When I first moved to NYC almost a decade ago, I remember going months without cooking in my kitchen. I'd use my toaster or microwave every once in a while, but that's about it.
Grocery shopping and spending time in my very small kitchen was the last thing I wanted to do. It seemed laborious and stressful. And just another thing to add to my to-do list.
To make life easier, I'd eat out for lunch and dinner... and order takeout. Who would say no to ordering delivery here? I'd have a guy at my door with hot food within 10 minutes. No thinking or deliberating involved.
Fast forward several years and many, many apartments and kitchens later, I love healthy cooking and find so much joy in it. It's seriously the best way to look good and feel amazing.
As I started changing my habits, I worked toward bigger change with small, simple steps - I began incorporating superfoods to my everyday, as a fun and easy way to start. And it required zero cooking!
My skin was happy, my body felt better and my energy level was on point. This inevitably lead to healthier choices overall AND a desire to experiment in the kitchen.
Here are the superfoods I'd suggest to optimize mealtime. These can be added to your smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, soups, sauces, rice, veggies, to anything you want, really:
1) Chia Seeds - these tiny wonders, from Central and South America, are the second highest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. They're an amazing source of amino acids, minerals and antioxidants, and one of the most digestible plant proteins.
They combat wrinkles, keep your skin gorgeous, your hair luscious and nails super strong. You'll feel an energy burst and feel fuller longer. Incredible.
Soaking them in any liquid (for at least 10 minutes) will create a gelatinous texture - great for intestinal health. Add them to smoothies for an omega boost.
2) Hemp Hearts (also known as hemp seeds) - are one of my favorites. They're very rich in digestible protein, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and improve brain function. They're considered one of the most nutritionally complete foods.
These should be eaten raw. Sprinkle them on your favorite breakfast, smoothies or salads, or add them to sauces or dressings.
3) Maca Root Powder - it's often referred to as the "endurance food." If you find yourself experiencing fatigue, this will increase your stamina and get you out of the slump. It supports the endocrine system, provides a ton of minerals, vitamins and fatty and amino acids.
It also balances out the hormones and boosts fertility.
Eat it as a powder, either raw or gelatinized (which means the starch is removed for easier digestion).
Add it to smoothies, nut milks or over oatmeal.
4) Flax Seeds - The highest known plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. It's so great for immune and cardiovascular health, and also helps to reduces inflammation. A great source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The seeds need to be ground for all the nutrients to be absorbed - sprinkle them over salad, fruit, veggies or granola. Ground flax (+water) can also be used in place of eggs in vegan baking.
Soaked whole flax seeds (in water) are great for smoothies to create a thicker texture.
5) Bee Pollen - Such a great sprinkle to add to your diet - it provides nearly all the nutrients you would ever need - protein, antioxidants, amino acids and B vitamins. It increases energy and promotes growth and development.
If you have allergies, eating local bee pollen can help a ton.
Sprinkle them over yogurt, fruit, smoothies, oats and smoothies.
Hope you enjoyed this list. If you loved it, let me know!
I'll be sharing more on superfoods, berries and powders very soon.
If you've ever tried any of these superfoods, which ones are your favorites?
And if these are all new to you, what questions do you have? Let's start a conversation in the comments below!