Fitness & Wellness

Change Your Thinking About Exercise

In order to achieve the results you want, you need to change your thinking about exercise, which will also

boost your results.

Working out is more than just a physical activity, it’s also a mental activity. While you’re training your

body, you’re also training your neural pathways in the brain. In fact, some studies show that mentally

exercising—doing the exercises in your head—can actually achieve great results. In fact, Olympic

athletes use mental practice to improve their performance. If practicing through visualization improves

performance, it’s easy to understand how much control your mind has on your body. In fact, you can

change your thinking about exercise and find you’ll start to look forward to those workouts you’ve been

avoiding.

Think about the prize at the end, but focus on the successes today.

Don’t wait to reach your ultimate goal to give yourself some praise and bask in the sunlight of

success. Sometimes, just making it through a difficult workout or sticking with healthy meals for a week

are great successes. Enjoy them and give yourself a mental hug for your success. Changing to a

healthier lifestyle rewards you in many ways from a better looking body to great health, but while

you’re on the path, you need some adda’ boys from yourself for your smart decisions.

Stay positive.

You gain nothing by being down on yourself and punishing yourself for being overweight or out of

shape. If you’ve slipped and forgot a workout day or ate too much at the family reunion, don’t beat

yourself up. Remember, it’s just one mistake and no reason to quit striving for a healthier lifestyle. While

you don’t want it to become a pattern, it won’t if you get back to your goals and stay positive. Not

only should you stay positive, surround yourself with positive loving people who also want to see

you succeed.

The scales are your guide, not your master.

Skip stepping on the scales each day. Take a break from weighing in and follow your workout and

eating plan. Don’t let the scales define who you are. Do, however, weigh in once a week at the same time

and on the same day to make sure you don’t need to make changes or adjust the plan. Weighing in too

frequently can give misinformation, since weight will fluctuate based on many things, including

fluid retention. The scales are just a guide to help you stay on course, not an instrument of torture.

Living an active lifestyle isn’t all about working out at the gym. Remember that there are other

ways to get exercise, such as riding a bike, rock climbing and swimming. Even spending a day at

an amusement park or zoo provides lots of walking. It adds extra zest to your workout program.

Take your workout outside when you can. The sunshine and closeness to Mother Nature can boost

your spirits and feelings of well being.

Get a workout buddy. Our boot camp provides a boost to your energy and lots of positive

reinforcement at each session.

Add yoga to the mix. There’s no better way to get in touch with yourself and improve focus and

relaxation.


Top Fat Burning Foods

Top Fat Burning Foods

If you want to lose weight, there’s only one way to do it. You eat fewer calories than you burn. You can boost that loss by including some thermogenic foods. These top fat burning foods help you by increasing the number of calories you burn, effectively making weight loss easier. Basically, they force your body to use more calories in the process of digestion, absorption and the storage of the nutrients in the foods. While the amount may be minimal, every little bit counts when you’re working your hardest to lose weight. Consider the old diet stand by, celery. It contains very few calories and it does require extra energy to digest than it contains.

High protein, lean meats are examples of thermogenic foods.

Protein meats such as chicken, lean beef—90/10 ratio of protein to fat, fish and turkey burn about 30% more calories to digest than other foods. For instance, even if you ate a serving of pudding that contained the same number of calories as lean meat, you’d only have about 2/3rds the same number of available calories from the meat when everything was digested.

Get a hotter body with this hot option.

Hot peppers contain capsaicin that also boosts your metabolism. Adding these to your diet by including them in your recipes will give your metabolism a boost. Capsaicin provides the relief to achy muscles when rubbed on the skin’s surface by heating the area. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and can be good for your cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal system. While some people get relief from upset stomachs with hot peppers, others find they cause diarrhea, gas and irritation of the mucous membrains, so a better option for those people are sweet peppers, like bell peppers. They’re not hot, but do contain capsinoids that act much like capsaicin. If consumed too often, capsinoids and capsaicin lose the thermogenic effects as the body adjusts to them.

Get a cup of Jo or some tea.

Both of these contain caffeine that boosts your metabolism. Of course, like any other caffinated product, too much of a good thing can give you the jitters. Caffiene also suppresses your appetite, giving it a double star for people trying to lose weight. Green tea and oolong tea contain catechins that also boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. The antioxidant properties of both tea and coffee can boost your overall health.

