Monday, February 13, 2012

Superfoods Challenge: Week 6

It's already Week 6 of the Superfoods Challenge! Are you feeling healthier yet? I know I am! Adding green tea last week made a definite difference in my energy level (I think cutting out sodas helped, too). If you've been following along, you should have the following list pinned to your bulletin board or stuck to your refrigerator:

Broccoli (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnips, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, mustard greens, Swiss chard): 1/2 to 1 cup per day
Wild Salmon (Alaskan halibut, canned albacore tuna, sardines, herring, trout, sea bass, oysters, clams): 2 to 4 times per week
Yogurt (kefir): Two 8 ounce servings per day
Walnuts (almonds, pistachios, sesame seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews): five 1-ounce servings per week
Tea, green or black: 1 cup per day

The goal is to keep these foods available in your kitchen and make your food choices at meals and snacks based on this list. Try to include as many Superfoods as possible each day. Focusing on what TO eat takes the obsession off what you *shouldn't* be eating and gives a positive energy to your food thoughts. You will be filled and nourished with healthy foods with little time or stomach room for junk.

This week's Superfood is: turkey. Yep, turkey! This is one Superfood that surprised me when I first read about it. I mean, we hear all about the health benefits of salmon and walnuts and broccoli, but turkey? What's so special about that?

According to the SuperfoodsRx website, "Skinless turkey breast is one of, if not the leanest meat protein sources on the planet. This alone could make it a SuperFood: but turkey also offers a rich array of nutrients, particularly niacin, selenium, vitamins B6 and B12, and zinc. These nutrients are heart-healthy and are also valuable in helping to lower the risk for cancer." B vitamins are essential for good energy levels and mood. A four-ounce serving of turkey breast provides 34 grams of protein, 42% RDA of vitamin B3, 32% RDA of vitamin B6, and contains no carbs and less than a gram of fat, all for only 153 calories. You can read more about the health benefits of turkey on WHF or in the book SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life.

Turkey has one sidekick: skinless chicken breast. This is a food many of us probably eat more often than turkey, and it, too, is a very low fat source of protein and has a similar nutritional profile to turkey, including lots of B vitamins. SuperfoodsRx recommends having a 3 to 4 ounce serving of skinless turkey or chicken breast 3 to 4 times each week.

I like to roast my turkey or chicken, but you can bake, poach, microwave, or grill it, or use your crock pot. Cubed or shredded turkey or chicken can be used in soups, casseroles, stir-fries, or over salads. My very favorite way to use chicken is in this recipe: Easy Chicken Fajitas. They are low carb, healthy, and so good! Some other low carb ideas include Chicken Salad in Butter Lettuce Cups, Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup, and Low Carb Fettuccine Alfredo with chunks of chicken breast mixed in at the end. I think turkey breast would work well in any of these recipes. I also like to make burgers from ground turkey breast cooked in olive oil and wrap them in big lettuce leaves with sliced tomato and avocado. Yummy! If you're not low carbing, there are many more chicken and turkey recipes on my Recipes page; scroll down to the non-low-carb entries. The turkey soup is fantastic!

I hope you'll add some of your favorite ways to enjoy turkey and chicken here or on my BlogFrog forum; there are some good ideas over there for each of the past Superfoods. Let me know what you try and what you like. Eat your Superfoods!


YoMe said...

Wow i had no idea about turkey! I do try to stay away from cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts because they can slow down the metabolism in people with thyroid problems

Jane said...

I am surprised too that turkey is a superfood! But I love love love chicken and turkey! :)

Anonymous said...

hmmm, not much option for a vegetarian

Lyn said...


I don't have one, but feel free to make recommendations!

JennS said...

I've actually made chicken fajitas before without ANY oil. If you cut the chicken into strips and put it and seasonings in a sealed, ziploc baggie and microwave you can get the taste without any of the fat. I took it out part-way through and stirred it up, microwaved some more, stirred it up again and added cut up green pepper and a little cut onion and microwaved again. Just a thought~!