Tag: potatoes

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!




Go meatless (sometimes)…and love it!

Go meatless (sometimes)…and love it!

As I was working out tonight I was thinking about the blog and what might be a good entry this week.  I recently started eating more meatless meals, not to lose weight, not because I think it is healthier, but because sometimes I just don’t crave meat or the thought of meat kind of grosses me out (at times) when I go to fix dinner.  No, I am not a vegetarian and while I know that some people would say it is better for you, I truly believe in “everything in moderation.”  I do what I feel is right for MY body and I suggest you do what you feel is right for yours, too!  In all of my posts, I want to continually emphasize that you should always do what YOU think is best for you and take my advice or leave it, use some of it, and realize that I do not have the answers to each individual’s unique lifestyle and routine.

Since I have been going meatless more frequently than I usually do, I decided I actually kind of enjoy my meatless meals, maybe some more than the ones where I do eat meat.  I typically enjoy “Meatless Mondays” each week, but I have now taken it even farther and decided to also eat at least one meatless meal per day.  So, whether you already occasionally eat meatless or whether you never eat meatless I challenge you to “Meatless Mondays.”  This is a great way to start and ease into what meatless meals can offer!  I promise meatless meals can be just as delicious, fun to cook, and can make your creative juices flow! 🙂   This means you will eliminate meat on Mondays, so no meat at breakfast, lunch, or dinner!  No cheating either!  Sounds challenging maybe, but it really isn’t.  Consider peanut butter toast and sliced apples for breakfast, grilled cheese and veggie soup for lunch, and pizza or pasta minus any meat for dinner.

Once you have “Meatless Mondays” down I encourage you to take it one step farther as I have by eating one meatless meal per day.  That should not be hard and should be a routine that you already have in place.  One meatless meal per day is actually very healthy as the consumption of meat at every meal is not necessary (or healthy)!  It does not have to be the same meal each day.  It can be breakfast one day, then dinner the next, followed by breakfast again, and then lunch the following day.  For example, you might have a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit for breakfast, a spinach and feta quesadilla for lunch, and then chicken parmesan with broccoli for dinner.  You went meatless at lunch so you met your goal for one meatless meal that day.

You say that you can’t get full on meatless meals?  I DON’T buy it!  That’s crazy!  Eat more veggies, which are one of the best things you can fill your body with!  Consider some of the following if you don’t believe me: 1) veggie stir fry with brown rice 2) pasta with a meatless marinara sauce and garlic bread 3) sliced potatoes layered with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and ranch dressing (potato nachos) 4) breakfast foods including eggs, hashbrowns, waffles, pancakes, french toast, biscuits 5) veggie pizza.  You can’t tell me that none of these foods speak to you because it includes nearly every food group (and all are meatless)!

So, next time you sit down for a meal think MEATLESS!  I know I do and my body still loves me and I feel great!


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