Why am I so hungry? Eating healthy sucks.
I used to think healthy eating sucks, but I don’t anymore.
*Picks mic up again*
I think that if eating healthy sucks (prepare yourself for a dramatic statement) it’s because you’re not doing it right.
I think a lot of us have a very narrow view of what constitutes healthy food. We’re under the illusion that eating healthy means eating lettuce and chopped tomatoes; soulless, joyless food. I used to think this way too, but then I met Frida and Lovisa, the nutritionists at Lifesum.
These girls are serious about their health and eating foods that boost it, and the lunches these girls bring to work each day make me think twice about what I eat normally.
Sweet potato salad with spinach, pomegranate, and feta; salmon and coconut stir fry; masala-baked cauliflower. This food sounds good, looks good, and tastes great – by it’s very nature it does not suck, despite being healthy. How?
Think about it, if you went to a restaurant and they served you that sad salad you made yourself for lunch last week, would you go back? Not a chance. It’s not appealing, we wouldn’t force ourselves to eat food that looked like that ordinarily, why do that to healthy food? I was listening to a podcast from Burnt Toast, Food 52‘s fortnightly podcast (That Vegan Life: Free to Be Me and You, Cashews) where Kenzi Wilbur, Meryl Stubbs and Gena Hamshaw discussed vegan food and how it isn’t rabbit food. Here’s a statement they said that fully captured my attention: ‘Vegan-izing food can sometimes just mean leaving it alone.‘ They meant that not everything has to be ‘made vegan’, some things aren’t vegan, and they should be left that way.
It made me realise something:
Many of us think that making something healthier means halving the number of calories in it, or making it ‘light’. And this sucks. This is why healthy eating sucks.
But what if that isn’t what we should be doing? What if it’s actually better for us to leave the unhealthy stuff alone instead of trying to make it something it isn’t?
Maybe the things that make your favorite meal your favorite are also the things that make it unhealthy. Why do you love those onions at your favorite burger joint so much more than the ones you make at home? Because those ones have sugar added. Why is the salmon at the seafood place down the street tastier than the one you make at home? Because they fry it in butter, not coconut oil.
When we’re trying to eat better and eat healthy, and we don’t want it to suck I think the key is not to try to take our favourite unhealthy meal and make it healthier, but instead to cook something else entirely that is just as good, if not better.
So how do you eat healthier food and enjoy it? Think outside the ‘healthier version of X’ box. Start with healthy foods that you already like, and think of new ways to cook with them. Play with your food.
Get inventive. Make food you actually want to eat. Make food that sounds good, looks good, and tastes incredible.
Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring, or tasteless, or soulless. If you do healthy right, it can be the meal you served at your last dinner party that people won’t stop talking about, or it can be the lunchbox your kid begs you for every morning. It should be exciting to make, exciting to eat, and good for your body. That’s not an oxymoron.
Here are a few of my favorite healthy recipes:
Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri
Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowls
Kañiwa & Coconut Pancakes
Mint & Mango Marinated Zucchini Spaghetti
Sesame Garlic Noodles with Broccoli, Basil & Crispy Tempeh
Socca Pizza with Summer Squash and Feta
Tart Cherry Tabbouleh
Now GO EXPERIMENT!
/Femi, The Girl Who Hates Working Out
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