Adding Flavor with Weight-Loss Friendly Spices

 Tray of 49 Herbs and Spices

As home cooking is a big part of the lifestyle changes that are necessary to maintain a healthy weight, herbs and spices are important to discuss, because they are so varied and add so much to both cooking and eating.  It is a lot easier for a healthy diet to become habitual if the food is delicious.  Other than cooking proteins properly so they have a pleasant texture, herbs and spices are essential for a home cook. 

Spices are available in a huge variety, and most people only use, or know how to use, a bare handful of them in the kitchen, if at all.  Many home cooks rely on seasoning blends which can be packed with salt, sugar, or monosodium glutamate.  Knowing just a few more spices can completely change the ball game in the home kitchen, and they are not all that difficult to master, given a little time and a little adventurous streak.

Spices are the seed, bark, bulb, or root of a plant.  There are so many spices to choose from, its best to mention the basics first, and add more later. 

  • Garlic may be the most often used spice in any cook's repertoire, Eastern or Western.  Available both fresh as bulbs and dried as garlic chips or powder, garlic is a core to so many world cuisines that it is difficult to count them all. 
  • Ginger, also, available as root, chips, or ground, adds a little bite and a punch of brightness and complexity. 
  • Black pepper smokes the competition, being a seriously common spice for savory dishes. 
  • Paprika adds an earthy, smoky, rich flavor to foods, and is a common component in BBQ and seasoning spice blends.

It is simple enough to add spices one at a time to a repertoire, without overwhelming the cook or the family with unfamiliar flavors.


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MRC of Vancouver started me going in my attempt to loose 30 years of weight gain!! I have been using their program for about 18 months and have actually lost 30 pounds. I have changed the way I eat. I've learned what foods are best for ME. By analyzing my DNA and hormones, they helped me learn to eat what was right for me. I have "tweeked" my purchases and preparation of food to make eating healthy and still fun for me. I eat lots of veggies and salads and include a healthy diet of protein. These are very satisfying. Do I "cheat" now and then? Yes, but I don't like how I feel after eating sugar and lots of carbs so I return to my good foods quickly and continue to see my weight drop. I walk my little dog four times a day and have a part-time job that allows me a lot of movement. I feel so healthy and wonderful. It's easy to continue to eat and live a more healthy lifestyle! When I confessed about eating the wrong "foods", the gals simply encouraged me and gave me fresh ideas to satisfy my taste buds. I always felt I could be honest during my consultations with no fear of being lectured! I plan to continue until I reach my desired weight. I expect to reach my goal by 2017. After I reach my weight goal, I plan to remain in good health with my new found healthy way of eating the calories I need to maintain my proper weight. My Dr. is very pleased at my progress. She wondered how I have lost 30 pounds.

— Diane P. Heesch Nims-Smith

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