It's no lie that healthy food is bland. Not loaded with sodium and preservatives, it just doesn't have the "it" that junk food has. And yet, we're expected to eat these things to stay healthy. But there has to be a way to make these foods taste good, right?
Must Love Fat
The reason virtually all of these healthy foods - from chicken to brown rice - taste so bland to us is because they lack the fat content other foods have. American diets are very high in fat. Because it's so calorically dense, our bodies reward us with happy tastebuds and a feel good sensation. To suddenly change this means a body that is less than pleased.
Other things missing include high amounts of sugar and low to no salt. Put this together with almost no fat and you're left with foods that have far more muted flavors than our beloved junk food. And so we have to adapt.
Absence Makes the Taste Buds Fonder
Luckily, the longer you go without junk food, the more these individual flavors stand out. Veggies soon share with your their distinct flavors, with most of them actually being kind of sweet. Eventually, junk food becomes too intense, leading you to turn back to fruits and whole grains.
The Spice of Life
Yet even with the individual flavors, it's still not enough. This is why it's important to rediscover the ancient practice of adding spices and herbs. Depending on what you add and how much you add, you could turn your chicken and rice dinner into and Indian feast or a Japanese medley without needing to alter how you cook your food.
Spices you need
Spices that are optional
Where to get them
Bulk bins. Unless you want to buy spices in containers so you have containers for later, bulk spices are unbeatable in terms of price. For mere cents you can have months worth of garlic or rosemary. Whole Foods and Fred Meyer do this for sure. If your local grocery store doesn't do this, stop by the ethnic food section. In many of the Spanish sections, there will be baggies of spices for only $0.99.
How to use them
Step one: Add a bit of salt. Taste. Not enough? Add a bit more. Taste. Repeat until it's at a quantity you like.
Step two: Do step one with the rest of your spices.
If you're not sure what spices work well together, there are numerous cheat sheets out there that group spices by region so you know the flavor type you'll end up with.
Where to Start
Spices are scary. There are a lot of them, many with names that you're not quite sure how to pronounce. However, now's not the time to be scared. Now's the time to reward your taste buds for switching over to healthier foods. For that, I suggest starting with a mix of:
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.