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How to incorporate more whole foods

It's no secret that consuming whole foods has a positive affect on our health. But, I also understand whole foods aren't always accessible. When we talk about whole foods, think: rich in nutrients and minimal ingredients. Examples include: fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, meats, fish, eggs, grains, and dairy. Not to get them confused with the processed vs unprocessed food debacle -- even whole foods are technically processed. Let's also not get whole foods confused with fresh vs frozen vs canned. Fresh, frozen, and canned goods all are rich in nutrients, they are just processed differently. So, how do we incorporate more whole foods into our diets? Here are a few examples to enhance your whole food consumption: 1. Making pasta? Whip up your own sauce! I'm certainly no chef, but mixing tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, maybe a little mushroom can make a mean pasta sauce. This combo is a great way to get some extra nutrients in. 2. Blend a smoothie. Smoothies can be filling and nutritious by combining fruits, vegetables, dairy, and nuts. This provides well-rounded macronutrients AND micronutrients. 3. Toss a preferred protein over a salad mix. Salad mixes have become a frequent source of veg in our household. They generally have plenty of veggies, nuts, and maybe a fruit source already mixed together making it easy to knock out some nutrients. Since the salad is already prepped, you can easily toss chicken, fish, or another protein with it to complete the meal. Whole foods don't have to be complicated. It may be worth focusing less on whether or not something is frozen, fresh, or canned and focus more on what is the simplest way to increase nutrient density in a meal.

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