I recently worked a local Health Fair and received several great questions from the participants. The most common question was "How do I eat better, but still enjoy the foods I love?" This question really stuck out to me so I wanted to share my answer. And trust me, you will be very happy to learn that your CAN eat better and STILL enjoy the foods you LOVE!
This week's Nutrition Tip: How to Eat Better and Still Enjoy the Foods you Love
The biggest misconception when it comes to eating healthier is that food that is "good" for you tastes bad... and food that is "bad" for you, tastes good! Well, I am here to bust that myth and show you that you can easily make healthy "good-for-you" food that ACTUALLY tastes good and that you don't have to give up your favorite "bad-for-you" foods in order to eat a healthy diet. My approach to healthier eating actually ADDS more food to your diet while still including the foods you love. It all comes down to eating the proper portion size of your favorite foods and filling up the rest of your plate with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables!
That's right! I am all about adding MORE of the "good-for-you" stuff to your plate and still enjoying your favorite foods!
Here are my top tips for eating better while still enjoying the foods you love!
1) Swap out half (or all) of the serving of the carb-heavy grains with vegetables! This one might be my all-time favorite swap! Have you heard of Zoodles (spiralized zucchini), Coodles (spiralized cucumber or carrots), and Swoodles (spiralized sweet potato)? There are several other vegetables that can be spiralized into noodles without out the calories and carbohydrate-load of your beloved spaghetti. Sprialized vegetable noodles are incredibly easy to prepare (with the help of the spiralizer) and easy to substitute in your favorite pasta dishes! Even better, use a spaghetti squash or eggplant as the bowl for your favorite pasta dish and skip the pasta altogether! Trust me, you won't miss your old friend (pasta) and you will fill up on the nutrient-dense veggies with the higher fiber and water content!
2) Replace some (or all) of the cheese with extra veggies and spices! When you add more spices and extra veggies to your favorite casserole dishes, you fill up on flavor and fiber and won't miss the cheese! My all-time favorite comfort meal is Chicken Enchiladas, but I often feel less than comfortable when I eat too much cheese. I recently decided to take my mom's famous recipe and add more veggies and less cheese .... and it was a HUGE hit! Thanks to the extra zucchini, chili powder, and ground cumin, my dad did not even notice that I actually didn't use any cheese inside the enchiladas and my husband happily went back for seconds! You can easily make this swap with your favorite quiche, crockpot, or casserole recipes, like my favorite Chicken Enchiladas (pictured below).
3) Replace the flour with grain-free flour in your favorite recipes, from muffins to pizza and dessert! will be the first to say that there is ALWAYS room for muffins, pizza, and cupcakes in a healthy, balanced diet! It all depends on what ingredients are used when making these so-called "bad" foods! I like to use a grain-free flour (like coconut or almond flour) when baking my favorite muffins, cookies, and cupcakes and when making homemade pizza! Coconut flour is lower in calories and carbohydrates, but higher in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber and makes for a healthier alternative than regular flour. The best part, coconut flour actually taste better in most baked goods and that means you can eat more of your favorite treats without the guilt (or bloat)!
Try replacing plain old flour with coconut flour in your favorite recipes, such as my Vanilla Coconut Cupcakes and Homemade Pizza Crust (pictured below).
So there you have it, three simple ways to add more to your diet to eat better and still enjoy the foods you love! When you use healthy, wholesome ingredients your favorite foods (such as pasta, pizza, and cupcakes) will never be "bad" for you!
Eating healthier is all about adding MORE nutrients to your diet and removing the guilt that typically comes with enjoying your favorite foods!