In my journey to healthy eating, I have had to eliminate somethings, by choice and by compulsion. You have read about how I have a long list of items my body rejected over time. Read it here again.
I like good food, and I am of the opinion that eating healthy doesn't have to be the same as eating boring, which is the misconception many people have. Instead of elimination, I always prefer replacement.
For example, I will not eliminate food like white rice, bread, cake, pasta, etc., even though they are not good for us. I have successfully replaced these foods with brown rice, brown bread, whole wheat spaghetti, whole wheat pasta, barley, whole wheat flour for pancakes, etc. The truth is that whole wheat flour doesn't taste differently from processed flour, apart from the fact that it's doesn't stick together as much.
Also, instead of eliminating food like fried plantain, fried chicken, etc, I have replaced them with plantain baked with olive oil, baked chicken, etc. The taste is exactly the same.
These things I did, and more to come, has made my food life still interesting, but are far healthier options for me.
For almost 2 years, I have been using My Fitness Pal to count my calories and sync with my Garmin app. The thing about these apps is that you begin to see data of where you are going wrong (or right) in your diet. In fact, you might think you are eating really healthy, but with more information, you will know there are harmful eating habits you need to stop.
First, we all know that the major culprit of obesity is
processed and preserved food because most of them are high in salt, sugar and fat. But not all have high fat content, as we know, such as processed meat like frankfurter sausages, but still, they are not healthy. Why? So much salt is used to preserve these food. High salt content equals high sodium content. High sodium content equals water retention, which equals obesity. Long story short, processed food should go down to the barest minimum.
The last and most difficult thing I had to eliminate last year was MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate). It is the major ingredient in your seasoning cubes and flavour enhancing spices. Seasoning cubes are basically salt and MSG. Now, here is the thing, MSG is an artificial chemical compound that is bad for the body, and a major cause of many diseases. Anytime I entered seasoning cubes into my app, I saw how the sodium content and other things in my diet went up.
Do you know you don't have to use seasoning cubes? Can you ask yourself what our greatgrandparents were using before the advent of seasoning cubes? Seasoning cubes is mainly marketed to Nigerians and few African countries. Can you ask yourself what westerners, Asians, Europeans, Americans, Australians, etc, use? They don't use seasoning cubes, yet they eat good food. You can make your own seasoning with natural spices, herbs, and stock.
I heard many Nigerians have and are currently eliminating seasoning cubes from their diet, so I knew it was possible. To be honest, it takes a lot of trial and error, and if your spouse is a foodie, they might be worried that the food might not be as sweet, but do a bit of research, develop your spice/herb mix for different foods, and within 1 week to a month, you will nail your combination.
Use your herbs to draw out flavour from your proteins to get your stock, and use your that stock and spices to give your food great taste.
These few have helped me to bring out flavour when I had to eliminate seasoning cubes
Spices: Nutmeg, Garlic, Ginger, Black pepper, White pepper, Paprika, Chilli flakes, Cloves, Cayenne pepper, Star anise, Onion powder
Herbs: Parsley, Chives, Tarragon, Bay leaf, Thyme, Turmeric, Rosemary, Oregano, Cumin, Sage, Basil, Coriander, Fennel seeds
You can get these from supermarkets like Ebeano, Shoprite, ASDA, Walmart, etc.
What of you? What have you had to eliminate or replace in your diet because of healthier eating choices?
Question: Do you like posts about food/healthy living (eating). Would you like to read more posts like this from me?