You have started off the new year eating well and sticking to your diet, but are you starting to get bored with your foods and looking for some fun flavor to make your foods more exciting? Most people think that eating healthy means forgoing flavor and choking down bland and boring foods, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are so many ways to add flavor and fun to your meals without growing your waistline. It is true; there are hidden sugars, fats and calories in marinades, sauces and condiments. However, not all condiments are created equal. You can add guilt-free flavor that both your taste buds AND waistlines will thank you for. Check out my top four favorite condiments that will keep you on track and in turn more likely to reach your fitness goals this year.
Whether you prefer a more simple yellow mustard or my favorite, Dijon mustard, mustard seeds are loaded with antioxidants and offer several anti-inflammatory properties. Most mustards are simply mustard seeds, vinegar, water and salt with some having other healthy and tasty ingredients such as paprika, dill, turmeric, horseradish, etc. Depending on your preference and dish, you can find a mustard you love. With only five calories per teaspoon, mustard makes for such a great condiment to add to just about everything from lean proteins, vegetables, eggs, as a spread on a sandwich or even added to salad dressings and marinades. I use mustard on a daily basis and always have it on hand. My favorite is Dijon, which is smooth and creamy with a bit of a kick to clear out your sinuses.
G-Tip: Read labels and be sure you aren’t using one that has added sugars. Some of the sweeter flavored mustards are packed with the good stuff, but also loaded with unnecessary sugar and calories.
Don’t just think of salsa as the condiment that goes with chips or in a burrito. Salsa is a key condiment for almost all food types. It adds such great flavor without a ton of calories, fat and sugar. It can be added to eggs, lean protein, veggies, on top of rice or quinoa or even simply used as a dressing to top off any salad.
G-Tip: When picking out a salsa, look for one that doesn’t have added sugars. You would be surprised how many have sugars added to the ingredients. The only sugar should be coming from the natural sugars of the tomatoes. Salsas with fruits, such as a mango and pineapple salsa, should be used sparingly.
3. Chili Paste
This is an incredible condiment that adds spice and flavor to any dish with NO calories per teaspoon. It can be used in such a wide variety of dishes. It is incredible in stir-frys, on top of rice or simply to top off lean protein, omelets or vegetable dishes. The chilies, and often added garlic, adds a perfect amount of kick to boost not only flavor but also keep your metabolism on fire.
G-Tip: Use chili paste sparingly and add it as needed. Adding too much can make your foods too spicy and not enjoyable.
4. Flex Flavors
These are incredible stevia-flavored stick packs that will add all the flavor to your foods without the sugar, calories or gluten. You can add them to just about anything from oatmeal, yogurt, protein shakes, pancakes, muffins and so much more. It’s perfect way to crush a craving and satisfy your sweet tooth completely guilt free.
When you get creative with your foods and learn how to add flavor and pizzazz without the unnecessary calories, fat and sugars, it makes eating healthy fun and exciting. One of the biggest reasons people tend to fall off their fitness wagon is because they get bored with their food. By adding in some of these key condiments, it will help you stay on track and most of all make healthy eating a fun and flavorful part of your everyday life.