How to start cooking healthy food when you're dieting | Covering the Intersections of Race, Culture, Sexuality, and Fashion | 48min

How to start cooking healthy food when you’re dieting

Every year, millions of people try to “lose weight by the summer,” start cooking healthy food, and give up meat. They stop eating the entire categories of products, reduce the number of calories to a minimum, and make portions tiny. And, of course, all their efforts go down the drain.

The fact is that proper nutrition is not about endless restrictions for a couple of months but a reasonable approach to your food which you should stick to all your life. Does it sound scary? In fact, everything is simple and very tasty! You do not have to eat anything on the sly: a few simple steps will help start cooking and eating properly together with your loved one.

• Use herbs, spices, and sauces

Many people think that healthy food is bland food, and you have to spend hours after work to cook an
interesting new dish. However, everything is easier: go to the farmer's market and buy a variety of
spices, herbs, and sauces. Now even the chicken can be cooked in different ways every day. You can
arrange an interesting evening with your beloved girlfriend, devoting your time to experiments, trying
different tastes and combinations. Do you like spicy? You can buy Sriracha sauce. Before cooking chicken
in an oven, you can marinate it in Dijon mustard or honey. If you are involved in dating Muslim girls,
then you are well aware of the importance of different herbs in their diet.

• Try different side dishes

Side dishes are not only about rice and potatoes. In any grocery department, you can find a dozen other
cereals: quinoa, chickpeas, couscous, wild rice, and bulgur. You can add finely chopped fresh vegetables,
dried mushrooms, or spices to all these cereals. In addition, you can make salads, for example, from
arugula, cheese, and nuts, then boil broccoli and cauliflower as well as grill vegetables. Infinitely mixing
different ingredients, you will get a lot of options for side dishes.

• Replace harmful sweets with healthy ones

Use honey instead of sugar in baking as well as whole grain flour. You can decorate everything with
bitter chocolate (however, fruits and berries will be even a better option). You can also make granola
bars (mix a glass of oatmeal with egg white, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a handful of chopped nuts,
cinnamon and honey, make bars and bake for 10 minutes), buy or make dried fruit and healthy chips
(for example, from coconut) and drink tea with them.

• Buy a good frying pan

This is really very important. Nutritionists frown on fried food because of the content of heated oil.
Thanks to a good non-stick pan, you can give up oil for frying. The ideal option is a grilled frying pan with
a relief bottom. So, you can still fry something, using the right pan.

• Choose the right salad dressing

The right dressing will make even simple lettuce leaves a separate dish. Just experiment and be inspired
by different cuisines. Possible combinations are the following: olive oil + Italian herbs + lemon juice or
lime + honey spoon + garlic;

– Dijon mustard + balsamic vinegar + mint;
– Greek yogurt + honey;
– Balsamic vinegar + honey + lemon juice + blueberries/ currants;
– Ground basil leaves, nuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice.

• Plan a list of dishes and buy for the week ahead

Make a list of products for the week: choose main dishes (for example, chicken, beef, tofu, fish or
seafood) and side dishes (salad and arugula, various vegetables, cereals), add fruit, healthy sweets,
breakfasts, and snacks. If the refrigerator is full of food, you will reduce the temptation to get pizza. It’s
much faster to fry tofu, stew vegetables, or bake chicken. In addition, when you go to the supermarket
after work, you can buy some unhealthy trifles like chocolates or chips. What eco-products should be
necessary on your shopping list?

Eco-Products That Should Be in Your Diet
Eco-products are becoming increasingly popular because they contain more nutrients, vitamins, and
antioxidants than their usual counterparts. There is a list of the main eco-products that should be
included in your daily diet.

1. Vegan Milk  Vegan milk, for example, coconut, oatmeal, almond, cedar ,or rice is a useful and tasty alternative to cow milk. It is rich in vitamins, organic acids, proteins, minerals, and antioxidants, and it does not contain cholesterol. It goes well with tea and coffee, suitable for baking, desserts, soups, sauces, and
cocktails. It is used not only by vegans and rawatarians since vegan milk is ideal for people with lactose
intolerance, slow digestion, poor memory, and weak immunity.

2. Girasol Syrup Girasol syrup is a useful alternative to refined sugar. It has a sweet taste and a low glycemic index, so it is great for diabetics and dieters. It contains a big number of biologically active components, such as organic acids, minerals, valuable amino acids, and antioxidants. It is also a rich source of insulin, a prebiotic that gives a long-lasting feeling of fullness, increases efficiency and endurance during physical training. The syrup can be used as a standalone product or added to tea, salads, pastries, or desserts.

3. Coconut oil Coconut oil has a pleasant sweetish aroma and a slightly nutty flavor. It is very nutritious and contains minerals and fatty acids with medium chain length. Despite the high-calorie content, it is completely
absorbed by the body and is considered dietary, capable of accelerating metabolism, muscle growth, and endurance during training. It can be added to any dishes: cereals, soups, vegetable dishes, or pastries. Studies have shown that regular consumption of coconut oil helps strengthen the immune system, purify the body of toxins, and reduce the risk of developing oncology and diseases of the digestive system.

4. Honey The benefits of honey are determined by its rich chemical composition: it contains many important
antioxidants, organic acids, vitamins, and flavonoids. Nutritionists recommend drinking a glass of warm water with a spoon of honey in the morning, adding it to teas, cereals, and milk; thus, this will help improve metabolism and purify the body of toxins, keep your energy up, calm the nervous system, normalize sleep and improve the health of the body as a whole.

5. Chia seeds Chia seeds are a versatile product that goes well with a variety of dishes and desserts: vegetable and fruit salads, soups, seafood, pastries, fruit puddings, granola, cheesecakes, and smoothies. This useful superfood contains a large amount of fiber, protein, nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial omega-3 oil. Chia seeds support healthy skin, suppress appetite and improve digestion, reduce cholesterol and the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, improve the efficiency and endurance of the body under heavy loads.

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