Would you believe me if I tell you that healthy food can be more addictive than fast food? I turned my chocolate-loving friend into a salad maniac, so yes you should believe me. You just need to pick the right food. Let me revolutionize your diet by introducing the most addictive foods that are healthy.
If you know me, I’m like Steve Jobs in the grocery world. I’m always the one telling my friend what’s the trendiest food or groc3ery item they need to try. And I never fail them. I guess you could call me an early adopter in food. I wouldn’t wait outside Apple Store for the new iPhone release, but I would fight you if you try to snatch my cauliflower gnocchi at Trader Joe’s.
I come from China, and we eat very different food from the U.S. Even though I love Chinese food very much, I did find it hard to get healthy yet delicious food back home. And some of them can be pricy too. But after going to graduate school here, I got access to readily available healthy food everywhere. And I realized that healthy and tasty food doesn’t have to be expensive.
So for this post, I’m going to talk about the foods that are not so popular in Asia but are healthy and addictively tasty in the U.S.
Brussel Sprouts! They are low in calories and full of nutrients like Vitamin A and Vitamin K. They can help maintain body blood sugar level and prevent cancer. But to me, I love it because they are full of fiber, so they keep me full for a long time. The most important thing is that they taste interesting! Most vegetables taste boring (such as broccoli but please don’t tell them I said that), but Brussel sprouts have this crunchy and dense texture that make them addictive.
How to cook them? My approach is to stir fry with other vegetables or grill them in the oven. The latter is the one I successfully got all of my friends hooked to Brussel sprouts. Simply put them on a plate with olive oil then put them in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes at 400 F. The hack is to drizzle them with some maple syrup or honey.
There are two types of people out there, the ones who can’t live without avocados and the ones who can’t stand avocados. I hope you are in the first group because otherwise, you are missing out a lot. Avocado is rich in nutrients, but most importantly, they are healthy fats.
We all need fats to help us function and perform, but saturated fats in cookies might have consequences of heart disease. However, avocado is one of the good guys, so they supplement you with the fats you need without endangering your health. I would usually eat them like ice creams with a spoon. But you can also put them on a toast with eggs, or make some healthy guacamole dips to eat with chips.
Another thing I picked up randomly because for a while everybody was eating beets on INS. I bought it wondering “what’s the hype?” And they are worth the hype!
Beets are root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. They don’t have many calories but are full of nutrients like fiber and vitamins. What’s impressive is that they may help to lower your blood pressure and improve brain health. But let’s face it, they are just delicious.
I would usually eat it as a snack since it tastes like Jell-O or throw one into my salad bowl. Another member of the “little guy with huge benefits” community, right?
Figs are sweet with a unique chewy texture that will make you addicted for sure. They are rich in nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, and calcium, and they are believed to bring benefits for your hair and skin. One large, raw fig only has 47 calories, so it’s a great healthy snack for weight loss.
When I was little, we used to have dried figs as snacks, but I didn’t eat many fresh ones. Then I came to California, and the figs there are fresh, huge, and cheap. And I took advantage of it before the season ended. Putting them on an oatmeal bowl or a peanut butter toast, or just eating a whole basket as a snack are all great ideas!
Terry loves yogurt, and I love it too.
Besides all the nutrients that are the “regulars” in healthy food, Greek yogurts are also rich in probiotics which will help with digestion and gut health. They give you the proteins without eating large portions of meat and as well as the sweet flavor without added sugars. I always knew something was missing with the non-Greek yogurts, and I found the creamy and dense texture with Greek yogurts.
I bought these for a class assignment, but this is an accurate depiction of how I buy yogurts. I can’t resist new flavors.
My go-to picks:
Despite my love for vegetables and clean eating, Salad was never a thing for me back in China because well…it tastes boring as you would agree. Then I had an epiphany the other day; it was never about the greens. The salad is all about the toppings and the dressings. And what I didn’t have back home was the different dressings I could choose, instead, I usually just had mayonnaise which was pretty unhealthy not that I think about it. I usually build my own Salad bowl using the Salad kits, and I would add lots of proteins such as beans or eggs to it.
Next time you gather with your friend and feel like you are missing something, grab a Salad kit and surprise them.
I’ve always considered myself a meat person, and I can’t go a day without eating some chicken or beef. However, after I made the best sandwich using a California veggie burger, my life was changed. I was saying to myself, “maybe I will become a Vegetarian now.” The meat alternatives are rich in protein, delicious, and will help with your skin and digestion.
There are other meat alternatives such as Trader Joe’s meatless sausage that taste better than meat.
Will I stop eating meat? Probably no. But will I start eating meat alternatives? Hell yes.
See? Healthy foods can taste good too. And the best part about being addicted to healthy food? They are good for you even if you binge eating them (well, maybe not too much.) If you are born and raised here, take advantage of the healthy eats because they are a gift! If you are visiting the States or go to school here, give them a try while you can.
* This got me thinking, do you want to see posts about Chinese food? I’ll write about what we usually eat at home, what food different parts of China are famous for, what are the foods you can’t miss if you ever visit China, and what are the foods we eat that will surprise you. Let me know if you are interested!