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Cooking Tips: 5 Ways to Add Fun to Your Meals

Cooking Tips: 5 Ways to Add Fun to Your Meals


In this season of the podcast “Chasing Life With Dr. Sanjay Gupta,” CNN's chief medical correspondent explored the topic of weight. What your weight really tells you about your health, why it's so hard to lose weight, how new diet pills work and how they're related. Until menopause (you can listen to the episode here).

Whether you're happy with your size, on a special diet, or eating what you want when you want, the fundamentals of life are inevitable, unavoidable, and non-negotiable. The fact is that we all have to eat. Usually he does it up to 5 times a day, every day, if he's lucky.

The way you choose to nourish yourself can make a big difference in not only your body, but the way you feel about yourself and the world around you.

“I had a babysitter who was a chronic dieter,” Dr. Linda Siue, an internist and trained chef, recently told Ms. Gupta on a podcast. “She was always eating this colorless and odorless food, and she was always sad.”

That's not Siue's style. She is Kaiser Permanente San Francisco's first culinary director. So she founded her Thrive Kitchen, an educational kitchen for patients so they could do more than hand out prescriptions for chronic conditions.

She wanted to create a place where she could teach patients how to make healthy food delicious. “They think it's a deprivation, a loss of pleasure, even some kind of penance,” says the author of Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes. But Mr. Siue says: “It's colorless, bland, has no texture or taste. And we shouldn't enjoy it.”

Similar to her cookbook, Siue's classes teach patients how to use spices and herbs to flavor seasonal dishes while following eating patterns that support health.

“As a physician who has loved food since birth and who has seen the negative effects of chronic dieting, I encourage people to reconnect with food as a source of joy, cultural connection, and happiness, regardless of weight. “This can be a difficult task given the pro-diet messages around us,” Siue said in an email.

What can you do to break out of the diet mindset and truly enjoy your food? Siue has five tips.

Stop judging food as good or bad

There is no inherent right or wrong with food, so there is no need to feel bad about your food choices.

“Many of us experience shame and guilt when it comes to food, but much of that is a product of our culture and what the food industry has taught us, the fashion and diet industries as a whole. I created it,” Siue said.

“We, as individuals, may not think we care that much about that message, but it reaches all of us. It's in our subconscious,” she said. Ta. “I think most people, at some point, feel like, 'Oh, I shouldn't be eating that.' That's bad for me. It might affect my weight.”

Siue wants to help people learn how to stop thinking like that. “There's no room for shame,” she said, choosing her words carefully about food.

“In diet culture, people talk about 'cheat' days, but I prefer to celebrate 'reward' days.” It’s all about moderation, which means there’s room for occasional luxuries,” she said.

Don't go on a “diet”

Restrictive diets are counterproductive because most of us cannot follow them perfectly and forever.

“Study after study has proven that the best dietary plans are sustainable lifestyle changes that any individual can follow,” Siue said.

“Rather than restricting yourself, add more foods that science has shown are good for your health: plants, legumes, and whole grains. Even if you don’t have it or lose weight, your health will improve,” she said.

Siue admitted that she is not always a perfect eater and has a sweet tooth. She said she allows herself to enjoy her favorite treats, but not all the time.

listen to your body

Eat intuitively.

“That means a few things,” Siue said. “First, are you actually hungry, or are you satisfying an emotional need such as anxiety, sadness, or fatigue?

“How do you feel after eating that food? Do you feel comfortably full or full? What is your energy level after eating?” she said. “When you pay attention to these emotions, your body will guide you to make the healthiest food choices for you.”

Shigami also eats mindfully, but this doesn't mean meditating on food.

“It's about just focusing on the pleasure of eating food,” she said. “Eat slowly. Chew your food thoroughly. …Be aware of when you get bored.”

Reclaiming our food heritage

A healthy diet has different ethnicities and customs and may include different flavors and ingredients.

“Many people have been taught that quote-unquote 'cultural foods' are not healthy,” Siue said. “People are told, 'No, no, you get diabetes because of the food you eat. You have to eat this standard, healthy American diet.'

But Siue said many people from a variety of backgrounds either don't want to change their diet, don't know how, or it just doesn't work for them, and they really don't need to.

“The traditional diet of every culture includes healthy foods and should be celebrated and celebrated,” she said.

Think about things other than calories

Remember that food is more than just a means of survival.

“Nutrition and nourishment, that's just one part of food,” Siue says. “For me, food is primarily a pleasure. It's a connection to myself, my loved ones, and my culture.”

She added that food is also an expression of love and compassion.

“Enjoy your meal,” she said.




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