When we hear the word “diet”, we tend to tremble a little bit. Suddenly, images of forbidden foods swim before our eyes, taunting us. Potato chips, pizza, chinese food, candy, ice cream. Let’s face it, we all know the odds are stacked against us.
Fatty, unhealthy foods just taste too good, and their hold on us is overpowering. The trick to defeating these cravings that break our diet is to improvise; that is, add a few items to our diet that we weren’t aware could taste good AND be good for us as well.
But keep in mind, there is no magical candy bar that can satisfy our chocolate cravings and melt the pounds away. Determination to stick to your diet is still key. You must still have the strength to hold up your hand and snub the McDonald’s Cheeseburger that calls to you every time you pass by. But now, we’ve got a bit more ammunition on our side.
The problem most people find with dieting is the repetitive blandness inherent in certain foods. Invest in a few spices. Used in simple moderation, you could prepare chicken cutlets each night of the week and have it taste different every time. Grilled with Cajun Seasoning one night, sauteed with oregano and rosemary another, marinated in citrus a third night, etc. Spices can open up doors of flavor on foods that you never thought to walk through before. Recipes are plentiful, simple search the internet and a wealth of simple yet diet-effective recipe ideas are revealed.
Flaxseed is inexpensive and extremely healthy. It’s tasteful versatility allows it to be used in various dishes, with its strong antioxidants providing cancer-fighting benefits. Add a tablespoon of flaxseed to your salad, add some to a homemade wrap, look for recipes using flaxseed in muffins and bread, and add a spoonful to your cereal. But make sure to use real flaxseed, supplements are not as helpful, and you should always pay close attention to the labels on flaxseed products; for example, pregnant women should not consume large amounts of flax.
Speaking of salad, its easy to understand why most people turn up their nose at the leafy concoction. But a little creativity can change your whole perspective. Instead of lettuce leaves, try using spinach. Tastier and healthier, its a welcome change. And again, search for recipes. You can add some of that leftover grilled chicken to your salad, or throw on some Parmesan cheese, or add a few ingredients not previously thought of. Cocktail shrimp, avocado, mango. A simple walk through the produce aisle can yield dozens of variations.
For a treat, get yourself a bar of dark chocolate. I’m not suggesting gorging yourself on the entire bar, as that kind of defeats the purpose of a diet. But taken in small moderation each day, dark chocolate can satisfy that craving of forbidden indulgence while at the same time providing a few healthy benefits. Dark chocolate has been found to help lower blood pressure and fight heart disease. And who said that everything that tastes so good must be so bad?
Garlic has long been known to be healthy as well as flavorful. Don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage to flavor meats, fish, soups, and other dishes. Purchase some roasted garlic or make your own and add it to salads.
So you see, a diet doesn’t have to be so scary. It’s all about the approach. Look to a diet to enhance your kitchen creativity and try to find healthy food combinations to combat the boredom of eating what were once bland, unappealing foods, but are now culinary, dietary masterpieces challenging your taste buds.