Monday, February 10, 2014

Easy Exchanges

So I talk a lot about making little changes (like skim milk instead of whole milk).  And I've said it more than once that if you make enough small changes, before you know it you've made a big change without even feeling it!  

On different pages on this blog I've posted some of the things that I've switched to over the past year and how shocked I've been at how I didn't miss the original item!  So I've decided to make a short list here of things I would strongly suggest you try.  You've got nothing to lose except possibly some weight!  And maybe a bad habit or two. :)  I promise none of them are yucky.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that all of them are so freaking delicious you won't notice the change.  And neither will anyone you serve them to!

I.  Instead of sour cream, switch to plain Greek yogurt!  A tablespoon of full fat sour cream (because really, who likes the fat-free stuff?! The texture is all wrong!) has 23 calories and 2.4 g of fat.  A tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt has 6 calories.  Let me break that down for you:  You could have three times the amount of Greek yogurt for the same amount of calories!!!  And the fat a in sour cream as compared to Greek yogurt doesn't even compare.  Make sure you get Greek style yogurt, not just a plain low-fat version.  They're not the same animal.  We use The Greek Gods brand and love it.  

II.  Instead of  Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise, switch to Vegenaise.  This started out as a joke with Rik, but we tried it on a whim one afternoon last summer and switched for good.  That afternoon I made potato salad for a party we were going to that night and realized that I was out of mayo.  I've always used Best Foods.  And I used to sell 10 pounds of my potato salad in my deli every single day, sometimes more.  So making it not to the quality I was used to wasn't an option.  But I took a chance and used the Vegenaise we'd just purchased and I swear I couldn't tell the difference.  And I'm my biggest critic!  It has no egg, no GMO ingredients, and only uses heart-healthy oils like grape seed and or olive and has ZERO cholesterol!  Hellman's has 94 calories per Tbsp.  Vegenaise has 90 so it's not as drastic as the sour cream/Greek yogurt switch up, but the health benefits are tremendous when you're eliminating MSG, saturated fats, and GMO.  But honest: you can't tell the difference.

III.  Instead of Minute rice, switch to the real thing that hasn't been processed.  Bulk rice has had nothing done to it, whereas the quick-cook stuff has been cooked and then dehydrated so that it cooks faster when you gook it again, thereby removing a lot of the naturally occurring elements that your body could use for fuel like phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins, and even iron.  The less processed the better.  And I honestly think the quality in taste and texture of bulk rice is far superior to the boil-in-bag or Minute Rice.  The little bit of extra time it takes to cook is so worth it.

IV.  Instead of peanut butter, switch to raw almond butter.  The differences between the two aren't super apparent.  But almond butter has more vitamin E and magnesium and has more calcium and iron than peanut butter.  Almonds have also proven to be more filling than peanuts and less addicting.  And stay with the raw over roasted.  More pesticides are used on peanuts than on almonds due to factors like where they're grown and their method (plant vs. tree).  I sadly threw away our the very empty jar of our favorite kind the other day (right).  But that's because it was $17 a jar and it's not like I'll be buying that particular brand again!!!!   You can get it much cheaper though this was the best almond butter I've ever had, even if it did shock the crap out of Rik at the register (he thought it said $7). But Natural Grocers sells a ground-while-you-wait almond butter that's very reasonable and really good.  Sadly no more of the $17 nut butter :) 

I won't overwhelm you with more.  But try one or two of these ideas and let me know what you think!   You're going to be surprised, I promise.

Here's dinner:

One Cup Vege Lentil Soup For Two

(It's "One Cup" because of 1 cup of each ingredient)

1 c dry lentils (I used green)
4-5 c. water
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 large Tbsp. Beef Better than Bullion (or just use any bullion to taste)
1 c. coarse chopped mushrooms
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. shredded carrots
1 c. celery (I used tops)
1 c. fresh corn off the cob
1 c. onion
  • Start the lentils cooking by adding them to the water along with the beef bullion (or chicken or vegetable!), basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • While they're cooking, chop your veges.  You can use any combination of veges you have to hand at any given time.  This is one of those recipes that's super forgiving so have fun with it!  
  • The lentils will take about 30-40 minutes to cook if you use brown or green lentils which are of a harder variety than the red, yellow, or orange.  If you want to be able to eat faster, set them to soak like beans the night before, rinse and change out the water before you put them on the stove the following day.  
  • Once the lentils are tender, add in all of your veges at once.  Let them cook for about 10 minutes or so until just tender.  
Each 1 cup serving has the following:  
Calories        181
Potassium     264 mg
Carbs              33.2 g
Fiber               11.7 g
Protein            11.8 g
Vitamin A          60%
Vitamin C       14.9%
Thiamin            9.8%     

Here's our food for the day:  

Breakfast:  2 Oatmeal Cupcakes To-Go and 2 Omelette Muffins
Snack:  Protein shake and fresh fruit
Lunch:  Bocca burger on Oroweat Sandwich Thin and Warm Chicken Barley Salad
Snack:  Protein shake and fresh fruit
Dinner:  One-Cup Vege Lentil Soup For Two

Breakfast:  Bob's Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal and coffee with homemade creamer (I'm about to give up on the homemade stuff...just not doing it for me...)
Snack:  Cup of Tazo Chai with skim milk
Lunch:  Brown rice with steamed asparagus, sharp cheddar cheese, and garlic salt
Snack:  Raw hazelnuts and organic dried bananas like my grandma used to make
Dinner:  One-Cup Vege Lentil Soup For Two

Note: So I just finished my second hypnosis session.  Can't wait to see what 6am brings!