What is the main reason why you’re failing to lose weight or get healthier? This is a question that troubles thousands of people across the country. The fact is that most of us are not as healthy as we could be, and obesity is a major problem in the United States. Although nobody should be ashamed of being overweight, the issue is that excess weight can lead to health problems like heart disease and diabetes down the line. So often, we focus on fitness solutions, which are of course important. But the problem is that we skip over the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. You cannot truly achieve your weight loss goals without them; and indeed, if you simply want to maintain your health for the long term, a healthy and balanced diet is arguably even more important than fitness. A lot of people may not be able to exercise as much as they would like due to time constraints or even health issues that would restrict their ability to work out. But they can take steps to change the way that they eat. So, why aren’t people changing their diets? It seems simple enough at first; just take certain things out of your meal plans, and add other things in, and you’ll potentially be much healthier in the long term. Unfortunately, the issue is much more complex than that.
For one thing, there is the perception that people cannot afford to eat healthy. It’s true that a lot of junk food is cheaper than healthy food. However, if you’re a savvy shopper, taking advantage of sales and coupons, you should be able to buy healthy food for yourself and your family. A lot of federal assistance programs have allowances for fresh foods, like produce, which can be used to create healthy meals. A lot of people simply feel like a healthy and balanced diet doesn’t taste good. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy the food and beverages that you consume. After all, we spend a lot of money on our food, even when we don’t go out to eat! This is one reason why lots of people are currently trying to cook in a more “primitive” way to be healthy and save money; cooking food with fire or heat may have started as far back as 2 million years ago, after all. With that being said, there are lots of ways that you can maintain a great diet, while at the same time enjoying food that you love. Let’s look into some of the different ways that you can make food which will make your doctors and dentists alike breathe a sigh of relief when you go in for your next visits.
1. Homemade Cauliflower Pizza
If you’ve been to any kind of health-conscious grocery store recently, you’ve probably noticed that cauliflower has made a big impact recently. Cauliflower rice is increasingly popular, as it is similar to normal rice in texture, taste, and function but is much healthier lacks the associated starch. Cauliflower has also been used as a substitute in some pasta dishes, like gnocchi. Perhaps one of the best ways that cauliflower can be used, however, is in forming a pizza crust. Pizza, is, of course, one of the most popular foods in America. But it’s also rather unhealthy, in part because its crust is usually made up of what is essentially bread. Excess bread usually doesn’t figure into a healthy and balanced diet, as it’s essentially empty calories. So the advent of the cauliflower pizza crust was welcomed with much delight, as it allows people to enjoy pizza without being the fattening crust.
A cauliflower pizza crust should come out crispy, and can be held just as a traditional pizza crust would be. It can be made either with fresh cauliflower, or frozen cauliflower rice. Essentially, you chop your cauliflower into florets, and then “rice” the florets in your food processor, unless you’ve simply gone ahead and bought cauliflower rice. Once that’s done, you’ll bake the rice, squeeze out any liquid through a cheesecloth, and then add an egg before forming it into your crust’s shape on the pan. You would then bake the crust for about twenty minutes. After that, it’s simply a matter of adding on your typical pizza toppings. You can make your pizza in general healthier by using low-fat cheese, as well as making your own tomato sauce. Should you add your toppings while the crust is still hot, it may then all melt together naturally if you use minimal toppings though it may also need to spend more time in the oven. You can add whatever you wish to the cauliflower crust to add more flavor, like oregano or olive oil. But generally speaking, while a cauliflower crust isn’t going to taste like a traditional pizza, it is going to offer you that same pizza experience through the toppings and allow you to enjoy pizza without the guilt. For that matter, for people who are avoiding gluten due to advisement from their gastrointestinal specialist, this type of crust is a great way to eat something that they otherwise would have to skip.
2. Portobello Mushroom Burger
If pizza is among the most popular foods in the United States, so too is the burger. Hamburgers are classic, often eaten not only at restaurants but out in the backyard on holidays like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. However, burgers aren’t exactly a part of a healthy and balanced diet. The beef used to make burgers is usually rather fatty, and they accumulate grease that is terrible for your cholesterol. For that matter, we’ve gotten so used to loading burgers up with cheese and other toppings that they often become even heavier at the end of the preparation process than they were to begin with. Therefore, it’s become necessary for a lot of people to seek out alternatives. Luckily, there is a great alternative to the typical hamburger, which has already been popular for some time in vegetarian and vegan circles.
