Make your Meals a Feast for the Eyes

An attractive meal I made the other day

If you want to stick to a healthy eating plan, there is one important element that often goes overlooked. And that is how your food looks.

Why should you care about how your food looks?

Isn’t it how it tastes that is most important?

Sure taste is important, but we often eat with our eyes. Think of how many times your eyes were larger than your stomach, and you took way too much food at the buffet. Think about how delicious your green smoothie tastes, but some people see the green colour and their mind can only taste boiled spinach, despite it actually tasting like heavenly fruit. And just think of how many times you’ve been at a restaurant and have been overly delighted with the meal, only because it just looked so darn good?

The look of your food is important

If it looks bland, you are more likely to associate healthy food with a boring taste. Becoming less than enthused will soon follow.

Perhaps it’s just because I’m an artistic person, but I love to put in the extra couple seconds it takes to make my food look attractive. I try to make sure there are different colours in my meal and that it’s arranged well on my plate. I secretly dislike having my friends or boyfriend serve themselves my food, because I want to make their plates look good. It’s selfish, but since I know how much more satisfying a meal is when it looks delectable, I probably just want to stack it in my favour that they’ll be singing the praises of my cooking afterwards!

Here are some tips for making your food look good:

  • Make sure there are several brightly coloured foods on your plate. Salads with raw vegetables will really help this – plus it’s way healthier to balance your meal with plenty of veg anyway.
  • Put your food on attractive plates. Apparently darker coloured plates make your food seem more gourmet and also makes you feel more satisfied and satieted. An interesting shape of plate will also make things feel special.
  • Cut up some chives or stick a piece of parsley on the side. You could even stick a flower from your garden in there. Two seconds to cut up a garnish will make a world of difference.
  • Stack food and arrange it in an attractive pattern. Then sprinkle some seeds or raw cheese on top!
  • Have several different types of food on the plate – this will make it much more attractive than a mono meal

Alright, go on and get creative in the kitchen!

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Comments

  1. Amansa says

    I have a question about food sensitivity testing. If I haven’t eaten any milk products or blueberries in a while (because I think they are culprits to my acne) will the test (ELISA( notice them as being a sensitivity even though they aren’t in my system?

    • Tracy says

      Yes, sometimes this does happen if you haven’t eaten any of it in a very long time. Sometimes it will catch those things and sometimes it won’t… it is definitely more likely to show an allergy to things you eat fairly often though. If there are things you are really, really curious about, I’d suggest eating a little bit of it within a day or two before the test so that you can be sure.

  2. Sampson says

    I think the only color that should never be on a plate is white. Is white even a color? I can’t remember.

    I’m sure many people have heard this but colors have a physiological effect on us as well. We all know the color Red means love/passion, but it also raises heart rate and breathing. Blue does the opposite.

    So it’s very possible that we were even evolved to be drawn to certain foods because of their colors. Maybe that’s when we think of the quintessential example of “fruit” we think of a red apple.

    I’ve experimented in the past with having “color-coordinated meals” or days where I would eat a single color food. On my “red day” I specifically remember having strawberry slices, red chard, red leaf lettuce with nice red beef. Then for desert my grandma made me rhubarb pie, which probably counteracted the health benefits of the fruit, veggies and beef. :P

    It’s a pretty interesting experiment, but it’s hard finding vegetables that aren’t fully green. I’ll just stick to having a rainbow palette on my plate.

  3. says

    Hi Tracy! I totally agree that food should LOOK beautiful and enticing. And colour is definitely the way to do that – I’ve been meaning to grow some edible flowers for ages now, because they seem like a great addition to salads (and probably jam-packed with healthiness?)

    • Tracy says

      I’ve been getting bags of salad from a nearby farm here and I just love it so much… not because it necessarily tastes better but because the salad is so attractive! She mixes in all sorts of herbs and different types of greens, and sometimes nasturtium flowers… it’s crazy how much beauty and colour can affect the enjoyment of a meal

  4. Anita says

    Hey Trace!

    Can you tell me the recipe for the meal you made in the picture? It really does look appetising, and I notice that you have far more greens and vegies on the plate than meat, which is really how it should be. I’m trying to convert my parents into believing that the main component of a dish should be vegetables or greens of some sort. They are beginning to accept this as I do all the cooking in the house, so I guess really they have no choice haha.

    And also thankyou for the recent poo post. I have decided to start using psyllium husk again because I used to put it on my food all the time and in smoothies as well, and then I became a little lazy and stopped. My poos are formed and they sink (is that good?), but they are a little hard to get out lol, embarassing. I thought maybe using psyllium and ensuring to drink plenty of water along with it would help a bit.

    • Tracy says

      It’s easy… this is usually how I eat… no ‘recipes’, just kind of… stuff on a plate… that looks pretty! hehhe. All it is is sweet potato fries (baked in the oven in coconut oil with sea salt on it), and pieces of chicken… I roasted a whole chicken and I just pick at it for days after. Very convenient. The salad is just lettuce… looks like cucumber, tomato, some purple cabbage, and whatever other vegetables I feel like… and then I usually make a dressing by taking a nut butter and mixing a spoonful of it with olive oil to make it liquidy… I top it off with sea salt, maybe some butter.

      haha also, I don’t know whether sinking or floating matters… there are a lot of different opinions on that… I think it just depends on what you eat, but not necessarily… bad vs good food, you know. I think it’s more important that it comes out easily. Try the psyllium and extra water and see what happens :)

  5. Jeff says

    hey tracy,

    i was just wondering where you got your olive oil for salads. my mom usually gets olive oil from costco but it’s the huge container kinds for cooking … i was hoping to find one that actually tastes decent on salads … perhaps trader joe’s?

    • Tracy says

      Hmm… I don’t really have a brand loyalty or solid go to place to get my olive oil….. I just basically make sure that it is extra virgin. The one I use is in a big tin can and I got it from a Middle eastern deli kind of store in Vancouver. It tastes fine on salads…. I don’t remember the brand at the moment though. Sorry :/

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