Ring in the New Eats: 4 Weeks to Healthy Eating

healthy-eatingChances are you’re pumped for the New Year. Maybe you scored one of those high-tech fitness trackers and are ready to take your workout to the next level, or maybe you plan on adding distance to your run with the help of a rockin’ new playlist. But what about your eats? Are they also evolving? Are you truly focusing on healthy eating?

A new study from Cornell University suggests that people who possess a more adventurous palate are healthier than those who stick with a routine diet. That’s great news for the foodies out there, and more empirical evidence that healthy eating is anything but tedious or boring.

Now, if a plate of Rocky Mountain oysters gives you the willies, no worries — there’s no need to go there. But it is important to eat a colorful diet for nutritional balance, and the more diverse the better. Start small and work your way up; before you know it those testicles might look pretty damn appetizing. Well, maybe.

Prime your palate for healthy eating one week at a time with the suggestions below!

Week 1: Nothing against parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (they are great spices and lyrically correct), but there are virtually hundred of others. You don’t have to change any of the star players (same lean protein, same carb), just change the spice to create something wonderfully different.

Week 2: This week, forego your usual fruits and vegetables. Seasonal rutabaga is high in vitamin C (great for combating cold season) and makes some awesome fries! And, if you are tired of the same party dip dunkers (yep, I’m already thinking about the Super Bowl) try slicing up some kohlrabi or jicama sticks for a crunchy change of pace.

Week 3: Add some texture and fiber to your life with easy to prepare and versatile whole grains. Some of the more interesting whole grains like amaranth, buckwheat and barley are a decent source of protein and lend themselves well to a vegetarian diet. Many are gluten-free also!

Week 4: Mix up your menu with a different protein source. Buffalo meat is richer than even high quality beef, but is much leaner and has higher levels of iron. Replace half the amount of turkey or beef in your next batch of burgers to get accustomed to the sweeter flavor. Or for a vegan option, give tofu a chance and pop it in as the protein in one of your regular recipes.

There are plenty of ways to breathe life into a worn-out diet. Challenge yourself and pump up your palate!

Who’s up for those Rocky Mountain oysters? Umm, let me know how you like them. —Karen

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