Are you ready for the hands-down, no contest, absolute best tip for making healthy lifestyle changes to your diet that will stick for life?
Learning about ingredients is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. If you don’t understand biologically why processed and chemically-altered foods destroy your health despite their “low fat” or even “organic” marketing tactics, then you’ll never make good decisions. But this isn’t the most important aspect of dieting.
Learning about macronutrients — protein, fats, and carbohydrates — is also important. Knowing how to fuel the body with different types of foods for different metabolic occasions will put you ahead of the vast majority of helpless yo-yo dieters.
But even a balanced plate without nasty chemicals eventually faces the challenge of burnout. No, the key to living happily and healthily for the rest of your life is to simplify the process into something that’s purely and readably enjoyable. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and craft the perfect diet, learn how to elevate basic whole foods in special ways.
Bodybuilders have known this secret for years. Eating is part of their job, and they know exactly how to make the “process” (which many dieters fear for its difficulty) enjoyable, even in the most extreme circumstances. So what is the best way to make clean eating a pleasure? By “tricking” the brain into thinking the meal is decadent.
All you need to do is add real, delicious, and clean condiments and sauces to your meals. Simple food with big flavor. The variety will reward your brain’s desire for newness; the clean ingredients will add to your macronutrient profile; and the textures will mimic the processed alternatives that you already love. Even the pickiest eaters among us can adhere to a diet drenched in ranch dressing, right?
You can use this ranch dressing as a base for any number of more complex sauces with different flavors. Play around with it!
Honestly, the problem was never the ranch, it was either the fried food dredged in white flour nestled beneath it, or the fake ingredients that made the dressing easier to mass produce. That’s it. So again, don’t overthink this. Just simplify the process: eat what you love, but it in a form that your body loves, too. You’ll be shocked at how good you feel after a “cheat” meal. And you never even sacrificed flavor for the feeling.
That, my friends, is a recipe for lifelong success.
Here is a whole food ranch dressing recipe that will forever change your perception of “clean” eating. Buy organic, locally-made products when possibleThe recipe makes about 2 cups of dressing.
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup avocado mayonnaise (If you’re afraid of mayonnaise, check out our article about its health benefits — don’t skip it!)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup sriracha sauce (If you like it spicy)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or finely minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/4 cup flatleaf parsley
- Pinch of dill
- Pinch of sea salt and pepper
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, and sriracha sauce. Stir in the Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, dill, and S&P. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, if you would like a thinner dressing. Lemon juice will also thin out the recipe if you like the extra acidity. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.