When I was growing up, I seem to remember healthy meals just didn’t taste that good. They tended to be simple, bland and almost cried “hey, I’m healthy, so I’m not supposed to taste good.” Well, times have changed, and healthy meals can be prepared in ways that taste great. There are a ton of ‘healthier’ substitutes that can crank up the health index on a meal, without sacrificing taste, and I’ve blogged about some of them before. This passage isn’t about substitutes, or how to make the perfect meal. It’s simply about a few things that I believe can add some flavor, zing, and life to your diet and keep you on track with regards to your health and fitness goals. They include:
- Hummus – The most under-appreciated dip/spread in the US, and I think it’s poised to become more popular and ubiquitous. It’s an incredible dip for veggies, and can be spread on a sandwich to add a really killer, spicy, rich kick. Oh, and it’s good for you. I’m one step away from an “I love hummus” t-shirt. Can you tell?
- Salsa – There are thousands of varieties, heat levels, etc., and salsa can wake up any savory entree. When I think of foods that typically “call out” to add something bad (e.g. bake potatoes), I skip the bad stuff and pile on the salsa. Yeah!
- Avocado – Perhaps it’s received too much press over the last few years as Subway learned it was a “super food” and that they could up-sell it on everything. However, it’s delicious, has a buttery, nutty note, and can add depth and texture to your meal. Don’t over-do-it with the avocado, because even as a super food with good fat, it still is calorie rich. Use it sparingly and strategically.
- Feta Cheese – As a general rule, I stay away from cheese. Cheese isn’t all bad for you, and has many things in it that are good for you. However, I found cheese to be far too easy to add to things, and a quick way to pile on the calories and fat. Feta cheese has such a powerful, pronounced taste, crumbles very small (so you are less likely to over-do-it), and adds a nice salty taste to a healthy salad, spinach & egg white omelet, or whatever your eating (almost).
These are a few of my favorite things, to add to my favorite things. Use these magic ingredients and your healthy meals, can be tasty-healthy meals. Anything I should consider adding to my repertoire? I’d love to hear.
Small steps add up!!!