Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your meals. Being a vegan does not equal boring food choices. You can expand beyond eating just greens or only drinking fruit smoothies.
It wasn’t until I became vegan 17 years ago that I discovered my true love for cooking healthy meals and learning what I like to call “unguilty pleasures” – food full of tasty flavors and packed with all the good stuff to best fuel your body.
My go-to “unguilty” food pleasures are sweet potato chips, fruit salad, avocado toast, nuts & seeds, and superfood smoothies.
Here are the nutritional facts and health hacks of a few of my favorite foods that are so good for you that it should be a sin to indulge.
My 5 Favorite “Guilt-Free” Foods To Enjoy
Sweet Potato Chips
Chips made from sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, along with other vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sweet potatoes also help with the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Combine this sweet spud with a vegan protein such as tofu, or snack on homemade chips with a vegan dip like beetroot.
A pretty obvious choice, but the key to finding a fulfilling and flavorful fruit salad is figuring out the right fruit combinations with the most nourishing nutrients that create that “wow” factor in your mouth. Consider these types of fruits when making your next fruit salad:
– Oranges – Great source of vitamin C and rich in thiamine, folate, and antioxidants
– Berries – Loaded with antioxidants for fighting inflammation and increasing insulin sensitivity
– Mangos – Great sources of magnesium and potassium, both known to lower blood pressure and regulate pulse function
Avocados are a powerhouse fruit! They are a top source of healthy fats, vitamins C, E, K, and B6. Also a top source for other minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers have found that avocados protect the heart. A 2018 analysis of 10 studies found an increase in protective cholesterol in people who consumed an average of 1 to 3.7 avocados daily.
Mash fresh avocados into a paste and spread a generous layer on toast. Then lay some plump cherry tomato halves on top. Or cut your avocados into slices or chunks. Then include them as part of a buddha bowl with tofu and other veggies.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are my go-to snacks! Perfect for those moments when I may want to lean towards the wrong kinds of foods. They help regulate body weight as well as provide instant energy. And they contain protein, healthy fats, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. I love to mix them up in a jar with other dried fruits.
*Health Hack: Keep a pack of nuts and seeds in your car to curb your appetite for drive-thru French fries.
There’s no better way to kickstart your energy levels for the day than to sip on a superfood smoothie. What makes a smoothie super is mixing the diverse nutrients from different fruits and veggies into one. Blend a fruit combination of your choice and mix in some leafy greens. Add powders such as acai, maca, or spirulina for an extra energy boost. The benefits of smoothies are they increase your fiber intake, boost your vitamin C levels, and regulate high blood pressure.
Grab the recipe for my Superfood Green Smoothie, sure to instantly revitalize you, wake you up, and give you a kick of energy to start your day!
What foods do you enjoy that others would be surprised to find are actually good for them? Drop them in the comments below.