Updated: Feb 21, 2020
Hey Fit Fam,
This year is about being mindful. January was easy. Cutting out alcohol was unbelievable easy for me. I wanted to have the first month as something that I could easily attain so I could have a success out the gate and boost my confidence. Plus, get into the habit of thinking about what I'm putting into my body. I had started to cook a little more towards the end of the month and I had been just thinking about being more mindful.
Because my days can be packed, I knew it was necessary to plan out how to make food the priority each day. Realistically, I am only focusing on one meal. However, because this year is about mindfulness, I am also MINDFUL of my other meals. Plus, I often have left overs from the meals that I cook.
Mid First Week of the Cooking Challenge
The first three days were great because I had larger chunks of time where I could be home to cook meals. Perfect.
I knew that Day Four was going to be nearly impossible to be able to cook, so I needed to carve out some time where I could do some research. It's just as well.
This first day of research was a little weird because I wasn't exactly sure where to start. Fruits? Vegetables? I decided to go even smaller and read about herbs and spices. Lists came up... oh boy. I start thumbing through some and find myself at the benefits description, vitamins and minerals come up. That's even more detailed. Blah.
I knew I didn't want to talk so much science-y stuff, which when you talk about the nutrients, you are talking the science. What do we need potassium for? We always talk about how protein is for building strong muscles. But that's like all we talk about. Sometimes, we might talk about "oh well this is great in Vitamin C" or "where do you get your calcium from" but we don't really talk about these things in nitty gritty detail or science.
Like the fact that the appropriate amount of potassium is necessary for maintaining the acid-base balance and electrical force. ***
But what does that mean to the person who doesn't geek out on body science??
Instead I want to be talking about the general benefits and contraindications for each FOOD. I started thinking "okay, if I was going to grow my own food, where would I start?"
And it was a great light session of learning about the benefits (and side notes) of tomatoes!
1. Tomatoes (Vitamin C and other antioxidants) help fight against unknown agents, like cancer.
2. Tomatoes (fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, choline, and Folate) simultaneously aid in health of the heart and combats risk factors for heart disease.
3. Tomatoes (potassium and sodium content) help monitor blood pressure.
4. The high water content in tomatoes helps to hydrate the body!!
5. Tomatoes' sweet but low sugar (with fiber) content helps improve blood sugar.
6. Tomatoes are also a great natural bowel mover- sometimes referred to as a laxative fruit.;)
7. Tomatoes (lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene) help protect against damage to the eyes!
8. Tomatoes (Vitamin C) help with the production of collagen, which is beneficial to the skin.
9. Tomatoes (folate) are beneficial in pregnancy or those looking to get pregnant, specifically to help with the neural tubes!!
I have read to "eat the rainbow" countless times and I have been making more associations with color so I want to take a little notes to see what I compile by the end of the month.
** "Lycopene is a plant compound (also associated with cancer prevention) that gives tomatoes its red color. Tomato products provide 80% of dietary lycopene consumed in the U.S."
This lycopene is also a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the eyes.
*Tomatoes are pretty acidic so if you have GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or acid reflux, this will probably not be well suited to you.
*If you are taking Beta-Blockers (often prescribed for heart disease), you are receiving high levels of potassium through the medication so consume in moderation (to not overload the potassium).
*Tomatoes are also well known to be among the highest fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residue, so always wash the tomatoes well before consuming!
Ok those are some things that I learned in summary... of course I did geek out on all the nutrients but I want to keep the output without science (for the most part) for now.
Below are some sources: