3 Things Everyone Should Know for Healthier Eating

I originally wrote this for IGA and you can read it here: http://igabetterchoices.com/general/three-things-everyone-should-know-for-healthier-eating/

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? Very few people, that’s who.

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

1. It all starts in the kitchen. Once you buy things you like to eat, you need to turn the ingredients into a meal. Figure out how to pair them with other foods. Let’s be honest. We all have some gooey, rich dish that we know is not really that spectacular of a choice in terms of nutrition or calories. Reconfigure your thinking. Instead of guilting yourself about it, own it, be real about it, and most importantly, plan the rest of your meal/day/week to incorporate it. People get tripped up when they try to take on each individual food or dish they eat. Put things in context and lay out a week’s plan so you have your nutrient needs covered and your favorite dishes accommodated.

2. Stop adding pointless calories to your dishes. Don’t just do what you’ve always done. 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 for the meal? Or would it be better instead to eat a bit, see how you feel, and then go back for seconds? 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. Really, you don’t need to figure them all out. Chances are you have a few you like. Next time you find a flavor you like while dining out, ask your server about the flavors in the recipe, so you can find out what spices/herbs are making your tastebuds happy. Focus on those first and be sure to 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.

Pretty simple, right? And yet, small steps like these can make all the difference!