Creating Healthy Meals That Don’t Suck: A Personal Journey

The video is about the importance of having a healthy relationship with food and one’s body. The journalist shares their personal experience with diet culture and eating disorders, emphasizing the need to be kind to oneself. They demonstrate how to make enjoyable and nutritious meals without restrictive diets or bland food. By choosing a variety of formats for meals, incorporating protein, vegetables, carbs, and healthy fats, they show that healthy eating can be delicious and satisfying. The journalist also discusses the importance of mental health and recommends seeking therapy when needed.

Author Icon

Our Summaries are written by our own AI Infrastructure, to save you time on your Health Journey!

How does this happen?

Key Insights:

  • Eating healthy can be confusing and overwhelming due to the conflicting opinions and products in the fitness industry.
  • The speaker shares their personal experience with diet culture and developing an unhealthy relationship with food and body image.
  • To develop a better relationship with food, the speaker emphasizes the importance of being kind toward oneself and not overly restricting food choices.
  • Creating enjoyable and beautiful meals, filled with layers of taste and texture, is a key approach to making healthy meals that don’t „suck“.
  • Instead of following strict formulas, the speaker suggests choosing a format of food, such as pasta, stew, rice bowl, etc., and making decisions based on personal preferences.
  • Protein and vegetables are important components of a healthy meal. The speaker highlights the benefits of cooking vegetables to make their nutrients more bioavailable.
  • Fat is a macronutrient that adds flavor to food, but it is important to use it in moderation. The speaker demonstrates ways to make food juicy and flavorful without excessive oil.
  • It is helpful to think about food in terms of additions rather than restrictions. Adding nutritious elements to favorite dishes can make them healthier and more balanced.
  • The speaker suggests rethinking traditional meals, like the broccoli chicken and rice, to make them more enjoyable and potentially more nutritious. For example, turning it into fried rice with added vegetables.
  • Overall, the focus is on creating meals that are both enjoyable and nutritious to develop a better relationship with food and the body.


Does this look like a healthy meal to you? What about this one? Well, what if I told you these are basically the same meal, but approached from two very different perspectives? So let me show you how I make healthy meals that don’t suck.

Before we start, I want to issue a trigger warning because I will talk about my personal experiences with diet culture and touch on things like eating disorders and negative self-image. So if any of that makes you uncomfortable, maybe it’s best to just watch another video.

Eating healthy is confusing. The whole fitness industry is confusing. At least, to me, it feels like everyone has different opinions, everyone is trying to sell you a product, a magical powder that’s going to fix all your issues. And especially with the New Year resolutions thing, you notice this wave of people desperately looking for solutions, and this industry loves selling you the idea of who you can be, because who you are now is fundamentally not enough.

Apparently, for a long time, I used to be, and partially still am, immersed in that culture. To be honest, I was obsessive about perfecting every single aspect of my diet, specifically to lose weight. And that resulted in some success, but it was always immediately followed by a big fallback. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I was developing the most messed up relationship with food and my body.

These past years, I’ve been trying to deconstruct that, but it’s been hard. And right now, at this point in time, I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, even heavier than your mom. So much so that my first thought when I look at myself in the mirror is filled with negativity, and that just ends up feeding my insecurity even more.

And I don’t want to make this video and pretend like I have any answers, because I don’t. But as cringey and cliche as it sounds, what works for me is to be kind, kind towards myself and kind towards other people who are going through this. And part of being kind to myself is to not overly restrict myself and only eat these bland bodybuilder meals.

Jesus, guys, I’m so excited to eat this bland boiled chicken with boiled mushy broccoli and plain rice. I love my life. And call me a bad naughty boy, but I want to have some fun and add some zero-calorie barbecue sauce. I’m so bad. This looks like poo poo chicken. This is boiled chicken. It’s boiled chicken. What does this create for me? It’s health? Healthy? If this is what health is, I want to just die.

Got a little candle going, romantic vibes, little self-love in here. Got a half an avocado on top of this guy. Yeah, hot sauce, some flaky salt. So check it out. This is a thing I’ve been doing. Fill a glass with frozen mango and you top it with Coke Zero. First, you need to try this and then leave your little comment about how this is not good. You may think this is weird, but in my world, I end up with mango-flavored Coke, and at the end, I get to eat mango that’s been infused with Coke Zero, which is good. It’s just a little dessert.

