I had to go to the mall the other day and per usual, I parked about as far as possible from the only store that I needed to go to. Not so that I could get extra steps in (though I guess that is a silver lining) but because the store was one of those ones in the middle so I had no idea where it was in relation to the parking lot.

mall

Anyhow, I parked and walked inside, still having no idea where I was trying to get. Scanning my immediate vicinity for one of those big directory maps, I started craving a big soft pretzel. Before I could even get my wits about me, the aroma of Auntie Anne’s had wafted its way over and suddenly it was all I could think about.

auntie annes

Highly-processed foods like those twisty pieces of heaven are created to be all but irresistible. There are food chemists whose job it is to make combine salt, fats, sugar, and chemicals in specific ways to stimulate our brain’s desire to eat and continue eating, even when we’re not hungry anymore.

hyperpalatability

Knowing that there are companies out there intentionally engineering hyper-palatable foods that go down easily and leave you craving more should anger and upset you. And it should make you want to break the cycle.

angry fast food

Transitioning to a healthier diet can be difficult when our palates are accustomed to expertly engineered food creations. While it’s undoubtedly an adjustment, healthy foods don’t need to be bland. With time, I bet you’ll enjoy a healthy and nutritious meal even more than a food court creation.

face and fruit

Initially, one of the simplest ways to start enjoying whole foods (particularly veggies), is to learn how to season them. And if you don’t desire to grind your own spices and combine them in just the perfect ratios, have no fear – Mrs. Dash is here!

IMG_7674

This is a real picture of my collection.

The Dash family (if there is one, I don’t even know) isn’t paying me to endorse their products (but hey, if you guys are out there, I can’t find the Lime one at my grocery store to complete the collection…) but I’m endorsing them anyway because I use them every single day. Their website even has lots of recipes to help you figure out how to use each flavor. I’ve never actually used this resource because I’m more a fan of the chop-season-roast method but if you’re looking for something a little fancier, it might be worth trying.

There are specific blends for burgers, chicken, and steak but I primarily use the blends on my veggies. If veggies aren’t a big part of your diet, figuring out which ones you like and how you like them, is crucial. Start small and pick up one new vegetable and/or spice blend next time you go shopping and make it your goal for the week to figure out how to use them in a way that you enjoy. Expand your palate little by little by adding foods and flavors to your weekly meals and before you know it, you’ll have a whole repertoire of healthy options!

mrs dash recipes

http://www.mrsdash.com/recipes

What is one new thing you will try this week to increase your veggie intake?