Smarter Than Pancakes

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Diet Super Bowl Food?

Filed under: Diet Super Bowl — shaye3 @ 11:28 am
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We love the Super Bowl.  My favorite parts are usually the food and the commercials–although my team is in the running this year, so I might actually watch the game!

We’ve been eating healthier this year, and I’ve dropped almost 14 pounds.  I love me some Super Bowl food, but there’s no way I’m going to go crazy and pack back on some pounds that I’ve fought so hard to drop.

For the first time in ages, we aren’t having or going to a party for the big game.  That’s going to make it a lot easier to limit ourselves to lower calorie/healthy snacks.  I’ve been trying to come up with some lighter options that will still be festive.

I’m not going to post any recipes until after I’ve tried making everything, but here is the list of what I’m currently considering.  (And no, most of it isn’t wholesome.  There are processed foods a-plenty.  I don’t think it will kill us to eat total crap on Super Bowl Sunday–as long as it doesn’t become an ongoing thing.  I think I’ll also be sure to have everyone drink lots of extra water and take a vitamin before bed.)

So here’s the grand plan so far:

  • Sugar Free Jello Jigglers (Made in my official Super Bowl helmet/football mold!)
  • Roasted, Spiced Garbanzo Beans
  • Veggies and Baked Ruffles with Fat Free Beef Dip (Our local grocery used to make the best beef dip–before they were sold to Kroger.  I got the recipe from a friend who worked there, so I now can make it at home with fat free ingredients.)
  • Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
  • Lightened Potato Skins (I’m thinking about trying something with similar seasoning, only spraying the potato with Pam.  Then using 2% or fat free cheddar and a tiny bit of bacon for flavor.)
  • Baked Tostito Scoops with Homemade Guacamole and Salsa
  • Bacon Wrapped, Chèvre Stuffed Medjool Dates (Ok, this one doesn’t sound very diet friendly, but very little cheese fits inside.  AND, I’m told that if you par-boil the tiny piece of bacon before you wrap it around the date to bake it, a lot of the fat will boil out and it will crisp right up!  Plus, I’m not making very many.)

My big plan is to make very small batches of all of these things.  One box of Jello, one can of garbanzos, one avocado’s worth of guac., etc.  I’m also sitting here right now trying to figure out the points values of each of these treats.  We’ll be able to have a taste of several different snacks, without breaking the bank on points or stretching our stomachs back out.

I’d love to hear what tricks you have up your sleeve when it comes to “light” eating for parties and/or the big game!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What does your grocery list look like when you’re eating healthy?

Filed under: Healthy Junk Food,Meal Plans,Menu Planning,Opinions,WW Points — shaye3 @ 10:12 am

I’m on Weight Watchers again, and I’m working on my grocery list.  I was talking to a couple of Facebook friends earlier about the types of healthy foods we try to keep on hand when trying to eat healthy.  I shared a few things that I’ve come up with, but I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions!

Here are some of mine:

I hate to admit it, because I seriously do try to avoid processed foods when I can, but it’s a lot harder when you’re dieting or doing Weight Watchers.  I tend to keep a few Lean Cuisines or Lean Pockets in the freezer for emergencies or when I’m just feeling extremely lazy–they’re easy and don’t have a lot of points.  I also tend to keep a can of milk chocolate Slimfast powder in the cupboard for the same reason.  While I’m doing true confessions, I also use butter sprinkles or butter spray when I’m doing Weight Watchers.  Yes I know it’s like one molecule away from being plastic, but I still do it.  (There, I admitted it.)

Other than those seriously processed things…

I try to buy a lot of produce, then wash and chop it the next day so it’s easy to grab at a moment’s notice.  (Grocery shopping can be exhausting, so I usually never do it right when I get home from the store.)

I buy romaine & other lettuces, spinach, radishes, carrots, sprouts, and any other salad-bar things that would be low or no points.  I also get some slightly higher cal/higher protein items  like sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, olives,  and 2% cheese–but I try to make sure to weigh those things before putting on my salad because they can rack up points quickly.  I keep all of it–chopped, washed and ready to eat–in small containers in the fridge.  (My own little instant salad bar!) I also keep low cal salad dressing, which I also try to remember to measure when I use it when I’m counting points.  I try to make my own salad dressings because it’s hard to find dressings that don’t have HFCS.  The Annie’s dressings don’t, but I’m just not crazy about bottled dressings to begin with.