  • High protein vegetarian options, such as nuts, beans, tofu and seeds have much the same effect as lean meats. They also act like thermogenic animal protein.
  • Leafy greens should be part of your diet whether you want to lose weight or just eat healthy. They offer a thermogenic effect, but not as much as lean meats even though the calories are far lower.
  • Keep it simple and drink some ice water. It will burn calories and keep you hydrated in the process. Sometimes, when you’re feeling hungry, you’re really feeling thirsty. A few sips of water can quell those hunger pangs.
  • Spice up your meals with turmeric. Not only is turmeric thermogenic, it has great health benefits too. It’s an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Boost the thermogenic effects by combining it with black pepper.

How To Beat A Plateau

How To Beat A Plateau

I frequently get questions on how to beat a plateau and always give the same answers. While plateauing for shorter periods doesn’t always mean you aren’t making progress, it can be quite emotionally deflating if you’re working your hardest and don’t think you’re progressing toward your goal. The first thing I tell people is to make sure you look at all the pertinent facts. Weight loss is one of them, but so are inches lost. You may be replacing fat with muscle tissue, which is denser. That means if you built a container that help precisely one pound of fat and one that contained one pound of muscle tissue, the container that held the fat would be bigger. The more muscle tissue you have, the thinner you’ll look and that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it?

Keep your routine fresh continuously.

If you’ve been doing the same old routine for years. Even if you’re working out for hours, eating healthy and getting adequate sleep and hydration, you won’t get the most bang for your buck or get the best possible results. That’s because your body becomes efficient at the movements. That means it burns fewer calories. That also means it stalls your weight loss. To get the best possible results from your workout, vary your routine frequently.

Vary your caloric intake.

If you weigh more, just carrying around the extra pounds burns more calories. As you start to shed weight, you’ll see less progress if you don’t adjust your caloric intake. You simply don’t need as many to operate healthily on a day to day basis. For people trying to lose a significant amount of weight, cut back a bit on calories every 10 pounds or so. For those not counting calories and eating healthy or even if you are calorie counting, a cheat day may be in order, as long as you don’t overdo it. Cheat days keep your metabolism higher and help prevent your body from slowing your metabolism.

Use strength training.

If you want to lose weight faster, strength training is a great option. It also can help prevent plateauing. That’s because strength training builds muscle tissue and muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does. Unlike aerobic training, which burns both fat and muscle tissue, strength training builds muscle tissue and burns fat.

  • Drink plenty of water. Not only does water flush your body of toxins and acts like a diuretic, it also helps curb your appetite and eliminates the potential of mistaking thirst for hunger.
  • Get adequate sleep. Sleep helps you with hormone levels and eliminates the need to grab sugary treats for a quick energy fix. You burn fat exclusively when you sleep.
  • Take a closer look at your eating habits. Are you licking spoons when you cook and cleaning the last bit of food from the kids plates? You may be eating more high calorie foods than you think. Be aware of every mouthful and enjoy food when you eat it, rather than eating it mindlessly.
  • Eat quality foods. Eating foods that are nutritionally packed will help provide all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs to keep the calorie burning furnace running.

Does Exercise Make You Lose Fat

Does Exercise Make You Lose Fat

Does exercise make you lose fat? Exercise is part of the fat burning regimen, but the real answer to fat loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn. Exercise helps you burn calories. However, if you workout for an hour and then go with the gang for pizza and a few beers after your workout, followed by a rich, creamy dessert, the potential for weight loss is limited. You have to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise to get the most from that workout.

All types of exercise are good, but some are better for weight loss.

At one time, aerobic exercise was touted as the top way to lose weight. People ran like crazy on treadmills and rode stationery bikes for hours on the road to a better body. While they did get results, the results weren’t as good as they hoped. However, they did get a great deal of heart healthy benefits and there’s nothing wrong with that! Yoga is exceptional for balance/flexibility and some say yoga helps with weight loss because it increases activity and makes you more aware of what you eat, but it’s not a fat burning exercise.

Lifting weights and strength building will burn your calories and also burn fat!

While it really doesn’t burn fat specifically, when you short your body on calories, while boosting exercise, you burn calories and lose weight. When you do cardiovascular exercises, such as running, bike riding and dance, you lose weight if it’s combined with a healthy diet because you burn more calories than you consume. However, not all that weight loss is fat, some is muscle weight. You’ll look thinner and may even be so thin that you don’t have much fat, but you also lose important muscle mass that helps keep weight from returning.

Keep your muscle tissue and burn fat continuously.

