Getting More Healthy Foods Into Your Diet

iStock 000025526734XSmall1 Getting More Healthy Foods Into Your DietGrowing up, my brother and I were on very strict, healthy diets. My mother has always been a bit of a “health freak”, and her children’s health was no exception.

We weren’t allowed soda or juice. We were to drink milk very, very sparingly. Our fat intake was very low, and our meals consisted of only vegetables, lean protein, and grains.

Perhaps it was plain old rebellion, but when I grew into a teenager, I went crazy. I would eat the fattiest “foods”, containing the most sugar and salt you could possibly find. Sure, I still liked certain vegetables and fruits, but my main focus was the stuff of that causes obesity epidemics.

As I age, I find myself putting a heavier priority on eating well and keeping my body nourished properly. I have found it difficult in the past to get all of my nutrients in the limited number of calories I’m supposed to be eating per day, especially when I’d rather not eat a spinach salad if it’s in front of me.

I’ve come across some great methods to incorporate healthy foods into my diet without hardly noticing. It keeps me feeling energized and looking healthy.

Smoothies

Smoothies are my favorite way to pack nutrients into my diet. They’re delicious! I start with coconut or almond milk as a base, some ice, and a fruit. Fruit can be very high in sugars (natural, but sugars nonetheless), so I tend to choose one fruit to add to my smoothie. I add a healthy seed, such as flax, hemp, or chia seed.

Then, I pack my smoothie with vegetables! My regular rotation includes spinach, kale, carrot, even beets. You don’t taste them in the smoothie but it adds a lot of great vitamins and minerals to your diet. My favorite combination right now is a carrot, mango, and hemp seed combo. It’s delicious, nutty, and super healthy.

Hide Them

Many people aren’t very keen on salads. They aren’t the most exciting food, unless they are loaded with a fatty dressing which makes it feel like you are undoing the good.

Instead of eating salads, I add vegetables, seeds, and nuts wherever I can in my meals. When I’m making pasta, I cut up spinach really small and add it to my sauce. I sprinkle walnuts on my cereal in the morning, and I’d recommend doing the same with hemp or almonds. Macaroni and cheese gets a generous load of broccoli or cauliflower.

It’s not hard to hide healthy food in your meals if you are creative.

Substituting 

For those of us who love savoury snacks, like chips, Cheetos, and nachos, you’ll know what I mean when I say that when you start snacking on these things, it’s difficult to stop.

Instead of snacking on guilt (and bloat) inducing salty snacks, I try to substitute. Popcorn is full of fibre and iron, low in calories, and absolutely delicious. Try air popping some popcorn and lightly salting it next time you find yourself fighting a chip craving.

You can also substitute almond milk for traditional dairy milk (which is generally full of hormones), and you will likely find little variance in taste. Substitute white pasta for whole grain pasta next time you’re making spaghetti. Bake a sweet potato instead of eating french fries.

There’s substitutes for almost everything.

Healthy food can be delicious and satisfying, but we live in a nation that is so addicted to unhealthy foods and empty calories that it’s hard to make the transition. Starting with baby steps by discreetly incorporating more healthy foods into your diet can help with a larger transition.


Comments

Getting More Healthy Foods Into Your Diet — 30 Comments

  1. Am at that point in life where I can’t compromise on healthy eating. I can totally agree with you on smoothies. Am on a somewhat high protein diet and in smoothies you can pack so many grams of protein and still have the smooothie tasting great. Its a nice easy way to ratchet up the intake on great nutrients indeed.

  2. We love salads and you can make a nice dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a bit of salt and some crushed garlic) to die for. We don’t buy mayo, you can make your own at home (oil, egg yolk and a bit of mustard) and you can ‘unfat’ it with some yoghurt etc. Cooking from scratch helps a lot with avoiding many of the bad things and you don’t even need to be too tough with your diet, as long as you keep away from the pre-made meals the stores sell.

  3. Hi Daisy
    I cut out biscuits and cookies in the office, and in front of the tv in the evenings.
    My wife now refuses to buy them during her weekly shop.
    I’ve lost 14lbs in the last 3 months and feel much healthier.

  4. I like the idea of hiding healthy food in a meal, especially with kids who might be picky eaters when it comes to veggies. I’m gonna try the spinach in the pasta sauce next time and see if anyone notices.

  5. Subs are a fine idea, but I’ve sincerely taken to whole and raw fruits and veggies. And I never thought this would be possible. I have a plain apple each night! That would have been plain weird only 2 years ago!!! Have a hoagie of a weekend!!!

  6. Great advice, Daisy! I do admire your mother for providing healthy choices. I think that we underestimate what early nutrition can do for a child. I teach many children who come in to their lessons with McDonald’s as an after-school snack. And they wash it down with a good old Coke which does not promote the best opportunity for learning. Sugar high or sluggish.

    The best thing about eating healthy is the energy. In my late 20s and early 30s I had no energy and now I have a lot. I never feel cheated.

  7. I practice the “hide them” approach. Every soup/stew/pasta sauce I make I add a couple handfuls of shredded spinach or kale or chard. I sprinkle ground flaxseed on my oatmeal and add it to cornbread and muffin recipes. It’s pretty much tasteless, but loaded with omega 3s. Nutritional yeast–lots of B5–is good on top of chili, pasta, or any hot dish. I’m not wild about the taste of Brussel’s sprouts, but they’re nutritional powerhouses. Cooked and shredded and put in a salad or other dish, they’re hardly noticed!

  8. Hey Daisy and thanks for an informative and delicious post :)

    I’ve been thinking a lot about fruit and veggie smoothies lately and think I’ll try and do one this coming week. Sounds like a yummy way of getting all you need in one glass!

    Thanks again and take acre. All the best.

    Lyle

  9. I read in another article that it’s not good to mix fruits and vegetables in the one smoothie? it’s said that if you have to mix a fruit in with a vegetable smoothie, make it an apple?…basically you make a fruit smoothie with fruits exclusively and vegetables with just veg.

  10. Great post! We must really learn to make the transition from unhealthy food to healthy ones, but we have always associated diet with eating less or suffering bland-tasting food that we have to force down just to enjoy.

  11. My wife lets bananas go until their skin is pretty spotty, and then peels and freezes them in a large zip-lock bag. She then makes smoothies with the frozen bananas with a few other fruits mixed in, like kiwis or strawberries. Some years ago, we also cut back a lot on red meats.

  12. Instead of eating a bunch of fruit, I like to drink a smoothie or two. You can sneak in vegetables too, like spinach, carrots, etc.
    As far as salads, I like balsamic vinegar and olive oil as my dressing which tastes good, low on calories and very healthy.
    Thanks for a great article Daisy!

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