As we approach the end of winter, many of us may be feeling tired or bored with our diets and food choices. This is especially if we have been hibernating and keeping to the same old food routine for the past few months.
A lack of interest in food or not feeling excited by your food, can impact your relationship with food. For instance, it can create resentment towards food, cause a ‘I can’t be bothered’ attitude which can lead to skipping meals or not looking after your nutrition or can create an over reliance on takeaway foods.
If you can relate and are seeking to be reinspired by your food, here are 5 ways to fall back in love with food and enter spring with a rekindled passion and excitement towards food and nutrition:
Try new ingredients
It’s all too easy to get stuck in a routine of buying the same ingredients week in, week out, without much prior thought! We are all busy and some of us don’t have the mental capacity to think about food and operate on autopilot at the shops. Therefore, to change your routine, it can take some conscious effort. Start small and think of a few ingredients to add to your shopping list each week and most importantly, ways to integrate them into your diet! There needs to be a plan for the food or it will sit at the back of the cupboard or fridge. For example:
- If you eat pasta each week, try buying a different cheese to grate over it;
- Instead of buying spinach as your leaves, try rocket, oak lettuce, watercress or kale;
- Try a new bread – instead of a wholegrain loaf, try sourdough or rye; and/or
- Add a new spice to your spice rack such as sumac, smoked paprika or fenugreek.
Change the format you eat
If you usually serve meat and 3 veg at dinnertime on a plate and feel this is getting snooze worthy, shake dinnertime up by serving dinner ‘share style.’ This doesn’t have to take more time or much more effort, for example, place your meat or plant-based protein in a dish and offer an array of sides such as leafy greens, roasted veg, fresh tomato salsa, guccamole and perhaps a dip such as beetroot hummus and the have fun assembling your own plate! This style of eating is great to help kids be more interested in food also.
In terms of lunch, if you usually toss all of your salad ingredients into a bowl and mix, try making a nourish bowl and layering the ingredients around the bowl with the dressing in the centre. If you are a sandwich fan, try a deconstructed sandwich by putting the fillings in a bowl and serving with bread on the side or serve as an open sandwich.
Change up your dressing
Your choice of dressing can ultimately change the taste, feel and look of a meal! If your go to is bottled French or just a simple extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, shake things up with a new dressing such as:
- Tahini miso – combine ½ cup tahini, ¼ cup miso paste, 1-2 tsp. honey, 1 clove crushed garlic and enough water to thin; or
- Dill & lemon yoghurt – combine 200g Greek yoghurt, 1 tbsp. chopped dill, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (optional) and 1 clove crushed garlic;
- Harissa – 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 tsp. harissa paste.
Dressings do not have to be limited to salad, they also work well on roasted vegetables, stir-fry’s and sandwiches.
Add some pop of colour
The taste of food is not the only thing that impacts our interest in food, but also how it looks. A simple way to make food look more interesting is to add some colour! This may mean adding:
- fresh herbs such as coriander, mint or parsley;
- roasted beetroot, sweet potato, pumpkin, red onion and capsicum;
- fresh fruit such as berries, pineapple, papaya to liven up muesli or yoghurt or try adding some fruit to salads; and
- drizzle meals with a bright dressing such as a zesty avocado or spiced beetroot dressing.
Purchase new kitchenware
As a chef and nutritionist, I don’t just get excited by food but also kitchenware such as plates and bowls! A change in kitchenware, such as adding a splash of colour, can really inspire how I plate food or just overall more excited. I recommend trying this for yourself and seeing how your interest in food increases!