So, because I’m not looking to make 100% of my abdominal veins visibly pop out, I’m merely trying to develop a better relationship with the food that I eat and the body that I inhabit. I think the best approach is to make my meals enjoyable and beautiful, filled with layers of taste and texture, and a celebration of nutritious food and a celebration of my own culinary identity. And that sounded very dramatic, let’s get into it.

I kind of hate when food influencers give out overly specific formulas for food because it kind of takes the enjoyment away. But I guess I’m about to do that. Well, not a formula, but a strategy. So first, I like to think of the format of food that I want to eat. And almost nothing is off the table. Do I want pasta, a stew, a rice bowl, tacos, a wrap, a sandwich, a burger? And notice I’m not saying salad because I don’t really like salads, unless it’s a pasta salad, then I [beep] love it.

For me, psychologically, that makes the biggest difference. If I’m eating things like pizza or pasta, I’m going to be happy no matter what, you know what I mean? Let’s say I want to eat pasta because pasta makes everyone happy, sure makes me happy. And now you do have to make some decisions, but I have a pretty easy system. First, I like to pick a protein, which is always kind of the main attraction because, especially if you work out, protein is going to be your friend. In this case, I went with ground chicken. And please don’t shy away from flavor. You can and should spice up the protein itself, but you can add in other flavorful things such as garlic, some chilies in there too. I’m also going to add some lemon later.

The second step is to add vegetables. Now, I’m not a nutritionist, but I think vegetables are good for you. Call me crazy. I know it’s not very primal of me, but I love vegetables. They’re very nutritious, full of fiber and vitamins. And cooking them actually makes these nutrients more bioavailable to the human body – bioavailable. Damn, I’m not the guy to say that word.

So, I don’t know if you realize, but we already have a delicious meal here that is very nutritious. It’s lacking some carbs at this point. So this is where our beloved pasta comes in.

By the way, I stole this idea from this video by Ethan Schabowski. He cooks this pasta kind of like a risotto where he lets this starchy pasta cooking water cook down to a sauce that’s almost going to emulsify everything together. And look, we have a pasta here that is transformed. It’s full of vegetables and protein and some nice, satisfying carbs.

So, pasta does make me very happy. Sometimes my happiness is impeded by unexplained existential dread and anxiety about the nature of reality itself. And in those moments, today’s sponsor, BetterHelp, can help.

Our mental health is one of the most important things in life, just generally. And we’re mostly not taking care of it. The world we live in today mostly supplies an overwhelming amount of stress and negativity and then just gives us little distractions to kind of forget all about it. So, I think it’s good to be aware of that and do something about it. Even in this video, I talked about my personal struggles with mental health regarding my body and all that stuff. And therapy has been part of my effort to deconstruct those feelings and get better.

To be honest, BetterHelp is a platform where you can get online therapy with a licensed professional that is trained to listen and offer you helpful, unbiased advice. All you have to do is fill out a basic questionnaire in the beginning, and they match you with a therapist within 48 hours in most cases. I signed up for BetterHelp myself, and I’m not kidding, I got matched with a therapist within 30 minutes. That was pretty crazy. I was able to easily schedule out a video session whenever I wanted, and I can always just text them, which is very nice. And if for some reason you’re not happy with your therapist, you can easily change them at no additional cost to you.

So if you think you might benefit from therapy, you should try BetterHelp. Just go to, that’s my channel name, or click the link in the description. That’s going to give you a 10% discount, and you’re also helping me in the process. So, thank you.

Alright, let’s get back to that video. And now it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room – fat. And I’m not talking about your mother, I’m talking about fat, the macronutrient. I hate to get into numbers and [beep], but one gram of fat is worth about nine calories when it’s metabolized, compared to the four calories associated with a gram of protein or a gram of carbs. So, as a result, most calories from really delicious food come from fat.

One way to be smart about it is to limit the amount of oil we use when cooking, which indeed sucks. As I said, fat makes things taste excellent. But thankfully, there are ways to go around that. A lot of the issues with cooking with less fat is that a lot of the times, you get stuff that is just dry or the texture sucks. But as I’m about to demonstrate, there are other ways to make food juicy and flavorful.

I suck at peeling things. I don’t think this is how you peel a carrot. What is this peeler? I’ve never seen this in my life. Did I buy this?

So, soups and stews are a very good way to do this because you can just throw in a bunch of vegetables, some protein, and just cook that in a saucy, soupy thing. In this case, it’s going to be a tomato-based sauce.

