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Queens Chronicle

Tips for making real, pure ingredients a part of everyday life

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Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 4:32 am, Sat Aug 23, 2014.

(BPT) - Trends and fad diets come and go. But a progressive approach to nutrition – one grounded in positive eating – remains constant. It’s the desire to get more out of food with real, pure ingredients. Most people find the commitment to natural, healthy living isn’t as challenging as they imagined.

From the garden to the market, and the kitchen to the table, countless opportunities allow you to incorporate plant-based, nutrient-rich foods into your diet:

* Make the most of the grocery store. Eating real, pure foods, including whole grains, is at the core of a healthy lifestyle. Take a closer look at packaging to find items made with wholesome ingredients. You’ll be excited to see that many grocery stores carry a variety of nutritious options.

“People don’t always look as closely as they should,” says dietitian Toby Amidor. “Dig in and read the labels to get the full picture and educate yourself on the foods in your grocery basket.”

* Get into gardening. There’s no need to till your yard and plant rows of crops – gardening can start small, in a pot or container. Herbs, lettuce, spinach and tomatoes are all great porch and patio plants. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, try a raised-bed garden with a variety of plants, from cabbage to cucumbers and beyond.

“Growing your own garden can do more than provide tasty produce. It can also be a therapeutic way to increase your overall intake of vegetables,” says Amidor. “When I was growing up, my dad had an amazing garden. He taught me how to plant, weed and pick produce like radishes, carrots, sunflower seeds, cucumbers and tomatoes. Gardening is a great way to bond with family members and educate the next generation about the importance of farm-to-table.”

* Keep it up in the kitchen. It’s important to make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients to fuel your day. Are your foods providing essential vitamins, minerals and protein? If not, add new products to your pantry, like Kashi’s Non-GMO Project Verified GOLEAN Crisp! and Crunch! cereals, which each contain at least 9 grams of protein per serving, more than double that of the 3 gram average of leading cereals.

“Meeting the Daily Value of around 50 grams of protein for the average adult can be challenging – especially for vegans and vegetarians. Protein is an essential component of a nutritious diet,” says Amidor. “To incorporate more plant-based proteins into your meals, exercise your imagination and pair together different types of proteins, like whole grains, legumes and nuts to create wholesome meals.”

The more you learn about real, pure ingredients, the more delicious ways you’ll find to enjoy them.

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