It’s dinner time in Dubai and you have to decide which delectiable entree you’re going to select from the buffet. But they all look so good. It was a long hard day of lectures and guest speakers. All of these dishes look so good….how can you choose just one? You’ve earned it haven’t you? And the dessert bar at the end, well that’s just to make sure you have enough energy to make it to the team meeting for the deliverable due at midnight.
If this internal dialog sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Sticking to a diet while in residency is tricky. So I reached out to our own health guru Kari Severson for her recommendations on what to look for on the dinner menu. She has provided a list of foods we often see on the buffet that we should load up on. So here they are!
Kari’s Top 10 Vitality Foods:
- Greens to the rescue: try to hit up plenty of leafy greens from the salad bar, the darker, the better – spinach salad is perhaps the most healthy option
- Lean, not mean, protein: as tasty as that hamburger or steak might look, you’re better off opting for lean protein like chicken, turkey or fish
- Fishing for seafood: Speaking of fish, either fresh fish or a fish oil supplement is a great addition to the diet – providing essential omega 3 fatty acids. Beware of large mouthed, salt water fish as they contain high levels of mercury and should only be eaten once per week. Small mouthed, fresh water fish (like WALLEYE, yes I’m in a Minnesota girl) are your best option
- Beans are wonder food: Bring on the beans! Black, pinto, kidney – it doesn’t matter. This affordable, simple food works wonders for the body.
- The joys of soy: an expert panel at the Mayo clinic has concluded soy may prevent cancer and help cognition (it also helps menopausal symptoms, but thankfully we don’t have to worry about that just yet) Try a glass of soy milk to get you started – pouring it over cereal might make it easier to palate
- Whole grains are holy: Whole grains is the way to go, always. White, starchy bread is the equivalent of sugar. The way your body processes it, you might as well drink a soda. Make whole grains the healthy, default choice.
- Crusade for crucifers: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, make it happen.
- Berries are beautiful: The brighter, the better. Aim to add a handful of blue, black, straw or raspberries into your diet each day.
- Go Nuts Over Nuts: Not too crazy, now. We’re not talking a full jar of Planter’s Peanuts, but a handful of unsalted almonds will work wonders.
- Get Friendly with Flaxseed: Some call flaxseed one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. Full of omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans and fiber, studies show it can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Try adding some to a protein shake or fruit smoothie.
And if you’re looking for more health tips from a Minnesota girl, then Kari recommends Eat Clean with Kate. Kate provides healthy tips daily about your favorite food products to help you pick the right foods for the right reasons. If it’s a question about MSG or diet sodas, Kate is your girl.
Here’s to a healthy and happy term!