Tag: cauliflower

Holidays…family, friends, and FOOD!

Holidays…family, friends, and FOOD!

This is the weight-gaining, cookie-eating, mouth-stuffing time of the year!  It’s the time of the year when people eat cookies, cupcakes, chips, dips, and other sugary and salty foods.  It’s the time of the year when diets seem to be filled with more junk food than fruits and veggies.  It’s the time of the year when there are parties, potlucks, and events.   And, it’s the time of the year when health educators and counselors know what to expect come January when New Year’s resolutions come around!

I am getting ready to cook my “gluten free” Thanksgiving this weekend so that I can actually enjoy it!  Otherwise the day of Thanksgiving I get stuck with meat and potatoes without all the other lovely sides that fill the Thanksgiving table (but are often filled with gluten)!

As a way to cut back on fat and to reduce the calories in my gluten free dishes I will be making roasted brussels sprouts and corn with a couple of slices of bacon rather than a corn casserole or corn pudding which are filled with heavy cream, cream soups, and other fattening additives.  This is a great way to reduce fat and calories while still having great flavor.  The bacon will provide flavor along with chili powder, but since the two bacon slices will be divided among 6 people the amount consumed is very little.

My homemade mashed potatoes will feature part cauliflower.  That may sound awful to some, but I promise you won’t taste the cauliflower and it will save a ton of calories!  I will also use potatoes, but I will combine them with cauliflower to reduce the calories and add some veggies.  I will use reduced sodium, reduced fat cream cheese or greek yogurt to add creaminess to the potatoes.

I will not have bread since I will be making cornbread stuffing.  I made cornbread with reduced fat milk and will make the stuffing using reduced sodium chicken broth.   To save calories, it is great to consider how many “bready” sides or carbohydrate sides you will serve with your Thanksgiving dinner.  Consider having stuffing or bread, pie or cake, with more sides filled with veggies or fruits (i.e. brussel sprouts, corn, green beans, cranberries, mixed fruit, sweet potatoes – healthier than regular potatoes).

If your family does a green bean casserole each year consider roasted green beans, grilled green beans (these are delicious!), or pan seared green beans to cut back on the creamy soups, butter, and fried onions that are all high in calories.

Remember to fill your plates with more veggies than “bready” items and when you go back for seconds fill up on the veggie sides rather than more stuffing, bread, pie, and other high calorie dishes.  Oh, and take a quick walk before or after dinner so your food doesn’t sit in your stomach all day or all night.  You will thank yourself later when your food has a chance to digest rather than sit and make you feel miserable all night! 🙂

Happy eating, enjoy spending time with your friends and family, and have fun making new memories that you will remember forever!




Replace + Reduce > Rationalizing

Replace + Reduce > Rationalizing

All too often I hear people say, “I worked out earlier, so it means I can eat this cake and cookies now” or “I ate fruit at breakfast and a side of vegetables at lunch so I can cheat at dinner” or the best one is “I ate clean all week, so it means I can eat whatever I want this weekend” but rationalizing your choices when it comes to your health is not a good compromise or balance.  Try replacing rather than rationalizing to reduce your calories and your chances for heart disease (which I will add is the number one killer of Americans yet can be reduced by the choices we make).

I am not suggesting that you don’t allow yourself to eat sweets or desserts, but getting into the habit of rationalizing your choices is a sure way to lose track of your fitness goals and see a decrease in your progress.  Instead, eat in moderation and remember that replacing with fruits and veggies rather than rationalizing with junk food will boost your energy level and make you feel much better.  Consider replacing at least one food item at each meal to reduce the fat content, sodium, and carb load that is almost always higher than it should be.  Replace unhealthy sides such as mashed potatoes for a baked potato or make mashed potatoes that are 1/2 cauliflower and 1/2 potato and use Greek yogurt, low fat milk, and unsalted butter to get the creamy consistency you want.  Replace onion rings or french fries for healthy veggies such as grilled onions or roasted potatoes.  Further, at breakfast, replace potatoes and bacon in an omelette for veggies such as spinach (leafy greens are great for you!) and mushrooms.  At lunch, replace BBQ potato chips for plain tortilla chips or unsalted almonds and a BLT or chicken quesadilla for a turkey, spinach, and cheese wrap.  Small healthy choices at each meal may not seem that important, but small steps can help make a big difference in the overall progress you see.  Three small healthy choices (one at each meal) is a great way to work on making progress over time.

Remember that when you eat like crap, you often feel like crap so don’t use your weekend as an excuse to give up on your goals.  Instead eat for success because no diet does what healthy eating will do for your life.  It will change your mood, stress, and energy level!  Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat less, just eat right! 🙂


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