Random list, in no particular order:
- Quinoa. (prounounced keen-wa) This nutty whole grain is ancient - it's an Incan staple, and it is delicious and easy to prepare. High in protein (also considered a complete protein like meat or eggs) and gluten-free, it is considered another superfood and a good choice for diabetics. It comes in red or white to give your meal color variety; use it anytime you would use brown rice. Light in consistency, you can also serve it as a breakfast grain. It only takes 15 minutes to cook. Put one cup of quinoa and in 2 cups of boiling water and simmer until the water is absorbed. If you are stretching your dollars, you can use up to 3 cups of water. MindfulEats post on quinoa.
- Fresh blueberries. Research shows that blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytofavinids, high in potassium and vitamin C, and an anti-inflammatory to boot. They are touted as a "superfood" - which means they deliver a nutritional wallop. To me it's a bonus that they are so nutritious - they are tasty bites of summer. They are so delicious that I used to eat buckets of them before I ever cared about my diet.
- Whole Foods Market. I like this store more than Barney's! It's a grocery store with a conscience. WFM tries to take the entire growing culture and environment in consideration, from stocking local products to being the first retailer to offer Marine Stewardship Council-certified seafood. I know it's often referred to as Whole Paycheck, but it carries excellent quality product, and it often has good deals and takes food stamps. I like it so much, I bought some of their stock. (Though I wish I'd done it now rather than a couple years ago).
- Local natural store.(in my case, it's LifeThyme.) There isn't always a Whole Foods in every area, and even if there is, there is usually a great local store that provides more personalized, friendly service.
- Dark chocolate. I've loved dark chocolate since I was a kid - when the only kind I had was Hershey's Special Dark. Now it's taken off since people discovered that it's healthy! I'm delighted by the boom, because it means there are a lot more options. This stuff is loaded with flavoniods - but don't go nuts - it's pretty caloric. 1.4 oz. (33 grams) is 220 calories. Get the stuff with 71%+ cacao. Chocolate provides a great opportunity for those of you that are interested in supporting the environment and fair trade - it is usually grown in developing countries, and you can choose the organic, fair trade kind. My favorite right now is Equal Exchange.
- The New York Times. The Grey Lady is the bomb. It has well-researched articles on not just health but the world. Feed your mind. Order a paper subscription - you can't help but read fascinating articles that you wouldn't look at online. Who knows - you might develop a new interest or hobby.
- Good cookware. A set of pots and pans that you love can prompt you to cook more. I recently received a set of All-Clad, and I love it! I never thought I would say that I loved a pan. I don't really like to cook, but having cookware that makes me smile makes the whole experience much more pleasurable.