How To Stop Healthy Food From Being Boring

I get this question a lot: “Don’t you get bored just eating fruits and vegetables?”. Well, there are a few points to my answer:

1. I don’t just eat fruits and vegetables, although they are certainly make up the vast majority of my diet

2. Absolutely not! Do you know how many varieties and types of fresh produce and plant foods are out there? This is a diet of abundance my friends, not restriction or limitation!

3. If you know how to shake things up and get inspired in the kitchen (and this doesn’t mean spending a long time or a lot of money by the way!), then you can always have fun, different and exciting meals to enjoy that do not bore you in the slightest!

I want to share some of my favourite ways to keep your meals feeling (and tasting!) fresh, new and fun to ensure you don’t fall into a “just another salad!” rut.

1. Change the way you cut

Do you find that every salad you make and every baked sweet potato you cook finds you standing at your chopping board cutting your veggies into the same shapes and sizes and then throwing them together in the same way? It is very easy to do this as it’s just what we know! Here’s a great tip to make your salads, dipping veggies, and cooked veg way more exciting: shake up the way you cut! If you always chop your veg into small cubes, try sticks, grating and shaving, or food process your veggies into a grain-like texture. Spiralize your zucchini, carrot, beetroot or sweet potato into “pasta” and either eat with a fresh veggie sauce or dip or toss into a salad with your other veg. Think of all the different salads out there: baby greens, coleslaw, potato salad, salsa, creamy salads, chopped, and then re-create some of these textures and styles with your extra healthy salad. You can even get more inventive by adding cooked vegetables into your raw veggie salads and chopping each and every ingredient into different shapes and textures. Just take a look at some of the ways I put my salads together!

Even when it comes to cooked vegetables, I love mixing up the way I cut my veggies to create a different experience. For example, sweet potato I cut into fries, wedges, rounds or bake whole. I also eat in raw in rounds, spiralize it, grate it into salads and put it through the food processor for a grainy texture. Getting the picture?

2. Dressings, sauces and dips

This has to be one of my favourite ways to keep things interesting and absolutely mouth watering! Add a fresh tasting dip, sauce or dressing to a vegetable based meal and you can transform the meal completely! In fact, I would say that mastering a variety of dressings, sauces and dips is one of the best ways to stay on path with a healthy lifestyle. They can be poured over salads, smothered over piping hot cooked veggies, eaten on their own as a snack or a soup, enjoyed with crudites and whole grain crackers, add bulk to any veggie meal, and make the same salad base taste completely different every time. I also love dressings, sauces and dips as they keep your meals extra tasty and satisfying when you are visiting friends or family. If you can take a couple of delicious dips and dressings with you for your healthy fare, you are much less likely to feel deprived while others stuff down roast pork and cream cake. In fact, I recommend you take plenty of extra as I find that everyone wants to eat my dips, dressings and sauces much more than their own unhealthy options!

3. Try new foods and mix up your ingredients

One of the best ways to add variety and interest to your meals is to experiment with ingredients you haven’t used before. I find this particularly fun with fresh produce. There are so many varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables out there, it just depends on what you have available in your area. Try going to different markets, grocery stores, gourmet stores and ethnic markets to find produce that you haven’t created or cooked with before. Asian markets are particularly abundant with exotic fruits and vegetables and you could try a new ingredient every week for months. Do an online search of the fruit or vegetable to find out how you might work with it, or just have a stab in the dark as to how to use it. When ingredients are fresh and used in simple dishes, it becomes hard to completely mess them up!

This tip doesn’t just apply to produce, although that is my favourite way to apply it. You can also try new dried spices, dried herbs, cold pressed oils, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or raw foods such as superfoods and powders. Keep your eyes open to see what is around and allow your senses and creativity to guide your purchases. Even if you are on a tight budget, you could likely afford to try one new ingredient per week, although I do recommend avoiding raw food specialty items and superfoods ans sticking more to fresh produce, nuts, seeds, grains and dried herbs and spices to experiment with if this is the case.

