Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasteful Tweaking Tips

One of the biggest challenges (perhaps even the biggest challenge) of switching from unhealthy eating to healthy eating involves taste...

Who doesn't love a bowl of creamy mac and cheese, a pizza loaded with good ole greasy pepperoni, or even those salty McDonald's fries?

Stack those fattening comfort favorites against a bowl of broccoli or a plate of celery sticks and there is just no contest--at least in the beginning. Once your tastebuds adjust, as mine have, you'll likely find that even the old "dieter's standby" that I ate over and over in the 70s tastes good: a hamburger patty (updated with some savory spices and grilled on the George Foreman grill), with a cottage cheese(Breakstone only for me)/canned pineapple/lettuce salad. Even Chicago Man enjoyed that trip back into food time.

But since taste is such an important part of the transition process, I was glad to find these tastebud tweaking tips from Alison Johnson of the Daily Press in Newport News, VA. And here they are:

1. Go slowly. Make changes one at a time over a period of weeks, gradually adding more fresh vegetables, fruit, and seafood.

2. Don't be Plain! Don't start off with a plate of raw broccoli (Alison, I so agree!). She suggests mixing pureed or diced veggies into foods you already enjoy such as mac and cheese, meafloaf, chili, seasoned noodles, soup, or baked items.

3. Use flavoring. Herbs and spices, healthy dips such as hummus, or simply salt (be sure to use Celtic sea salt) and pepper. My absolute favorite is a bottle of Italian herbs that I get at Big Lot's for $1.

4. Give fish a chance; less "fishy" tasting fish include tilapia, cod, and flounder.

5. Be adventurous, each time you visit the store, try a new fruit or vegetable. There are so many recipes available on the internet. I can pretty much find out how to cook anything easily that tastes good, too.

6. Alison's final tip is to be patient. She says children often won't accept a new food till they've tried it 8 or 9 times, "and the same may be true of grown-ups".

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