You have probably heard a lot about heart health this month, right? We all know that exercise, eating right and building healthy habits are important in maintaining heart and overall health. But eating “right” isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to following a heart healthy diet AND actually enjoying the food on the table. With all of the junk foods at our finger tips, how are we supposed to make healthy choices all the time? We have a few tips to help you fall in love with a heart healthy diet!
A heart healthy diet starts with LOVE
Loving your body isn’t always easy, especially if you are hoping to make changes to your health or appearance. Many times, we make dietary changes out of fear, rushing into new diet fads just to shed a few pounds before returning to our former eating habits. If you want to make lifelong changes to support your heart health, they may need to come from a place of love instead. How can you best show your body your love and appreciation? Eating a healthy, nutritious diet with the foods you love in moderation might just be key to long term change!
Retrain your taste buds
We humans are built to love sugars and fats. In fact, it is why many of our hunter-gatherer ancestors survived the harsh winters, going for foods that would provide plenty of energy to help them during those times when they might not get enough to eat. Manufacturing companies only make it worse by adding food preservatives meant to make our brains go crazy for certain flavors and taste combinations. We are often left with a giant empty bag of chips and the feeling we won’t ever be able to get healthy.
Your taste buds may be used to consuming a lot of sweet and salty foods, but the more you reach for fresh, whole ingredients the more you will retrain them to enjoy other tastes as well. Add spices to your cooking, such as cinnamon, cumin, thyme, garlic and more. Try to opt for fresh fruits or nuts when you are feeling that afternoon snacking monster rise up inside of you. And remember, moderation is key so you don’t ever need to say goodbye to your beloved chips. Just stick to one serving instead of an entire bag.
Find recipes you LOVE
Need more inspiration? Find some recipes you love you make that use healthy ingredients. The more you look forward to your healthy meals, the more likely you will lay off the takeout. Here are some amazing options to try this winter:
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili–Lure your sweet tooth into submission with this sweet, spicy combination that provides plenty of protein and vitamins too.
Cheesy Spinach Zucchini Lasagna–This one will even please the kids in the family with plenty o fleftovers for an easy lunch.
Perfect Baked Salmon with Lentils and Lemon Herb Sauce-Salmon is a mainstay in any heart healthy diet and this one is just too delicious to turn down.
Healthy Oven Baked Chicken Tacos–Don’t miss out on Taco Tuesday!
LOVE your body (and care about what goes in it)
Need some more help falling in love with your body and switching to a healthier way of being? Registered dietitians at your local Hancock Wellness Centers can help to answer all of your burning questions. They can also help to get you on the right track toward making healthier choices without sacrificing the foods you love. Additionally, you can speak to you Hancock Health provider to ask them what they recommend for your particular health journey.
Eating a heart healthy diet is a great way to combat heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Jump on the bandwagon with us this month and see if you can keep at it long enough to fall in love with heart healthy eating!