Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletJune 18, 2019

Earth Concerns News

Creative Eating Habits by Sister Mary Agnes Kehoe, CSJ

Think about this for a minute. Which term do you like betterCcreative eating or dieting? What is the difference? To most people, dieting means beginning and ending a restricted way of eating. It might include eliminating one type of food (no bread, for, example) either forever or for a long time, and, maybe giving up favorite foods. Creative eating is when we eat foods we like; creative eating allows us to eat a variety of foods; it allows us to eat more food than we eat when we are dieting. Most importantly, creative eating leads us to learn a new way of eating to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

The following are some tips for becoming a creative eater:

Try new food combinations. Add nonfat cottage cheese to oatmeal, and eat more than one type of food at every meal or snack.

Try low-fat substitutions. Try sautéeing food in chicken stock instead of oil. Use cottage cheese instead of other higher fat cheeses.

Try new foods. Many times our likes and dislikes are formed in childhood. Try again! Be open! Sometimes, we need to give our taste-bud cells a chance to adapt to a new taste. Actually, we reinforce or even desensitize our tastes after eating the same foods with the same condiments. We grow new taste-bud cells all the time, and the bud turnover is about every three months for each bud. How many of us have given up the salt we enjoy so much only to realize later that we don=t like salty food anymore? This is one reason to give low-fat food preparation (grilled or steamed foods without all the sauce) a chance or choose a leaner entrée (fish instead of beef or pork).

Choose higher-volume, nutrient-dense food. Eat more veggies, fruits and fish. The variety of vegetables is almost endless; try new combinations, new colors, shapes and textures, and then be creative in adding other food to the vegetables.

Prepare a pretty plate. It is said that AFood feeds our senses.@ Famous chefs spend much time on food presentation. When we feed our other senses as well, we actually may eat less.

View eating creatively as a challenge. Our perspective will make the difference between success and failure. (adapted from


(April 2007)