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One of the biggest concerns I hear from clients about eating more healthfully is they're worried about food being bland, boring and just not tasting good. And you know what? That is a LEGITIMATE concern! I mean, after all, who would WANT to stick to any type of healthy eating plan or, heaven forbid, make it a lifestyle change if you don't even like what you're eating! 

March is National Nutrition Month and this year's theme is Savor the Flavor. What better way to celebrate this year than to share some of my favorite ways to enhance and savor the flavor when preparing delicious, healthy foods. 

Oils and Vinegars - There are a HUGE variety of different types and flavors of oils and vinegars on the market other than just your typical Olive Oil or Balsamic. Oils and vinegars can be used to enhance vegetable dishes, salads and pasta dishes. Look for Cider vinegars, usually made with apples to add to marinades. Rice Wine vinegars for Japanese dish and Asian inspired meals. There are lots more to consider and experiment with!

Pickled Vegetables - If you love pickles on your sandwich, then it might be time to experiment with trying pickled vegetables in other meals and dishes. Black olives, green olives, capers, banana peppers and pickled peppers can add tons of flavor pops to meals. Top your salads and entrees with a few of these and you'll never be bored.

Hot Peppers - Bringing up the heat to a dish will also inspire your taste buds and leave you feeling like your dish has an even deeper flavor. Jalepenos, habeneros, cayenne, chili peppers...the list goes on and on. Add just a little spice to turn up the heat, or a lot for a KAPOW of flavor! Peppers can be used in dishes to enhance flavor or as toppings. Use peppers in Mexican inspired cuisines, salads, on sandwiches, in casseroles and more. 

Spices and Seasoning - Mrs. Dash is my jam! I love all the different varieties. Southwest Chipotle and Garlic and Herb are my favorites to add to vegetable dishes. But really, any type of spice or seasoning to add to vegetables, meats and even your carbohydrate dishes will only ENHANCE the flavor without the added calories or nasty stuff getting in the way. I love Tyme and Rosemary for chicken dishes. I love Paprika and Cumin for pork dishes. 

Fresh Herbs - We can't mention spices without mentioning fresh herbs. Fresh herbs offer an even more intense flavor than their dried counterparts. Add Cilantro to Mexican inspired cuisines. Add Rosemary and Dill to roasted vegetables, such as red potatoes. Bonus if you plant and grow the herbs on your counter top! 

What other ways can you think of to SAVOR THE FLAVOR of your dishes? 

 


Amber Madden is a Licensed Counseling Associate specializing in Eating Disorders and Obesity. She is the Clinical Director at Madden Wellness Counseling, PLLC. She utilizes her skills in addiction to assist her clients in with Binge Eating, "food addictive" patterns, and develop a positive approach to overall health and wellness. She has a passion for assisting clients in achieving their health goals and learning to love nutritious foods and exercise. For more information visit www.maddenwellnessky.com