Muscle tissue requires more energy to maintain than fat tissue does. It’s also more compact and denser than fat tissue. One cubic inch of muscle tissue weighs more than a cubic inch of fat. Therefore, if you weigh 120 pounds, but have more muscle tissue, you’ll look thinner than someone that weighs the same with more fat tissue. You’ll probably have a thinner waist and far less belly fat. That’s the real goal, looking thinner and fitter no matter what the scales say. Strength building exercises does that for you and effectively burns fat rather than muscle mass.

  • You need to get plenty of sleep if you want to burn fat. During sleep, your body uses fat exclusively as its source of energy.
  • Drink plenty of water when working out. Staying adequately hydrated not only boosts the effectiveness of your workout and keeps you feeling fuller, it helps boost your metabolism and burn fat more effectively.
  • Varying your caloric intake can help boost fat burning by keeping your metabolism working at full force.
  • Some foods are better fat burners than others. For instance, putting a little spice in your food, such as turmeric and black pepper or adding hot peppers to a dish, can improve your fat burning abilities.

Top Fat-Burning Foods

Top Fat-Burning Foods

If you’re trying to shed those last few pounds, you’ll probably jump at the chance of including the top fat- burning foods in your diet. These foods may burn more calories to digest than they contain, build muscle tissue—which burns more calories than fat tissue does—or promote the burning of fat. Some of the foods are high in fiber, which also fills you up so you won’t be tempted to eat more than you should. One of these foods is almonds that have the skins on them. They not only help fill you up, but also build muscle tissue.

Foods that burn more calories than they contain have a high thermogenic effect.

Fiber rich whole grains burn more calories than processed foods do. In fact, just to break down the food for use in the body requires almost twice as many calories as the food offers. Brown rice is one example of this type of food. It even starts out lower in calories than it’s cousin white rice. Another is oatmeal. Be aware that it’s not the type of instant oatmeal you find in a box of bags that has flavors lie maple sugar. Those are all highly processed. Lean protein like chicken breast also requires a high percentage of its calories to be used for digestion, about 1/3. Think celery and you’d be right if you’re guessing it has a high thermogenic effect.

Some foods boost your metabolism to increase weight loss.

Your metabolism rate is the amount of energy it takes for your body to run. For instance, biochemical processes are continually going even when you sleep. You burn calories breathing. Your body requires energy no matter how still you stand or inactive you are. The more calories it requires, the easier it is to lose weight. A healthy metabolism is a sign that you’re body is in good working order. Almonds, beans, lean meat, eggs, chia seeds and even dark chocolate are metabolism boosters.

It might sound too good to be true, but some foods contain nutrients that also burn fat.

Foods that help prevent spikes in your insulin level also help prevent fat storage, especially around the middle. They prevent adding more fat to your mid-section and help start the process of burning fat. Salmon and foods higher in Omega3 fatty acids help. Walnuts fall into this group. Other foods that help prevent insulin spikes in the body include Jerusalem artichokes, sardines, kale, olive oil and brown rice.

  • Want a quick fix that lasts several hours? A cup of green tea will boost your metabolism into high gear will do the trick.
  • Hemp seeds can give your metabolism a quick boost. Sprinkle some on your cereal or in your smoothie.
  • Start your day with a banana and you’ll burn more calories. The potassium in it can increase your basal metabolism—the number of calories you burn while awake, yet at rest.
  • The capsaicin in hot peppers can burn your mouth, but it also does a number on fat. It heats up the body, breaks down fat and burns calories in the process.

Low Carb Diet For Beginners

Low Carb Diet For Beginners

If you’re just delving into the various types of diets available, I always recommend a healthy diet that does eliminate any food groups, but also doesn’t include processed foods. However, some people find that starting a weight loss program with a modified low carb diet is extremely beneficial. Here’s some information on a low carb diet for beginners. It offers not only the types of foods to eat on this diet, but also the positives and negatives. One of the positives, of course, is that it contains no processed foods, which is always healthy.

Low carb diets have many health benefits.

Besides weight loss, a low carb diet can be good for reducing the bad cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol, and increasing the good cholesterol, the HDL cholesterol. It also improves triglycerides and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Many of the foods consumed in this type of diet also have health benefits. For instance, grass fed beef and products from grass fed cows are recommended over grain fed meat or dairy products. Grass fed beef and the butter of grass fed cows contain as much as five times more Omega- fatty acids and twice as much Conjugated Linoleic Acid—CLA, both have huge benefits, including improved heart health and lower body fat.

