Welcome to Day #2 of our Love Your Food series! Did you complete yesterday’s homework assignment? If not, there is still time!
Today we’re talking about choosing the right foods to love. Obviously, some foods are loved simply because they taste good, and although its okay to have these foods on occasion, if you eat too much of them too often, chances are you won’t feel all that great after awhile. So although there is a place for these sorts of foods in your meal plan, you might want to incorporate foods that you can love for more than just their taste more regularly into your day.
So what is it about the foods we eat that make them love-worthy other than their taste?
They make your body feel great. Foods that make you feel your best are definitely love-worthy. Fiber-rich grains, lean proteins, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, and calcium- and vitamin D loaded dairy or dairy alternatives all fall into this category. Not only are the filling, but their wide range of nutrients can help you feel more energized, alert, and ready to tackle the day.
Their visual appeal. There is nothing more love-worthy than brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Add them to your plate and the meal appeal automatically improves. In fact, the better your food looks, the more it influences our taste perception. Often vibrant colored foods make our meals look more pleasurable and fruits and vegetables tend to be the most colorful of all the food groups.
Their simplicity. Real, whole foods are incredibly versatile and believe it or not, you don’t need pre-packaged foods to eat more meals at home. Yet to keep your meal plan uncomplicated, its important to know how to incorporate whole foods into the meals you prepare. Sometimes its easy to over think this process, but instead of completely overhauling your current plan, consider adding in a few of your favorite whole foods here and there. Prepping fruits and vegetables ahead of time can also help simplify the prep work and lessen the amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen before a meal. And if you prep your fruits and veggies in advance, you can probably incorporate them into other meals throughout the week as well.
They make you feel empowered. Changing the way you eat can often feel restrictive or limiting; however, it doesn’t have to be this way! In fact, it shouldn’t be. You should feel excited, encouraged, and motivated to try and add new foods to your repertoire. So the next time you are at the grocery store and you pick up a new food to try, feel empowered about that decision! Hopefully, if you’re choosing a food that’s nutritionally sound, you’ll feel like a foodie rock star because you just made a very good decision for yourself. Now how could you not love a food that makes you feel like that?
Day 2 Homework: Grab that list of foods you love and make note of the lovable attributes each one has. Does the food in question help you feel your best and empowered? Is it simple to incorporate into your meals? Can it make your meal more visibly appealing? Or does it just taste good? There really is room for all sorts of foods on your list, but remember that the majority of them should provide more than just good taste. Once you’ve identified your truly lovable foods, create a meal plan for this week that incorporates at least two or three of them. Share your meal plan or meal ideas with us on Facebook.