The Healthy Rules Foodies Live By

Some people refuse to sacrifice in life. When it comes to eating, those people are known as foodies. They have a greater (perceived) appreciation of food. They’re the ones posting photographic proof of every meal they eat, and raving about kale, specialty cinnamon, and free-range chicken. They’re also not as likely to be overweight or obese.

They seemingly eat anything they want, and usually do. The catch is that they do so in a way that finds the delicious balance between indulging and moderating. Here are their secrets:

The Work is Worth it. You can buy peeled garlic, shredded carrots, and even artisan bread, but it’s worth the process to do it yourself. A toaster waffle is easy, but I like grating apples and lemon zest in to whole grain flour and spending one Sunday a month making my own to stock the freezer.

Less is More. When Abra Pappa, of, “pimped” this Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese for us, she noted that a standard version has three cups of cheese while hers only has 3/4 of a cup. Get a higher quality cheese, like a sharp white cheddar or a creamy havarti, and use less of it. You’ll actually be able to taste the flavor instead of the fat and salt.

Deconstruct Your Cravings. Pappa says to ask yourself – what is it about a food that you really love and how can you recreate the flavor or experience in a healthier way? With macaroni, it’s that gooey texture that you can replicate with better cheese. “I unravel what it is I am really looking to eat,” she said. “Ice cream? Maybe it’s a cold, creamy thing. Will a raw homemade banana ice cream do the trick? Most likely!”

Savor the Moment. Food never tastes better than at the moment it’s served. Microwaves and ovens can’t ever call it back to its originally intended glory. A self-proclaimed foodie, Arleigh Aldrich, says she won’t box food up and take it with her. She eats a reasonable portion at a restaurant and then discards the rest. Wasteful? Maybe. But she says, “If it’s an indulgence, I only want it once.”

Find Real Flavor. Americans are so used to what is truly a flavorless food experience because of fat, sugar, and salt that we forget to look for real flavor. Spread a sandwich with guacamole instead of mayo, top a salad with juicy pineapple or berries, or drizzle a pancake with local honey instead of a jar of syrup. You’ll retrain your mouth to experience the way food should taste.

Indulge Occasionally. Another foodie says her indulgences are once in a while treats. “I am very picky about the sweets I occasionally indulge in,” said Adriene Rathbun. “They have to be homemade and something I really want.” The idea is, don’t buy a candy bar, make something like our Pomegranate, Pistachio, Dark Chocolate Bark instead. Some foodies swear by going vegan when baking desserts at home, too, to control calories and ingredients.

By Brandi Koskie for

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