Have you ever been on a diet requiring you to skip meals or cut carbs and fruits? I have! What these diets have in common is how they focus on subtracting or taking things away from your plate. In reality, subtracting and eliminating specific foods or food groups will not keep you energized throughout the day or help you increase productivity at work. Most importantly, you are eliminating foods that can better your health and prevent chronic diseases. Today, I am introducing you to a concept you can quickly adopt: ADDABLES.
I want to help you see food differently. Learn to embrace food for what it is: a source of nourishment, enjoyment, and a health booster. Instead of subtracting from your plate, start adding. It might seem odd but, trust me, I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Addables are nutrient-dense foods that can fight cancer, build protein, promote gut health, boost your immune system, protect your heart, and keep you full for a longer period of time.
Above is a picture of my oatmeal bowl. Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals but will probably make you hungry again within an hour or two since it is low in calories and needs fat and protein to make a balanced meal. This is where you can incorporate addables such as berries, seeds, and nut butters. Not only will it taste 10x better, it will keep you full for hours. This way you won't have to think about food for awhile and can focus on what's really important such as graduating cum laude, spending quality time with friends and family, training for a 5K, or being more efficient at work.
As of today, start asking yourself, “What can I ADD to my meal to boost my health? To nourish me? To prevent chronic diseases? To keep me full and satisfied?"
As an RDN and a home cook, I am always trying to find ways to give my food a nutrient BOOST by incorporating these addables. If I’ve been working out a lot, I ADD protein. If my vision needs to be sharper, I ADD vitamin A sources. In general, I like to ADD food sources rich in heart-healthy fats, protein, omega-3’s, fiber, and micronutrients for overall heart and gut health, satiety, and disease prevention.
Below is a beginner's guide to help you get started with addables, specifically seeds, greens, heart-healthy fat sources, and protein. These are specific addables I tend to have in my fridge and pantry at all times except for avocados since I cannot eat them raw. I can and do eat guacamole, though! There are many addables you can take advantage of but I narrowed the list down to my top two favorites in each category.
Flaxseed Meal (1 tablespoon)
Spinach and Kale (2 cups)
*If you are on Warfarin, Coumadin, or other blood thinners, it is important to continue eating the same amount of vitamin K as you normally would. DO NOT increase from your usual vitamin K intake. Please talk to your dietitian or doctor about blood thinners and vitamin K.
Nut Butters** (2 tablespoons)
**Nut butters serve as both a heart-healthy fat and a good source of protein!
Avocado / Guacamole (1/3 fruit / 2 tablespoons)
Greek Yogurt (1 cup)
Egg (1 egg)
Start off slowly with purchasing one or two addables you feel you can incorporate into your regular meals and snacks. For example, if you tend to eat one banana a day, try eating it with a peanut butter spread. If you eat soup frequently, add a handful of spinach. Before you know it, you will be using addables without thinking about it. Go ahead and enjoy all the healthful and nourishing benefits!
Jane Pelcher, RDN
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I am providing all of the above addables information in a FREE PDF file (preview below). The nifty table gives you the specific nutrients each addable contains, what health boosts they provide, and suggestions on how to add them to your meals and snacks. Print it off and place it on your fridge, cubicle, or wall. It will come in handy as a quick reminder! Just subscribe to janethedietitian.com with your email address (subscribe link to the right) and you will receive the PDF file within one business day. By subscribing, you will continue receiving freebies and monthly updates on new articles, videos, and recipes!
Jane Pelcher, RDN
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist focused on helping everyone love nutrition through cooking! My blogs provide new home cooks with basic cooking skills and grocery shopping tips. Most importantly, I strive to teach the nutrition behind the foods you cook to help you understand how specific foods can better your health and prevent chronic diseases. I hope you embark on this journey with me!