Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Does the word “healthy” make you cringe? Put it with “diet” and you might just want to reach for your favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor and forget about it.
I agree. Healthy food has gotten a bad name. All these fad diets have you eating some nasty stuff that turns you off of healthy food.
I’ve discovered a small secret – healthy foods that don’t taste healthy for you. I can have amazing taste (and not lightly flavored cardboard) and still be healthy. It’s pretty cool!
Don’t Give Up Everything
First things first, I’m not saying you can’t still have your cake, pizza, burgers or whatever else you love. However, adding in some healthier options helps you feel better, maintain a healthy weight or lose weight, fill full longer and adopt better overall eating habits.
Personally, I’m pescatarian and partially vegan, though I am considering transitioning fully to vegan. My chosen diet helps me eat healthier naturally, but what helps me stay mainly vegan is how great the food tastes. I’m serious, I get to eat amazing food that fills me up, tastes good and is actually good for me.
Now, you don’t have to be a vegan yourself, but do me favor and swap out at least one junk food snack (I know how great they can taste) for one healthy snack and prepare to have your mind blown!
Before you say they’re too much work, all it takes is a few minutes to create healthy, frozen snacks for the whole family. Get cheap popsicle freezer molds. Mix together natural fruit juice and some sliced fruit and pour it into the molds. You can even add in some dark chocolate (surprise! that’s healthy too!).
A sweet tooth doesn’t mean you can’t still eat healthy. Dark chocolate gives you the sweetness you crave, but it’s filled with antioxidants from the cacao bean. Usually, a 70% dark or higher is best, but the higher the percentage, the more bitter it is.
Okay, so oatmeal on its own might be kind of bland, but the fiber is really good for you. Plus, it’s a blank canvas. Throw in some fruit or dark chocolate. Add in a little flavored yogurt for a creamier taste if you're into that.
I know some people might not like avocados and that’s okay. For me, they’re perfect. They taste great and work as a healthy fat replacement for high sugar and trans-fat foods. Plus, they’re filled with vitamins like B, K and E. Eat them as a side or cook with them. They’re pretty versatile!
I could list all the fruits that are great for you, but that list would go on forever. Fruit tastes sweet and sugary. Not what you’d consider healthy. So, go ahead and add in a few helpings of fruit a day. Pick your favorites or go with what’s in season. Natural sugar is better than processed sugar in my opinion.
All types of beans are pretty healthy for you. Plus, beans and legumes help you feel fuller longer. If the taste is too bland, add a little natural sea salt or mix them into something. You could even make a bean salsa, which is definitely delicious!
Much like oatmeal, plain Greek yogurt doesn’t have much flavor, but you can add in healthy additions, such as fruit, flaxseed (love it!) or honey.
Who said carbs have to go out the window? Not me! Sweet potatoes have much more flavor than regular potatoes and filled with beta-carotene. Besides, the possibilities when cooking with them are endless.
So, you might not agree with this one if you were that kid who always made their veggies disappear without ever eating a bite. For me, vegetables have so much flavor. Leafy greens are rich in nutrients and taste good with a little olive oil, sea salt, or vegan butter. Peppers, spinach, baby greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, berries and some avocado make for a good salad.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed that zucchini would taste better than pasta or cauliflower, but it’s true. Replace your pasta with vegetable pasta. Try cauliflower for your pizza crust or potatoes. It’s a simple replacement that makes a big difference.
Drop The Excuse
I know you’ve heard the excuses for eating healthier like:
- It’s too expensive
- It’s too hard
- It tastes terrible
It’s time to let those go. It’s cheaper than ever. You don’t have to go completely organic. Try whole grain rice and pasta. Buy yogurt over ice cream and add in in-season fruit (cheaper than out of season). Use canned or frozen vegetables over fresh (cheaper and quicker). Replace sugary cereal with oatmeal (flavor how you like). You can even make sweet potato chips and they taste yummmmmmmm!
Experiment with healthy foods and you might find they taste better than you ever thought. Who knows, you might even think it's better than junk food!
Signed – The Unbothered Goddess, a woman who loves to eat good food