It’s easier to look at the foods to avoid on a low carb diet.

Many of the foods that aren’t allowed on a low carb diet are also eliminated when you start eating healthy. Soft drinks, processed foods, candy or sugar products, artificial sweeteners, ice cream and most vegetable oils. It might interest you to know that most low fat or diet foods on the market are also eliminated. They are processed foods and often not that healthy for you. The big difference between healthy eating and the low carb diet is that pasta and breads aren’t allowed.

The low carb diet contains food high in protein and some fat.

You normally get most of your energy from carbohydrates, but the low carb diet changes that. In a normal carb diet, your body changes the carbs glucose to glycogen, then it’s stored in the liver. When the liver is at maximum capacity, the extra carbs are then stored as fat. When you cut back on carbohydrates, you force our body to seek fuel elsewhere and that comes from body fat. It also lowers the insulin level, which helps lower the potential for insulin resistance, a precursor to Type II diabetes.

  • A low carbohydrate diet won’t hurt you as long as you use it sensibly. Don’t limit your carbs to low or you could be restricting your diet beyond the point of healthy.
  • Many of the food choices in low carb diets are also part of eating healthy. While vegetables contain carbohydrates, they’re different from those found in sugary treats. Those in vegetables are complex carbs and take longer to get into your bloodstream, so they don’t spike your sugar levels.
  • Whether you’re eating healthy or starting a low carb diet, ensuring you have a wide variety of food choices and colors on your plate helps you get the nutrients you need.
  • Starting a low carb diet can be easy. Start by eliminating processed foods, then bread, sugar products and pasta. It’s the same way to start a plan of healthy eating.

Eating Like A Caveman

Eating Like A Caveman

Eating like a caveman is how people on the Paleo diet eat. The diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and nuts. It represents the way our ancestors ate before agriculture took the world by storm and changed eating habits. It also represents a time when you knew exactly what the ingredients were in your food, because the food was simple. It was a vegetable, meat, nut, egg or fruit with no chemical additives. Does eating like a caveman include bread or noodles? Absolutely not! Cavemen didn’t make bagels, sour dough bread or angel hair noodles. They ate simple meals.

Is the caveman diet healthy?

You know that when we talk about eating healthy, we’re talking about eating food that isn’t processed and closer to whole. That’s really what the caveman diet is all about. The biggest difference is that with healthy eating, grains are allowed, but not with the Paleo diet. Some of the foods eliminated by the Paleo diet are actually healthy for you. All grains are eliminated, legumes such as beans, peanuts and soy are eliminated (sorry, no hummus). Milk, cheese and all dairy are eliminated. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn are out, too. For some people, this wipes out half of their healthy diet.

The choices are limited on the Paleo diet.

If you stick strictly to the Paleo diet, you’re eliminating many foods. That can be quite boring. It also makes it difficult for a vegetarian to be on this type of diet, since their primary protein source is beans and those aren’t allowed. Instead, the vegetarian has to rely strictly on nuts and seeds as a protein source. It’s also hard to get carbs, which are needed for energy. That can be tough on athletes or people working out.

You’ll lose weight and it makes choosing food easier.

There’s no doubt about it, with the caveman diet you’ll be able to easily identify the foods you can and you can’t eat. It also helps you shed pounds fast and is pretty healthy, aside from a few negatives, as long as you choose from all the food groups. You won’t have to read labels, because processed foods are not part of the diet. Many of the foods, particularly the fresh fruits and vegetables are anti-inflammatory, so you’ll be doing your body a favor. However, I still prefer a modified form of the diet that you can eat for a lifetime and never get weary of the same old things. It includes dairy and grain, but definitely eliminates processed foods that contain more preservatives than it does nutrition.

  • The caveman diet is extremely rigid, while eating healthy isn’t. If you eat a slice of cake, you still can be eating healthy as long as there’s portion control and it’s only occasionally. Even small transgressions aren’t allowed on the caveman diet.
  • The caveman diet can get a little pricey, so prepare your budget for it.
  • Eating a healthy diet is normally the best route to take. You can model it after the Paleo diet with just a few modifications to make it more well rounded.
  • Create a colorful plate when you eat. Choose vegetables and fruit with a lot of color and variety.

