Monday, November 24, 2008

Sardines For Breakfast

My dad was eating a lot of sardines when he was fighting cancer. Turns out they are one of the healthiest little cheap foods you can eat.
I've been talking to a lot of people who really won't get healthy because they just don't like stuff. I'm not a purist, and as I've said, I gag at bragging about being pure in diet, but if it's in your budget and making your life better why not give it a try. So, I've been trying to narrow down some superfoods that we can afford. I'm tired of life in a bottle or pill so I'm thinking, if I'm going to eat anyway, why not adjust my pallet to the things that I'd supplement to get benefit from anyway. Other wise you end up eating bad (which may cost you a lot to do anyway with processed foods, and pre-packaged, or chemically stabilized etc.) and then spending tons of money on vitamis. I guess you could say I'm looking for a bang for my buck.
This morning I had a weird craving for sardines and crackers for breakfast! What can I say, I walked an hour and was feeling outdorsie. I always keep some sardines for earthquake type emergencies. I pulled some out and then began to wonder if I was killing my diet by having them. I googled it and that's when I started to understand why it was recommended to my dad to eat. Look at this! We women need b-12 a lot, Vitamin D a lot, and Calcium a lot. Look at those levels! 150% of your B-12, 120% of your D, and 24% (some brands have more) for your Calcium! Look on the link at the great fatty acids and omegas too! And it's so cheap! That wedge of lemon looks so good, I think I'll try it next time. BTW, my fears of going off my diet were crazy when I found out that they are helpful in weight loss. Protein in general is needed more in our diets.
Just one tip. Don't look down too much while you are eating.

The problem is getting over how it looks. I have them on about six saltine crackers because the pinch of salt makes them better. I am going to look into other ways to have them. My kids even sometimes like them with crackers but I usually have to salt them a bit.

Other things I'm adding:

-Hummus (I've been doing for a while but now it's the only thing I'll dip my veggies in or put on my sandwich)

-Berries- Frozen Strawberries and Blueberries are on my list for shopping this next paycheck.

-Sweet Potatoes- I'm exploring how to get this into our diet more.

-Cooked Kale Greens- Just keep forgetting they are out there. We've had them before and liked them but I just forget.

-Sweet Red Pepper- We've done it before but I'm upping the amounts because it's a very healthy veggie the kids like.

-Spinach- starting to use it more in salads. My kids actually like it raw in salad and cooked in dips.
-Green Tea- Keeping a warm pot for the afternoon when I don't feel like drinking water because I'm cold but I need fluids. Use the rest for dinner over ice and with lemon.

Any ideas for more super foods on a budget?
NOTE: I realize this should have been over at my Good, Better, Best blog but I thought it was too interesting to get lost in the shuffle. Maybe I'll copy it over there. :)


tricia said...

I have never tried sardines. What do they taste like?

We have increased our intake on spinach and red bell peppers.

Alicia said...

fishy:) not as strong as tuna, but not as mellow as salmon. they are pretty mild in taste but smell very fishy and look very, very, very and again i say very, fishy)
saltines make a perfect buddy.

Zimms Zoo said...

I have tried sardines and can't get over the smell. It smells like the fish sauce at the asian market that makes me gag.

Sweet potatoe fries are awesome, so you should try some of those. We like them roasted with a little butter. They cook great in the crock too.

Other than that I can't think of any. I try to add spinach wherever I can. In salad, enchiladas, lasagna, omelets, quiche, etc.

Judy said...

I'm processing a super healthy and tasty Hubbard pumpkin today. I'll probably blog about it later. It's a lot of work, but I'm taking occasional breaks to read my faves :)

Alicia said...

I feel for ya... i do have sympathy for the smell factor. Hate to even have you vist here to see that post seeing how you're pregnant!:)
I don't like the smell myself but the cracker helps with that too somehow. Again, it's for sure a meal you don't want to sit back and admire or take a big wif before each bite. Eeeek.

Are you making pumpkin pie? I did that one year when I had one kid. I need to cook pumpkin more. I was reading this morning (been doin' a lot of reading today) about pumpkin being great too because it packs a nutritional punch with low calories. I'm thinkin soup but my kids won't let me touch their pumpkins yet.

I am Katy, said...

Some of our favorite healthier foods are hard boiled eggs, steamed brocolli, frozen peas, and pomegranates (which grow well in your area and can probably find someone willing to give away, plus the kids would have a blast peeling them).

Alicia said...

Yes! You are right, hard boiled eggs are something I'm keeping in the fridge now. Plus, I get the big Costco pack so it's cheaper.
My kids do love pomegranates but have not found a giver up here yet. I am looking into getting some juice at TJ's as I'm learning about the power punch they have.
Thanks for sharing!

Christina said...

I had sardine paste on sliced tomatoes with basil and cheese, toasted. It was fabulous! But I don't think I could ever stomach the whole fish.

We had sweet potatoes for dinner tonight. I love them baked, either in the oven or microwave, like a regular potato. They do pack a lot of vitamins and fiber. When I'm feeling yucky, a big sweet potato and a bowl of broccoli for dinner always sets me right.

Oranges are another super healthy food. They are coming into season right now.

Tofu is also another cheap sourse of protein. If you're interested, I can give you a bunch of recipes. We eat it a lot.

Kale can be chopped and added to soup. It's very tasty that way. And you're right, all really dark leafy greens are much better than their lighter color counterparts.

Nonfat, plain yogurt is also a great healthy food. Money saving mom had a recipe for making your own with out a yogurt maker, I think. Our favorite brand is Mountain High. I'm guessing you could buy the cheap higher fat one at cost co and use it as a starter to make your own with non fat milk. It's much cheaper than store bought and ours turned out great. We just add a little something (fruit, honey, jam etc) or eat it plain. Very healthy for your digestive tract too.

Can you tell you've hit on a subject that I always have lots to say about?! Sorry for the extra long comment!

Kristen Borland said...

i'm loving sweet potatoes right now. our fav thing to do with veggies is to make a meldley: saute sliced veggies (red potatoes, white potatoes, sweet potatoes (peeled), green beans, leeks, onions, squash/zucchini) in olive oil and thyme. mmm... great alone (protein from potatoes) or with some simple, saute'ed chicken.

Gombojav Tribe said...

We eat sardines and other canned fish. I make fish cakes with them. Chop up some onions, add some pepper and an egg to bind it, sometimes add some bread crumbs or oatmeal, but not always, and fry in just a little bit of oil. Other things to add are things like grated carrot, green onions, potatoes, etc. The kids like fish cakes even when they are not thrilled with eating sardines plain.