One of the most common comments I get from clients who want to clean up their diet or to lose weight is that they get “bored” with having the same meals over and over. For example, they seem to think if you want to lose weight you have to have a plain chicken breast and bowl of salad or steamed veggie without any dressing.
No wonder so many people seem to avoid eating in a healthier way! I am not a vegetarian, but my daughter-in-law is and she comes up with some of the most creative, interesting and delicious dishes! Even my non-vegetarian son is well nourished and very satisfied!
This article talks mostly about making vegetarian meals more interesting. Sometimes we just need to think outside the box – like soup as a vehicle for your veggies or roasting them instead of just steaming.
If, like me, you are not a vegetarian, your meals can still become boring unless you realize all the healthy options at your disposal. Here are my 5 best ways to make healthy meals tasty and interesting:
1. Spice up your life! I put spices in everything! I may make turkey burgers 3 weeks in a row but they are flavored differently each time! You can give them a Greek spin with oregano, lemon pepper and even some crumbled feta. Adding some cinnamon to a meat dish is also a very Greek thing to do! Or visit Italy and use basil, rosemary and thyme. Go Indian with turmeric, curry and cardamom. The same holds true for chicken or any other protein you choose. I put spices in my eggs and my green smoothie as well!
2. Don’t shy away from fat. Healthy fats add flavor, mouth feel and nutrition to your meals – even if weight loss is your goal. So don’t shy away from olive, coconut, hemp, flax, macadamia nut, sesame and pumpkin seed oils. Also pasture butter and ghee are not bad guys – you can cook with them and it doesn’t take that much to add a lot of flavor to your meal. I not only cook with healthy fats and use them on my salads and veggies, I put either coconut oil or pasture butter in my morning tea!
3. Use foods in unexpected ways. I enjoy an egg sandwich on sprouted grain bread on the weekend as a “treat” breakfast. I love buying guacamole in single serve packages and spreading my bread with that instead of butter or coconut oil! (I’ve also been known to use pesto in the same way!) It’s delicious. I also replace mayo in salmon or tuna salad with a mashed avocado. Salsa is my favorite baked potato topping. I don’t make baked potatoes often but I love smothering them in salsa. It actually amplifies the benefits of the vitamin C in the potato and it’s so good.
4. Don’t be afraid to try something new. While I recommend limiting starchy carbs like grains on most days, when you do choose to include them, why not try something different? Quinoa, millet, black rice and buckwheat may not be familiar to you, but they are all easy to find and cook. They are healthier options to the usual white rice and pasta that will add nutrition as well as flavor to your meals.
5. Focus on quality. The most important thing in creating truly healthy and flavorful meals is choosing the highest quality food available to you. That means organic produce, nuts and dairy, grass fed beef, free range poultry and wild caught fish. Not only do the organic fruits and vegetables have a higher nutrient content and less pesticide residue, they just taste better. Seriously, try it and you’ll see.
How do you keep your healthy meals interesting?
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