, which are generally loaded with sugar. If I am trying to decrease body fat and get extra lean, I create the majority of my breakfasts based on veggies and eggs and bison sausage, but when I am on a muscle building stage, I raise carbohydrate intake and utilize more oat bran and oatmeal. Again, if you are looking to aggressively get rid of weight or control blood sugar, oatmeal and other grains are not the best idea. But if you are looking more for weight gain or muscle gain, oatmeal is one of the healthier grains if you had to choose one. Personally, I avoid most grains, with a few occasional exceptions such as oats or rice, which are a bit healthier than wheat.
- The only wholesome oils that I have in my cabinets are virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Macadamia oil might also be a reasonable choice as long as it is not”elegant”. But besides that, all”vegetable oils” (which is usually corn and soy oil) are complete crap and very inflammatory. Never use corn or soy oils! Also, always avoid canola oil, as there’s nothing healthy about canola oil , regardless of the deceptive advertising claims from the canola oil industry.
- Cans of coconut milk (packed with healthy saturated MCT fats) – to be moved into a container in the refrigerator after opening.
- Tomato sauces – delicious, and as I am sure you’ve heard a thousand times, they’re a excellent source of lycopene. Just look out for the brands which are packed with nasty high fructose corn syrup. You also want to be certain the tomato sauce is made with olive oil rather than unhealthy soybean oil or canola oils. Also get tomato sauces in glass jars rather than cans, as canned tomatoes are exceptionally high in the harmful chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA) because of the acidic leaching of BPA in the can lining.
- Stevia – a natural non-caloric sweetener, which is an exceptional alternative to the nasty chemical-laden artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharine, and sucralose .
- Raw honey – better than processed honey… high quantities of beneficial enzymes and nutrients. Honey has been demonstrated in studies to enhance glucose metabolism (your efficiency in processing carbohydrates). I use a little teaspoon each morning in my own teas. Yes, I understand that honey is pure sugar, but at least it’s some nutritional advantages… and let’s be real, a tsp of healthy raw honey is just 5 grams of carbohydrates… certainly nothing to be worried about, and a much better choice than processed sugar.
- Organic REAL maple syrup – none of the high fructose corn syrup Aunt Jemima crap. . .only real maple syrup could be considered actual food. The just time I really use this (due to the high sugar load) is added to my post-workout smoothies to sweeten things up and elicit an insulin spike to push nutrients into your muscles to help muscle recovery.
- Organic unsweetened cocoa powder – I like to combine this into my smoothies for an extra jolt of antioxidants or create my own low-sugar hot cocoa by mixing cocoa powder to hot milk with stevia plus a few melted dark chocolate balls (delicious!) .
- Cans of kidney or black beans – I love to bring a couple scoops to my Mexican dishes to the fiber and higher nutrition content. Additionally, beans are surprisingly among the greatest sources of childhood enhancing antioxidants! Did you know that black beans and kidney beans have more antioxidants than blueberries. . .it’s true!
- Dark chocolate (as dark as possible – ideally more than 70-75% cocoa content) – This is one of my snacks which satisfies my sweet tooth, also provides plenty of antioxidants at the exact same time. It is still calorie dense, so I keep it to only 1-2 little squares after a meal… but that’s sufficient to do the trick, so I do not feel like I want to go out and get cake and ice cream to meet my dessert urges.
Last, another thing that is tough to go wrong with is a fantastic range of fresh fruits and berries. The staples such as carrots, apples, oranges, pears, peaches are great, but I love to also be a bit more adventurous and include things such as yellow (aka – mexican or champagne) mangoes, pomegranates, kumquats, papaya, star fruit, pineapples, and others. Additionally, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries (the maximum fiber berry) and cherries are a few of the most nutrient and antioxidant-dense fruits you can eat.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this special look into my beloved lean body foods and how I inventory my cabinets and refrigerator. Your tastes are most likely somewhat different than mine, but this gave you some great ideas you can use next time you are in the grocery store looking to stock a healthy and delicious pile of groceries.