Weight Loss Excuses: I need variety, I need flavor.

Many people incorrectly assume that to eat healthy, you have to sacrifice flavor and variety. I will admit that “quick and easy” are a bit more challenging when it comes creating healthy, flavorful meals, but it is possible.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a too-good-to-be-missed column on nutrition and flavor. If you think you can only get flavor out of a box or a bag, you must read this: How Nutrition Drives Flavor”. This should help you understand that variety and flavor are not weight loss excuses.

Healthy Eating with Flavor

Have you ever tasted a tomato fresh from the garden followed or preceded by one from the grocery store? It’s a big difference. The same is true for most of the fruits and vegetables at the Farmers’ Market vs. the grocery store(though, you do have to be careful, I was duped at one of the vendors selling apples that were from a grocery store, UPC code in tact gave that away. I learned to go to vegetable growers for my veggies and fruit growers for my fruit.)

But, how can you make chicken and broccoli more exciting? I’ve started making pico de gallo to replace thegallons of ranch I used to pour over my food. I’m saving calorie and the flavor is so much better. For “meatball Mondays,” when my lunch is comprised of roasted Brussel sprouts and meatballs my husband made over the weekend, I add fresh horseradish to kick things up a notch.

And, if you’re a bonafide southerner and just love to have something like bread or a chip to “push” your food around on the plate, I have found fresh from the farmers’ market celery to be the perfect accoutrement without adding a ferocious number of calories.

“Taco Tuesday” doesn’t have to be boring to be healthy. Make your own salsa and swap out that tortilla from a giant Poblano – stuff with moderate portions meat, cheese, salsa and onions. You can do this with chicken, beef or even shredded pork.

Grill or roast a red bell pepper, smear (moderately) with goat cheese and stuff with shrimp…Mmmmm.

Finally, never underestimate the power of spices, particularly good old-fashioned salt and pepper. My new favorite snack is cucumber and radish slices with salt and pepper, but I only seem to enjoy that snack when I buy the cucumber and the radish from the Farmers’ Market. Again, freshness makes the taste.

I’m no chef, but there are plenty of doctors and other health experts that have hired renowned chefs to create flavorful menus for healthy eating. My examples are the “quick and easy” stuff that works for me. I try a new lettuce in my dinner salads every week. It’s amazing how mustard greens or radicchio or arugula can completely change the flavor experience of a traditional salad.

Finding flavor and variety in wholesome, nutritious foods isn’t impossible.  And, as the WSJ article notes, might just be the secret to living lean. Hopefully this will help you past this weight loss excuse. 

Dani Cee (a.k.a., Danielle C. Tworek) seeks to empower women to discover the best version of themselves through the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and fabulous fitness wear. Dani holds a degree in Fashion Merchandising and a degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She is also a NASM certified personal trainer and certified weight loss specialist. She has more than ten years of experience helping individuals reach their wellness goals not only as a writer, but also as a counselor and trainer, including time spent at Jenny Craig, USAA Corporate Wellness, Equinox Fitness Clubs and BodyLogicMD. Learn more from her expertise at www.danicee.com or contact Dani at dani@danicee.com.