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Healthy Eating Tip: Don't Eliminate, Elaborate!

Healthy Eating Tip: Don't Eliminate, Elaborate!

When approaching health and fitness, many of us have the mentality that less is more. While this may be a healthy perspective to avoid overeating and practice portion control, a restrictive diet can wreak havoc on your mood and leave you wondering whether there’s anything out there you can eat. Instead, alter your state of mind: rather than thinking about what foods to cut out, start to think of your daily menu as a chance to add great-tasting, healthy options. Challenge yourself to make the most of your mealtime and see just how many creative and good-for-you foods you can include in your daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine.

To get creative, I like to take a cue from vegan menus. Let me start by saying that I am not vegan. I love poultry and seafood, but each time I decide to dine vegan, I’m always amazed by the variety on the menu. Every item is loaded with healthful, delicious ingredients that remind me to think outside the box the next time I’m planning a meal.

To get creative meal ideas, just

.

Craving lasagna or a baked potato? Don’t deprive yourself these treats, simply reimagine them and treat yourself to a healthier version. An eggplant stacks is a great alternative to cheesy lasagna, and using fresh herbs, crumbled tofu, and fresh red pepper means it’s loaded with bold flavors and good-for-you ingredients. A baked sweet potato is another great option – and a great way to satisfy your craving for starch. Plus they are one of the healthiest vegetables around, since they contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and fewer calories than your regular potatoes. Even small changes like these can be big steps toward a healthier attitude and a healthier you.

To get creative ideas from your fellow FitSugar readers, check out their healthy food swap ideas.

Image Source: Getty
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Spectra Spectra 6 years
I agree...once you find out about what delicious foods there are out there, you really don't miss unhealthy stuff. Once I discovered air-popped popcorn topped with some Kernel Season's cheese flavoring, I stopped missing chips and pretzels. And I make a habit of finding new fruits and veggies at the store to experiment with and to expand my palate.
Zigggy Zigggy 6 years
Yes, when you find healthy foods that you really enjoy then you don't feel like you're missing out on the crappy foods you used to like. When I first started making sandwiches with no mayo and only (yummy dijon) mustard I thought I'd really miss the mayo, but after a week I found the thought of putting mayo on them disgusting!
Zigggy Zigggy 6 years
Yes, when you find healthy foods that you really enjoy then you don't feel like you're missing out on the crappy foods you used to like. When I first started making sandwiches with no mayo and only (yummy dijon) mustard I thought I'd really miss the mayo, but after a week I found the thought of putting mayo on them disgusting!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 6 years
I've been enjoying experimenting with new dishes since I had to go lo-carb. It's made the switch a lot more fun. It would probably be a lot harder if I didn't love to cook, but thankfully I do! I've talked to a lot of people online who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes & have no clue what to eat if it doesn't come out of a bag or box.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 6 years
my mom made lasagna every year for Christmas since my sister and one of my aunts are vegetarians. it was maybe 10% pasta, 10% cheese, and 80% vegetables and fresh tomato sauce. she'd make meat sauce on the side often times for us carnivores, but I remember my grandmother (who cooked for a family in the 50s - 70s) always being totally floored by how filling yet light and diverse the dish was.
SweetNGlow SweetNGlow 6 years
Great article! I bought Jonny Bowden's The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth about a year ago and it has really helped me discover new fuits and vegetables. I aim to try something new or different from the book every day. I have now added coconut, guavas, tempeh, beets, and more interesting foods to my diet.
LifeguardSteph LifeguardSteph 6 years
sweet potatoes are AMAIZING! They are the perfect treat and so nutritious! I just cut them up and back them with a bit of olive oil and they are like the perfect thick sweet potato chips!
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