How to Get Healthier with Simple One-Ingredient Meals

Ann Musico Top 20 Emerging Mindfulness Leaders for 2015

The single most important area related to nutrition that will help anyone at any level live better this year is to simplify things by keeping it real. I always try to encourage people to focus their meals around real, fresh, high quality one-ingredient foods.

Begin by choosing one-ingredient foods. That simply means fresh whole foods, rather than packaged, processed, or fast foods. For example, here are some ideas to get you started:

Chicken, ground beef, salmon, lamb, sardines, whey, eggs are one-ingredient proteins.

Cucumbers, kale, spinach, tomatoes, celery, peppers, sweet potatoes are one-ingredient vegetables.

Quinoa, brown, black and wild rice, millet, oats and buckwheat are one-ingredient “grain” carbs.

Apples, blueberries, cherries, pears, oranges, lemons, avocado and pineapple are one-ingredient fruits.

Peas, chickpeas, lentils, lima, cannellini, black and red beans are one-ingredient legumes.

Pasture butter, organic ghee, coconut oil, olive, hemp, walnut, macadamia and flax oil are one-ingredient fats.

Walnuts, macadamias, almonds, pecans, pignolas, cashews, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame are one-ingredient nuts and seeds.

Oregano, parsley, basil, garlic, black pepper, sea salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, allspice are one-ingredient herbs and spices.

Obviously these are just a few examples, there are many more one-ingredient foods you should consider.

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There are no hidden ingredients in these foods as long as you choose organic, grass fed, pasture raised and wild caught! Then you avoid the hidden pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and GMOs. But other than that, there are no hidden ingredients, just whole food nutrients!

Creating delicious, nutritious meals from these one-ingredient foods is simple and easy. And to add flavor and nutrient value I strongly recommend using organic herbs and spices! They are an easy way to make your meals interesting and flavorful without adding calories and boosting the nutritional value.

Simply choose your veggies, which will be your preferred carbohydrate source, and make them the focal point of each meal. Even breakfast can have vegetables if you put mushrooms and spinach in your omelet, or include baby kale and watercress in your berry smoothie!

So begin with the veggies you like best – raw, cooked or a combination of both! Include about 4 oz. of a clean protein of your choice if you are not a vegetarian or vegan. Be sure to include a healthy fat source and round out meals with fiber rich beans or legumes. You can choose to use one of the healthier whole grains as you wish to in your meals.

Just avoid frying or cooking at very high heats. Gentle roasting, steaming and even light sauteeing is fine.

Fruit, nuts and seeds can be a great, satisfying snack. If you eat dairy, you can even put them in some plain, organic, full fat yogurt or kefir.

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If you will commit to using my one-ingredient meal plan for just 30 days, I know you will see and experience an increase in energy, perhaps drop a few pounds if you need to and will look as fresh, vibrant and healthy as you feel! It will also simplify your shopping trips and the time you spend preparing meals, and who doesn’t like that?

Everyone thinks packaged and fast foods are cheaper and faster. The truth is they are not. They cost more to buy and they will cost more in terms of how they impact your health. They are faster in one way and that is in making you sick, fat and old!

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