Fourth of July is by far my favorite summer holiday. I enjoy the food and fireworks. This year I didn’t ask off for the 4th because it fell in the middle of the week. That doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy a good time when I get off work. By then it will be cooler outside and I will have worked up a powerful hunger for some delicious grilled favorites!
We’ve all heard “if it tastes good spit it out because it will most certainly make you fat.” I don’t believe that. You can still eat delicious foods while watching your calorie intake. The key is learning how to “slim down” some of your favorite meals. It can be done with the right amount of planning.
Here are some of the adjustments I’ve learned to make…
Trade in regular pancake syrup for sugar-free. Skip the butter and add fruit on top
Instead of white rice serve up brown rice seasoned with whatever spices you like
Swap out regular white noodles for a whole grain high-fiber noodle.
Mashed potatoes are delicious but the milk and butter add more fat and calories. Try boiling a small potato, cut it into chunks season with salt, pepper and Italian herbs or garlic. Baked potatoes are ok-just swap regular sour cream for fat-free or try non-fat Greek yogurt. In place of regular butter, add a squeeze of light or “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spread.
Go green! Fill up your plate with green veggies. They are good for you and help keep you fuller longer. I love baked squash chips. My mom slices them paper-thin, adds a little salt and pepper and pops them in the oven. They come out crispy like potato chips! Steamed broccoli is another favorite. Add a slice of cheese for a calcium boost. Mushrooms are another favorite of mine. I like them raw, cut up in salads, broiled, grilled-so many options with this one. Tomatoes! They are good on a sandwich, sliced with some salt and pepper or peeled and eaten over the sink so the juice won’t get on the table-cloth 🙂
Mayo and salad dressing. I’ve always eaten light mayo-Bama Light is my favorite. When it comes to salad dressing I refuse to eat the light or fat-free stuff. Yuck. I’m a true ranch lover but instead of covering my salad with a gooping heap I’ve learned to do this: I put my salad in a bowl, measure out 2 Tablespoons of dressing and mix it all together. That way every piece of salad gets a little loving from the dressing and your eyes are satisfied that your salad is covered 🙂
Fat-free cream cheese is one of my favorite go-to ingredients. Alfredo sauce is such a comforting food but the calorie content is outrageous! I make my own sauce and the calories are ridiculously low. I melt a wedge of Laughing Cow Chipolte Cheese, 2 Tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese, and about 1 cup of skim milk in a sauce pan. I add in black pepper, Ms. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning, salt, and red pepper (for kick). This will thicken. I add water to thin mine down. I mix the sauce into a steaming bowl of whole wheat noodles or brown rice for a completely satisfying, comforting and healthy meal!
By making a few adjustments you can turn your bad habits into good ones. Just remember-read the labels and if you can find a suitable substitute for a fattening meal item by all means go for it!
Hope these tips help!
Have a great 4th!