Beans- Love’em Or Hate’em?

Beans are so good for you. Some people love them and some people hate them. Which brings me to a point I want to discuss before I pontificate on the wonderful virtues of beans. We are all adults; inherently we know what works for one person may not necessarily work for another person. Whether it is a food plan, a fitness routine or how you drink your coffee; what works for your friend may not work for you. Just because Joe at the gym religiously takes every Wednesday off, this may not be good for you. So why do we get so obsessed sometimes with what the next person is doing? Is it FOMO? Fear of missing out?

For me, I know it’s because sometimes I think that if Stacy is doing a juice fast one day a week and she looks fabulous, well, then maybe I, too, should do a juice fast one day a week. It doesn’t matter that I am happy with what I am doing; I am losing weight, building muscle and feeling confident about what I am doing. But as soon as I hear that Maria is eating nothing but cabbage for a week, I pause to think that maybe I should try it. That is not to say that we should never emulate what someone else is doing. Some of the best diet/healthy eating plans I have tried have been based on someone else’s idea. But it is important to have confidence in what works for you.

Just because your trainer skips breakfast every day and eats his first meal at noon, this may not be your ideal eating schedule. If you get up at 6:00 a.m., noon may be too late for your first meal. Always do what works for you. Now who doesn’t love a good bean burrito? Not eating carbs this week? This month? How about a healthy three bean salad?

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The beans I am referring to are called legumes. They include: black beans, black-eyed peas, cannelloni beans, garbanzo beans (chick peas), kidney beans, lentils and lima beans. According to the Harvard Heath Publications from Harvard Medical School, legumes are an excellent source of protein and are low in fat. They contain plenty of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Beans can be eaten at any meal, as a complement to a meal or as a snack.You can even make a bean burger from ground chick peas or use beans in salads or stews.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating a variety of foods that are high in protein, including eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. The guidelines also suggest replacing protein foods that are higher in solid fats with foods that are lower in solid fats and calories. Solid fats are the fats that are in meats, poultry and eggs, while fats in seafood, nuts and seeds are considered oils.

Try this easy to make, yummy three bean salad. Eat it as a meal, with a meal or as a snack. For you Paleo followers, eat this on a “cheat day.” Add whatever beans you like and you can use a salad dressing of your choice or make your own.

Three Bean Salad

1 can of red kidney beans
1 can of chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1 can of cannelloni beans (white kidney beans)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or dressing of your choice

Rinse all beans thoroughly with cold water. Combine all beans in a large bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, Newman’s Own Lite Italian dressing or Ken’s Caesar dressing. Toss lightly and refrigerate. Ready to eat!