Spice Is The Variety Of Life

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Healthy eating

There has for some time been an impression that healthy food is tasteless, boring and even off-putting. We all know that a salad is better for us than a hamburger, but we go for the burger because it has more taste – or so goes the theory, anyway. But there is no reason that this needs to be the case. With the addition of a little spice, any food can become more interesting.

There will always be people keen to point out that, although a grilled chicken breast may contain fewer calories than a family bucket from a fried chicken outlet, it doesn’t taste as good. And while this is a matter of opinion, the fact of the matter is that perceptions matter. If you marinade that chicken breast with herbs and spices, though, the taste can change considerably, and be a lot more fun.

You may get bored with eating tuna salad in your sandwiches, even though tuna is far from tasteless. But if you add a little spice when you make the tuna mix you will find that there are a range of different tastes that add very little if anything in the way of calories. Paprika, pepper, cayenne… the list goes on. The addition of some chopped jalapenos can make it even more interesting, if you have the stomach for them. And these days, the bottles of sauce on the supermarket shelves goes beyond steak sauce and ketchup – additions like piri-piri and teriyaki are a welcome break from the norm.

Does Low Fat Mean Low Fun?

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Healthy eating

Although our attitudes to food and drink have changed subtly over the years, there will always be truisms that hold out against logic, reason and our own benefit. One of these truisms is that if it is good for you, it cannot possibly be fun. Hence we are tempted by the hamburger and fries because it is more “fun” than the healthier options. Of course, it must be – why would we eat the less healthy option if it were not superior in some other way?

In many ways, we stick to the less healthy food because it is what we are used to. Take as an example someone on holiday in a foreign country. There is always a sense that someone who holidays to another country will look for home comforts – in the UK it is a cliché born out of truth that a “Brit abroad” will book into their hotel and unpack then look for the nearest British-style eating and drinking establishments.

If we widen our range, we will usually find that the things we have ignored out of habit are actually quite good. Whether it be a salad with light dressing, or an element of international cuisine, there are some healthy options that have plenty of taste and enough of a “wow” factor to remain part of our diet going forward. Less fat doesn’t mean less fun, unless you have such a low imagination that you can’t bear to be parted from what you are used to.

Can You Be A Healthy Carnivore?

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Healthy eating

There is something strange about the phrase “healthy eating” that allows it to translate between the speaker’s mouth and the listener’s ear into “eating nothing but vegetables ever again”. This encourages people to think that the healthy option is always the vegetarian option, but is not altogether true. Quick question: what’s healthier? A seared tuna steak or a serving of fries? You probably already know the answer, and it’s not the one made from potatoes.

The morals of eating meat are a debate for another forum, and there is certainly an argument to be made for a vegetarian diet for a range of reasons – moral, environmental and health-related. However, if you are not to be convinced that vegetarianism is for you – and many people are not – this certainly does not mean that you need eat less healthily.

A diet that includes a lot of red meat is not a healthy diet, never will be and never can be. But an occasional seared or grilled steak is not going to kill you, particularly if you trim the fat before cooking it. A chicken breast is an even healthier option, and if it is correctly seasoned can provide a great tasting healthy meal that will be interesting enough to keep you coming back to it.

Indeed, you can even find a healthy burger if you know what to look for. Check that the burgers are 100% lean beef, ensure that they are always grilled and don’t top them with enough cheese to keep the mouse population of the world satisfied for the next year, and you can have the occasional burger without feeling guilty.

Get Into That Kitchen

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Healthy eating

There is no doubt that a healthier diet is a lot easier to achieve if you are willing and able to cook for yourself. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, and a lot of people seem to have been born without the gene that makes them comfortable in the kitchen. Having the perseverance to learn, even if it only gets you to a level where you can make simple dishes, will help you eat more healthily.

We’ve all been in a situation where it seems a lot easier to get on the phone and order a takeaway, or go out to a restaurant. And this is not altogether a bad thing. Sometimes it is nice to have food prepared for you. However, always eating pre-prepared food means that your healthy lifestyle is in someone else’s hands, are more often than not forgotten altogether.

If you put your mind to it, it is easy to at least boil an egg. And if you boil a few, then they can be mashed up with light mayo and a little seasoning to make a tasty egg salad, with the addition of a bit of chopped onion, tomato and lettuce. If that doesn’t grab you, then what about some pasta with a grilled chicken breast?

Perhaps both of those ideas sound a little boring and unappealing. It’s about finding something that you can cook that doesn’t involve sticking something in the microwave and waiting for it to go “Ping!”. There are many options out there, and you don’t need to be Gordon Ramsay to cook a meal that you and others will enjoy – it just takes a bit of thought.

How To Eat Healthily Without Getting Bored

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Healthy eating

The persistent allegation about eating healthily is that it means a boring diet filled with tasteless rabbit food, and no fun ever again. This has been the cause of many a broken diet, and will no doubt continue to dissuade people from healthier lifestyles. And the worst thing about it is that it really is not true. Eating healthily and enjoying it depends on looking a little beyond the obvious options.

At your local supermarket, it is not that hard to spot the unhealthy options, as they are usually packaged excitingly, with pictures designed to make you think that the food inside the packet will be delicious and enthralling. Meanwhile, the healthy options are packaged as you would expect them to be – plain packets and a sober typeface on the label.

But eating healthily is not about just picking out the stuff that is labelled in a boring way. It is about considering what makes a food healthy. Being prepared to be a little more ambitious in the kitchen helps. Many of us don’t have much time for cooking, so putting a ready meal in the microwave becomes the easy option. If you cook from natural ingredients you can lose weight and feel better, so making the time to cook is a good idea.

You don’t need to stand over a hot stove for hours in order to make a healthy meal. You can make a good sandwich with wholemeal bread, tuna and some salad which, if seasoned correctly, can taste better than anything you’ll buy at the deli counter. What’s more, it will only take a few minutes to do.

Healthy Eating Is The Key

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Healthy eating

When it comes to losing weight, there are so many options out there that it is easy to become distracted. There are diets that allow you to eat a whole lot of one thing as long as you steer well clear of something else, and there are exercise regimes that don’t involve much actual exercise. There seems to be an industry designed to think up ever more improbable ways of stopping weight gain, but when you come to really consider it, the only sure way to control your weight is to eat healthily.

Every human being has a certain calorific need, and if you exceed that without exercising to burn off the excess calories you will find that you gain weight. There are other considerations too, such as how many calories in a food come from fat, but in the main, it’s about getting the right balance of calories. You have to eat healthily to lose weight healthily and keep it off, and there is no getting around that fact.

Deciding on a diet to follow depends on showing common sense. It would be fantastic if we were able to eat what we wanted, do what we wanted and never gain weight. However, sacrifices are necessary if you want to live a healthy lifestyle and after a while they will become second nature. Eating healthily does not mean eating boring food – but we are conditioned to think that if it is good for you it cannot be fun. Breaking that particular mindset is the first key in a weight loss plan.

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