I like a basic black sheath dress as much as anyone, but I also like it with a strand of pearls or a bright scarf.
Similarly, I like a nicely grilled chicken breast, but much prefer that it be marinated or served with a wild mushroom sauce or chutney.
There is no right or wrong on this topic. Some days are plain days and others are screaming for some panache.
A common food pitfall is when someone has reached the intersection of monotony and boredom while on a diet.
You would rather sling your salad at the wall than see another lettuce leaf. When you approach this intersection, it is a crucial time and it would be wise to turn down Panache Lane instead of driving off the cliff.
When your food gets boring, tweak the plan instead of throwing it out all together. Change one or two things.
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If your salad has gotten boring, consider changing the type of greens, the salad dressing or the protein. Add dried fruit or nuts. Serve in a corn tortilla instead of eating with a fork.
If your food has gotten boring and you are looking for more sensory excitement, try some of the following suggestions:
Add chutneys, fruit coulis, guacamole, infusions, marinades, mustards, pestos or salsas to your protein while grilling or add to non-fat plain yogurt to create an interesting dip
Alter one of the following:
Consistency (example: smooth or chunky tomato sauce)
Shape (example: shredded or ribbons of carrots)
Spiciness (example: mild or hot chili pepper)
Temperature (example: roasted corn on a salad)
Texture (example: shredded chicken or a whole breast)
Change the variety of food you are eating:
In salads vary the salad green, the dressing, the protein, the nut or the dried fruit
In sandwiches vary the bread, the condiment, the protein, the vegetables or the cheese
In a pasta dish vary the shape of the pasta, the type of sauce, the cheese or the protein source
In a bean soup vary the bean, the vegetables, the stock or the seasonings
In a pizza vary the crust, the sauce, the topping or the cheese
If the Food Network, food publications or food blogs have taught us anything, it is that food has endless possibilities.
And, like scarves for a dress, you never run out of options.
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Lori Reamer, RD is a nutritionist with more than 20 years of experience. Her most recent accomplishment is a book/website/blog entitlted The Food That Fits: A Guide to Mastering Your Food Style. It is a concept that uses fashion theory to help you find your food practice. A lover of both fashion and food, she hopes to entertain and educate you about a topic that never goes out of style....food!