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3 Things to Know about Cooking for Better Health (and Deliciousness)

Reconciling our taste buds and our brains can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore. It doesn’t have to be.

Who would ever say they aren’t interested in eating better?  No one, that’s who.

Who only purchases healthier foods every time they eat?  Not everyone, that’s who.

Reconciling our taste buds and our brains can sometimes be a bit of a chore.  It doesn’t have to be.  How do you help end the fight?  Make it so both can win.  Here are three easy things you can do starting today that will help lead to success in the kitchen and with your taste buds.

1.  Buy things you like to eat and then make a plan to pair them with other foods. Let’s be honest.  We all have some gooey, rich dish that we know is not for the nutrients alone.  No need to feel guilty.  Plan for it.  People get tripped up when they try to take on each individual food or dish they eat and look at it without context.  Balance means let’s not eat every high calorie treat in one day. Instead, make each choice special and balance it with other things so your meal or snack overall has a good profile. Like cheese and fruit. Or a cookie after a meal with a salad. See?

2. Stop adding pointless calories, even from healthier options. Is that extra swirl of oil in the dish necessary?  Is your coffee really in need of an additional pack of sugar?  Does that pie really need two crusts?  Do you really want to pile that much food on your plate instead of going back for seconds if you want them?  Habits can be hard to break.  Make mindful choices and you’ll probably save yourself hundreds of calories a week without missing a beat in terms of enjoyment and taste.

3. Master a few herbs and spices.  You don’t need to figure them all out.  Think about your favorite restaurant dishes, things you like the taste of, and ask the waiter (or read the recipe) to see what spices/herbs are making your taste buds happy.  Focus on those and have them on hand.  Flavorful dishes aren’t hard – they just take a little thinking to figure out what tastes best to you and your family/friends.

What decision(s) will you make today that puts you on the path to wellness?

By Kim Kirchherr

I am a dietitian working in food and fiber (agriculture) through retail, addressing opportunities to make things better for people and planet.