Tag Archive | healthy choices

Super

It’s that time again! That day when we throw caution to the dietary winds, indulging in pizza, wings, chips, dip, and all sorts of unhealthy, yet delicious, foods. Yes, it’s Super Bowl Sunday.

We don’t typically make a big deal of the big game, although we do always watch. Our football viewing has waned over the years and, honestly, I don’t really care who wins. I will usually root for the underdogs, just because, but I think that’s the Bucs this year, and Tom Brady… So I’m torn! I guess I’ll be “that person” who just hopes it’s a good (i.e., close/interesting) game.

With the intention of making our food choices a bit more interesting, I went searching for a healthier pizza option and found a recipe using polenta as the pizza crust. Move over, cauliflower! The recipe is from the Jazzy Vegetarian Classics cookbook, but true to form, I have modified it quite a bit (no oil, different seasonings, added olives, etc.).

I have to say, it was quite yummy, and totally healthy. No added fat, with a healthy grain, fresh tomatoes, and the wonderful tang of artichokes and kalamata olives. Here’s my version: Polenta Pizza with Artichokes. So good! Enjoy!

For full transparency, we will be eating a not-so-healthy spinach and artichoke dip later… 🙂 Enjoy whatever your indulgence is today. Luckily the Super Bowl is only one day a year.

May your team win!

IMDb: Super (2005)

Progress

I’m a big believer of the phrase “progress, not perfection”. Any time you are trying to improve your diet, I think it has to be a progression. I’ve seen too many people jump in to a completely new way of eating, only to be overwhelmed by choices, the learning curve, and behavioral changes. It’s easy to set yourself up for failure that way. So why not work on incremental progress?

When starting out, a good strategy can be to think about how you can improve that ONE meal you are making. How can you amp up the nutrition in the meal and otherwise make it healthier? For example, can you add a veggie to the dish (I’m a big fan of throwing a handful of spinach into most things!)? Can you eliminate or reduce an unhealthy (or less healthy) ingredient? I almost always eliminate all oil in any recipe I try. Similarly, I’ll eliminate cheese, and put it on the side for my other family members.

I also encourage my clients to eat their veggies and starches first, and save any meats for last. This allows you to “crowd out” the less healthy food. This works with snacking, too. If you snack on some grapes, an apple, or some carrots, even if you still go for the chips, you will end up eating fewer of them, because you are already filling up from the healthy options.

Progress, not perfection. Keep making simple choices, one meal at a time. And then build on the choices, day after day.

Today’s recipe is a new one that I modified by completely eliminating the coconut oil. It called for 1/3 cup of oil, which is over 600 calories! Unnecessary calories, with little to no nutritional value. This recipe uses raw cashews and cauliflower to create the creamy fettuccine sauce. The cashews provide a “whole food”, healthier fat (and more than enough of it). Cashews also contain protein, fiber, magnesium and other nutrients, unlike processed oils that are 100% fat. (Of course, since cashews DO still contain fat, they, and all nuts, must be eaten only occasionally if you are trying to lose weight.)

Cauliflower Fettucine “Alfredo”. This is one of the best plant-based “alfredo” sauces that I have ever tried. It was only a few ingredients and pretty simple to make. The original recipe called for straining the cream sauce, but I found this completely unnecessary. Who needs extra steps and dishes when we’re focused on making forward progress?

I also made this kale salad, one of my favorites, to use up some kale in my fridge and to boost my greens intake: Lemon Kale Salad with Pecan Parmesan. (This recipe does have a bit of oil, but it was significantly reduced from the original.)

IMDb: Progress (2015)