Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spaghetti made healthy!

This evening I began to cook dinner and realized that perhaps I should be sharing some tips on how to prepare meals that are not considered “diet food”. One of the most universally adored foods is spaghetti! The problem is that it's filled with unwanted calories and fat. There is always a healthier version of your favorite foods out there if you make a few substitutions. You must read labels! Label reading makes for a longer grocery trip in the beginning; however once you’re done, you know what you are looking for in the future!

Listed below are a few quick substitution tips for spaghetti:
  • Use ground turkey burger in place of ground hamburger. Jennie - O ground turkey is a great example!
  • Replace your pasta sauce with a lower calorie traditional sauce and add fresh vegetables. Prego traditional sauce is a great option!
  • Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray. Go for olive oil, it's filled with healthy fats your body needs!
  • Never buy regular pasta! Whole grain pasta is filled with fiber and some even have added Omega 3! There are many options out there, but you have to be careful. I know without a doubt that Healthy Harvest brand is a good option and they have a wide variety.
  • Look for a wedge of Parmesan cheese and grate the amount you need for topping. You tend to use more when it's readily available in the “shaky cheese” containers! 
Have fun with it!  Chop vegetables up real fine and the kids will never know they are even there!  If you really want to try something new, use spaghetti squash instead of noodles!  Just bake it off and pull the inside of the squash out with a fork.  The strands look just like pasta noodles!  There are a million things you can do differently and no reason that you should have to go without your favorite meals! 

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Lost and Found

    Darned car keys!  I can't tell you how many times I've lost my keys in the past week, let alone in the past year!  However, they always turn up staring me in the face!  This is the way I feel about weight "loss".  A close friend of mine said, "You don't want to lose the weight because you don't want to find it again"!  He couldn't have been more right!  Don't lose . . . SHED!

    It's funny; we find ourselves on these fad diets and lose fifteen pounds or so before cravings start to kick in on full blast!  You raid your cabinets only to find yourself in the one cabinet that has been banned for what you thought was all of eternity.  As you toss things to the side rampantly you finally have in your sight that shiny plastic wrap that hugs a delicious vision of the forbidden.  Do you just take one little nibble for old times sake? YES, YES, YES!  Wait a minute . . . really?  Come on now!  You just indulged yourself in the forbidden fruit! You ought to know better, right?  Wrong!  You have starved your body of vital nutrients and now it's willing to consume anything in sight to satisfy your deficiency. Something in your diet was a miss and your body just can't take it anymore! Fad diets don't work for the long term!  All that weight you lost will soon find you.  We need to gradually make lifestyle changes that will stick.  Shed those pounds and forget losing!  Losing IS a losing battle!

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Ode to the late night snack

    Okay, something struck me about ten minutes ago. I'm hungry! It's around 10:30 and I've just completed a week of homework, two tests, a paper, and have posted to all the necessary discussion forums for class. Again, I'm hungry. I must admit that I skipped to the cupboard and reached for the tortillas to accompany my need for spicy salsa and string cheese! I know, don't boo me yet! I put them back. (before eating them) Now I'm contemplating that juicy apple in the fridge. Hmmmm . . . what to do, what to do? What would you do in this situation? I'm eating the apple!

    Levels of Enthusiasm . . .

    I find myself eating to survive vs. eating to enjoy. This is good . . . right? Well news flash people! We must be excited about what we are putting in our mouths! I can't say this enough . . . COLORS, COLORS, COLORS! Fill your plate with all the colors of the rainbow when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Anything beige is boring! WOW! Has anyone else noticed how excited I sound about food? Yes, I said sound! This level of enthusiasm drives me INSANE! Is this normal? YES! Get excited about your diet. When we are excited about food, we care what we are eating! I honestly feel like this is the healthy golden ticket!

    Make a plan for the week before you grocery shop. Have healthy snacks and good old fashion H2O on hand. (Trust me, you will thank me when that packed snack has been riding around in your car for a month and all of a sudden you get a hunger pain you haven't had in forever!) No drive thru needed . . . keep driving!