After years of being wired to overload on meat, dairy, and processed food diet it can be very difficult to transition to a diet of mostly fruit, vegetables, and grains. Though this is no secret, it remains a mystery to many of how to bridge the gap to from one point to the next. Though most foodies wouldn’t dream of giving up meat, fish, and/or poultry this moment in time is optimal to make groundbreaking changes. Now more than ever companies have been more determined to produce foods that are more health conscious. If eating a healthier diet is a struggle that you can relate to, consider these few suggestions as you embark this journey.
#1-CREATE THE FLAVORS YOU HOLD DEAR
Going back to the basics of a flavor profile can help you to be more creative at emulating the food tastes you know and love. In other words, the more of these key elements; bitter, sweet, salty sour, spicy and umami one seeks to incorparate, the better chances they are afforded to create a successful dish. There are, however, some other special components to consider like how hot or cold a dish should be, and what textures are most appetizing. Though flavoring appropriately is foundational, how hot or cold a dish can really make a difference as well. Ever eat cold fries, or somewhat melted ice cream, or cold soup that’s meant to be hot? The eating experience is just not the same. Texture is very significant as well, as you are eating vegetables that don’t offer the bite that we carnivores subconsciously crave. How do we manage? How do we create a meal that is satisfying without or without as much of the butter, and rendered duck fat that we hold so dear? Try a different method for cooking your fruits veggies and grains. One way to do this is pickling. Pickling can be a great touch to a salad, for instance, pickled onions offer a great sweet and acidic finish. Another way is to use the food processor, take a lesson from the companies who sell veggie burgers, beans, mushrooms, nuts all offer a tasty umami depth to your food that can make you miss meat all the lesser. Patties made from blended ingredients are a great substitute. Sweet potato, cauliflower, and applesauce are just a few great baking substitutes that are great for binding ingredients. They are great because they are all more neutral in taste, while not compromising the moist aspect you may desire. If you don’t want to hit and miss by creating your own recipes, there are more recipes than ever that you can start with and make your own.
#2- MAKE THE INVESTMENT
Making a conscious effort to eat better is possible for us all, but underestimating the investments that need to be made could be a slow bump in the road to healthier eating. Paying extra for organic fruits and veggies is one example of an investment that seems too costly to some, however, it is a great way to move forward. Don’t take my word for it, the Pesticide Action Network UK claims that both raspatory complications and cancer have been linked to pesticide intake for humans. Making the investment to make home-cooked meals could also be a great plus as well. This is understandably not possible for every household, some people are too busy to cook, some people don’t have the gift to cook, and some people can cook they just highly prefer not to. Though this list of reasons can go on and on, this is highly suggested if at all possible. Cooking enables you to touch and see what you’re eating there is no mystery of whether you’re eating something that is not healthy but appears to be. Many of us have run into the problem of buying something that is advertised as healthy, only to find out later it is not as healthy as it seemed. There is hope as some restaurants have become more innovative at assuring food is healthy and providing healthy food options. Another benefit to cooking at home is that when you’re cooking to a recipe, you can omit and add to for your specific liking. You may hate the aftertaste of stevia and instead, you prefer to use manuka honey to sweeten your Korean BBQ ribs, that is, if you decide to sweeten them at all.
#3-LOAD ON THE LOVE
Adding alive, nutrient-rich food to a dish is a great way to eat healthier as well. Adding these ingredients where it does not seem necessary or where it is not called for in the recipe, is a great way to make your meal more wholesome. For instance, adding spinach and kale to your finished soup, as kale and spinach tend to take on deep flavors well. Smoothies aren’t a secret method to loading on the nutrients, but also consider that if you prepare your smoothie at home you can add what you like and adapt your smoothies to your health needs as well. Another good point to remember about smoothies is that they digest well, as your body doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the ingredients. Being intentional is another point to tackle as we talk about loading on love. Deciding to load on the fruits, veggies, and grains means that you may need some intentionality when it comes to your meal preparation. Keeping in mind that you’d like to load your plate with more healthy foods means, there will be less room for your meat, and gone are the days where it takes up half of the plate. Instead, you can maximize your health journey by cooking 3 (or more) variations of fresh guilt-free food.
Be encouraged on your journey to healthier eating, there are so many diets to consider, so many products to try, so many exercises to choose. Go with your gut, go with what feels right, but refuse to be overwhelmed, this earth has so many healthy foods that can aid you into a better eating lifestyle. Exploring different methods of cooking can bring so many surprises. Make each meal your own, know that each investment is worth it, and don’t be shy to heap on the veggies!