Tips for the Aspiring Health “Foodie”

The term “Foodie” is typically refers to people who are generally obsessed with food and the experiences revolving around it. It is a lifestyle, and to some, almost a religion. Whether it is creating culinary masterpieces at home, following the latest restaurants and hottest chefs or tracking down a truck that only exists for two hours in a hidden alley, “Foodies” create a culture of their own Epicurean delights! And this culture is everywhere!  Social media feeds, tv channels and magazines bring food from the farthest corners of the earth to the forefront of our minds.

However, with all the attention the “foodie” culture receives, the thought of empowering a healthy lifestyle seems all but present.  Conscious calorie choices, avoiding carbs and excess fats does not seem to be an important part of the “foodie” culture. When was the last time you saw the guy from “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” eating a salad???

But, despite what you may think, being part of the “foodie” culture and making healthy conscious choices doesn’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, with the healthy lifestyle craze, budding “foodies” may actually be very health positive.  If you fall in to the group where you are, or want to be a “foodie,” yet want keep your healthy lifestyle, the following tips may be right in your skillet. Doing the following you should be able to both keep your cravings and your fitness path.

1. Home Cooking Avoids Unhealthy Food Choices.

If cooking is your passion, you are lucking out today. Cooking is by far the easiest way to keep tabs on what goes in to your food, and the finished dish.  Many of the health positive “foodies” we know, focus on keeping every ingredient as natural as possible.  Keeping “natural” ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing flavor, rather choosing to replace dressings, marinades and sauces with more organic ingredients.  A good rule of thumb is the “fresher,” and “greener (think lettuce),” the better.

2. Knowing Your Biology

Although there a 1,001 different diets and food philosophies all claiming to know what healthy eating “should be.” The problem is that healthy eating can be varied from person to person, as everybody has a unique set of genes and metabolic rates. A person’s daily activity and nutritional needs can vary from these factors. Everybody knows the skinny girl who can eat anything she wants, with seemingly no repercussions.  The absolute best way for you sort through the mess is to do your homework; consult trusted health/medical websites, or seek out information from a nutritionist. Once you are armed with information on your own biological needs, you can be better informed on the type of diet will best to scratch your “foodie” itch.

3. Experiment With Healthy Substitutions for Unhealthy Ingredients

If, for some reason, you find out that you have to eliminate an important ingredient for your favorite recipe, you might be under the misconception that the dish will never taste the same. However, with a lit bit of homework and some experimenting, you might just be able find a healthy alternative that significantly raises nutritional value in your recipe. Many spices, oils, herbs and veggies can provide full and colorful flavor substitute for your dishes. Who knows, your dish may be tastier than ever, and the experimentation can be fun. How could anything be more “foodie” than that?

4. Seek Healthier Food Options When Eating Out

It should go without saying, I’m going to say it, you might just want to skip butter-filled Italian dish or the super chocolatey dessert. Not that you can’t have these once in a while, but just remember how much these can actually effect your diet.  Healthier foods that are prepared by a talented chef can be far more satisfying and just as flavorful. Once again, do your homework on what healthy means for your genetics and scout those items out from the menu.  Be sure to focus you search on the growing number of healthy restaurants and cafés in your town. These eateries usually stress their sourcing of all-natural and fresh ingredients.

5. Taste, Don’t Gorge

Similar to how wine connoisseurs savor the complexity of tones, you can get the same feeling with your dishes. If you take small tastes and savor the herbs and complexities of the spices, you can still enjoy all the unique flavor combinations. An added bonus is that your restraint will pay fitness dividends by avoiding the calories you will inevitably have to work off at the gym. Remember, the first few bites of a dish will give you all the flavor and satisfaction you crave.

You should be super conscious of the humungous portions served at restaurants these days. Our human conditioning typically compels us to “clean our plates,” and not waste food. Additionally, our bodies stomach lag behind feeling “full” when we are eating, which is why overeating can be so painfully easy to do.  To avoid wasting food, or overeating at a restaurant, immediately split the food in to two, or three portions when the dish arrives. Resolve yourself to eating one portion and ask your server to pack the other portions “to-go.” You can safely savor the meal on your own terms without blowing your diet in one meal.

As you can see, it is totally possible be a “nutritionally conscious” foodie. If you, like myself, enjoy indulging on your favorite foods way too much, keep these simple tips in mind to get all your “foodie” indulgences without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle ambitions.

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