The portobello mushroom is an awesome alternative to a hamburger patty for a number of reasons. For one thing, it has about the same size and thickness, which means that it won’t take away from the structure of the burger. For another, portobello mushrooms can be grilled just like hamburger, even if they might not be able to stay on the grill for quite as long. These mushrooms are naturally juicy and have a great, mild flavor. You can kick this up another notch by marinating them a bit before they’re grilled. Try mixing together vinegar, olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a simple blend, then by pouring it over the mushrooms before they’re grilled. Let that sit for at least fifteen minutes before throwing the mushrooms on the grill over medium heat. After about five to eight minutes on the grill, it’s really just a matter of adding your favorite toppings. Again, low-fat cheese is something to consider for a healthy and balanced diet, as is a whole wheat bun for the burger.
3. Maqui Berry Mocktail (Or Cocktail!)
A healthy and balanced diet isn’t just about what you eat, but what you drink. You may or may not want to consider cutting back on your alcohol intake when trying to be healthier. Obviously, the less alcohol you drink, the healthier you’ll be; it simply isn’t very good for the body, and particularly not when consumed in large amounts. But if you’re used to drinking craft beer just for the enjoyment of it, you may find yourself longing for creative, interesting drinks, whether or not they’re alcoholic. We suggest perhaps finding a way to incorporate maqui berries or maqui berry powder into your new drinks. Maqui berries are sometimes referred to as Chilean wineberries, and they were actually used by Mapuche natives to create a low-alcohol drink when fermented. They’re known for increasing strength and stamina, and their tart flavor may remind you of wine whether or not they’re fermented or simply combined with alcohol.
An idea maqui berry mocktail would involve boiling water, then draining it over the berries, as well as hawthorn leaf and flower, and cranberries. This would steep for ten to 15 minutes, during which you would muddle together blackberries, mint, lime, and vanilla bean powder. After straining the maqui berry tea mixture, this would be combined with the blackberry mixture, with or without ice. The tea would be topped off with sparkling water and apple cider vinegar. However, if you do want to add a little bit of alcohol to the mixture, replacing the sparkling water with vodka is one possible option to change it up a bit. Of course, it’s important to keep bottled water around and simply keep yourself hydrated in general if you want to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. But simply changing the way that you approach drinks and making them healthier, in general, can keep the fun in your diet, without weighing you down with so much alcohol.
4. Butternut Squash Macaroni And Cheese
Macaroni and cheese tastes so good; yet it’s so bad for us. It’s really a very decadent dish when you consider all of the cheese, milk, butter, and sometimes even eggs and flour that go into the dish, never mind the pasta. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can make macaroni and cheese a bit healthier, even if it’s still not something that you should necessarily be eating on a daily basis. For one thing, try replacing your typical elbow macaroni with a whole wheat version. Whole wheat pasta, as well as whole wheat bread, is always less fattening and better for you than the standard versions. You can also replace your usual butter with margarine. Consider using low-fat cheese, as always.
A healthier macaroni and cheese would also add in vegetables, like for example onion. You’d saute the onion, while at the same time preparing butternut squash to steam and then puree, before mixing it with chicken or vegetable broth. This squash, onion, and puree mixture would then be combined with shredded cheese, and ultimately make up the sauce for the macaroni and cheese. This way, you’re still getting a rich, creamy macaroni and cheese, without nearly as much butter or cheese. This method also leaves milk out of the picture entirely. Again, you’re still including some cheese and butter, so it doesn’t get rid of the less than perfect ingredients entirely. But it dramatically cuts down on the fatty foods you would be eating otherwise as a part of the standard version of the dish.
5. Homemade Ramen Bowls
We all love instant ramen. It’s so easy to make, and so tasty. However, instant ramen is notorious for packing a ton of sodium into those flavor packets, and the ramen noodles themselves are hardly a part of a healthy and balanced diet. But if you’re willing to put in a little bit of extra work and money, you can still make awesome, healthy ramen noodles at home.
In this case, you would actually hold on to the instant ramen noodles. Instead of using the flavoring packet that you’re used to, however, you would instead create a soup of sorts. This could include chicken and chicken broth, or you could use vegetarian broth. However, the spices are key to ramen, and we recommend using olive oil, carrots, mushroom, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, jalapeno, and green onions to really add to the flavor of the broth. Spinach or kale work well as vegetable ingredients. After you get this boiling, you can also prepare ramen eggs if you would like. This would involve submerging the eggs in cold water for about five minutes, then keeping them in boiling water for another seven before taking them, submerging them in cold water for five minutes again, and then peeling them to reveal the soft yolk. After this, the ramen noodles simply need to be put in the hot brother in order to cook, and this can all be topped with the eggs.
See? It’s really not that difficult to cook food that you can incorporate into a healthy and balanced diet. It simply takes some ingenuity and out of the box thinking. We recommend trying these recipes when you want to take your own personal healthcare more seriously and incorporate them into the kitchen! You would be amazed by how quickly you’ll see the positive effects of a healthy and balanced diet.