One of the things in life I really enjoy is food. I'm not saying I like it because I need to survive, like I enjoy tasting every bite I put in my mouth and generally enjoy food.
With that, I love to turn on the television and watch anything on Food Network or the Cooking Channel. I try to learn all of these new techniques, strange ingredients, and a recipe or two that I can use in my every day life. Whether I actually take this new knowledge to my kitchen is a completely new story. (Because it is not often that I do).
However, ever since I have decided to eat healthier - which is something I am still working on - I have picked up a few tricks that have helped make small steps in the direction of healthy eating.
1. Switch out your salt.
I am not saying get completely rid of salt like most experts say to do. When you listen to the judges on Chopped, they always complain if there is not enough salt. Every time I watch this I think they are crazy. I think, "Do they know what salt can do to you?" Obviously they do, but they aren't necessarily looking for the healthiest meal on the plates. They want flavor. One way to make sure you still have this flavor without all the negative side effects is to grab yourself some salt substitutes. Personally, I use "Nu-Salt" and it still gives the flavor of what salt would do, but it's not really salt.
2. Season everything.
You may be thinking this is crazy. It's not. Thanks to one of my fitness friends, Shelby Maynard - you all should check her out because you can gain a lot of tips from her diet and exercises - I was introduced to Mrs. Dash's Seasonings. I use this on just about everything. They are small seasoning bottles that come in all sorts of varieties and flavors including: Steak Seasoning, Chicken Seasoning, Original Blend, Table Seasoning, and so on. I use them on just about everything including my protein and vegetables. Crazy part is that when you look on the Nutrition Facts label, EVERYTHING IS ZERO! That means this seasoning is meant for one thing only, just to flavor your food. Plus, these seasoning give you TON of flavor.
3. Limit your alcohol intake.
This one seems very simple to do, but most have trouble committing to that. I completely understand coming home from work and needing a beer, a few shots, or a frozen strawberry margarita. Everyone has those days. That is why I say limit. If you do decide to go out and have some drinks with friends try using the one drink per hour method. This is because your liver can metabolize one drink per hour. Also, one beer does not equal 10 shots. One drink is equivalent to one 12 ounce beer or five ounces of wine, or one shot of 80 proof liquor. With mixed drinks, you should probably ask how many shots are included in the drink. For example - a standard glass of Long Island Iced Tea has .5 ounces of each rum, vodka, gin and triple sec. This is about two ounces of liquor. So one of these drinks would be consumed in two hours. Another good tip is to space your drinks with water in between each to keep yourself hydrated. Still have fun, but safely.
4. DRINK WATER!
Has anyone seen those videos floating around the internet about how Coca-Cola is able to clean rust off of a bumper? THIS IS THE PRIME EXAMPLE WHY SODA IS BADDDDD!! You should quit all of it. Plus, the more you drink, the more sugar enters your body, and if you have enough go into your body, it can dehydrate you. I will tell you that if it is hard to quit soda cold turkey, you are not alone. I have "quit drinking soda" multiple times in my life and it never gets easier. I was so addicted to the soda that I would get migraines because I would be craving the sugar from it. One trick I learned was to go from dark soda to a light soda or caffeine free soda. I went from Coca-Cola to Sprite. It still has that fizziness and delicious taste, but it had no caffeine in it. Now, I only have Sprite occasionally when I am desperately craving it so I don't binge and crave it all the time. Just another tidbit, when you quit drinking soda, you will notice you can eat everything on your plate more often than not. You will get to enjoy your food more often.
Drinking water not only hydrates you, it makes you feel a lot better throughout the day. Men are supposed to consume 128 ounces per day, while women are supposed to consume 88 ounces. In my opinion, that is a lot of water. Do not fret if you cannot get all of that in per day. Food also has water in it that you consume daily. In the beginning of starting to drink water, it may feel impossible to get that many in. I felt that sometimes I was drowning myself in water. Just make a goal to drink so many bottles of water and day and move that number up when you feel like you can.
5. Dressing on the side of your salads.
This one is probably the easiest one to do. Instead of having your dressing come on your salad, put it on the side. Each time you grab a bite of salad, dip it into your dressing. You will use almost half the amount that would have been poured onto your salad. This way, you can still enjoy your salad with the flavor of dressing you like without over doing it.
If you are making your own salad, one way to even get rid of dressing completely is to add diced avocado. It almost tastes like dressing.
Hopefully these five easy steps helps you still love the food you have always been eating, but do it in a healthy way. I am always looking for new ways to make my food healthy, and simple is where I like to start out. So simple, that anyone is able to do it.
If you have anything you want me to blog about or have any comments to this blog post, feel free to comment! I am always looking to hear feedback and new ideas.