So many people have this misconception that if a food is healthy, it doesn't taste good. News flash... not true! Food doesn't have to be full of preservatives, fats, and sugars to taste good. It just takes a little practice and experimenting, and there are so many great resources to use to learn how to do so. So I'm going to share a few of my favorites!
1. Using different herbs and spices to season food: It is VERY rare for me to add salt to my food. Ever. This is especially important for people who have high blood pressure... not that I do, but it's still not good to consume too much sodium. Sodium is naturally found in most foods, especially fruits and vegetables (since they grow in soil). This doesn't mean there is a significant amount, but it's there and contributes to daily sodium intake. And you do need sodium for normal body functioning, just not too much! To prevent consuming too much sodium, try seasoning meats, veggies, pasta, potatoes, etc. with herbs and spices you like. Fresh is ALWAYS better, but if it comes from a jar, make sure no sodium is added!!
2. Hummus instead of mayo: My favorite sandwich is a PB&J, but when I do make a sandwich with deli meat, I use hummus instead of mayo. Less fattening and more protein! And it taste delicious too!
3. Use Greek yogurt instead of cream: Greek yogurt (plain) has so many great uses. It can be used in soups, salads, dips, entrees, toppings, smoothies.... you just have to think outside the box a little. It's low/non-fat and gives your food an extra boost of protein! My 3 favorite uses are in 1) in smoothies 2) as a replacement for sour cream and 3) as a veggie dip (just mix with ranch powder and use as a dip for parties or an afternoon snack!)
4. Low/Non-fat instead of full fat: This comes into place primarily with dairy products. Swapping low-fat or skim milk for 2% or whole milk can help reduce the risk of heart problems (and aid in weight loss!) The same applies to cheese, yogurt, coffee creamer, etc. I recently discovered FairLife milk. It is ultra pasteurized, so it has fewer carbs, more protein, and more calcium than regular milk. And it taste really good too! I also tried a new yogurt called Sigi's. It's Icelandic yogurt and has a similar texture to Greek yogurt, but a little creamier. Definitely worth trying! However, it's difficult to find, but I got it at Whole Foods.
5. Oil based dressings instead of cream based dressings: Salads are great, but sometimes they can have more calories than a BigMac if you aren't careful. Most of the calories from a salad come from extra toppings like bacon, cheese, and croutons, but the biggest culprit to extra calories and fat is the dressing! My recommendation is choosing an oil based dressing like a balsamic vinaigrette over a creamy dressing like ranch, blue cheese, or French. Even just olive oil with vinegar is a great alternative when eating out and options are limited!
Making small changes/swaps like these can help improve your eating habits and make for a healthier lifestyle. Remember, that you can't make a lot of changes at once. It takes time and small steps. Once you make small changes that will help you reach your goals, they will eventually become a habit!