10 Ways of Making Your Favorite foods Healthier

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I can’t believe we are into September already! In my neck of the woods, that means fall is just around the corner and winter is not far behind. I don’t know about you, but for me, that means Comfort Foods! Watching my weight is difficult enough as it is, especially this time of the year, without adding delicious pies, hearty chili and Holiday parties into the mixture. The one thing I can do is to “health it up” a bit. It’s easier than you might think! TwitterMoms and WeightWatcher’s Smart Ones are calling on Mom’s to share their 10 ways of making foods healthier.

  1.  When I’m craving something crunchy and salty, I go for the baked potato chips. While they are lower in fats, they are still high in calories so pay close attention to portion size. If you are the dipping kind, try making a healthy homemade chip dip with plain low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with an organic dip mix like French Onion or Ranch.
  2.  My bread machine seems to get more than its fair share of work during the fall and winter months. There is nothing like the smell of homemade bread wafting through the air. One way I make my bread healthier, is to use organic white whole wheat flour. It tastes milder and bakes lighter than traditional whole wheat flour but you still get the nutritional benefits of the whole wheat. Top if off with a low-fat buttery spread and you’ve got yourself a winner!
  3. My entire family loves pizza and I make it at least once a week. I make my crust with a 3:1 ratio of traditional organic whole wheat to white flour. A favorite of ours is drizzling olive oil on the crust in place of pizza sauce, and topping it with basil and roasted vegetables such as broccoli florets, red and yellow peppers, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. Top if off with a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella cheese. Talk about a smorgasbord of vitamins!
  4. We love milkshakes any time of the year. Preferably chocolate! By using frozen yogurt, skim milk, a powdered drink mix containing vitamins & minerals, and tossing in a couple of strawberries or other berries of your choice, you have a treat that’s easy to say YES to.
  5. In my area of the country, we have something called Cincinnati Chili. It’s not really chili, but rather a seasoned meat sauce poured over spaghetti and topped with cheese. Beans and onions can also be added. By using very lean ground beef when cooking and letting the chili refrigerate over night and then removing any grease, you can cut out a lot of the fat. I also like using organic whole wheat spaghetti and serving whole wheat crackers on the side.
  6. Is there anything better than a mug of hot cocoa on a cold winters’ day? I say, not much. Make it healthier by avoiding those pre-made packets with dehydrated marshmallows and whip up some from scratch using skim milk, 70% dark chocolate or cocoa powder, and organic cane sugar. Stir with a cinnamon stick for added flavor.
  7. Even if you are dieting, you can have your cake (or in this case pie) and eat it too. I like to make my pie crusts from scratch using organic white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour. Make the pumpkin pie using organic canned pumpkin (once you’ve used organic canned pumpkin and have seen the gorgeous bright orange color, you will never want to use anything else), farm fresh brown eggs, sea salt, spices, skim milk, and raw organic cane sugar and you have a delectable (but healthy) dessert.
  8. Make a pb& j sandwich pack more punch by using raisin bread, chunky peanut butter, and bananas instead of the jelly. Chocked full of vitamins and paired with a glass of skim milk, it’s the perfect snack.
  9. Pancakes made with organic white whole wheat flour topped with baked apples and raisins, sweetened with a bit of Agave is delicious and heart-healthy at the same time.
  10. I’ve saved my favorite tip for last. I love chocolate chip cookies, but they don’t love me. Several ways to make your favorite recipe better for you, is to use dark chocolate (proven to be heart healthy) chips, organic white whole wheat flour, raw organic cane sugar, and to add nuts such as walnuts or pecans. Still delicious, but a lot healthier.
Eating healthy is a learned behavior, and one that doesn’t happen over night. By making small changes to our every day diet, I am hoping to finally get to a point where it’s just second nature to do so. I’m sure my body will thank me later!

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.


Deanna said...

These are really good tips. Thanks for visiting my Health News blog. I also have a blog for writers called Write Moms. I'm following you now. :)