Measuring your oil is also not a bad idea, just to kind of be aware of how much you’re using and potentially try to reduce it. Because maybe you put like eight tablespoons of oil, and that’s over 1,000 calories, I’m pretty sure.

So, what I’m making here is a stew inspired by Hungarian goulash, because I have that [beep] running through my veins, bro. Also, very important, use salt. Salt makes things taste good, so use it generously. And if you can’t eat salt for whatever reason, and I’m really [beep] sorry for you, that sucks.

Look at all those colors. Look at that. That right there is life, just a bunch of colors and steam. I wish I was smart enough to make good analogies.

Okay, so now that the vegetables are soft – not of course they’re hot, they’ve been cooking – we’re going to add flavor. Smoked paprika, maybe the most important one. A bunch of it, and just a little extra touch of oil. This is the base of our taste.

Adding in my potatoes. Keep in mind, this is just vegetables and spices and a little oil. [beep] some black pepper. I also forgot my garlic. Very important. And now we’re going to make it juicy by adding in a generous can of crushed tomatoes. I’m also going to rinse this with water. Let’s add it here. And now, we just gotta wait for these potatoes to cook.

To be honest, I also replaced the meat with tofu just because we need some vegan representation here as well. Okay, I know a lot of people are going to be upset at this decision, but if you want, you don’t have to think of this as a goulash. It’s just a tofu stew then. And this stew is healthy as [beep]. It’s packed with veggies and protein. It’s hearty and filling and warm and satisfying, and I love these types of dishes. You can transform a stew into anything you want, to be honest.

I also realized that a good way to think about food in a healthier way is to stop thinking in restrictions and start thinking in additions. Sometimes I want to eat Cheerios. Cheerios are not that good for me, to be honest. But I’ll construct a nutritious meal around them by adding yogurt, blueberries, hemp seeds, and just topping that with a handful of Cheerios to finish it off. I end up eating less of the sugary and empty but undeniably fun cereal, and suddenly I have a pretty healthy breakfast.

Another example is a burger. Sometimes you crave a burger. And in my opinion, instead of denying yourself the burger and labeling it as a bad food, maybe we can rethink it a little bit. I’ll just use a leaner meat and smash that thing flat. Add some mustard on top for flavor but also to keep it moist. Some onions, and I’m going to deposit that on a toasted bun that’s been smeared with a chipotle yogurt sauce I made by mixing chipotle and yogurt. This guy also has tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles – honestly, my favorite additions to a burger. Just keep it classic.

And now, for the full experience, I can add a side. My first thought, of course, fries, delicious. But maybe I can think of a less calorie-dense alternative. Lately, I’ve been really into roasted root vegetables, specifically parsnip. But I forgot to buy it, so here I have carrots. Oil them up just a little bit and roast them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. And the result? Barely any calories and a lot of delicious, nutritious, fibrous volume.

Look, this may not be a Five Guys bacon cheeseburger with Five Guys Cajun fries, but it’s still quite nice, guys.

But maybe at this point, you’re thinking, „Oh, this seems like a lot of effort. I’d rather stick to the basics. I want that chicken and rice treatment.“ Well, then let’s rethink that broccoli chicken and rice to make it more enjoyable and potentially even more nutritious.

My first thought is, let’s turn all this mess into a fried rice dish. I had some leftover rice, so why the hell not? And at this point, I have to say, you don’t have to use chicken breast all the time. Chicken thigh is significantly more delicious and easier to cook. The difference in fat is not really that crazy. I seasoned it with a bunch of stuff, including a touch of cornstarch that makes it more tender. Just throw that in a wok and cook it until it’s cooked. And now, let’s throw some vegetables in. I got some broccoli stem – that’s right, I use the stem for stir-fries – some carrots, bell pepper, broccolini. Just stir-fry that for a couple minutes, then push it to the side. Add your leftover rice, stir-fry that thing for a couple minutes. And now, let’s flavor it. Add some soy, some ketchup, a splash of any sort of vinegar you may have around. Oh, and I almost forgot about the chicken. Of course, add that in. And this is a super basic upgraded chicken and rice, and it maybe took 15 minutes to make.

So, hopefully, you got something out of this. I’m not saying this method is the best one. This is just what I do right now, and it just let me feel a bit better overall. So, let me know what you think, and also please give this video a like or share it, or really anything that’s going to get it more views. It feeds my undying addiction to see the numbers go up and allows me to make more videos. Okay, see you soon.