Upgrade Your Diet In Five Minutes A Day

Ready to Forty-fy your diet?

by Maridel Reyes
Photograph: Illustrated by SHOUT


2 Minutes
Brew a pitcher of green tea, and put it on ice for the week. The tea’s catechins speed metabolism and help prevent some cancers.
2 Minutes
Put together a batch of (mayo-free) Asian slaw. Research links a 
cabbage-rich diet to a reduced risk of breast cancer. Serve the slaw as a side and use it as a sandwich filler.  Click here for a simple recipe.

1 Minute
Before bed, toss dried black beans into a pot to soak overnight. They contain far less sodium—and taste much better—than those you buy in cans. 

2 Minutes
After rinsing and cooking the beans, stash some in the fridge to eat during the week. Then double-bag and freeze the leftovers in single-size portions. Use the same strategy for vegetables, pasta, grains and sauces.
2 Minutes
Fill 10 resealable plastic bags with cut fresh vegetables to snack on each day. Studies suggest that people who eat more than two servings of vegetables every day have brains that function as if they were five years younger.

1 Minute
Before going to bed, put 1½ cups steel-cut oats and 6 cups antioxidant-rich,unsweetened vanilla almond milk in a slow cooker set on low, suggests DawnJackson Blatner, RD, of the American Dietetic Association. “Tomorrow morningyou’ll have a healthy breakfast for the week,” she says. For variety, mix in otheringredients, such as purees, berries or walnuts.

1 Minute
Snack on dried fish. “Some of my clients love ahi tuna jerky and salmon jerky,” says New York City dietitian Cynthia Sass. She suggests that they nibble on SnackMasters’s products. ($8;snackmasters.com) to get more brain- and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish into their diets. Other people may prefer lox with whole-grain crackers.

4 Minutes
Soup it up: Research says that starting a meal with a low-calorie soup or stew helps you feel fuller so you consume fewer calories throughout the day. Try the tomato-based vegetable stew developed by trainer Jim Karas, author of The 7 Day Energy Surge.  See his recipe here.

2 Minutes
Pack an apple as an appetizer. Studies show that starting off a meal with an apple can help you eat fewer calories overall. 

2 Minutes
Have some low-sodium vegetable juice. Drinking eight ounces a day may promote weight loss: Recent diet research found that juice drinkers lost four 
pounds over 12 weeks, three pounds more than those who followed the samemenu but didn’t drink the juice.

1 Minute
Serve citrus for dessert. Vitamin-rich fruits such as oranges may boost bone health and help fight osteoporosis.
5 Minutes Slice veggies and roast with a chicken. Poultry eaters cut their risk ofdeveloping precancerous colon polyps by 21 percent compared with those who 
consume little to no chicken, finds a recent study.

5 Minutes Have spicy Indian food for dinner this evening. Studies suggest thateating curry might reduce your risk of dementia and colon cancer. For a fast meal,mix steamed lentils with a low-cal curry sauce.

5 Minutes Munch on dried fruit or vegetable snacks. Two of our favorites: JustVeggies ($5; justtomatoes.com) and Explorer’s Bounty’s Gallopaloozas ($5; 
Author Maridel Reyes is the national editor at Vital Juice
(vitaljuice.com), a daily health and wellness newsletter. Her work has
appeared in Glamour, Self, Prevention and New York Magazine.

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