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The Tastiness Myth

In the Habits of Health System, we try to reframe the journey to optimal health around the idea that creating health means gaining a wealth of new rewards—from a potentially longer life to more energy to richer memories with your loved ones. Yes, you lose weight, but in the grand scheme of things, you are trading the weight for a life that you love.

In this same vein, there is a misconception that eating healthy foods means giving up the joy that can come from food. The hundreds of diet programs out there have instilled in us a belief that eating healthy is a never-ending loop of “No, I can’t have that because of my diet.”

You can practice Habits of Health and still enjoy delicious, great-tasting food. In fact, our system is inspired by the Mediterranean diet (in large part due to that region’s history of longevity and the ongoing research that touts its benefits). I don’t think anyone would argue against the fact that this part of the world has a rich reputation for great tasting food.

As your Habits of Health journey becomes a lifelong pursuit, learning to cook your own healthy meals, that you and your family genuinely enjoy, will become a cornerstone of your success. Sharing meals are part of how we as humans connect to each other, and since what we choose to eat has such a big impact on our health, we should look for ways to make that activity enjoyable. When something is enjoyable, after all, it is easier to do.

Here are some quick tips to make healthy eating easier and more fun:

  • Always be mindful of portions. Follow our plate system to keep it simple.
  • Experiment with spices. A dash of something flavorful can make a dish pop.
  • Rotate who cooks. If you have friends practicing the Habits of Health, rotate who cooks for an evening to help expand your horizon.
  • Use the OPTAVIA Lean & Green recipes for ideas and for cooking tips.

For our experienced coaches out there, what tips would you add to this list?

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