Eating healthy is always a challenge. There are an amazing array of foods out there that provide all kinds of temptation. Over the next couple of months I’m going to share in my effort to eat more healthy and strive for a diet closer to whole foods.
What is a whole foods diet?
When eating whole foods the goal is to limit the amount of processing that has gone into the food you are eating. A good example of a highly processed food is the Twinkie. The Twinkie has 37 different ingredients, including artificial colors, (yellow and red dye), artificial flavors, and partially hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fat.
Most of the time the goal is to have fewer then 5 ingredients in any food bought at the store. Now, that is more of a guideline then a hard and fast rule. Salsa for example has many ingredients, but very few highly processed ingredients. The most difficult thing is finding good tasting food, without having to food companies and food scientists artificially changing flavors to hide cheap or bad tasting ingredients.
My wife and I have started on this journey a few years ago, and have realized one big thing. This is a lifestyle choice, and not just a diet to lose weight. This is a life long commitment. The reward though is a healthier life, a better feeling body, and the knowledge that eating foods that taste good and are actually good for you.
With any change in eating habits compromise is something we all need to live with. Even though I try to eat as healthy as possible I will on occasion have food from a fast food restaurant, or eat cake from a box at a birthday party, or even just enjoy myself at a work potluck and not worry about what all the ingredients are. This is part of goal to consume healthy foods for the majority of the time, and not worry or become anxious about the times when you indulge in something that tastes good, but isn’t good for you.
To start this series of posts I’m going to share one of my new favorite recipes that is easy to make, delicious to eat, and fairly quick to make. One of my favorite go to websites for recipes is Budget Bytes. This blog is written by a lady who not only knows that eating healthy shouldn’t be expensive, but should also taste good. I would encourage you to browse some of her recipes if you get a chance.
This recipe is great in the fact that it’s highly flexible and can incorporate all kinds of additional ingredients.
One great thing is this recipe can me made vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free very easily.
We had some fresh cherry tomatoes and parsley from the garden and found this recipe would help us use up some of the garden bounty.
Ingredients you’ll need:
1 lb. of pasta. ( I used spaghetti noodles for this when I made it.)
1 bunch parsley
½ cup grated parmesan
2 Tbsp lemon juice (a fresh lemon is great and you can use the lemon zest!)
2 cloves garlic
salt to taste
olive oil as needed
I started the water boiling for my pasta first and while that was starting to heat up I got the pesto sauce going. Now with the sauce you could add in sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or any other nut if you wanted a bit more of a true pesto taste. This would also increase the protein if you make the recipe vegetarian/vegan.
Since the parsley I had wasn’t very much I added in some fresh basil as well.
Along with fresh garlic and lemon juice.
And whiz it all up.
After the pesto sauce is done and the noodles are boiling it was time to heat the tomatoes up with a little sea salt and olive oil.
To top it all off I fried up some eggs and added it to the top of the finished product.
This was a delicious meal and the entire thing was made with real ingredients, some even straight from the garden. Eating whole foods can be fun, taste good, and healthy. It’s all about finding the right combinations.
Feel free to leave a comment below, or on the Facebook page about some of your favorite whole food recipes, or even some life stories of whole foods.
– Jason Snell