The New York Times recently resurrected a post that had originally appeared in 2008 called "The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating." The headline might have overstated the case a bit, because as it turned out, I regularly eat 6 of the 11 foods.
The ones on the list that don't at least occasionally make it to my plate were beets, cinnamon, prunes, turmeric and canned pumpkin. Of those that I do eat, Swiss chard happens to be my favorite vegetable and typically accompanies my meals once or twice a week. The other foods on the list that I enjoy were cabbage, pomegranate juice, pumpkin seeds, sardines, and frozen blueberries.
As I read the list, it occurred to me how easy it is to incorporate most of these foods into our diets, with very little effort and expense.
I started thinking about convenience foods, and how we so often turn to them because they seem easy. But really, how hard would it be to open a can of sardines and steam some Swiss chard, and then serve up a dish of frozen blueberries for dessert? It would provide a quick meal with far more nutritional value than that frozen dinner loaded with sodium.
Of course in order to do such a thing, you would have to have sardines in the cupboard, Swiss chard in the refrigerator and blueberries in the freezer. Healthy eating is in many ways about preparedness. When we're caught with our guard down, it's too easy to make bad choices.
Take those late-afternoon cravings for sweets at work, for instance. If we're not prepared, they too often end up in a trip to the vending machine or the nearby doughnut shop. But make sure you don't leave home without some sweet raisins, or a juicy piece of fresh fruit, and those other options no longer seem as tempting.
Healthy eating doesn't require a lot of work, just a little thought.