Are you trying to develop your own healthy diet plan? You know, one that is customized to your lifestyle, flavor preference, and, perhaps, your own unique health requirements? The basic rules of healthy eating are commonly known, as are the basic elements that need to be included in a healthful diet plan. But pulling one together that you actually enjoy is not always that easy.
You can always reach for a cookbook (I have reviewed several good options), but that often has you stumbling across delicious recipes that call for heavy amounts of butter or cream or some other yummy but not-so-good-for-you ingredient. At that point, you may not be sure what changes you can make to ensure you are eating well and staying away from the latest tabu of the healthy food world. In this post, I’m going to provide you with some guidance for using your kitchen creativity to improve the healthfulness of your meal preparation.
Healthy Diet Plan Option #1:
Coconut Oil and Other Coconut Products
Coconut oil is a fantastic substitution for butter or oil. I enjoy it spread on toast instead of butter! Like other oil options, it helps prevent your food from burning. Keep in mind that recently burnt food has been identified as a detriment to longer living. In the UK they have been advised to step away from the roast potato with their traditional Sunday roast. However, one simple switch to coconut oil means they could still enjoy crispy, fluffy potatoes while avoiding the dark danger areas other fats may give them.
It isn’t just the oil of coconuts that is a great substitution for ingredients in many of today’s recipes. This large nut is full of delicious milk which can be used to replace cream, especially in Asian dishes and curries. The other day, I roasted a chicken in the slow cooker using coconut milk instead of regular milk. Very tasty!
Healthy Diet Plan Option #2:
Simplify Your Recipes
A simple way of kicking off your healthy eating and adding something new to your diet is by sticking to three main ingredients. For example, you could use avocado and chili and produce a delicious twist on basic guacamole by serving it on grilled sweet potato. Clean, healthy, and easy.
The idea behind simplifying your recipes is choosing fresh, seasonal, and flavor ingredients — in moderation — and allowing your pallet to really taste the food without over-complicating the meal. When you choose good, healthy ingredients, you don’t need a lot of them to create delicious meals.
Healthy Diet Plan Option #3:
Fish is really important in your diet. A fillet of wild salmon served with homemade pesto and a delicious rocket salad is a great way to improve your health without over complicating things. Shrimp and scallops are also quite healthy. And who doesn’t enjoy a well-prepared clam chowder?
Healthy Diet Plan Option #4:
Useful Kitchen Gadgets
Invest in one of these (www.blenderfriend.com/nutri-bullet-magic-bullet) food blenders and you could add a little more goodness to your day by juicing at breakfast instead of cracking open the cereal. When you use the right ingredients, you can pack a lot of nutrition into a moderate- to low-calorie smoothie.
Healthy Diet Plan Option #5:
Flavor Bursts and Smart Substitutions
You don’t need a kitchen full of gadgets or to be a well-practiced chef to get experimental with flavors or to make tweaks to your favorite meals. The sweet potato I mentioned earlier makes a fantastic chip. Fancy a taco? Try using iceberg lettuce as a shell and replacing the ground beef with ground turkey then dolloping your own homemade guacamole on top.
Get creative with using boldly (or exotically) flavored foods (sweet potatoes instead of standard potatoes) or substituting ingredients that are lower in fat and/or calories (lettuce instead of bread).
Healthy Diet Plan Option #6:
Reduce Gluten and Carbs
Gluten has gotten a lot of press lately. It is linked to a variety of diseases and allergies. So experimenting with reducing or eliminating it from your diet might give you great results you weren’t expecting. Instead of traditional bread, you can substitute lettuce, gluten-free bread, or other gluten-free options.
Reducing carbohydrates — yep, that would be bread again — is another way to improve your diet. Whip up some homemade hummus — chickpeas, Tahini, garlic and lemon make the best hummus — and instead of dipping potato chips or pita wedges into it, go with raw carrots, broccoli or celery. You’ll get that satisfying crunch and a mouth full of flavors.
Make a few simple changes and your body will reward you with better hair, clearer skin, brighter eyes, and more energy — not to mention a more svelte profile.
Take Charge of Your Health!
Changing your eating habits can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be if you take a little time to think it out and create a plan.
This Healthy Eating Worksheet will walk you through the process of creating a healthy eating plan. All you need to do is print it out, set aside some time to complete it, and then fill it out. Then you can create your plan, knowing that you have addressed potential obstacles and came up with some creative ways to handle them.