Eating well doesn’t have to be hard or boring, or mean that you have to “give up” delicious tasting food. Here’s how to incorporate healthier eating into your life:
Make Small Changes:
Many people try to do too much at once and then find that they can’t sustain the changes. Look at adding an extra serving of vegetables to a meal each day and eat them first, or plan to replace a cookie with a yogurt 3 times a week (you can still eat cookies!). Write it down so you remember and evaluate after a week. Once your new habits become automatic, you’ll feel confident that you can make other lasting changes.
Make it taste good:
Many fruits and vegetables taste good “as is” but others may require a little “finessing”. Don’t be afraid to experiment with cooking styles and spices to discover what you and your family like. I’ve had great success with finding healthy recipes that actually taste good on skinnytaste.com.
Start with What you know:
Look at you current family staples if you are already cooking at home. Write them down and post them on your fridge so you have some “go to” recipe ideas and build on them. If spaghetti makes it in the weekly rotation, try adding some vegetables to your sauce, automatically crowding out some of your noodles. Are you a “breakfast for dinner” person? Omelets are another easy meal that can be beefed up (pun intended 🙂 ) with the vegetables you have on hand. Add tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, peppers, onions, and potatoes for flavor and satiety.
Cook What You Like:
Where do you prefer to eat out? Why do you like those restaurants? Can you play with your favorite restaurant’s themes at home? This is easier with some places than others (I love Persian Rice, but it’s way beyond my culinary level). On the other hand, burritos are something I can handle. I’ll add sweet potatoes, peppers and beans to chicken for added protein, fiber, complex carbs, and vitamins. I even freeze some for an easy meal on busy nights.
Get A Buy-In:
Look up recipes you would be excited to try, visit your local farmer’s market or gourmet grocery store, or buy a new kitchen gadget. If you and your family feel connected to what you are eating, you will get more enjoyment out of eating it.
Describe Your Food:
Research shows that people get more satisfaction from eating food that is described in colorful detail compared to food described solely as “healthy” or with few descriptors. Doesn’t, “Grandma’s homemade oatmeal with farm fresh fruit” sounds a lot better than oatmeal and an apple.
Limit Other Options:
If you have Lucky Charms in the house, you probably will have a hard time bypassing them and reaching for steelcut oats. I mean, come on, they’re “magically delicious.” Set yourself up for success by making the decision to eat more nutrient dense foods and have them more easily accessible than less healthy alternatives.
I know this post is called “how to eat healthy” but the best way to ensure to do this is by eating fresh, whole foods because they fill you, nourish you, and make you feel great. Not because you “have to.” An attitude of reluctant commitment sets you up for rebellion. If you truly don’t like the way kale tastes (self-disclosure, I HATE kale), despite trying different cooking methods, pick something else. There is so much out there to eat. Find what you enjoy and celebrate our abundance!