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Eating healthy often means looking at calories and controlling your portions. It also usually means getting rid of the foods that you’ve probably enjoyed for some time, such as chips, cookies, and pasta. There are a few tricks that you can use during the day that will allow you to eat healthy without really thinking about what you’re making. Once you start eating healthy, it becomes more of a habit than something that you have to do to live longer and to have a better life.
Uses For Eggplant
If you like bacon but not the fat that comes along with it, then use eggplant instead. Cut the eggplant in thin slices that look like bacon, add a little olive oil to each side, and bake the vegetable for about 45 minutes. The edges will be golden brown, and if you add a sprinkle of sea salt or paprika, then it will taste similar to bacon. You can also cut the eggplant into thin strips that look like pasta. Combine the strips with a light pasta sauce to replace spaghetti.
Instead of using a lot of cream for sauces, replace it with hummus. This is an item that also works well with crackers for a snack during the day. You’ll have fewer calories in the sauces that you make, and lower fat levels.
When you’re making muffins, use fresh ingredients instead of packages. Bananas or blueberries are healthy additions. You can also add a few vegetables to your muffin mix as a way to get kids to try new foods, such as spinach or carrots. A benefit of using bananas is that they make the muffins moist and fluffy. Another fresh ingredient that you can use with recipes is cottage cheese. An example is salsa. Avoid using plain salsa from a jar by combining tomatoes, onions, peppers and cottage cheese together in a blender. Low-fat chips or crackers are a treat with the salsa.
When you’re baking muffins and other treats, exchange the butter or oil for nut butter. A bit more water might be needed when combining your ingredients, but the nut butter will provide healthy fats instead of the unhealthy oils from butter.
Of course, shopping for fresh can be a hassle, which is why a lot of people are turning to meal prep services like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh or even Nutrisystem. Plus, they are not that much more expensive than buying the meals yourself, and all of the legwork has been done. Just look at a breakdown of Nutrisystem cost versus how much you probably spend anyway.
A Hint Of Sour And Sweet
If you like fresh fruit, then consider adding a small amount of balsamic vinegar over what you’re eating. The balance of flavors provides a delicious dish that is healthy. The vinegar works best on strawberries and watermelon.
Avoid using heavy cream as much as possible. Coconut cream can be substituted. You can also use buttermilk or a combination of cream cheese and sour cream. Vanilla extract can give the ingredients flavor so that they don’t have quite as strong of a sour taste. Another item that you might want to consider is pine nuts. Put the nuts in a blender so that they have a consistency like dust. Blend the nuts with the ingredients to make whipped cream for added protein.
If you’re looking for something to eat during the day, then keep a few types of baked seeds on hand. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are tasty and don’t have a lot of fat in them. You can also bake watermelon seeds. Use the seeds on a salad or as an addition to baked kale or eggplant.
You can enjoy the alcoholic beverages you like but without all of the sugars and the large amounts of alcohol. Mix tequila with green tea and the juice of a lemon and lime for a delightful margarita. Another drink that you might enjoy is a smoothie. You can combine any type of fruit or vegetable along with beans as an added source of protein.
Take Out Food
Instead of spending money on take out, make your own. Get the ingredients to make chicken nuggets or your favorite Chinese meal, and make it a family activity. You could also get containers that look like what you would get at the restaurant for more of an authentic experience.