I also try to get stuff like zucchini, summer squash, fresh mushrooms, onions, eggplant, red peppers, and other similar veggies that I’ll chop up and saute in a small amount of olive oil while I’m prepping all my produce. (I usually saute them one at a time, then throw it all in together.  I just keep a big container of cooked veggies in the fridge so I can warm some in the microwave to go into my Egg Beaters omlet in the morning with a couple of Tbs. of 2% cheese.  It’s a fast, healthy, and fairly quick breakfast.

The other day, I figured out that I can peel and chop up an apple, throw it together with a little sweetener, pinch of salt, butter spray, cinnamon and nutmeg; and then nuke it until it’s soft.  It’s awesome on a toasted whole grain English Muffin when I’m craving a pastry.

When I buy any bread product, I check the label to make sure there’s no HFCS, then I check to make sure it says “Whole Wheat” or “Whole Grain”.  After that, I check the nutrition label to figure out which one has the most fiber and the fewest calories.  If there’s more than one that fits that criteria, I get the one that feels softer. 😉

In the summer, we love frozen grapes.  I’ll buy a bunch of grapes, wash them really well and cut the stems so that when you grab them you’ll get a proper serving size.  Then I just throw them in the freezer.  They work really well when you want something cold and sweet like a Popsicle.  (They don’t satisfy a chocolate craving though.  I’ve been known to keep the fat free Fudgesicles on hand for that purpose.  Only one point each!)

My doctor suggested another one to me.  He’s completely against all sweeteners.  (He prefers sugar or honey to HFCS, but would prefer we avoid all of them with the history of diabetes in our family.) He suggested that a calorie free, yet refreshing drink is flavored water.  He told me to take a pitcher of water and put in sliced lemons, limes, even cucumber.  Throw it in the fridge overnight, and it makes a really good drink.  I’ve tried cucumber water at a spa, but I keep meaning to do this at home.  I love to put water in the fridge anyway.  It’s handy to have cold water, and I swear it tastes better after the chlorine has had a chance to evaporate away.

We also love to make 5-minute tomato soup.  I’m pretty sure I’ve posted it on here before, but all you do is put a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan, warm it a little and then throw in a little fresh garlic.  (Roasted garlic is even better!) Then you let that sizzle for less than a minute before you add a can of crushed tomatoes and a little dried basil.  You let that simmer for about 5 minutes, then either take a stick blender to it, throw it in your regular blender, or leave it slightly chunky.  We love it, and it’s almost point free!

Ok, there are a few of my healthy food tricks.  Now it’s your turn to comment and share some of yours!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Quick Tuesday Night Dinner

Filed under: Menu Planning,WW Points — shaye3 @ 3:58 pm
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So when I plan menus, I try to think about what we have going on each night before I decide what to have for dinner on any given night. I know that on Tuesday nights, Steve teaches band after school so Simon stays in childcare. Then they leave school and have to run straight over to our church for Worship Arts Club. (A program for the kids where they get dinner and then a rotation of children’s choir, children’s choir chimes, art lessons with our pastor, Bible study, and gym time.) This means that Steve and Simon have dinner at the church, and I fend for myself.

Tonight my plan was to make up a batch of ratatouille to use up some of the produce in the rotter drawer of the fridge. (I love that name. Have you ever known anything to actually get crisper in those drawers?) I like to keep ratatouille in the fridge to use for my breakfasts and lunches while Steve and Simon are at school.

For tonight, I figured I could make myself an omlette and then throw in some rehydrated, dried mushrooms that I could saute with some leftover onion I had in the fridge; and maybe make a salad to round it all out. Nothing fancy.

Then Steve called and told me that they were coming home a little early, and that they weren’t able to get to the church before all of the food was gone. That meant I was scrambling to come up with dinner for all three of us.

Here’s Steve’s dinner–

He wound up with an omlette with ratatouille and a little shredded cheddar jack cheese in it, and a salad with goat cheese and tomato dressing. (One of our favorite dressings.)

He’s my dinner–

I had the mushrooms (that I had already rehydrated) and onions with a little goat cheese in my omlette, along with ratatouille and salad on the side.

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