17 Mar 2013
If you hadn’t noticed, here at The Girls Who Eat, we are all about balance. We absolutely love indulging in the best cookie or bacon bomb around, but balance these indulgences out with veggies smoothies, salads, and quinoa (and of course lots of exercise). Today’s guest blogger, Bridget Sandorford is all about this balanced lifestyle too. Bridget is a freelance food and culinary writer culinaryschools.org, where recently she’s been researching culinary colleges in New York. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook. Below, she offers great tips of how to lead this balanced life.
How to Eat Healthier While Still Enjoying Food
A lot of people think that when you decide to eat healthier, you have to give up all the foods you love. Most of our favorites and our go-to comfort foods aren’t exactly healthy, foods like chocolate cake, macaroni and cheese, pizza, and ice cream. They’re comfort foods because they’re loaded with fat and sugar — two things you need to limit on a healthy diet. However, eating healthy doesn’t have to be an exercise in self-deprivation. You can learn to eat a healthier diet while still enjoying foods just as much as you always did. Here are a few tips:
Eat What You Want
Craving that double-layer chocolate cake with ganache frosting? Go ahead and have it. Just make sure you split it with a friend or that you only have a few bites and save the rest for later. Can’t keep fighting your craving for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby? Opt for a single- serving instead or, again, share with a friend. You don’t have to deprive yourself of the foods you want — you just have to practice portion control. A few bites of the food that’s tempting you will satisfy your craving but won’t wreck your healthy eating plan. Plus, by indulging even briefly, you will be better able to resist cravings and avoid binging on the whole cake plus ice cream later.
Strike a Balance
OK, so maybe you did lose control and have that whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s. All is not lost. You can balance out your indulgences by choosing lighter fare for your next meal or for the next day. If you just had to have pizza for lunch, go ahead and enjoy a large, healthy salad for dinner. If you spent all day celebrating and noshing, spend the next day making healthier choices. A few heavy meals or treats won’t send you into a downward spiral. The key is to eat a balanced diet and to make healthy choices overall.
Focus on Adding Healthy Foods
When you become fixated on what you can’t have or what you shouldn’t have, those foods start to seem like the only thing you want to have. Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on what you can have. Add lots of delicious and nutritious foods to your diet, and feast on all the possibilities. Make your diet one of abundance — full of foods that are healthy and life-sustaining. When you enjoy so much delicious, healthy bounty, you won’t notice the things you’re missing quite so much.
Choose Healthy Alternatives
There is room for chocolate every day. You can have a lot of the “junk” foods you enjoy by making healthier alternatives. You can substitute ingredients like refined flours and sugars for healthier options, making the whole dish better for you. Not sure where to start? There are plenty of websites that offer recipes that use all-natural sweeteners, whole-grain flours, and healthy fats to make healthier options of your favorite foods. Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to mean being an ascetic. You can still enjoy food as much as you always did but make sure you practice an overall healthy diet by following these simple tips. How do you find ways to enjoy food while still eating a healthy diet? Share your tips in the comments!