We all want to follow a healthy diet. All the data is there: diets help feel better, look better, live longer. So why do so many people fall short? One major reason is that they may have a perception of healthy meal plans as a lifetime prescription for bland and unappetizing foods. Some may have tried "health foods" of the rabbit food variety and understandably, couldn't bear it any longer. So what are you to do if you are one of these people? Do you have to resign yourself to the fact that you will have to choose between food that tastes good and food that is good for you? Absolutely not! The simple ideas below will get you started down the path of tasty and healthy eating.◦
Strive for Variety
One key aspect of healthy meal plans is that you are able to get all the nutrients and vitamins that you require for your body to function optimally. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that you are consuming a variety of foods at every meal. You will want to compose a plate that includes fruits, protein, dairy, vegetables, grains, and a tiny bit of fat. This variety will not only provide the desired fuel for your body, but you will also be able to create meals that taste unique. Just because you ditch the large slab of steak doesn't mean you have to replace it with a huge bowl of steamed cauliflower. When you focus on variety for each meal, you will get the added benefit of discovering new taste combinations.
A Rainbow at Every Meal
As you start to introduce variety into your daily meals, you will notice something curious—an aesthetically pleasing meal. When you sit down to eat, the plate before you just looks nicer. This is another benefit of eating a variety of foods. And now that you've noticed it, you can make the conscious decision to create colorful dishes and meals. The next time you go to the grocery store, take a moment to look around the produce section. You'll see reds, yellows, whites, oranges, the expected greens, and the unexpected purples. And even though they are not as vivid as the shades of fruits and vegetables, grains come in a range of colors - whole grain pasta, wild rice, wheat cereal. Experiment with all these different colors, and make a meal that is as beautiful as it is healthy.
Healthy eating is mainly about being more conscious about what you need. You need to pay attention to your meals to make sure that you are eating a variety of foods. However, this attention is not just about policing your food intake, it’s also about learning (or more accurately, re-learning) to fully experience your food. Eating doesn't have to just include taste. A plate that includes a variety of smells, sights, and textures can amplify the enjoyment of the healthy meal experience. And anything that is enjoyable is something you'll want to keep doing for the rest of your life.
----Submitted by Sean