Today, I had the pleasure of spending my lunch hour with beauty and fitness editors and bloggers at the Women’s Health offices, to hear Keri Glassman M.S., R.D., C.D.N. (and she’s on staff of Womens‘ Health magazine as well as being an author, and a nutritionist with a consulting practice). Keri shows us a number of quick and easy ways to health healthy food, even when we’re strapped for time, on a budget, or simply uninspired with our normal diets.
Keri started by giving us 10 tips to add good nutrition to our snacks and meals, from the Women’s Health Food Flip issue. Some of the ones I really liked are:
*swap thick, rich, Greek Yogurt for Mayo in salads and sandwiches. There’s a lot less fat and calories, and it still gives that creamy feeling to a dry chicken breast! Keri told us that adding yogurt to meat also tenderizes it.
*add horseradish or cinnamon to your cottage cheese –zips it up and makes it into a dip–transforming that ho-hum staple into something fun and exciting.
*puree things…veggies can be used in soups and sauces, and frozen pureed fruit is a “sorbet-like” snack that’s healthy. Keri says she purchases the clear wrappers that are used in frozen ice sticks (so unhealthy and sugary) and fills them with pureed banana for her daughter. The kids think the sticks are fun to eat, but they’re not getting all the food coloring and sugar. She eats hers in a cup (with some crushed peanuts on top for a “sundae”).
*blending food gives it volume and makes you feel more full.
*sip green tea while you’re cooking–keeps the hunger pangs and tasting demons, down.
*cook with chicken broth (preferably low sodium) for added taste.
Keri showed us lots of staples that we can all store in the kitchen, so when the urge to splurge on junk food or high calorie treats, strikes, we are prepared. Here are some of my favorites:
*have staples such as a can of beans, salsa and wraps (preferably whole wheat or something with high fiber) in the house. When you get home late and you can’t wait for dinner, instead of nuking that frozen thing in a box, microwave a pre-cooked chicken breast from your freezer (or buy pre-cooked chicken), toss with beans and salsa…instant burrito!!! Other ways to make a quick meal are to use pre-cooked chicken with veggies, or get a roast chicken and freeze the pieces, serve with a salad or veggies.
Keep a pictcher of water in your fridge with lemon, orange, raspberry…any kind of fruit floating in it. The fruit gives it a bit of taste, and the presentation makes you want to drink that, instead of soda or sugary fruit juices.
Somewhat discouraging was Keri’s thumbs down to 100 calorie snack packages. She applauds the portion control, but says that most of them are just pre-packaged “junk.” My favorite treat these days is a crispy apple sliced thin, with a drizzle (not a dollop) of almond or peanut butter (thin it out so your drizzle goes farther) and another drizzle of Blue Agave syrup (you can use honey, but agave is lighter and sweeter) on top.
For other substitutions for 100 calorie snacks, check out Food Flip in Women’s Health and my blog post: http://www.advicesisters.net/2008/05/what-can-you-eat-thats-100-calories
If you’re not a regular reader of Womens‘ Health Magazine you’ll want to pick up a copy. Swimsuit and shorts season is nearly here! But Women’s Health Magazine also has has an amazing web site: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/ where you can sign up and be part of an amazing community. The site has a dizzying array of new items every single days, with contests, feedback, games, news, and topics ranging Sex & Relationships ,Nutrition ,Weight Loss ,Health , Beauty & Style ,Life ,and of course, Fitness (with some great video ho-to’s). And, the Editors apparently really do listen to reader feedback and respond with new items online and in the magazine. It’s free to become a member of the community….as soon as I finish this post, I’m going to sign on..so see you there!