Do you need to detoxify, drop the fat, lean out and feel energized? If any of these are your goals right now, add these foods to your shopping list:
■Brussels sprouts! Before you turn your nose up at these hearty little cabbages, know that studies show Brussels sprouts are the highest food in anti-estrogen anti-cancer indole 3-carbinol, a known protector against certain cancers. Brussels are also a great source of vitamin C, of which a diet rich in is linked to increased fat burn during exercise.
■Bell peppers, especially the bright, colorful ones like red, orange, and yellow. Raw red bell peppers are “the highest readily-available food source of vitamin C,” according to Master Food Healer Jeff Primack, and cooking red bells over low heat increases the absorption of nutrients.
■Corn. This is one food that must be eaten organic and contrary to what many fitness enthusiasts believe, raw or lightly steamed organic corn is a healing food. Having anti-cancer properties, corn is also beneficial to the skin and is a proven detoxifier.
■Tomatoes ROCK! Fiber, water, and healing lycopene are three great reasons to add tomatoes to your diet whenever possible. Another food to consume raw or lightly cooked, tomatoes promote weight loss, keep the feeling of satiety longer, and help stave off disease.
Why add raw? Adding raw foods to your diet adds dietary fiber (a weight-loss lean-out must nutrient), and raw foods provide the simple, satisfying crunch bite after bite. It’s easy to incorporate raw foods and lightly cooked foods into an otherwise “cooked” diet. Drink your veggies by blending them with spices and herbs for smoothies, add side-dish salads (like this one) to your menus each week, keep fresh raw sliced veggies in your refrigerator for quick, easy craving curbing afternoon snacks, and toss lightly cooked veggies with fresh herbs and use as a topping for chicken and fish.
Ready to get SHREDDED? This recipe is the perfect meal for Meatless Monday or any day of the week.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
•1 pound Brussels sprouts
•½ medium yellow bell pepper, diced
•½ medium red bell pepper, diced
•½ large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
•1 dozen grape tomatoes, halved
•1 ear raw corn, cut corn off the cob
•¼ cup balsamic vinegar
•¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (optional) pink Himalayan or black lava sea salt cracked black pepper
•¼ cup toasted cashews
1. Trim root end of Brussels sprouts. Place Brussels in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. (Alternatively, grate Brussels sprouts using a handheld grater).
2. Place shredded Brussels sprouts in a large mixing bowl and add yellow and red bell pepper, onion, tomato halves, and corn. Toss to mix well.
3. Place in serving bowls and drizzle each with balsamic vinegar.
4. Season with a pinch of preferred sea salt and black pepper. Finish with a sprinkle of cashews.
Serving size: 1 ½ cups (serves 4) 144 cal., 4.6 g fat, 22.6 g carbs, 6.9 g protein, 6.3 g sugars, 6.7 g fiber
About the Author: Susan Irby is a Certified Fitness Nutritionist and food healer, award-winning network television and radio personality, and the creator of The Bikini Chef brand, its recipes and content, which promotes “figure flattering flavors.” She has penned 9 books and just ran her first marathon at age 50! Visit Susan online at thebikinichef.com, susanirby.com and bikinilifestyles.com.