A common goal for most people is to start “eating healthy”. That’s easier said than done for those of us who don’t enjoy the usual healthy foods or are simply picky eaters. Whether you have the palate of a toddler or are bored to tears by healthy food, a few simple tricks can help you start eating better.
Healthy food doesn’t have to make you feel deprived, and it can be really inexpensive as well as easy to prepare. To make eating healthy a lasting habit, start with small, simple changes and try new ways of thinking about eating. Here are a few tips.
Mix What You Like With New Healthy Foods
Photo by Matt Scott
- Kale is a powerful superfood; make it palatable by pairing it with bacon or other salted meats.
- Okay, everything’s better with bacon. Moderate amounts of cheese can also transform a dish.
- One study recently showed that topping a burger with an avocado can decrease the inflammatory effects of the red meat.
- Combining broccoli with mustard not only makes the vegetable taste better, it can boost its nutritional value.
- Spreading out vegetables in a dish of pasta or grains can make the taste less offensive. Also, instead of going with the typical tomato sauce, try a pesto or other healthy sauce.
- As discussed when we wrote about eating healthily even if you hate cooking, a smoothie can not only be quick but also nutritionally complete. You might not even taste the spinach when combined with fruits and other ingredients.
- Some people don’t like healthy foods because they seem bland. To solve that problem, first buy better-quality foods (the fresher the better). Then go ahead and spice up that dish with your favourite flavours. Besides salt and pepper, consider other meal enhancers such as chilli sauce, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, salsa, teriyaki sauce, peanut butter or garlic. Appreciating food like a food snob by fully breathing in the dish could also help you taste its nuances.
Try Different Food Preparations
Photo by James Jordan
- Roasted cauliflower or broccoli (instead of steamed/boiled) is a revelation. Seriously, try it if you haven’t yet.
- Instead of canned vegetables (mushy asparagus, yuck), try fresh or frozen.
- You might not like certain types of seafood (the oiliness of salmon, for example, or the brininess of oysters), but there are many others you can try, such as the more mild white fishes.
- Kale chips are surprisingly similar-tasting to other, less nutritious chips. (Even my daughter, who lives on chicken nuggets, eats them.)
- Some people swear a juicer has transformed their relationship with vegetables, including ones they’ve previously hated. You can make fresh juice with a food processor too.
- If vegetables taste too intense to you, try the baby versions (such as baby carrots.
Eat More of the Healthy Foods You Do Like
The KitchnPhoto by epSos.dethe Meatless Monday website
As with forming all kinds of good habits, you’re more likely to stay successful in your new healthy eating mindset if you start out gradually or commit to a short time first.
Maybe just upgrading your packed lunch will seep into the other meals and snacks of the day. If your mouth catches fire as soon as a hot Thai dish arrives at the table, you can build up your spice tolerance to gradually solve that problem. Treating healthy foods like samples is another strategy to enjoy more foods and continue enjoying them.[clear]
Make the Meal Experience More Enjoyable
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Finally, keep trying without being too hard on yourself, whether you’ve got a limited palate or the only thing that looks good to you is steak and potatoes. Ditching a dysfunctional diet for a healthier one takes work, but it’s well worth it.
This article has been updated since its original publication.