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Stuck in a Healthy Food Rut? 10 Ways to Avoid Diet Boredom

With a few new tricks up your sleeve, you can rediscover how delicious and fun healthy eating can be.

If you're trying to stick to a healthy diet, you may end up feeling like you are eating the same foods over and over again. Getting bored with your healthy go-to meals of steamed broccoli and grilled chicken can leave you feeling like hitting the nearest drive-through. Spruce up your meal routine with these helpful tips in order to avoid feeling uninspired and deprived. Overall, the goal is to make healthy eating an achievable, permanent lifestyle change by adopting an eating pattern that allows for flexibility, moderation, and enjoyment rather than trying a new “diet”.

Try a New Protein

If you are trying to eat healthy, you are likely very familiar with the usual stand-by lean proteins such as grilled chicken breast, cottage cheese, and baked fish. However, the muscle-building potential of protein extends far beyond these healthy diet staples. Pursue other protein sources such as beans, nuts, seeds, nut and seed butters, tofu, eggs, peas, lentils, kefir, yogurt, and glorious, yummy cheese (seek out reduced-fat versions, which still have enough fat to taste great and melt well but are lower in calories).

Enjoy Savory Yogurt

It is no secret that yogurt can be incredibly nutritious—if you select the unsweetened varieties. However, most people have yet to discover savory yogurt. Banish boring fruity yogurt and discover how amazing plain, unsweetened yogurt tastes with additions such as olives, olive oil, spices, fresh herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, green onions, nuts, and seeds. Savory yogurt has far less sugar than the sweet flavors you typically find at the grocery store, but still contains the same beneficial nutrients, including protein, calcium, vitamin D, and probiotics.

Roast Your Veggies

If you have never tried roasted vegetables, you have been missing out on a whimsical world of flavor. Roasting veggies brings out all their natural sweetness and makes their inherent diverse flavor profiles more intensified. Additionally, the veggies retain their nutrients with this cooking method.

Sample a New Spice

Nothing takes you from bored to exhilarated quite like spices, spicy sauces, or fresh herbs. Go beyond your usual spice staples and explore a new spice or herb once a month to reinvigorate your meals. Great, low-cost ways to breathe new life into your mundane meals is to buy some spices at an ethnic food store or farmers’ market.

Get Zesty

Don’t throw out that orange peel after breakfast—zest it and add it to your grilled chicken breast or pork tenderloin for dinner. Zest from citrus fruit peels, as well as citrus fruit juice itself, adds a ton of flavor with hardly any calories. You can buy a microplane zester or simply use the small-hole side of your box grater to remove the zest from grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits.

Get Gardening

Nothing is quite as gratifying as going out to your backyard and “picking dinner,” which I do almost daily. You will get to fully enjoy all the flavor nuances that fresh, fully-ripened, organically-grown produce has to offer. Additionally, you can plant whatever you like and experiment with new produce that you have never tried before. If you do not have the green space where you live, seek out community gardens where you can use a plot.

Buy or Borrow a New Cookbook

Get inspired to create delicious, affordable, nutrient-dense meals and snacks by picking up a fascinating new cookbook or borrowing one from a friend (ask for their recommendations for successful tried and true recipes).

Host a Healthy Pot-Luck Dinner for New Ideas

Invite a handful of kitchen-savvy friends, family members, or coworkers over to your house for a boisterous pot-luck dinner with the only requirement being that each dish must be healthy. Then, enjoy a variety of innovative, unfamiliar, flavorful dishes and swap recipes and tips with some of your favorite people.

Try a New Ethnic Cuisine

Expand your culinary horizon in taking a virtual taste “trip around the world” by savoring an authentic dish at a neighborhood ethnic restaurant, or picking up an unfamiliar ingredient at a nearby ethnic grocery store.

Tack on Texture

Relish an entire realm of textures to more fully appreciate what a well-balanced healthy meal or snack has to offer. Add crunch—not to mention healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals—by topping your dishes with toasted nuts or seeds. Add creamy texture by utilizing avocado or Greek yogurt in your recipes.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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