By Lauren Denos: 12/22/2014 (Nutrition)

Finding ways to get creative and love your food is a great tactic to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some people have the idea that healthy food is kinda bland or just does not taste good, and that unhealthy food tastes great. This does not have to be the case! All it takes is a little bit of imagination or research and you can create healthy meals that are incredible.

If you are not a natural-born creative cook then look online for healthy alternatives. Let’s say you love enchiladas but you are not sure how to make them healthy. Get online and search “healthy enchiladas," "lean enchiladas," "paleo enchiladas,” etc. Searching for something that is paleo can be good for people with allergies since they will generally be grain, dairy, and sugar free.

Enchiladas are a favorite of many people. One of the ways you can make them healthier is to either make a Colorado-type sauce or buy enchilada sauce that does not have any added sugars and other additives in it. Then, sauté fresh vegetables like onions, garlic and zucchini. Next, add grilled chopped chicken, wrap this up in corn tortillas and cover in enchilada sauce and bake them at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then if you like, you can even top them off with some avocado and Greek yogurt (it’s like sour cream, but healthier). 2% Greek yogurt is a good choice, it is lower in fat but not so low that it’s flavorless. This will be a delicious alternative. Now you can eat enchiladas, and you do not have to feel guilty for eating them. Even better, you do not feel deprived! You can do this for any type of food you love.

Find healthy spices to make any meal amazing. Use spices liberally. There are things like the 21 Seasoning Salute at Trader Joe's, Ms. Dash for those who are watching their sodium intake, and the McCormick mixtures. There is so much you can do with these. You can mix 1 tbsp. of seasoning and 2 tbsp. of olive oil, a dash of lemon juice and some sea salt and I have amazing salad dressing without all the garbage most dressings are comprised of.

If you are a sauce person, this can be a bit trickier. Many sauces are not that great for us. But there are some out there that can be such a blessing. BBQ sauce is popular, but many of them are way to sugary. What you can do is get a BBQ sauce that is very, very low in sugar and if you want a sweeter taste to it you can add your own sweetener like Stevia. If you do not have dairy allergies then having Greek yogurt as a base for sauces can be great. You can mix it with spices, you can make fresh Tzatziki sauce (Greek cucumber sauce), homemade ranch dressing, really the possibilities are endless. It also works as a dessert topping!

You will find that these healthy foods can be so amazingly flavorful, and that the reason we sometimes do not think so is because we are used to eating junk food. Our taste buds are so accustomed to junk food that we do not even know what real food tastes like anymore. Once you start eating these healthier foods you will start to see how tasty they can be.

For every recipe you love you can find ways to alter it and make it something that will not only taste good, but also be good for your health. What meals do you really love that you could remake in a healthier way? Start your recipe searching today and enjoy your healthy lifestyle!



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