4. Eat seasonally

Not only is eating seasonally better for your health and the planet, but it also means that for the four seasons of the year, you are exposed to and using very different ingredients. This really helps to keep things interesting and gives you months to work with particular foods and flavours, and then look forward to a total makeover for your taste buds in the coming season. You can easily find out what’s in season in your area with a quick search online or by asking local farmers or at fresh produce markets. This is also a great way to keep costs down as seasonal local foods typically don’t have the extra costs involved in importing and unsustainable farming practices.

5. Herbs and spice and all things nice!

Adding a different fresh herb or spice to an old recipe can completely change a meal, as does just adding fresh herbs in the first place. A basic mixed greens salad or chopped salad will taste entirely different and far more exotic with some fresh basil, mint, coriander, dill, parsley and so on. Don’t be scared to try a new herb. The same goes for new spices. Spice blends in particular can be an easy and great new addition to your culinary repertoire. Don’t be afraid of using spices that you might associate with dessert such as cinnamon in your salads also. A pinch or a hint of something unexpected can really change a dish.

6. Borrow or buy a new recipe book

There are so many wonderful books out there with fabulous recipes that you can draw inspiration from. They don’t just have to be raw food recipe books either, although they are very helpful and inspirational. You can also pick up your old tattered cookbooks from the days of traditional home cooking and get plenty of new ideas for how to combine ingredients or spruce up your current recipes.

7. Host a do-it-together dinner party or a pot luck

Get a bunch of friends, family or colleagues over to create some delicious meals together.You could ask everyone to bring a healthy and/or raw ingredient they want to work with, or a recipe they want to re-create as healthy as possible. Putting your minds together will serve to bring that much more creativity and ingenuity to the table (pun intended!). Alternatively, you could organise a pot luck and have everyone bring a healthy raw food dish so that you can sample some different recipes and get new ideas from their creations.

8. Keep it simple

If you always create salads and meals with the same 20 ingredients, you are likely going to come bored of these same combination day after day. However, if you focus on fresh, simple meals of a smaller number of ingredients, such as a basil, spinach, cherry tomato and avocado salad with a delicious lemon juice and mustard seed dressing, you will then have 16 other ingredients you typically use to create into meals the following days. Limiting your ingredients in a meal means that over a period of days, even using the same ingredients you always have, you are less likely to become bored with the same flavours.

9. Visit local farms, healthy cafes and restaurants, or got to a pot-luck for new ideas

Take a trip to local farms selling fresh produce and products, or go for lunch or dinner at a cafe or restaurant serving fresh, healthy food. There’s nothing like scanning a menu of mouth watering new options, and enjoying the creativity of a professional chef to get you thinking about what you would like to create for yourself at home. You can re-create meals exactly or pull the idea of specific ingredients or combination of flavours out from your meal and use them in your own kitchen. Likewise with pot lucks. Although the people bringing the food may not be chefs, they will still have fresh ideas you can incorporate. Most pot lucks will willingly share recipes also.

10. Grow your own produce

There’s nothing like the labour of love involved in growing your own produce to keep you interested in and appreciating your fresh meals. Not only does food you grow yourself seem more tasty and fun to eat because you planted it yourself and watched it grow, but it also gives you a potentially endless variety of fresh plants to flavour and mix up your meals.

11. Give yourself the challenge of creating a fancy and delicious mostly raw food meal for family or friends

If you have to please a number of different palettes, probably many of which do not eat a largely raw or all-raw (or even healthy) diet like you, with healthy foods, you will really have to think outside the box and be creative. This is where gourmet raw foods or simple but high flavour nourishing cooked foods can play a great role in both pleasing others and giving you a healthy dose of new ideas and inspiration. You can use simplified versions of the recipes you create for yourself with small variations to satisfy your own palette for weeks after.

12. Challenge yourself

Promise yourself that for one day you are not going to use any of the same ingredients as you used the day before. This will get you thinking and getting creative!

13. Jump online!

The internet has a wealth of websites, blogs and other resources to give you new inspiration, recipes and ideas to make the most of. There are people posting their recipes for free in every kind of raw food category you can imagine.

