8 Foods You Can Still Enjoy in Your Healthy Lifestyle
There are plenty of foods you can still enjoy in your healthy lifestyle. Committing to a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of your favorite treats and indulgences once in a while.
It just means you either have to make your food choices work into your allotted macros or calories for the day, or you have to find healthier alternatives.
This may be as simple as switching from conventional products to organic, ethical, and sustainable products. Or it could mean you have to substitute something blatantly unhealthy with something that will honor and nourish your body while maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
There are foods you can still enjoy and indulge in, you just want to be mindful of quality and quantity. When I am struggling with those unhealthy choices I like to ask myself “is this blessing my body?” and sometimes the answer is “yes! that treat is without a doubt a blessing.”
Here are the 8 Foods You Can Still Enjoy in Your Healthy Lifestyle.
Yes, ladies and gents, the occasional glass of red wine is one of those foods you can still enjoy in your healthy lifestyle.
Having one or two glasses a month is plenty for me and often, I’ll go months without a drop of alcohol, so you bet that when I do indulge in the consumption of alcohol it is high vibe and high quality. This is why I like biodynamic wines.
The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association defines biodynamic farming as “a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production and nutrition.” The entire ecosystem of the vineyard is viewed as a whole and the idea is to create a self sustaining system so there is little to no waste.
The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is forbidden and much of the natural fertilization comes from the animals that live on (and mingle with) the vineyard. There is a strict maintenance calendar that is followed leading up to harvest. In the wine preparation, there is little added into the process, so the wine is as natural as possible.
Frey Vineyards Biodynamic Field Blend is a good and affordable entry point into the world of biodynamic wines that can be found in most organic grocery stores.
Skip the milk chocolate and opt for dark chocolate. This is a food you can still enjoy in your healthy lifestyle.
I distinctly remember the joy I experienced the very first time I had dark chocolate as a child. I loved it so much more than “regular” chocolate and could not get enough of the bitter, sweet, dark, roasted, and complex flavor profile. I was immediately converted.
The issue with milk chocolate is that is contains higher fat, more sugar, and less cacao or cocoa. Calorie for calorie, milk chocolate is more expensive than dark chocolate, nutritionally speaking.
Dark chocolate contains less fat, usually less sugar, and has a higher percentage of cocoa or cacao. It’s also full of magnesium, antioxidants, selenium, and zinc.
If chocolate is what you’re really after, you’re only getting jipped if you opt for milk chocolate. I’m a huge fan of Hu Kitchen, Chocolove, and Endangered Species. For those opting for 0 sugar try Lily’s.
Nuts and Trail Mix
Nuts are great foods you can still enjoy in your healthy lifestyle. They are a plant based source of healthy fats and protein.
Opt for raw nuts to get the most unadultured vitamins and minerals from each crunchy handful, as roasting and other cooking processes can adulture the nutritional value.
You can even enjoy a bit of trail mix. Ideally you would make your own homemade trail mix, but if you’re in a pinch opt for the highest quality trail mix possible.
Stick to the varieties that are mostly raw nuts, dark chocolate, and unsweetened dried fruit. Steer clear of any mixes that contain overly roasted nuts, milk chocolate, yogurt balls or yogurt covered fruit, pretzels and other carbs, and sugar coated dried fruit.
A little salty, a little creamy, and a little tart, cheese is a good source of fats.
Cheese is another very satisfying category of foods you can still enjoy in a healthy lifestyle.
While there may be ethical implications with the dairy industry, if you do decide to indulge in some cheese, make sure it is from pasture raised, grass fed and finished animals. A happy animal will produce a much higher vibrational product, and it turn will be a much healthier choice.
Cow cheese and goat cheese are lovely options. I like to parouse the farmers market for various varieties of high quality grass fed and finished artisan cheeses. When I’m in a pinch the Kerrygold Dubliner Cheddar Cheese is a good option.
Sparingly, dried fruit is a category of foods you can still enjoy in your healthy lifestyle. They can be a great substitute for candy and can be a great on-the-go option to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Keep in mind that since all of the water has been taken out of this fruit it is much easier to over consume dried fruit, and thus consume more sugar and carbohydrates that one would eating regular fruit.
Look for the non sweetened variety. Some of my favorite options are dried mango, pineapple, cranberries, and blueberries. 365 by Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Natierra are great options.
If you haven’t already noticed, many of the items on this list can be found on a charcuterie board. And no charcuterie board is complete without a selection of cured meats.
We all know that meat is a good source of protein, so enjoy a few bites of your favorite hams, smoked fish, sausage, and cured wild game. Just make sure not to overdo it as cured meats can be high in salt and sodium, which can be dehydrating and cause fluid retention, puffiness, and bloating,
Personally, it is an extremely rare occasion that I will eat cured meats as I am mostly plant based, but when I do it is usually wild game.
Related: Clean Keto Pumpkin Pie
Fruits are great foods you can still enjoy in your healthy lifestyle and a good alternative to candy. Fruits have so many vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and micronutrients it’s hard to go wrong.
While you can purchase conventional on thick skinned fruits such as bananas, citrus, melons, and avocados, it’s best to opt for organic with any fruit in which the skin is consumed such as apples, stone fruit, and berries.
Be mindful of your sugar intake.
Fermented and preserved vegetables
This category has some of the best foods you can still enjoy in your healthy lifestyle.
If you’ve never had pickled okra stop what you’re doing and go try some stat.
Fermented and preserved vegetables are yet another great food you can still enjoy in a healthy lifestyle that is often found paired with a great charcuterie board.
Pop a few different varieties of olives, try some different pickled vegetables and other brines.
One of the best options for food you can still enjoy in a healthy lifestlye is fermented live culture vegetables. For a dose of gut healthy probiotics try munching on non pasturized varieties of kimchi, sauerkraut, or fermented vegetables.
Since live cultures need to be kept cool in order to stay alive, you can find the non-pasturized versions in the refrigerated section or chilled produce sections of the grocery store. Stay away from the shelf stable jars as these have been heated to such high temps that much of the probiotics are zapped. I enjoy Wildbrine and Farmhouse Culture.