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Do you “love” food? If you had to make a decision between eating something healthful or eating junk food and your selection yielded identical consequences, which would you choose? Obviously, most people would prefer the supersized burger meal with a strawberry milkshake over a salmon salad with vinaigrette dressing and spring water. Regardless, I’m here to tell you that there IS a way to alter your taste buds and make them crave and even prefer healthy food. It’s time to ditch dirty dining and develop a love affair with healthy fare. When trying to revolutionize your relationship with food remember, it’s not going to happen overnight. You have to make gradual, positive changes in your diet that become habits. Because it’s challenging to commit to multiple major dietary changes overnight, it’s important to start slowly. Here are some immediate changes that you can implement TODAY: Portion control: When you get that heaping plate, make a mental note to eat half of it at the restaurant and box up the other half for lunch tomorrow—or even ask for the box before you start eating so you’re not tempted to eat it all. While at home, make a conscious, decisive effort to eat only a fistful of meat, ½ cup of complex carbohydrates and load up on fibrous vegetables. Eat tasty healthy food: don’t force yourself to eat something you dislike “just because it’s healthy”. If you try to forcefully eat an undesirable food, you’ll end up grumpy and underfed. Instead, experiment with all types of healthy food such as organic Greek yogurt, raw nuts, green smoothies, hummus with raw veggies, lean cuts of meat, oatmeal with flaxseeds, baked sweet potatoes, egg plant, quinoa, spaghetti squash and the list is endless. Find what you like and stick to it…for the rest of your life! Focus on your goals and POST them: your primary reason for wanting to ditch dirty dining and implement healthy cuisine is probably to feel better, be healthy and at a healthy weight. First, set your goals, then take one goal at a time, focus on it and stay committed to it; DO NOT WAIVER…PERIOD! Do not move on until you have nearly mastered one goal (or a set of goals not to exceed two) at a time. Your goal timeline could be something like this: This week, I will only have one dessert. I will drink only one glass of wine with dinner on weekends only. I will reduce my portion size to “this” specific amount. I will not skip meals, especially not breakfast. I will not go back for seconds but will wait fifteen minutes to see if I’m actually satiated. I will abstain from soda and all sugary beverages.

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