Healthy Seasoning and Sweetening

condimentsOne of the biggest problems people have when on a diet has to do with taste. People immediately think that a healthy diet geared for fat loss equates to a bland, boring diet. The only diet that has to be bland and boring is a competition style diet. So if you don’t plan on stepping on stage, you can kick the myth about healthy eating.

The key to a succesful diet is to take the clean, and nutrient dense foods and make them enjoyable without destroying thier beneficial value. This can be with a host of herbs, spices, dressings, and sweeteners.

I cant sit here and name every possible choice there is but I can at least give some insight into some of the items I use to keep things interesting…that is until I cross over into a competition style diet, then all this stuff doesn’t apply lol.

Seasonings / Herbs / Spices

  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • oregano
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • basil
  • cayanne pepper
  • garlic
  • rosemary
  • paprika
  • cinnamon

Toppings / Condiments

  • low fat/fat free Italian dressing (or any other dressing, beware and read the labels)
  • Spray butter – click here for example
  • Red wine vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • lime juice
  • Hot Sauce
  • Stevia in the Raw sweetener – click here for example
  • fat free Coffee-mate liquid coffee creamer – click here for example
  • Low sugar/ Sugar free syrup

These are the toppings that I like to stick to when it comes to cooking. However, unlike herbs and spices, you need to pay attention to your consumption of these ingredients. Although many of them are low calorie, if you go overboard those small amount of calories will begin to add up. Read the labels and pay attention to your serving sizes. Things like lemon juice, and lime juice i wouldnt worry so much about. It is mostly the dressings and the creamers.

I like to use lower calorie dressings as a marinade for some of my protein sources. I am also a big fan of hot sauce, and buffalo hot sauce. There is limited carbs and it is mostly sodium. As long as water intake is high, I don’t worry too much about sodium. The combination of lemon or lime juice plus some of the spices listed above is also a very easy way to add flavor, especially to chicken.

Things like the Stevia and the coffee creamer are used in my coffee (obviously) and my oatmeal. A tablespoon of fat free hazelnut creamer, with some cinnamon, and stevia is a great way to bring plain oatmeal to life.

Another note on the low fat/fat free and low sugar/sugar free products. There are people who scream and cry “there are so many bad ingredients and chemicals in those products.” This usually comes from the overweight inactive people who just like to hear themselves talk. These are the people who are penny wise and dollar dumb. They focus on something that should represent 1% or less of total calorie intake yet they ignore the the 80% of their own calorie intake that comes from processed food.  You are obese, unhealthy and eat crap all day long and you have the nerve to criticize me because I have a tablespoon of Fat Free Coffee creamer in my oatmeal ? Haha joking right ?

Yes, it is true, some of these products have some additives that aren’t the most natural. Taken in small or even normal amounts I truly don’t see this being a problem; especially if the rest of your diet consists of calorie dense and rich food sources. It is the person who doesn’t exercise, is overweight, smokes, drinks, eats a ton of processed food, and drink 6 cans of diet soda per day that has the real problem. So don’t overuse, but don’t listen to the people who’s opinions shouldn’t matter.

In closing, I will repeat the goal…Take the “boring food” and use healthy choices to make it enjoyable without destroying the foods beneficial value. Pay attention to your food labels and serving sizes, as the calories in some toppings can add up if unchecked. Experiment and don’t be afraid to try new things. This is your body and health we are talking about, you only get one body, so you should take care of it. Don’t expect to get older and to stay happy, energetic, and productive if you eat garbage. If you put shit in, you will get shit out.

The choice is simple…..

1. Eat crap food and live a life characterized by aches, pains, disease, deficiency, medications, and health problems.

or

2. Eat healthier food and live a life in which you know that you are as healthy as you can possible be. Less pain and fatigue, more energy and productivity, and less reliance on medications to fix a problem that could of ultimately been avoided.

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