What Is Your Favorite Holiday DIY

What Is Your Favorite Holiday DIY

If you’re feeling funky, stressed or depressed over the coming holiday season, I always recommend exercising. Sometimes that’s just not enough and you need something to get into the spirit. That’s when it comes time to find a favorite holiday DIY decoration or gift giving idea that will brighter your day while you make it, give a sense of pride, lift the blues and make others happy in the process. What’s your favorite? Here are some I’ve seen or done over the years.

Upscale trash to a treasure.

Holiday crafts don’t have to cost a fortune. You can find sturdy wood furniture that has good bones and remake it. One of my clients found she loved doing this. It got her out of the house and kept her mind off food while she was trying to lose weight. She went into it with both feet and found chairs to reupholster and even changed the height of some by cutting off the legs. By Christmas time, she had renovated some of her own furniture, refurbished new pieces and even created a few beautiful one of a kind side tables. She had a mixture of old furniture, crates and new fabric all mixed for a wide selection for gifts and to keep. She lost ten pounds while she was doing it and never felt deprived because she was too busy having fun.

Decorate your home with wreaths and other beautiful items.

Create a wreath for the door or make delightful indoor décor. What you choose depends on your decorating ideas and needs. Whether you go for a walk to pick up natural items like nuts, twigs and branches for a wreath (That’s my favorite because you get exercise and free raw materials.) turn trash to treasures or pop down to your favorite craft store for supplies, decorating for the holidays can be fun and bring the spirit of family back into Christmas. Creating homemade wreaths of ornaments flocked in Epsom’s salts for a snowy holiday look, reminiscent of Christmas scenes we just don’t have locally, makes a showy piece for above the fireplace.

From fizzy herbal bath bombs to monogrammed towels, here are some DIY projects everyone will love.

Check the internet and you’ll find hundreds of DIY gift ideas. I love the easy ones that have a big impact, such as homemade soap with relaxing essential oils or breaking out the sewing machine or embroidery needles to add a monogram on towels. We received a set of monogrammed bath towels one year from a relative and loved them to this day. We keep them on display on the towel rack when guests come over to the house. You can even etch glasses with a monogram. While I’ve never done it, I heard it wasn’t a hard job.

  • You might not think of it as a DIY or even a gift, but the gift of time and some effort are cherished. We give an elderly aunt one weekend of free labor. We do the home repairs she needs to be done, yardwork and even cook for her while we’re there.
  • Speaking of cooking, making homemade soups and freezing them in ice cube trays, then filling freezer bags with the cubes are a great DIY gift. A few cubes in a cup or a bowl and a minute or two in the microwave make a quick and delicious lunch for someone on your gift list.
  • Homemade cards are perfect for the holiday season. We ask everyone to make us a card rather than buying one, since many cards cost more than the gift. It keeps more money in their pocket and we love the creativity.
  • Create a breath of fresh air. Homemade poopourri put into inexpensive spritzer bottles help keep the holiday spirit, by keeping your bathroom smelling great, no matter who was in there last.

Holiday Treats With A Healthy Twist

Holiday Treats With A Healthy Twist

With a few changes you can still enjoy the wonderful desserts and sweet snacks for the holiday season. I’ve found some great ways to make holiday treats with a healthy twist. For instance, you can create a delightful caramel tasting mixture that spreads nicely and can be substituted for caramel in recipes that’s normally made from sugar, butter and cream. Simply process ¼ C of cashews with 2/3 C melted coconut oil in a blender until smooth, then mix it with 1 ½ C less a T pitted Medjool dates and return that mixture to the blender until it’s a thick paste. It has the caramel look and taste, but with far fewer calories and more healthy benefits. Create an apple caramel sandwich with the slices of a peeled cored apple and this caramel as the filling.

Want something gluten free and heart healthy?

These little treats can be eaten, but aren’t calorie free. They contain 55 calories each. Be careful. I find them addictive. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You’ll need to use parchment paper to line the bottom of 2 baking sheets. It’s important to do this step. I found parchment paper at dollar stores, so it’s relatively inexpensive. On a third baking sheet, put 2 ½ cups walnut halves that you chopped to a fine texture and toast them for about 8-9 minutes. Your nose will know when they’re ready because they’ll smell delicious. Mix with 3 cups powdered sugar, ½ C with an additional 3 T of unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ tsp salt, 4 egg whites and 1T vanilla extract. Mix dry ingredients first, add nuts and then add the vanilla and egg whites, just until mixed well. Put onto the parchment in teaspoon size mounds. Bake for 15 minutes and cool. Yummy!

