Keeping Things Spicy in the Kitchen
Eating meat and vegetables can feel boring sometimes, especially when we're constantly bombarded by hyper-palatable foods in restaurants, in the office break room, and on TV.
Many of us stick to eating healthy because we enjoy the benefits we experience. But after a while of eating this way, you start craving all the foods you left behind...
The key to to sticking with it - like anything else in life - is to spice things up!
Avoid the dreaded food boredom with the following ideas to inject newness into your routine.
Trader Joe's is your new best friend
Do you have a Trader Joe's nearby? They've got some great readymade items such as:
- cruciferous crunch salad
- broccoli and kale slaw
- Green Goddess salad dressing
- turmeric salad dressing
- shaved Brussels sprouts
When we discovered these items, they weren't necessarily different foods than we were eating before. However the same foods simply cut up, prepared, and combined in different ways made things new and exciting.
Calorie-free ways to transform your food
Experiment with different seasonings. With the rising popularity of clean eating, there are lots of brands popping up targeting bodybuilders, Paleo eaters, autoimmune dieters and more to help us make our food taste better… We like Paleo Powder, Feast Mode, and Spice Cave.
Adding citrus juice, garlic, or a splash of vinegar are also easy ways to completely change the flavor of your food. For example, flank steak with fresh cilantro, garlic, and lime juice can taste totally different from one seasoned with salt and pepper.
Marinades can be a great way to add flavor to proteins without adding calories from sweet sauces. Try making your own marinades where you can control the ingredients.
Cook a fancy dinner once a week
In our household, we've started cooking a "fancy" dinner on Wednesday nights. We'll look up recipes online (usually with the word "paleo" in front to help narrow things down) and check that they don't have any foods from our avoid list.
The portions may not be 100% according to plan (really just for fats - you can pretty easily measure the protein, starches, and veggies as usual), but it's a nice way to break up the week with something different.
Here's a chicken curry recipe we recently tried that is SO good! Give it a shot!
For the seasoned pros
If you're a seasoned pro with our meal plan at this point, feel free to allow some wiggle room for things that were off limits during your first six weeks.
- Dried fruit and seeds to give salads some sweetness and crunch
- Greek yogurt if tolerated
- Crunchy snacks like rice cakes, rice crackers, plantain chips
- Fruit (if aiming to maintain weight or add lean muscle mass)
Find restaurants and meal prep services that work with your meal plan
Every once in a while it's nice to have someone else do the cooking! Finding a restaurant or meal prep service that works with your meal plan offers a nice break from the kitchen.
There are tons of great meal prep services out there, many of which give you the option to exclude allergens, such as nuts, dairy, and gluten. Check out services like Territory, Snap Kitchen, Blue Apron, or HelloFresh.
Chat with your foodie friends
We like talking about food and so do our friends. We've gotten some of the best recipes and found some of our favorite restaurants from conversations with them.
It's always helpful to see what others are cooking up, so we encourage you to post photos of your meals and tag @adaptive.nutrition!
Check out our recipes page to make your next week's meal prep delicious!
How do you like to keep things spicy in the kitchen? Let us know in the comments.