When most people think of eating healthy, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a diet full of boring garden salads and none of the tasty foods and snacks like cakes and pasta that make your mouth water just at the thought. Luckily, there are plenty of great tasting foods to eat if you’re looking to eat healthily, and they’re not all confined to what you’d put in a salad. You can still have your meats, fish, and even some tasty desserts if you get a little creative.
What to Buy:
When eating healthy, the first and most important thing you need to look at is what kind of food you’re eating. I’m not talking beef or chicken, or counting calories just yet, but more where the food comes from. A homemade burger made with fresh organic ground beef is going to be a lot healthier than frozen ready to cook burgers from your grocer’s freezer section. If you’re planning on eating healthier, the first step is to start buying healthier foods. While you don’t have to start buying organic, it’s certainly an option if you’re trying to reduce the number of pesticides and other chemicals used on your produce or GMOs and other additives in the meat farming process. Frozen and canned veggies are great to buy in bulk as well so that you’ll always have something on hand n a pinch, but picking up fresh produce is important too. If you can, try to buy your meats from the butcher or your grocery store’s meat department since it generally has fewer additives than frozen foods like premade burgers and the like.
What to Cut:
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for food, it’s time to cut out what you don’t need. Avoid premade frozen foods or any kind of heavily processed food if possible. When eating healthy, home cooked meals are the best way to go. With home cooked meals, you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. That’s not to say you can’t ever have a frozen pizza again for the rest of your life, but you’ll want to have home-cooked meals a majority of the time if you can help it.
Sweets: Yay or Nay?
When on a diet or trying to eat healthily, it goes without saying most sweets aren’t the healthiest thing for you. That also doesn’t mean you need to avoid them like the plague, denying yourself a little bit of cake at a birthday party or some pie during Thanksgiving dinner. The important thing to master when it comes to sweets isn’t full-on denial, but portion control. As long as you treat sweets as a rewarding little treat rather than focusing all of your willpower on avoiding that big tub of ice cream that’s been taunting you all week, you’ll end up eating fewer sweets overall. Having a few sweets once in a while allows you to satisfy that sugar craving, but also doesn’t increase your calorie intake by a whole lot. On the other hand, completely cutting yourself off from sweets makes you crave them more, especially early on in your new diet, and you’ll be more likely to binge eat when you do end up giving in to the cravings.
So How Do I Make This Tasty?
There are plenty of great ways to eat both healthy and tasty. The main things you’re changing is the quality of the ingredients to your home cooked meals, and maybe cutting back on some of the high carb foods like pasta. You can still have a nice lasagna or some eggplant parmesan, but it’s best to make those kinds of dishes your weekend reward for making it through the work week. You can also experiment more with your cooking since most of the time you’ll be making your own food. There are plenty of recipes and ingredient ideas from the official site of HCG, though here are a few personal recipes and cooking tricks I use to help make eating healthy a little more flavorful.
- When making any kind of ground meat style dish, be it meatballs, meatloaf, or something like a shepherd’s pie, chop up some cucumber, carrots, peppers, or any other kind of vegetable you’d like to use and mix it in with the ground beef before cooking. Not only will this add a great source of vegetables to your meal, but the flavoring of the vegetable will mix in with the ground meat, enhancing the flavor. My favorite vegetables to use here are cucumber, zucchini, and bell peppers.
- If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sugar cravings but don’t want to have any traditional sweets, the natural sugars in fruits mixed with some spices like cinnamon will give your taste buds that sweet sensation they’re dying for. A great way to get that fix is by making a makeshift apple pie. Dice up some apples and mix it in a bowl with cinnamon, a pinch of sugar, some allspice and some applesauce. Next, grind up some nuts (personally I prefer walnuts) into a fine grain and mix it with a touch of honey in a bowl until it becomes like a grainy paste. Line the bottom of a pie tin or pie tray with the crust, give it a minute to settle and then scoop the diced apples on top of it. From there, stick it in the microwave for about 10 seconds and dig in.
Healthy eating and tasty eating don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and with a little experimentation in the kitchen and the right ingredients, you can make some fairly impressive dishes that your guests won’t feel guilty about eating later that evening. The best way to eat healthily isn’t to starve yourself on salads or cut out all things good and yummy, but just to know exactly what you’re putting in your body. As long as you can control what you put in your body, you can make the right choices to eat healthier and know what you should and shouldn’t eat.