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Mix and Match Foods to Eat Healthier

By Sandy Schroeder

We all enjoy a pizza on Friday night, or a burger and fries after the game, but finding a way to focus on healthier foods can be crucial.  

Here are some delicious trade-offs that might create a healthy menu. As you eat less fats and salt and fried foods, you may develop a taste for spicy tomato sauces with spinach pasta, jalapeno peppers mixed into refried black beans, or pickled vegetables served with grilled fish.  Those are a few of my healthier favorites, but yours may be all different. 

Take a long look at some of the heathy foods you and your family enjoy and see how many recipes you can find to include those foods. Here's a starter list of healthy foods to consider. 

Great Veggies 

  • Avocadoes - Enjoy avocado on toast, guacamole or slices for sandwiches and salads 
  • Black beans - Make black bean tacos or spicy black bean soup 
  • Spinach - Bake a spinach and cheese quiche or grill fish with fresh spinach 
  • Brussels sprouts - They take on the taste of what they're cooked with
  • Tomatoes - Do a one-pot-pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil 
  • Red peppers - Grill peppers and add them to casseroles, soups and omelets 
  • Celery - Chop celery into soups, salads and casseroles 
  • Cabbage - Make a cabbage soup with ground turkey and lots of other veggies 

Great Fruits 

  • Apples - Bake apple tarts and pack crisp apples into lunches 
  • Pears - Create a baked pear dessert with dark chocolate sauce 
  • Grapes - Set out grapes and nuts instead of chips for snacks 
  • Peaches - Bake a low sugar peach pie or serve fresh peaches for breakfast 
  • Figs - Bake fig cookies or serve as snacks 
  • Pineapple - Serve fresh pineapple juice for breakfast 
  • Oranges - Mix orange slices into your salads and pack them along for lunches 
  • Lemons - Squeeze lemon juice over fish and into leafy green salads 

Fresh Fish

  • Serve grilled salmon with veggies 
  • Bake white with a spicy tomato sauce 
  • Keep tuna on hand for tuna fish salad or sandwiches 

Lean Poultry 

  • Cook chicken breasts with sliced onion and peppers and white wine 
  • Fix chicken noodle soup with added veggies
  • Chop chicken breast into salads and soups

Whole Grains 

  • Serve old fashioned oats topped with berries for breakfast 
  • Buy whole grain breads for toast and sandwiches 


Serve Greek yogurt for breakfast, with cucumber and dill added for dips and for dessert add dark chocolate and peanut butter. 

Choose low-fat cheeses such as Parmesan and treat them like condiments. 

Next Comes Follow-Up 

As you build a shopping list, start thinking about things to bake and cook for family dinners, suppers and weekend breakfasts. Get your kids to help in the shopping, cooking and baking. And finally, make meals a time to talk, sharing the day and giving everyone a chance to contribute. 

Whatever you do to eat healthier will get the ball rolling. Start now and taste the difference. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chicago, Ill.

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