Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sharing 10 Ways of Making Your Favorite Foods Healthier

What can I say. I love food. But in this day and age with so many processed food items and fast food it can be hard to keep up with the healthy side of eating. And with myself who is overweight I really need to be on top of what I eat and what my son eats. My goal is to be healthier by losing some of these unwanted pounds, and to help my son to maintain a healthy weight. Here are a few of those ways.

1. Chicken - Bake, don't fry. Marinate your chicken breast in your favorite Italian dressing. Then layer the bottom of a casserole dish or baking pan with thick rings of sliced onions. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan and layer the chicken on top of the onions and bake.

2.  Potatoes - Baked is always best. Split your potatoes, I like using red potatoes, almost half way through. Add a bit of sliced onion and a dab of Smart Balance Butter right in between and wrap in aluminum foil. Then poke a few holes in the foil/potato and bake in the oven or cook on the grill. Either way is really good but remember to eat those potatoes in moderation.

3. Green Beans - Healthy raw or cooked. I like to steam mine and add a bit of cooked onion and tomato to make a nice healthy side. Or if you like them raw, you could make a healthy side dip with vanilla yogurt and your favorite low sodium soup mix or roasted vegetables.

4.  French Fries - Skip the fried and make them yourself. There are many types of potatoes to choose from like Yellow, White, Russet, Red, and even Blue. Grab a few that you like and slice them long and thin. Then place them flat on a cookie sheet, spray with a bit of Smart Balance cooking spray and bake. They truly are a great alternative to the fried version. And if you want to make them even better why not try a few sweet potatoes instead. They are so yummy. And don't forget the organic ketchup as a healthier option.

5. Roasted Vegetables - Eggplant, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Peppers (all colors), Garlic, etc. Just slice them thin, toss them in a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil, layer them on a cookie sheet and bake. Perfect as a side, on toasted whole grain bread, or alone as an afternoon snack.

6. Water - I am definitely one who hates drinking plain old water. To mix it up a bit I add a bit of lemon or lime, or even both to give my water a little flavor. Or you could add a single packet of Crystal Light or Propel Fitness packets. Definitely helps me to drink more than I would otherwise.

7.  Organic Skim Milk  - We drink nothing but organic skim milk in our household. The thought of drinking anything else kind of grosses me out. To me whole milk is like drinking cream. Yuck! But if you don't like milk or have other reasons to why you choose not to drink it, then Organic Soy Milk is a great alternative. It not only tastes great straight from a cup, but the almond or vanilla flavors are perfect with your favorite healthy morning cereal.

8. Cheese - A major downfall in my home. We love cheese. But to keep us healthy we use it in moderation. And we choose the most natural cheeses on the market. Kraft has a great line of all natural cheeses. And since Calcium is an important aspect of ones diet, a serving of cheese can actual be good for you. Just stay away from the processed stuff. And go white. The yellow in yellow American cheese is nothing but unnecessary added color.

9. Pasta with Sauce - This is one item I try to limit in my household. Pasta can really add on the pounds. But now-a-days there are many great alternatives to the regular white stuff. There is whole wheat pasta and multi-grain pasta that actually taste great. And if you like to cook, you could make your own pasta sauce. That way you know what's going in and staying out. Make a big pot and freeze some of it. And make sure you add plenty of roasted vegetables to it. They not only add flavor but can help you get in a serving of your daily vegetables. Also, if your kids really dislike their vegetables, chop them fine then add them to your pasta sauce and your kids will never know the difference.

10. Turkey Burger - A great alternative to beef. You can cook it the same way you would cook beef but it is so much leaner and healthier for you. It's great in stuffed cabbage or peppers. It's also wonderful to use for your favorite family meatballs or meatloaf. Or how about an awesome Turkey burger. Yum! If you haven't tried Turkey burger then now is the time to do so. It taste great and you'll be the better for it.

Hopefully some of my ideas and tips will spark your interest. Wishing everyone happy and healthy eating.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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