I started this series a few weeks ago by telling you about my food plan. This week I wanted to tell you about how we cut calories not flavor. One of the things that we were afraid of when we started our diet was that the food would be super bland. However, by adding a few things we have kept this from being the case.
Substitute Olive Oil for Other Oils
One of the first things that the doctor told us when he told us to go on this diet was to get rid of all canola, peanut, and other type of oils along with margarine. Instead we were supposed to use olive oil and real butter. We started out by cooking things like our pan seared fish in butter and using an extra virgin oil with balsamic vinegar dressing for our salads. We have since started doing more with butter and olive oil, however, just those two things have made the world of difference. Our food isn’t as heavy as it was before and we aren’t left feeling like we have a ball of lead in our stomachs.
Substitute Cumin for Taco Seasoning Packets
Another thing the doctor told us was to stay out of the middle of the store as much as possible. That especially meant foods with a lot of preservatives in them. That was a big problem for us because we LOVE having tacos and like most people we use those handy little seasoning packets. We decided to nix those and start flavoring our taco meat with herbs and seasoning. We essentially use salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and cumin to add a ton of flavor. The cumin adds a smokiness and the meant winds up being way more flavorful than it was with just one of those packets.
Speaking of seasonings, another one that we started to add to our food is Mrs. Dash. These bad boys come in SO many different flavor combinations and are a quick and easy way to add flavor to your dish without having to grab out 10 different bottles of spices. My favorite way to use them is to add some of the Original Mrs. Dash to my pork chops, while the hubs prefers the Extra Spicy on just about anything. Another great thing about these is that they’re not loaded down with salt so you by using these you can possibly go without salt in your dish, I actually do.
Substitute Fresh for Canned Veggies
Canned vegetables fall in the “preservatives” and the “salt” categories. While you can open them up and rinse them off several times to get a bunch of the salt off I find that just buying fresh, or at least frozen, is better. We eat two servings of vegetables with every meal and we have found that we are loving vegetables a lot more than when we were eating canned. We have tried the washing the canned vegetables thing but they still don’t taste as bright and fresh and even frozen vegetables do let alone fresh vegetables. To better illustrate this the picture above is of a bowl of cooked FRESH green beans, the picture below is a closeup of canned green beans. You can tell the difference just from the coloring!
Substitute Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream
Last but not least is substituting sour cream. I’m going to be honest here and say this is something that I actually have not done because I do not personally like the taste of Greek Yogurt. However, not only did my doctor recommend this but I’ve talked to several people who have done this and they all agree that it’s so much better. Some add different seasonings to the Greek Yogurt first and some just plop it straight into their dishes.
There you have 5 ways to cut calories not flavor. Have you tried any of these or will you try some of these in the future? If you do let me know in the comments below!
Until next week check out my fitness board on Pinterest
I love the Mrs. Dash’s Lemon Pepper seasoning, it’s all I use on my fish now. And I hated vegetables growing up, but now that I’m buying my own and using frozen instead of canned I’m finding they’re not as bad as I thought they were.
The lemon pepper is so good on fish! Personally after having switched to fresh and frozen vegetables I think the difference between them and the canned is that the canned loses a lot of the flavor and just taste blah.