By Lindsay Buchanan (Florence, SC) — For those who tend to stay in comfortable food ruts, it can be difficult to branch out and try healthier foods. But by slowly incorporating one new food at a time, those habits can be changed over time.
That was the advice a group of contestants from Florence’s Biggest Loser competition heard Tuesday during a cooking show by registered dietician Kitty Finklea and United Way of Florence County community resource manager Stephanie Navarro.
Finklea said learning to like new foods can be like rehabilitation for your taste buds.
“The other thing about taste buds is you really want to try something eight to 10 times, or even 15 times before you decide to hate it because your taste buds can really adapt,” she said.
For instance many people enjoy pasta, Finklea said, but might not realize that they can get a very similar texture and flavor with spaghetti squash and cut calories while not sacrificing portions.
“Rehabing” a favorite recipe by changing out ingredients and using different spices can be a great way to still eat what you love without the guilt, Finklea said. She suggests if you want to change a high calorie meal, such as a dessert, don’t change out the ingredient that gives the dish its primary flavor — instead change the other ingredients.
Many alternative recipes for popular dishes are available online, and Navarro encouraged the group to try a few out by the book the first time and then play with the recipe some in subsequent tries to get the taste to everyone’s liking.
“Our rule in our house is you have to try it and you have to honor the recipe the first time and then you can change it up later according to your tastes, especially using spices and other condiments that don’t add many calories,” she said.
Finklea said it basically takes people being willing to try something new, and that she often has much more success with that when she lets people know in advance that something is probably going to taste a little different then what they expect, helping them be more prepared.
Another tip, Finklea said, is to avoid wasted costs of spending money on something that you may not enjoy by trying new things in a group setting where everyone tries a little, therefore spreading the cost.
“You just have to be open to trying,” she said.
For pictures and the full article at SCNOW.com, click here!
For the full Spaghetti Squash Alfredo recipe, click here!
For the full Ranch Rehab recipe, click here!