Are you feeling dispassionate about or uninspired by the foods you eat? This blog is for you if you are feeling bored around diet, not liking food, not sure what to eat, or somehow wanting some new energy when it comes to what you eat. Here are four tips to help you get out of a rut with food:
Spice it Up!
Buy a cookbook and experiment with different ways to prepare and spice foods. When we are exposed to different ways of preparing food, we can incorporate those preparations into our repertoire of recipes. And the best part is, by using someone else’s recipes, we don’t need to spend countless hours working out the right concoctions. We simply need to follow directions.
Try different spice flavors than you’re used to. If you tend toward bland, try a spice that kicks it up a notch. If you like Indian food but never cook it, buy a cookbook for Indian foods that inspire you and see where it takes you. If the Mediterranean is your happy place, get some cookbooks that let your taste buds travel there.
Cooking can be a relaxing art that also increases your digestive function — this is one of the lessons we learn from Dynamic Eating Psychology. As the aromas tantalize your senses, your body will be flooding your mouth and digestive organs with enzymes. Incorporate your favorite colors, as this can also be just the right medicine for your body. There’s a reason the European world went looking for spices, even at great peril; spices make food taste so much better! And they often make food better for us.
Consult with a Friend or Family Member
Get new ideas and new insights from a friend you notice has an inspired relationship with food. Not only will you create some community around eating, you’ll learn a few new tricks about cooking or preparing food. Often, friends will have completely different routines that will break you out of yours.
Trade off cooking with a friend or family member so that you eat together every so often. Each of you can take turns being responsible for organizing the menu, and then you can cook or prepare your meal together, so it’s more fun! You can also share favorite drink ideas, and pick themes to celebrate life’s successes or commiserate in life’s challenges.
Make enough to freeze or refrigerate for leftovers. More people are starting to get together to prepare food for their specified meal plans. It’s a great way to stay on track and share community at the same time.
Go Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, or Raw
Experiment with different types of eating, but always listen to your body. If you’ve been a die-hard carnivore, try going vegan or vegetarian for a month and notice how you feel. Read up on the recommended ways to do it, so that you’re getting the nutrients you need. If you eat vegan or vegetarian, and you’re not morally opposed to eating meat or animal products, maybe you want to add small amounts in every now and then, especially if you crave it, and see how you feel.
If you’ve been bored with the same old soggy cooked food, try going raw for a few weeks or incorporating a certain percentage of raw food into your diet. If joint pain has been nagging you and you have persistent bloating, try a paleo meal plan for a while and notice how your body responds.
There’s really no right or wrong way to do it, as long as it works for you. Let your body be your guide. If it energizes you, stick with it. If you start to feel depleted or sluggish, speak to your nutritionist or doctor or take a break from the experiment.
Shop at a Farmer’s Market
Going to your local farmer’s market is a great way to get inspired about real food. Talk to the farmers and get your hands on some super fresh foods. Find out where the food comes from and how it’s been grown or produced. You’ll get foods that are seasonal, rather than shipped from far away, which your body likes. We here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating feel there’s something invigorating about being connected to the food you consume!
A farmer’s market is also a way to get outside and meet other like-minded people who care about food quality and community, while getting an errand done at the same time. Stop and smell the fresh produce. Support local agriculture. Reduce your carbon footprint. See what’s fresh and build a menu from that. It’s a great way to get inspired about food!
With our busy lives, it’s no wonder we fall into habitual patterns. But changing things up from the “old standards” in your kitchen will not only be pleasing to your taste buds and your belly, it can inspire you to try new things in other areas of your life as well. So get out to the farmer’s market, get together with friends to cook an exotic meal, and see how much enjoyment you can find in life’s simple pleasures!
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