If you are coming up with recipes for a new diet, certain decisions can hinder your progress. Here are common recipe mistakes to avoid for a healthy lifestyle.
Wanting to live a healthier lifestyle isn’t anything new.
Millions of people spend weeks, even months, preparing. They gather ideas, have hundreds of ingredients they’d love to try. Then some problems arise.
It’s easy to feel confused and excited by all the new food you’ve gathered, but it’s also easy to avoid common recipe mistakes before you even start.
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Jumping In Head First
Whether you want to hear it or not, changing your lifestyle takes time. Going all in and not giving yourself any time for an adjustment period is going to lead to problems.
If you’re used to buying potato chips and ice cream at the grocery store every week, start with picking an alternative that’s just as satisfying.
Keep the chips on your first week, but throw in some more vegetables. Buy the ice cream, but pick a dairy-free alternative or frozen yogurt.
There are plenty of dairy-free ice cream recipes for vegans, and it’s shown to have less saturated fat compared to ice cream made with cow’s milk.
Only Shopping For Recipes
I know, this article is about recipes, but hear me out.
Instead of shopping for two to three recipes every week, try picking two to three ingredients to base several recipes from.
According to this article by Harvest Food Solutions, consumers have recently spent more time preparing food at home. This automatically means you’re having to think about food more. What you’re going to eat, when you’re going to cook it, and (worst of all) cleaning it up.
Memorizing a few recipes with similar ingredients means less time worrying about the first two options. Cleaning the kitchen, however, is hard to avoid.
This is easy to achieve with any diet, whether you’re wanting to make a complete lifestyle change or just include more vegetables in your daily intake.
If you shop for a recipe and forget one ingredient, it can feel like a total loss. Keeping base ingredients (Think onion, garlic, lemon, lime, rice, pasta, milk, or meat) on hand allows you to get a lot more creative.
It also allows you to put more thought into any fresh fruits and vegetables you want, or even fresh herbs. This brings us to the next recipe mistake.
Only Cooking With Salt And Pepper
While salt and pepper can flavor and depth to any dish, depending on them to add all the flavor is a stretch.
Using fresh herbs or dried spices is often a healthy choice, and it does nothing but add to whatever you’re making.
“Spaghetti with fresh basil” or “tacos with fresh cilantro and lime juice” sounds a lot more appetizing than “store-bought sauce” and “plain ground beef tacos.”
Not to mention, both these recipes are easy to customize to whatever healthy lifestyle you’re wishing to build for yourself.
Using The Wrong Oil
Oils have varying smoke points. Some can withstand high heat, while others do better when drizzled over finished dishes.
For high heat and sauteing, go with sunflower, avocado or vegetable oil.
Olive oil and coconut oil don’t do well with high heat and should be limited to drizzling over finished products. Too much heat destroys any nutritional compounds they contain. Honey shouldn’t be exposed to high heat either.
Don’t be afraid to cook with oil either. Fats are healthy, needed, and oil is an easy way to add a limited amount to your diet.
Thinking Fats Are Bad
Contrary to popular belief, fat helps our bodies produce essential fatty acids that it otherwise couldn’t. It also aids the body in absorbing certain vitamins.
They should still be consumed in moderation, however.
Avocados, nuts, and olives are popular sources of plant-based fats. They’re high in calories, but also fiber. They can easily be put onto sandwiches, included in recipes, or eaten as a snack while you’re cooking.
Even salmon and tuna can also be added to this list. These two ingredients along with nuts are also good sources of protein.
Not Preventing Those Common Recipe Mistakes
All I mean is you should read the entire recipe before you start cooking.
Things can get hectic in the kitchen, and scrambling for your phone to look at the next step isn’t ideal when you’re also stirring a sauce and grabbing whatever’s in the oven.
Reading the recipe gives you a general idea of the process you’re enduring. It can also aid in helping you achieve a perfect mise en place, which is essentially French for having your ingredients gathered and ready to use before you begin cooking.
It’s the difference between a pleasant experience with cooking and feeling like you never want to do it again.
This last step is the most important though.
Ignoring What Your Body Wants
You can place everything perfectly in your kitchen. You can buy every component and prepare all of your ingredients, but it isn’t going to work if you don’t listen to your body.
Creating recipes for a new lifestyle should feel adventurous, not like you’re setting out on a neverending journey to be perfect.
Let’s face it. You’re probably going to make one of these common recipe mistakes at some point or another, but that shouldn’t stop you from moving toward the life you want to live.
But remember, if there’s a time you’d rather make pizza than cook an elaborate healthy meal with a side salad, that’s fine too.
A drizzle of healthy olive oil would be good on either one.