How to Stay Creative in the Kitchen – Even When Eating Healthy
Many people assume healthy eating is boring eating – that when you’re trying to get fit or slim down, you’re relegated to a life of simple salads, plain produce and yawn-worthy dinners you can’t get excited about.
Sadly, this is a rut many first-timers fall into. And since they end up bored with their food in just a few weeks, they quickly find themselves back to craving the sugary, greasy foods they tried so hard to cut out.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be bland. In fact, it can actually make you more creative in the kitchen – at least in my experience. Are you trying to eat healthier but want to steer clear of that boring-food rut? Here are some tips to help:
- Try at least one new recipe a week – Try a different type of cuisine or protein, make sure it has new flavor combinations you haven’t sampled before, and just get adventurous with it. Who knows, you may find your new favorite dish.
- Make a list of approved ingredients – It’s a lot easier to craft a creative meal if you know what can and cannot go in it. Make an exhaustive list of all the ingredients you can use – fruits and veggies you like, proteins, nuts, herbs, and more, being sure to leave out the crap like sugar, simple carbohydrates, and hormone-laden dairy and cheese. Then, next time you hit the kitchen, you know exactly what you have to work with.
- Know your substitutes – Just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t still have your favorite foods and meals. You just need to be a little more creative with how you make them. Do your research and find healthy alternative ingredients for your favorite recipes. Craving a dish that requires sugar? Sub in organic honey instead. Have a meal that requires a cup of milk? Give almond or coconut milk a spin. Want a big baked potato? Use a sweet potato instead. There are loads of healthy substitutions you can make – you just have to know where to look.
- Change up your proteins – Even if you’re eating salads or healthy veggies plates a lot, there’s still one way you can spice them up and keep them interesting: simply switch up the proteins. Make it a point to swap proteins with each salad you eat. One day, do chicken or turkey breast, and the next try tuna, salmon or even shrimp. You can also add in nuts and seeds for your protein – pumpkin seeds and almonds are my favorite.
- Keep a food journal – Write down everything you eat in a notebook – including things you eat at home, at the office, in restaurants and at other people’s homes. Make sure to take note of any meals you were particularly fond of, and ones you weren’t too keen on. Then next time you’re craving a new home-cooked meal, use those winning meals as a starting point and start building new flavors and dishes your whole family will love.
- Go through and organize your cookbooks – Have a lot of cookbooks or Pinterest recipes? Take time to get these organized and in order. Read the tables of content, flag recipes that pique your interest, and devise a system for organizing and finding those recipes. You want to be able to locate the recipe you need in a minute. (Plus, going through them now will help keep the new recipes fresh in your mind and next time you see a unique ingredient like yucca root in the store, you’ll think “Oh yeah – I have a recipe for that!”)
Are you resolving to eat healthy in 2015? Don’t fall into the rut of boring and bland food. Make it a point to stay creative in the kitchen, and you’ll find healthy eating much easier (and more exciting) because of it.
~ Be Happy, Healthy and Fit in Mind, Body and Spirit ~ Visit DiviniFit.com for daily health, fitness & lifestyle tips ~
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