If you’re like me and try to stick to high proteins, vegetables and less carbohydrates, especially when trying to lose weight at a faster speed, you may find that protein can get quite boring. Chicken and salad? Tuna and salad? Eggs? When protein gets boring, you’ll find yourself more attracted to carbohydrates and even junk food. Here are some of my tips to keep meals interesting so that you stick to healthy eating!
Give your protein some flavour
Simply grilling a chicken breast with salt and pepper can be boring if eaten every day, so try marinating your proteins in different sauces. Be sure to check the labels to avoid added sugars and starches. Renee’s gourmet dressings have always been one of my favourites because most use natural ingredients and no added sugars. Sometimes I mix my tuna with Renee’s ceasar dressing and mustard, then throw it over a bed of greens for a quick tuna salad.
Who says breakfast can’t be eaten for dinner?
I like to experiment with different omelettes for dinner sometimes. Eggs are a low-calorie, very high-protein food. Add spinach and ricotta cheese to your omelette, or try mushrooms and Swiss cheese. The variety of vegetables and cheeses gives you endless possibilities!
Is there a cuisine you really like?
Try experimenting with spices and flavours from around the world. Many recipes can be modified to include Thai curry or Greek souvlaki spices, for example, to fit your healthy diet and give your food a delicious kick!
Make your salads more interesting
While experimenting with spices and sauces for your proteins are important, if the base of your meal is a salad, experimenting with different vegetables and dressings is just as important. Adding berries, which are high-fibre, low-sugar fruits, to your salads will give you a variety of flavours to play with. Grill some eggplant, zucchini and peppers for a warm addition to your salad. Add some nuts for a tasty crunch with your protein. Experiment with different dressings, and try creating your own to top your salad with.
When you really want carbohydrates
I tend to eat most of my carboydrates early on in my day so I have the time to burn the energy I eat. If you want your carboydrate fix, try having most of your carboydrate intake with breakfast, and keep your later meals more rich in protein.
While you may consume carbohydrates at breakfast, sometimes the bread and the pasta will simply win over the chicken and salad, no matter how gourmet the salad is. Here’s where you can be smart about the carbohydrates you choose so that you still get protein that will keep you feeling satisfied. Also, while I’m not a vegetarian, I do occasionally have vegetarian meals, which are a bit more challenging to get protein from, so I end up eating more carbohydrates.
Hummus and vegetables are a great alternative to meat, chicken or fish because the chickpeas in the hummus are a high source of protein and keep you feeling full. If you must have bread, opt for whole wheat pita, which should have no added sugar, and try cutting the pita into triangles so you can easily limit how many “bread triangles” you eat. If you want pasta or rice, opt for whole wheat pasta or brown rice. Another alternative to pasta and rice is quinoa, the grain rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Remember, be mindful of what you eat, not obsessed. While it’s fun to plan some meals and try new recipes, don’t let the task of avoiding high-carbohydrate foods be daunting or stressful. Eating should still be a pleasure, so find recipes you like, and enjoy eating more healthy, real foods!