Still trying to find a New Year’s resolution? Here’s one that’s simple and easy to stick to: diversify your diet.
“As a dietitian, I often hear that eating healthy is bland or boring, but it certainly doesn’t have to be,” says Lindsay Yau, a registered dietitian nutritionist and board-certified specialist in obesity and weight management with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers. She shares these three tips for diversifying your diet in the new year:
- Vary your vegetables.
Vegetables form a foundation for any healthy meal or snack. In fact, Yau recommends that half your plate be filled with colorful vegetables. If you’re tired of your usual veggies, try something new that’s in season.
“Right now, root vegetables like delicata squash, purple yams and golden beets are in season and are a delicious and nutritious way to spruce up your meals,” Yau says.
- Use grains to change up the flavor of your dishes.
“Whole grains such as farro, barley and red quinoa are a great way to increase your fiber intake and dress up a green salad,” Yau says.
- Step out of your comfort zone.
A new year is a great time to start fresh and try foods you’ve never had before. From cauliflower crust pizza to unusual fruits, the possibilities are endless.
Yau recommends adding the following new foods to your diet:
- Icelandic yogurt
“It’s high in protein and an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D. It’s just sweet enough for those who haven’t quite made the move to plain yogurt but are looking to minimize the amount of added sugar in their diets. Its consistency falls somewhere between Greek and traditional yogurt, so you can still enjoy the creaminess of a fuller-fat yogurt,” Yau says.
- Smoked trout
“I love smoked trout on my salad — it’s flavorful enough on its own so you can skip the dressing or add a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the fish’s natural flavor. It’s also an excellent source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids,” Yau says. Smoked seafood is high in sodium though, so Yau recommends making this dish as a nice treat every once in a while.
- Collard greens
Collard greens are a great substitute for tortillas when you’re craving a wrap. They’re low in calories, high in fiber, and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
“Don’t be afraid to try new fruits, vegetables, grains and plant proteins,” Yau says. “Remember, sometimes it can take up to 10 to 12 times before your taste buds adjust to new flavors. Vary your cooking methods to bring out the flavors of your foods.”
Make 2019 a healthy and delicious year!