A simple truth: we all have to eat. Needing food is not a choice and yet, what and how we choose to eat is, in fact, up to us. See, too often is healthy eating made out to be a painful task but there is room for great-tasting meals and good times when the word “healthy” is done, right.
That being said, I am here to share that eating healthy is possible for those like myself with a sweet tooth!
Whenever I recall Christmas dinners, Easter brunch spreads, or even mellow, late-lunches in the summer shared with loved ones, my heart never fails to be warmed; these times allowed for quality time and food to converge, and it really can’t get much better than that! Nevertheless, while these meals were always delicious, it often struck me how the question of how ‘healthy’ the foods (and especially the desserts) seemed of little importance to those around me.
Now, I will be the last person to tell you that you can’t enjoy your favorite morsel of goodness made by your grandma on Christmas - by all means, enjoy! Rather, what I mean to get at is that for me, I was sick of dealing with the unavoidable, awful sugar crash that followed such an indulgence. Plus, I’ll be honest - I like “indulging” daily, so I was determined to find a way to balance my hankering for an after-dinner treat with my desire to lead a healthy lifestyle.
In time, I came to a rather obvious conclusion: health is all about balance.
For some people, that balance might be reserving treats for a special night out of the week or saving indulgences for memorable occasions such as birthdays, holidays, and the like. Personally, I want dessert every night (no, really), so I take the approach of tweaking the dishes and treats I like to be both mouth-watering and nutrient-dense.
Doesn’t it sound wonderful? To make not just desserts but all the food you eat taste good while also leaving you feeling good! But, I am here to tell you that while this may sound like it’s too good to be true, it isn’t.
Great, so you know that healthy eating can be done - and enjoyably so - but what’s next? To spare you a lot of trial and error, I’ve got some general tips and tricks that’ll help you along your way:
Stick to fresh, whole foods - I’m talking chicken, beef, pork, and in-season fruits and vegetables.
Hone in on what you like to eat - ‘healthified’ adjustments to those dishes can be made later! Plus, rest assured that I am here to help guide you through what exactly “healthified adjustments” entail.
From there, place your focus on small swaps you can make: coffee with Stevia (a natural sweetener) rather than sugar, chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts because the fat in the thighs will satiate you longer, etc.
Remember that eating healthy contributes to not only your wellbeing but also to the wellbeing of your family. In choosing to eat well, you are also expressing great care for those you share meals with.
Lastly, know that you can do it! Remind yourself that there is no perfect definition of nor end goal to healthy eating: it is a continual, beautiful process that allows for nourishing minds, bodies, and communities alike.
Although the task of altering one’s eating habits seems daunting, I believe that with time, course correction, and patience, it can be done. So let me tell you that deprivation is not on the horizon but instead feeling your best is!
That said, here at The Wooden Spoon Healthy Eating, you’ll be surrounded by a community of fellow foodies who, just like yourself, want to have their cake and eat it too!
Here’s to health,
Contributor & Founder of The Wooden Spoon Healthy Eating Blog