This list is adapted from my book, The Triple Whammy Cure:
1. Eat dark leafy greens three times a week at least. Purchase kale, swiss chard, and mustard greens and finely chop and steam them for a minute or two before adding flavorful additions like olive oil, capers, and vinegar or lemon.
2. Never miss a meal Skipping meals—or light snacks, if you’re a grazer–causes dramatic swings in blood sugar and brings on lightheadedness, brain fog, irritability, and shakiness. Low blood sugar also sends us running for whatever food is closest, like the donut box sitting out at work. Keep high-quality carbs on hand at home and work—soup, raw carrots, nuts, fruit, whole-grain bread with a little cheese or natural peanut butter—to eat when you feel yourself approaching a blood sugar valley.
3. Have a salad five days a week. Look for the darkest salad greens you can find–they contain the most nutrients. Good choices include romaine and red leaf lettuces and also spinach. Once you’ve put your greens in the bowl, add toasted walnuts, a little intensely favored cheese (such as goat, feta, or bleu), and whatever fruits or veggies appeal. You can get all your veggie servings for the day in a single bowl with minimal effort. Toss with an olive oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard dressing. Add warm or cold chicken or sauté some ground turkey with onion, oregano, and basil and toss with your greens and veggies. Dice a baby eggplant and sauté it in olive oil until soft before adding. Many groceries offer salad bars, a boon if you choose well.
4. One night a week, make it veggie night. Raw or cooked, veggie night can include washed and cut raw radishes, carrots, sweet peppers of every color, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. Try baby zucchini or yellow squash raw, sliced lengthwise. Experiment with dips. Make an easy bean dip by putting a drained can of white beans, red beans, or black beans into the blender with some garlic, fresh lemon juice, and a bit of olive oil. Add a few shakes of oregano or basil. Or purchase hummus or baba ghanouj for dipping.
5. Make eggs Eggs are an excellent protein source (you need protein to generate tryptophan, from which feel-good serotonin is made), easy to prepare, and don’t have the artery-clogging properties of higher-fat choices like some red meats or chicken with skin.
6. Enjoy nuts Great for snacks and adding to salads, nuts are a high-quality carbohydrate that contain disease-fighting antioxidants and health-giving oils. They’re delicious when served with fruit. Enjoy about a third of a cup of any type of nuts every day.
7. Become a soup lover Make a big batch of soup on the weekend and enjoy a cup for a snack–or for lunch or dinner with a salad.
8. Love your legumes Experiment with all types—kidney beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), butter beans, and lentils. Warm them up and add some olive oil and spices. Add meat or not. Chill them, adding some chopped veggies and an olive oil dressing, and enjoy for lunch or dinner. Add to a green salad. Legumes’ antioxidant, mineral, and fiber content make them exceptional choices for everyday eating. And they’re widely available in cans.