If you’ve decided to commit to healthy living, you likely understand the sacrifices it will take. You will begin to notice words like deep-fried, gravy, and extra-cheese slowly becoming removed from your day to day life. While your heart will thank you, your taste buds may eventually riot. Because if you’re getting stuck in the rut of eating the same bland food all the time, a boring routine can cause you to cheat on your diet. And as many people who struggle with weight loss know, cheating can be a slippery slope to falling off the diet completely.
Don’t allow yourself to become discouraged, in fact, hope is out there! The key to staying disciplined with your diet is variety and flavor. Consider these ideas for spicing up your life, and spicing up your diet.
It’s a known fact, if you eat tacos on a Tuesday, they just taste better. Tacos are also a great way get your vegetables. Load up on tomatoes, lettuce, grilled peppers and be sure to go with black beans instead of refried. Keep in mind, soft corn tortillas contain less fat than hard shell tacos. Finally, throw on some salsa, or better yet, guacamole, since avocados are loaded with important nutrients, and to really spice things up, enjoy dinner with a low calorie margarita.
Cook with Tea
The Chinese have been cooking with tea for hundreds of years. It’s time the rest of the world caught on as well. Using tea is a great way to add to flavor without having to resort to extra sugar or fat. You can substitute tea for water in many dishes including stir fry, or with poached salmon.
Cooking with tea is not only a boost to flavor, but it will contribute to your health as well. Organically grown tea will maximize those benefits. Dandelion root tea is an herbal tea known for its richness in vitamins and antioxidants, and also its ability to help with digestion. It can be used as a rub or marinade, a healthy way to dress up your meats.
Drink your Veggies
When it comes to food, green is good. We know the many benefits of spinach, kale, cucumbers, and collard greens, but trying to eat greens on a daily basis isn’t exactly a mouth-watering proposition. However a green smoothie is a fun, delicious way to incorporate greens into your daily routine. You can mix them with tasty fruits such as apples, pears, mangos and bananas which will help your greens go down much easier. Green smoothies are easy to digest, and because they contain a lot of water, they fill you up as well.
Not all cheese is bad for you, and there are many ways you can enjoy life, and enjoy cheese at the same time:
- Feta: A one ounce serving of feta has 4 grams of protein and only 74 calories. Feta is perfect with salads, sweet potatoes, fruits, and even soups. Feta is a strong tasting cheese so a little bit goes a long way.
- Swiss: Because it’s a hard cheese, swiss is richer in phosphorus than most cheeses, and it also contains a good dose of calcium and protein. It’s the perfect complement to a sandwich, or an omelet, or to snack on with crackers.
- String Cheese: It’s not just for 5 year olds anymore, string cheese is an excellent quick and easy on the run snack item. A part-skim mozzarella serving contains 7 grams of protein. It’s hardly even a processed cheese, the “stringiness” is actually how mozzarella naturally behaves, so peel away and get in touch with your inner child again.
- Parmesan: Parmesan cheese is another good one to use in moderation. A one ounce serving has only 110 calories, but contains 450 milligrams of sodium. Parmesan shavings go best with pasta, pizza, or on a fruit plate. Look for Parmesan that has been aged at least 16 months, and be hesitant using cheese that looks too pale.
Delivery may be the easy way, but making your own pizza at home is how to enjoy it the healthy way. First think about the crust you want. You can try making your own whole wheat based dough for extra fiber and protein, or experiment with something more adventurous like a cauliflower based pizza.
Try making the veggies on the grill to incorporate a smoky flavor. For extra protein go with the leaner chicken sausage instead of pork sausage, or you can try using tofu instead.
Dessert pizzas make the perfect healthy evening treat. Grilled peaches taste great with caramelized onions and fresh basil. Or try one with ricotta cheese, figs and some arugula. Pizza is the perfect food to share so invite your friends over and make a night of it.
In order to stay on track your diet you’re going to need to instill some excitement into it as well. Socializing with your friends, making meals for others, and keeping loved ones aware of your goals are good ways to seek their support. You don’t have to condemn yourself to a life without flavor just because you want to eat better. These tips are just the beginning, experiment on your own and try something new and exciting today.