How to Go About Having Healthy Food at Work

Eating out at work or having office food adds unnecessary calories and makes you lethargic. Food at hotels and restaurants seems tasty, but is loaded with extra fats. Thus extra calories get added to your waistline. This should serve as a warning signal as most health problems are related to obesity.

To avoid these problems you need to adopt healthy cooking methods. Try to get healthy and nutritious food at work. This will not only keep you healthy and fit, but will also be more cost effective. You can save on all the restaurant bills and snacks by getting yourself a healthy cooked meal from home.

You can take salads, veggies and fruits to work. All these are highly nutritious and healthy. Try to avoid heavy snacks such as donuts, cookies, chocolates or chips. Instead opt for crackers, cereals, bagels and dried fruits or yogurt.

Don’t keep having cups of tea or coffee to be attentive; these have high sugar content. Instead, opt for fresh fruit juices. These are not only invigorating, but also healthy and provide essential vitamins.

Taking food to work need not take time and much effort on your part. You can take foods that don’t take much time for preparation. You can take the leftovers from the previous day to work. This saves time and requires no extra effort. Another thing could be to opt for tinned products. These are quick and healthy options. Salads don’t need much preparation time either. Fruits are a readily available source ready at your disposal.

Also, while preparing a meal you can opt for healthy cooking methods such as grilling or toasting your food with less oil or butter. This works well in comparison to fried foods. Also minimize high calorie foods such as cheese and potatoes.

So, opting for healthy food at work need not be a tedious job. By adopting simple measures you can keep fit and also enjoy a tasty meal. You just need to inculcate the habit of healthy cooking and cut down on junk food, fried food and outside meals.

Simply by following these tips at work you can achieve better health.

Healthy Eating Tips for Kids

Kids can be very picky eaters and sometimes it seems like it is just impossible to please your children with healthy foods. We all know that kids in some cases pick up poor eating habits when they are young and may maintain them even up to adulthood. However, the best healthy eating tips for kids are those that give your children a balanced diet while at the same time ensuring that your children enjoy their meals. Once we understand how to get our kids eating healthy, then it will be easy to show them how to achieve that.

One of the simplest healthy eating tips for kids is to get your whole family to help. That way, the children are also involved in the preparation of the food and sit together to feed. You can have a sitting with your children and suggest the kinds of foods you would like them to include in their diet. The kids should be allowed to make suggestions for foods they would want to act as substitutes. This is as long as they are in the same food groups as yours.

This brings about the feeling that they are eating their preferred meals and the food choices will further seem more appealing to them if they helped to prepare. Sitting at the table with other kids will help them emulate the good feeding habits. At this point you can guide them on the food choices as opposed to dictating to them. Having a nice and easy conversation will make meal times fun and not a time for fighting.

Other healthy eating tips for kids include; Use fresh fruits and vegetables and use whole grains and foods. If possible, try and ensure that all your ingredients are organic. Gradually minimize on all food sources of saturated fats in order to prevent obesity and other weight problems.

Taking water is very crucial. teach them a culture of drinking enough water to help eliminate constipation and help in food digestion. Water should never be substituted with sodas and other non-organic drinks.

Do not over-snack. Snacking can make the children to feel full and become poor feeders. Snacks do not have to be the unhealthy salt and sugar ridden candy and crisps. You can make a nice sandwich for them among hundreds of other healthy options. Stay completely clear of refined or processed foods.

Kids should not be let to eat while watching the TV because this way, you are unable to know whether your stomach is full or not. This is because you are concentrating on the TV and you might end up over eating.

Healthy eating tips for kids need to include; Getting kids eating slowly. When a child is eating at a slower pace, they are able to tell when they are getting fuller and therefore no over eating.

Basically kids will eat healthy when guided properly and provided with interesting meals. Ensure that you do not bore them with one type of food. Keep it interesting by changing the food daily.

7 Ideas for Feeling Great

Most of us lead really busy lives and in the business it is easy to forget the importance of living a healthy life so that we settle for what’s convenient rather than what is good for us. However, it is worth making healthy eating a priority because the benefits are enormous.

