Eating healthy doesn’t mean starving yourself. Quite to the contrary, my interest in food and flavor has increased even as my waistline has decreased. I used to thoughtlessly eat. Nothing seemed to satisfy because I was making the wrong choices. Now my choices are deliberate and flavorful.
Making good choices starts with buying and planning. When you look at what is in your kitchen remember that you put it there! So make sure you choose fresh, healthy foods. Plan your meals. Plan your leftovers. Last night I made chicken and when I did, I made two extra chicken breasts. They will become dinner tonight. And not just reheated. They will be used in a new recipe.
So what about the times when you want a snack? Fight the urge? Well, sure, if you are on a journey to better weight and wellness you could avoid the kitchen. Or you can set your kitchen up so that there are snacks that are also healthy and ready when you go truffle hunting.
What should those snacks be? Remember in an earlier post I admitted I went looking one night for a snack and found tasty red grapes. When I came home with them I washed them and put them in the fridge so they were ready to eat. Green grapes are tasty too, of course! The other day I made kale chips. My nephew Michael just posted a picture of apple chips he made. I will make them soon and show you how easy!
I keep roasted almonds in the freezer. (Nuts stay fresher in the freezer.) I confess I am obsessed with them so I portion the amount that is healthy (1 oz. = about 24) and put them in a ramekin. Barry would look at them for the longest time with disinterest. Slowly he started taking a few. Now I put a double portion out so we can enjoy them together. He eats less potato sticks and still gets that salty ‘fix’ that he loves.
Next time you reach for a cookie or ice cream consider these healthy snacks:
- Fruit ~ grapes, strawberries, whatever your favorite…
- Salsa and endive leaves
- Guacamole and homemade pitas
- Hummus and carrot sticks
- Almonds!!! Mmm…
- Kale chips ~ salty and savory
- Apple chips ~ easy, sweet and better than bagged chips!
- Edamame ~ organic, in the pod ~ always in my freezer
- Quinoa with almond slivers and cranberries
- Eat a small portion of any leftover ~ you know it is healthy!
- Use cucumber slices as chips ~ top with a small amount of cheese
- Stuff lettuce leaves with tomatoes and crumbled feta ~ or tofu!
- Dip apple slices into warmed goat cheese ~ 30 sec in the microwave should do
- Put pineapple into your salsa for a sweet treat ~ dip with endive leaves
- Roast your favorite veggies! Brussels sprouts for me please.
There are so many great ideas for snacking but they begin with your commitment to buying healthy and buying fresh. DO NOT get caught up in the commercial snack products. They can never be as fresh or healthy as those you make at home. Read labels and you will see. Look at calories, fat, carbs, and sodium. Then put them back.
Lastly, keep the carbohydrates low and the protein high. This will be waist-friendly and keep you satisfied longer. Look in your kitchen. Prepare ahead for the hungries.
Keep it fresh. Keep it real. Enjoy!