Even though my doctor’s scale completely lied about my weight last week. I know it was wrong and I’m still a little P.O.’d at the nurse.
Nurse Nini, man your battleship, this means war! Expect some saturated fats secretly injected into your granola bars.
I’m not an extreme dieter as is evidenced by the fact that my child is almost 4 years old and I have yet to get to that magic pre-baby number. (I have gotten within 5 pounds of it.)
When I say skinny I ALWAYS mean a healthy slim weight for your body type. I could never starve myself, I’m hypoglycemic and way too crabby when I’m hungry. My husband doesn’t deserve that level of suffering.
Except for when he told me that all bloggers are secretly hookers on the side and said “Get out there b*tch and earn my money!”
Well! I’m pretty sure that ALL bloggers are not hookers on the side, honey, just me. We are gonna have a LONG walk on Sunset Boulevard tonight talking about this while you pimp me out.
Anyhoo-ha, for me, calories count, and since I’m not an extreme exerciser either, I have to find flavor tricks that don’t add a lot of calories. Because I eat all day. A lot.
For me a diet is about 1900-2000 calories a day with trying to burn about 300 calories in exercise (mostly just walking). So, not very extreme, but effective if I stick to it.
If I starve myself, I will binge. I will eat your face off. Okay, not really, I’ll just eat a large pizza, 10 chicken wings, a sleeve of Oreos and a bucket of ice cream by myself. So, yeah, no deprivation and eating frequently is the key for me.
So these are my classic:
Low Calorie Flavor Tricks
Almost any food tastes better with these 3 items added:
1.) Extra Virgin Olive Oil (One tablespoon is 120 calories. For a one person portion of almost anything, a teaspoon of just 30 calories will do the trick.)
2.) A squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
3.) Salt or garlic salt.
Dip good bread into a dip just made of these 3 items like the Greeks do. Delicious!
If you like garlic, adding fresh garlic is better, but garlic salt will do in a pinch. Fresh steamed/sautéed broccoli or any vegetable is delicious with the olive oil, lemon, garlic and salt combo.
Almost anything tastes better with butter and I do eat real butter, but if you’re counting calories:
4.) Almost anything tastes better with I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Spray.
You can actually use less olive oil by adding 10-15 sprays of this magic flavor bullet.
No, it’s not real butter, but for less salt than a salt shake and almost no calories, it really adds a lot of flavor to anything butter is good on.
5.) There are almost no frozen meals (like Lean Cuisine) that don’t taste better with parmesan cheese added.
Except maybe Asian inspired foods. Fresh grated aged parmesan is wonderful too, if you have it, but this old fashioned “shaky cheese” adds calcium, very little calories and wakes up almost everything, including veggies.
In fact, on veggies, you can use all of the above: EVOO, lemon, garlic, ICBINB Spray, and parmesan. Yum!
Add black pepper, hot pepper like cayenne or a spicy seasoning like Tony Chachere’s if you want a little hot spice, baby.
By the way, to jazz up packaged Mac n’ Cheese, parm and ICBINB Spray really help. You can also add a sprinkle of 2% grated cheddar to make it really cheesy good.
6.) If I’m bored with a food, I’m likely to add a dip to give it more flavor:
Hummus, Low fat ranch dressing (I like Follow Your Heart dressing), BBQ sauce (I like Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce), salsa, hot sauce, Wholly Guacamole (those 100 calories packs I’m always talking about)…
Or sometimes I just want classic childhood condiments:
Heinz Ketchup (try the new “Simply Heinz” with more natural ingredients, I really like it.)
French’s original mustard. I like Dijon, too.
Kraft Olive Oil Mayo (or another low fat mayo)
BBQ sauce, low fat ranch, salsa and ketchup are very low calorie, mustard and hot sauce are practically no calories and hummus and low fat mayo aren’t so bad if you use 1-2 tablespoons.
7.) Fresh or dried herbs. We all know fresh herbs taste great, but it’s easier to have thyme, cumin, oregano, curry powder, etc. on hand when you need them. Thyme goes well on almost anything: veggies, meats, etc.
Cumin and/or curry powders are good mixed in low-fat mayo for an easy curry dip! Also good in tuna salad…
I’ll have a full dip post later because I’m very dip oriented. Just ask my friends and they’ll say Heidi is dippy.
8.) A sprinkle of strong cheese: blue cheese, goat cheese, feta, etc. adds flavor to a salad or anything where appropriate. (Like feta on Greek dishes, etc…)
And if you eat pork, don’t forget bacon! A slice of bacon is only about 80 calories. Crumble it into salad, but in a pinch, old fashioned Bacos are vegetarian and I still think they add a lot to a salad- crunch and a salty bacony kick. Bacos are very low calorie.
Mix it with a little extra virgin olive oil and a dash of salt and you have a homemade salad dressing.
I especially like it on a salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and sliced fresh avocado with a drizzle of EVOO and salt.
10.) The aforementioned avocado slices. Three slices adds about 50 calories and a lot of flavor and nutrition (fiber and heart healthy fats) to sandwiches, salads, on top of fish, etc.
Add tomatoes too and a drizzle of EVOO and it feels fairly filling and healthy (for under 350 calories total. The Lean Pocket is 260.)
Hope these ideas gave you some new tricks or reminded you of some oldies but goodies.
Now I’m going to eat or as the Italians say, MANGE!
Wait, mange is an infection that dogs get. I mean, MANGIA!
Treat yourself well today.