Here are seven healthy eating tips that you can use to improve your health and happiness and enjoy life more:

1. Eat Plenty of fresh food

Take a look at the proportion of fresh food that you eat. It should comprise at least half of your total diet. Processed and refined foods are usually high in sugar, salt, preservatives, chemicals, additives, saturated fat and trans fats. These are just not good for you, whereas fresh food contains the nutrients that you need. If your consumption of fresh food is less that half your total diet then it is a good healthy eating idea to increase your daily intake of fresh food until it is at least half of your diet.

2. Eat Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Raw fruits and vegetables should comprise some of the fresh food that you eat. It is a great idea to eat some with each meal. You will feel so much better if you do. Here’s some healthy eating ideas for increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet:

Snack on fruits and nuts;
If you make soup throw some raw chopped vegetables in at the last minute;
Make fruit smoothies;
Eat salads and sprouted seeds with your meals.
Use herbs and spices as they have health benefits and add taste and variety to food.
Try to eat at least five portions of vegetables each day. They are important sources of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, which are antioxidants and benefit health and the immune system. They reduce the risk of all kinds of illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

3. Eat more Fibre

Eating plenty of fibre ensures a healthy digestive system and helps to maintain blood sugar balance. Fibre is the indigestible portion of grain, fruit and vegetables. It is the pulp of fruits, the cell walls of vegetables and the bran of the grain. These foods help to improve the digestive system, help to grow healthy bacteria in the gut and help to prevent disease by aiding the elimination of waste products and toxins.

4. Cut Down on Sugar

Most people consume too much sugar. It is added to many foods such as breakfast cereals and soda and we add it more of it to tea and coffee. It contains just empty calories and goes straight into the blood stream causing swings in blood sugar and energy levels. Artificial sweeteners are thought to be carcinogenic so the best alternatives are fresh fruits and fruit juice. Try to wean yourself off having sugar in drinks, For example, if you like to have two spoons of sugar in your coffee reduce it to one and a half then when you’ve got used to that reduce it again to one spoon and then again until you find that half a spoon in your drinks is sufficient.

5. Cut Down on Salt

Having too much salt in your diet can upset the balance of sodium and potassium in your body, which can trigger high blood pressure and heart disease. It can also be a cause of fluid retention and kidney stones. Avoid foods that are high in salt such as potato chips and meats which have been cured or smoked. Salt is also hidden in many other foods such as sauces and processed food. Try experimenting with herbs and spices in cooking rather than adding salt to give flavor. If you do need to use some salt then use sea salt.

6. Have variety

Often we eat the same foods every day out of routine. For example, we have the same breakfast cereal, eat the same sandwiches for lunch or eat the same fast food each day out of convenience. When you eat the same food all the time it is possible to develop food sensitivities. It is a good healthy eating tip to leave at least a three-day gap before having the same food again. For example, use several breakfast cereals and leave a three-day gap before eating the same one again.

7. Affirm that You Like Healthy Eating

The way to healthy eating and leading a healthy life is to thinking positively. Many of us just don’t understand how important it is to have a positive mindset. Consequently, many people often allow negative thoughts to dominate their minds and their bodies. One of the most important factors for being happy and healthy is having a good attitude.

An easy way to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts is to use affirmations every day. Positive affirmations are simply statements that you can make out loud or under your breath to replace the negative thoughts you have about anything, including food. Many people find it useful to say affirmations as they go about their daily life and they find that, as a result, their thoughts become more positive.

A good affirmation would encourage you to adopt healthy eating habits and remind you how important it is to take care of yourself. Examples could be:

“I enjoy healthy eating.”
“I exercise every day”
“I enjoy healthy living.”
Making affirmations is an easy way of reminding yourself that you are important, your body is important and your health is important.

Conclusion

If you follow the six tips above you will definitely be eating much more healthily and create a firm foundation for healthy eating. If you also adopt the seventh tip and start to make positive affirmations then you will program your sub-conscious and develop the will-power to continue a life-time habit of healthy eating and excellent health.