Like anything in life, healthy eating is easier to sustain when it’s something you actually look forward to. It’s why I love making healthy upgrades to favorite foods, and including lots of bright colors, textures, and flavors to make nutritious food even more delicious than its processed counterpart. I wanted to hear from the experts— what are their tricks? Anything I’m missing? Anything you might want to add to your own repertoire? Below, seven top health food authors, bloggers, and businesses owners answer the question:
WHAT’S ONE WAY YOU MAKE HEALTHY EATING ENJOYABLE?
“We use taste to help determine the caloric and nutrient content of food, the presence of poisons or toxins, and the general quality of food—whether we should eat it or not. The food industry employs teams of scientists who spend every waking moment trying to engineer foods that hijack that sense of taste. They imbue processed food with ingredients that enhance flavor, stimulate our brain’s food reward system, and trigger overeating. In today’s modern food environment, we can’t trust our taste.
“But once you eliminate those foods and focus only on whole foods, it’s a safe assumption that everything that tastes good is also good for you.
“I live in Southern California, where the local farmer’s markets are incredible year-round. For me, I enjoy experimenting with blending textures and tastes. A diet filled with protein and vegetables can get boring, so I’m all about the sauces. Balancing the kick of hot peppers with a creamy sauce or the bitterness of leafy greens with a salty grilled steak does it for me every time. I love to eat, so finding ideal food combinations (and the sauces and dressings that complement them) always makes healthy eating satisfying.”
Author of the brand new book The Keto Reset Diet, as well as the best-selling books The Primal Blueprint, The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, and the blog Mark’s Daily Apple. Mark is the founder of Primal Nutrition, LLC (my favorite dressings and mayos of all time 😉).
“I make healthy eating enjoyable by using freshly ground spices. For example, although we think we are craving sugar, salt, and caffeine, what we really want is flavor and what we really need are the healthy antioxidants that freshly ground spices contain. The perfect example of this is my homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte, which contains freshly ground nutmeg and other superfood spices which not only perfume our food with a fragrant aroma, but nourish our bodies and feed our senses!”
“Spices and herbs are my favorite way to wake up healthy food without too much fuss. By mixing and matching seasonings, you can take your taste buds around the world! Standard ingredients like chicken breast and broccoli are a good example. You can eat them the standard way: roasted chicken with steamed broccoli on the side—or you can sauté the chicken with the broccoli, garlic, sundried tomatoes, and fresh basil to make a quick Italian dinner. That same chicken-and-broccoli can become Tex-Mex with the addition of lime juice, jalapeños, and a sprinkle of cilantro… or Mediterranean with a little tarragon, chives, and lemon juice… or Asian when you stir-fry it with scallions, mushrooms, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. A well-stocked spice cabinet—with fresh lemons and a few herbs in the fridge—mean your taste buds will never be bored.”
Founder of Well Fed and author of Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat, (first and second set), Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less.
“I’d say that for me, eating seasonally is a great way to make healthy eating more fun. I love seeing what’s fresh and local in the store and the farmers market, and it always inspires me to cook up dishes I haven’t made since last year… or something that’s brand new.”
Founder of Stupid Easy Paleo
“I focus on the foods I love (that happen to be healthy) and make healthy versions of all my favorite dishes. Eating great food is the best way to enjoy healthy eating.”
Founder of Cook Eat Paleo
“One way I make healthy Paleo eating enjoyable is to whip up several different sauces on the weekend and use them throughout the week. I’ll throw together a few different kinds of dairy-free pestos or soy-free asian style dipping sauces and spread them meats and veggies or serve them with with grain-free crackers and crudités. The textures, colors and flavors of sauces adds interest, excitement and enjoyment to all meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks!”
SALLY JOHNSON, MA, RD, LD
Author at Paleo Plan
“The way I make healthy eating enjoyable is by allowing myself to indulge in the sweets I love and crave – such as brownies, cookies, and candy – but I make them myself using all-natural, whole food ingredients. By knowing what’s going into my body, I’m able to make the best choices for myself and my health without depriving myself of the treats I love. Also, making dessert out of whole foods means they’ll actually help fill you up, instead of loading your body up on a whole bunch of empty calories!”
Founder of Bakerita
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this article! I’d love to hear below — what new ideas did you get? Make sure you check out all the blogs and books above; these folks are my go-to’s and I absolutely LOVE their recipes and products!