Strength Training - Sports Nutrition - Healthy Food Can Be Convenient, Quick and Delicious

Posted by javanuddin on Saturday, July 21, 2012

Some of the biggest excuses I hear about healthy eating, be it for health reasons, or to lose weight or gain muscle are - "healthy food doesn't taste good," (which is a serious problem because if your food doesn't taste good, it's very unlikely you'll stick to the plan) "it takes too long to prepare healthy food", and, "it's too complicated." These excuses are usually the result of thinking you need to slave over a hot stove preparing 6 course meals all day long. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Excuse #1 Healthy food is bland food

First off, the reality is that healthy foods aren't the one to blame; it's the cook who's at fault. Healthy foods don't have to be boring, or taste bad. Foods like rice cakes taste like cardboard because that's what rice cakes taste like, not because all healthy foods do

The belief that healthy food doesn't taste good will slow down your progress. Healthy food is like high performance race fuel for your body, while junk food laden with salt, sugar, fats, preservatives and the like are nothing more than camouflaged candy. You can say healthy food helps you perform like an Indy car, or a jet fighter, and junk food gives you the performance of a garbage truck! If you insist on eating junk and avoiding healthy food because "it taste's bad," don't expect to win any races or competitions anytime soon.

Another point to keep in mind is the following, expensive restaurants don't serve Big Macs - notice I didn't say burgers. They have burgers alright; one's made with top quality beef, nutritious bread and piles of veggies.

A tasty menu will actually make you look forward to your meals, and that's critical.

You might be able to eat a bad meal every now or then and brush it off, but do you think you could do that every day? How about 4, 5, 6 even 7 times a day? Probably not unless you were in a POW camp and didn't have a choice.

Simply put, tastier food makes it easier to stick to your nutritional plan. Stick to your nutritional plan long enough and it'll become a lifestyle. By making it a lifestyle you'll reap the benefits from eating healthy only gained from "sticking to the plan" for the long haul. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle for the long haul means your results will stick with YOU for the long haul - and I'd bet it's safe to say that's what you want.

Kirsten Hawkins, nutrition and health expert writes: "One of the biggest reasons that people slip off their diets and eating plans is BOREDOM. It's very easy to look at the foods allowed on your diet and see it as restrictive and boring. Chicken four nights a week. Fish three times a week. Green leafy vegetables till they're coming out of your ears. Who wouldn't get bored? The answer is - anyone with a good set of cookbooks and a healthy imagination. Perk up your cabinet with spices and fill your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables, then look for novel ways to combine them."

Excuse #2 I don't have the time to prepare healthy food

You may be saying to yourself "that's great but I don't have the time to cook." The truth is neither do I, at least not 5 or 6 times a day. However, I do have time to cook once a day and will usually prepare multiple meals at a time.

Once you realize that most healthy foods don't take much longer than unhealthy foods you'll find you'll have time for it too.

Most times it's just as fast and even quicker. Usually you can take the same recipes and replace the ingredients with healthier choices. For example, swap medium ground beef for extra lean, butter with olive oil, brown rice for white, and presto, you have a healthy meal. It also helps to experiment with different types of foods and try things you are unfamiliar with.

Excuse #3 Too complicated

It's also not that complicated. You don't need to spend hours seasoning and boiling down dishes. The great thing is that healthy meals tend to be simple dishes that use easy to learn cooking methods.

Toni Tanner Scott, Personal Chef and Cooking Coach, writes, "To support your healthy eating plan, stock your pantry wisely, focusing on the kinds of cuisine you and your family prefer. Start with the basics: good olive oil, reduced fat/sodium broth, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, dry beans and lentils. Then if you particularly enjoy Tex-Mex, add good chili powder, cumin, and oregano and tomato paste. If Asian fare is always favorite, keep low sodium soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil on hand, along with longer grain rice... you'll always be able to whip up a fabulous meal with some fresh lean meat and vegetables."

All of this healthy good eating will cause you to feel and look better, which will make you want to stick to the plan even more. Also, consistently eating healthy and balanced meals that meet your caloric requirement will provide you the fuel you need to push yourself to higher levels and maximize the returns from each workout. You will also recuperate better and quicker from your workouts which means you'll be in the gym sooner and reaching your goals faster.

If you're serious about your health, your looks, your mental wellbeing, making the most out of the time you spend in the gym and actualizing your true potential, fueling your body is a top priority.

And it all starts with a tasty menu based on a rock solid nutrition plan and a proven system that will get you there.

Eating Time!

Learn the basics of cooking.

You really don't need more than the basics, and they are very quick and easy to pick up.

Use the best ingredients you can get

Use fresh ingredients when you cook it'll make your foods taste much better. Even the best chef in the world would be hard pressed to make a tasty meal with old, wilted and stale ingredients.

Stay away from wilted fruits and veggies, and make sure the colors are bright and/or clear.

While fresh organic whole foods are my first choice, using pre cut or pre mixed fruits and veggies, like a salad mix, is OK when you're short on time.

As a rule of thumb, don't use anything that has a strong odor or has a cloudy color.

Fresh fish doesn't have a strong "fishy smell". If it does, it's more than likely going, if not already, bad. Same goes for other meats, stay away from strong odors.

Leftovers with a purpose

Cooking in bulk, i.e. making leftovers on purpose is a great way to keep the fridge or freezer stocked with ready to eat foods and meals.

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