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Healthy eating can sometimes get a bad rap. It is often associated with spending hours in the kitchen or desperately trying to track down exotic superfoods that aren’t widely available in the average grocery store. If you struggle to get excited about planning a nutritious menu, or you’ve run out of ideas for healthy meals, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll share some simple tips to take more joy from healthy eating. 

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/food-inside-bowl-1854037/

Create healthy versions of the dishes you love

Many of us like to indulge on the weekends or treat ourselves to a feast that might not check all of the nutrition boxes to celebrate special occasions. If you’re a fan of fast food, or you have a weakness for foods you don’t usually find in healthy eating plans, you don’t have to give up the dishes you love. Look for ways to create healthier, more nutritious versions. You can do this by adjusting the ingredients you use, adding more vegetables or fruit, embracing whole grains or changing the cooking method. Take a classic burger and fries, for example. Instead of frying a beef patty in oil, putting it in a white bun and serving it with fries you’ve prepared in a deep-fat fryer, swap beef for lean turkey mince, replace the white bun with wholemeal or granary bread and add plenty of fresh lettuce and tomatoes. Bake sweet potato wedges in the oven or serve with a vibrant salad. Whatever your go-to treat, you’ll find a recipe for a healthier option online. 

Take inspiration from your travels

Many of us rave about vacations we’ve enjoyed in the past because of the cuisine. There’s something magical about dressing up for dinner, exploring traditional eateries and sampling new foods after a day at the beach or an excursion in the mountains, forests or valleys. Travel introduces us to unique experiences, new flavors and ingredients and different traditions and cultures. If you love to travel, or you’ve been to a place that has left you dreaming of eating certain dishes or foods, take inspiration for your menu. From an easy recipe for Greek salad and a hearty, fresh Italian pasta dish to an aromatic Indian curry or a classic British roast dinner, you can search online to find recipes to try at home. Read blogs, follow social media accounts and get ideas from online magazines and recipe apps. 

Vary your menu

One of the most common reasons people get bored with healthy eating plans is a lack of variety. If you eat the same meals over and over again, you get stuck in a rut and you start craving other flavors. Try to vary your menu and enjoy a wide range of ingredients. Experiment with new recipes and spice up dishes you cook regularly to create different versions. Add different types of meat or fish to salads, stews or rice dishes, explore different herbs and spices when you’re cooking pasta sauces, curries or homemade soups, or serve classics with a new side dish. If you always go for a salad, for example, why not create vegetable kebabs? If you tend to go for potatoes, opt for a zingy brown rice salad instead. 

Picture from https://www.pexels.com/photo/squid-soup-on-red-ceramic-bowl-1618925/

Do you struggle to maintain motivation when you’re following a healthy eating plan? If so, you’re not alone. It’s easy to get bored, especially if you use the same ingredients or cook the same meals time and time again. Recreating healthy versions of your favorite dishes, taking inspiration from your travels and varying your menu can help to make healthy eating more exciting and enjoyable. 

Heather Brummett

I am Heather Brummett . I'm just a real mom, sharing my real life experiences with the world. Thank you for being a part of my world. Here you will find recipes, crafts, fun ideas for the kids, how to work at home, encouragement, inspiration, and the latest news in and around Houston. To be featured or for information on freelance work contact me at [email protected].

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