Good nutrition is important for long-term health. Nothing you didn’t know already, but what if you hate the way most healthy food tastes? Should you force-feed yourself? No, but you can “trick” yourself into incorporating more wholesome foods.
While you may be fed up with how you look and feel, making health related changes is uncomfortable and usually comes with a big side of resistance. You likely have an idea about what it will take to achieve healthy results and it’s often something that feels like a punishment. No wonder most resolutions fall flat within a few weeks or less. So much of creating a healthy lifestyle is about honoring your preferences while making small shifts, as opposed to force feeding yourself someone else’s agenda at an unrealistic pace. Yet, this approach is almost too simplistic that it’s easily overlooked while searching for that “magic pill/program/diet”.
If you grew up eating fast food and hate the way most vegetables taste, it makes sense that it would feel like torture starting a new healthy diet. These next simple tactics are so mild that they may easily be overlooked if not carefully considered.
1.) Cook with different spices, rubs, marinades; add vegetables to a dish you love that wouldn’t ordinarily call for them. A great example of this is, say you love buffalo chicken wings. Try doing a buffalo chicken Brussels sprout dish or throw in some extra organic vegetables into your favorite spaghetti dish. It is important to experiment and not get discouraged if the first thing you try tastes less than amazing.
2.) Blend/hide vegetables in smoothies. There are so many healthy smoothie recipes floating around. Take your favorite one and add a small amount of any healthy food you want to incorporate more of into your diet. You will be surprised by how easy it is to mask flavors with different blending techniques.
3.) Order prepared food from an organic chef. This is perhaps my favorite trick. A great example of this is a company called NULA foods; the chef (who happens to be a friend of mine and an amazing chef) brilliantly opened her business when her own needs demanded that she eat a healthier diet. She cooks gluten free, dairy free, organic, etc. foods, takes custom orders, and delivers to her customers. Find a local chef who prepares these types of foods. You will be amazed at how good healthy food can taste and how easy it is to eat more of.
Beyond these simple, yet effective strategies, remember that taste buds change with repeated exposure to varying foods/drinks, which explains why maybe you didn’t like beer, for instance, the first time you tried it (or any other food or beverage). You don’t have to make any changes you don’t feel comfortable with; this period of experimentation should be slow and focused on checking in regularly with how you feel about changes you make. Perhaps you want to start a family, feel better during daily activities, sleep soundly, and/or have more energy. The reason doesn’t matter, the willingness to step outside your comfort bubble does. With practice and focus great changes in health can be made and sustained.