“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” – Plato
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean counting calories, monitoring fat content or analyzing every detail of the nutrition facts. While that information is certainly important, it can become overwhelming when trying to make healthy choices for you and your family. However, choosing healthy foods doesn’t have to be complicated!
Traffic Light Eating makes eating healthy simple to understand, even for kids. Just like when you are driving a car, a traffic light tells you what to do:
Green means “go”
Yellow tells us to “slowdown”
Red means “stop and think”
Green Light Foods
Green Light foods are “go” foods, meaning eat as much as you want. These include all fresh fruits and vegetables. Emphasis on fresh – these foods are grown, not manufactured. Packaged gummy fruit snacks are not Green Light foods!
The numbers: These foods are low in calories and high in nutrients. In other words, Green Light foods are nutrient dense.
Yellow Light Foods
Yellow Light foods are “slow down” foods. While foods that fit in this category are okay to eat every day and are essential to your health, they should be eaten in moderation. Too much of a good thing really is no good! Examples of Yellow Light foods include: whole wheat pasta, eggs, salmon, nuts and seeds, rice, whole grain bread, and yogurt.
The numbers: These foods have more calories than Green Light foods and usually have more fat or sugar as well.
Red Light Foods
Red Light foods are “stop” and think foods. Since these foods are low in nutrients, high in sugar and contain artificial sweeteners and ingredients, you should try and find a healthier option, or eat a smaller portion. Examples of Red Light foods include: cookies, candy, fatty meats, sugary drinks, bacon and other processed meats and frozen yogurt.
The numbers: These foods are lower in nutrients and higher in calories, fat and sugar.
If you’re ready to start following Traffic Light Eating, contact me to schedule your pantry makeover, the first step to a healthier you. Want to learn more about Traffic Light Eating? See a full calendar of my workshops in your area!
Recipe Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas
Makes: 4 servings, 2 tostadas each
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
8 6-inch corn tortillas
1 6-to 7-ounce can boneless, skinless wild caught salmon, dried
1 avocado, drained
2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapenos, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice from the jar, divided
2 cups of shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons salsa
2 scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons sour cream
lime wedges (optional)
1. Preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Coat the tortillas on both sides with olive oil and place on baking sheets. Bake the tortillas in the oven, turning once until light brown.
3. Combine the salmon, avocado and jalapenos in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cabbage, cilantro and pickling juice.
4. In a food processor, combine and process the black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions until smooth. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl, cover and heat on high until hot (about 2 minutes).
5. To assemble the tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture and salmon mixture. Top with the cabbage salad and serve with the lime wedges, if desired.
Avoid These 3 “Bad Words” On Food Labels for a Healthier Family
1. High-fructose corn syrup
2. Hydrogenated oils
3. Any word followed by a number, such as red #40, blue #5 and other artificial flavors and colors