WIAW: Secret Nutrition Edition

I like eating healthy, but I also like to enjoy what I’m eating. If I’m not liking what I’m putting in my mouth, then what’s the point? Luckily, I’ve trained my taste buds to love nutritious things, like kale salads and raw seeds, but I still like to have fun with my food. That  being said, this week’s WIAW features a few of the meals I’ve been enjoying lately, with the ‘secret’ (or not so secret) nutrition aspect of the food too!

Breakfast: banana softserve ‘sundae’ topped with peanut flour paste, cacao nibs and PB Puffins.

Secret: Cacao nibs. These tiny dark brown bits are raw and packed with magnesium, which helps with muscle function and bone strength. They also have more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea and red wine! Cacao nibs pack a powerful healthy fat punch and can boost your energy.

Lunch: Qdoba naked taco salad with romaine, black beans, habanero salsa and guacamole.

Secret: habanero peppers and guacamole. Habaneros are one of the spiciest peppers (between 100,000-500,000 Scoville units) because of their high concentration of capsaicin. Capsaicin can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and can even increase the body’s metabolism while consuming it. Guacamole is made from avocados, which can increase absorption of lycopene and beta carotene when combined with lettuce or spinach. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, and their oleic acid can increase absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.

Snackplate: organic kettle corn, Way Better Snacks Simply So Sweet Chili multigrain chips, fresh pineapple, baby carrots, tamari pumpkin seeds, Chocolove peppermint dark chocolate.

Secret: pumpkin seeds and multigrain chips. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and protein. Their phytosterols can help lower cholesterol, and the seeds have anti-inflammatory benefits. This brand of multigrain chips is probably the healthiest I’ve found. All of the ingredients are real foods, and the chips are full of healthy fats in the form of sprouted flax seeds and sprouted chia seeds. The chips are also made with sprouted quinoa, stone ground corn and sprouted broccoli seeds, and are low in sodium.

Dinner: spicy mac ‘n cheez (quinoa pasta, Field Roast Mexican chipotle vegan grain meat sausage, spicy nacho cheez sauce, nooch).

Secret: nooch, spicy cheez sauce, quinoa pasta. Nooch, aka nutritional yeast, is a vegan staple for a reason. It’s a complete protein source (the brand I used has 8 grams per serving) and is full of necessary vitamins including B12. The spicy cheez sauce recipe can be found here and it’s made with simple, whole ingredients including raw cashews. Cashews provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and magnesium which helps with bone health. They also can prevent gallstones. Quinoa pasta is made from two simple ingredients, quinoa and corn, so it’s perfect for a gluten-free diet. It’s full of fiber and protein, so it can fill you up faster than traditional white pasta, plus it has all the benefits of quinoa.

Unsweetened brewed iced coffee from Panera.

Secret: coffee. This tropical bean is full of antioxidants, helps prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and protects against some forms of cancer. Without any milk/cream or sugar added, it’s a very low calorie drink. To boost your iced coffee, add in unsweetened almond milk and stevia for minimal calories.

What’s something you enjoy eating that also has a ‘secret’ benefit? Do you like iced coffee?

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18 thoughts on “WIAW: Secret Nutrition Edition

  1. Love this WIAW theme! I think my favorite snack that has hidden health benefits is dried pineapple– it tastes JUST like candy to me! 😀

  2. I love iced coffee :). I liked reading what you had to say about all the nutrients too, it’s good to know what’s in what you’re eating!

  3. I love iced coffee,but I always have to make my own with coffe substitute because I can’t stomach the “real” stuff – that sucks! 😦
    However,I loved this WIAW post,Ashley,and I think I’ve learned a lot thanks to you! 😀 I’ve always wanted to try cocoa nibs myself,and after reading this,I truly might give them a try next time I see them 😉

  4. hands down coffee is my secret nutritional addiction – actually its not a secret since everyone who knows me takes me out to coffee instead of a meal

  5. What a fun theme for a WIAW post Ashley! Sooo I bought some nutritional yeast a few weeks ago and have yet to try it.. so I am quite glad you posted about how healthy it is and different ways to use it! I didn’t really realize how dang good it was for you either

    • It is sooooo good and good for you! When I first bought mine I also had no clue how to use it but now I have a few recipes that use it and I basically dump it on everything from salads to sweet potatoes. I think it’ll grow on you!

  6. Oh my gosh, banana soft serve + PB Puffins = amazingness. I could seriously eat that all day every day 😉 It’s scary how fast I finish a box of puffins!

  7. Things that are secretly good for you are amazing. I love banana soft serve to death and it’s good for you! I haven’t had puffins in a long time. I need some!

    • Yogurt does have tons of calcium! I just discovered almond milk yogurt and it’s pretty good, definitely a different consistency but I love that it also has calcium which is hard to get being vegan!

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