Use fresh fruit and dark chocolate for a healthy combination.

Whether you’re dipping strawberries, pineapple chunks, oranges or apples in dark chocolate, a litte goes a long way. If you’re dipping apples, don’t forget to sprinkle the slices in lemon juice to prevent browning. You can choose to leave the stems on the strawberries if you like to give guests something to hold onto while they get the entire delectability of the fruit. You can then dip the chocolatey end in ground nuts if you like or sprinkle with a little sea salt. Bananas and white or dark chocolate are also great.

Holiday Crunch Balls are my mother’s favorite to make.

My mother created a recipe that is not exact, but tastes good. She mixed a bit of honey with peanut butter and then mixed in enough wheat germ until it was thick enough to create little balls that are slightly smaller than ping pong balls, which she rolled in more wheat germ as a coating. I use cashew butter, which has a sweeter flavor and reduce the honey in the recipe. Keep these in the refrigerator.

  • Here’s a great recipe I found on the internet that is loaded with nutrition and has a superfood in it too. It’s vegan and no bake, too. It’s a No Bake Pistachio Cookie recipe.
  • Mix air popped popcorn with nuts and drizzle with a little melted dark chocolate bits and some melted cashew, walnut or peanut butter. Use about 1T for every four cups. For an extra twist, drizzle the nut butter and dust lightly with cocoa powder. You can make this without the nuts for fewer calories.
  • Rod pretzels broken in half with the broken end dipped in a mixture of equal parts of dark chocolate and nut butter then rolled lightly in ground nuts or coconut, give a mixture of salty and sweet that’s low in calories.
  • Here’s one of my favorites to make for the holidays. Each two or three inch chunk is only 79 calories. Even the “non-healthy” eaters will love it. It’s Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cherries

Holiday Comfort Foods

Holiday Comfort Foods

Even though there are hundreds of happy songs for Christmas and the New Year, there’s no doubt about it, ’tis the season to be jolly simply doesn’t work for some people. They often turn to holiday comfort foods that are both high in calories and low in nutrition. While comfort foods can play an important role in maintaining your spirits and making it through the holiday season, those same foods also add weight. Often, they aren’t really as delicious as people remember either, particularly after they’ve eaten healthy for a while.

What makes a good comfort food?

It’s often about texture or memories from the past. It’s been my experience that comfort foods are often passed through generations, sometimes changing a bit, but basically remaining the same. Everyone knows you’ve had a horrible day or ended a relationship if you’re at home with a spoon and a pint or more of Ben and Jerry’s. It’s food that your mother gave you when you were good or needed a lift or one that was on the table for special occasions. Normally, comfort food isn’t one bit healthy or low in calories…I do know one exception to that rule. I have a client who just wanted to tone, but not lose weight. Her comfort food was celery (Now you know why no weight loss was necessary.) Actually, celery and anything that crunched. She ate it when she was frustrated and loved to hear the crunch.

Pass the mashed potatoes and rich egg noodles, please.

If you’re like many people, when you get sick, chicken soup is a great boost. That’s what my mother always served to make me feel better. Mashed potatoes with thick homemade egg noodles in an equally thick chicken gravy was another favorite that would brighten my day. You don’t have to chew, they go down with little effort and taste delicious together. These two comfort foods were staples in our house.

Find a new comfort food or find a better way of cooking it.

When you’re trying to eat healthier, many of your past comfort foods won’t fit in the healthy eating program. That doesn’t mean you have to give them up forever, but just save them for the worst disasters and eat only a small serving. (No, a quart bowl is not a small serving.) Finding a new comfort food is tough, but if you can figure out what made you love the other so much, that makes the task easier. Was it the texture? Was it salty? Was it the sugary blend or simply the taste? Once you know what gives you that lift, it’s easy to find a healthy substitute. If pizza is a favorite, make it with lots of fresh veggies like spinach and cubed butternut squash and a crust that’s lower in calories. Switching out recipes or finding new comfort foods will save loads of calories.

  • You can reduce the calories in mac ‘n cheese by blending butternut squash with the cheese.
  • If you love your burgers and fries, switch out to a tasty fry that also is good for you. Slice a sweet potato to fry proportions and bake it. It tastes just as yummy, is lower in calories and packed with nutrition.
  • Fried chicken that isn’t fried is one of my favorites. You can bake on that crispy crust and have even the most discerning fried chicken lover enjoying it.
  • Nothing is better than a huge plate of lasagna that’s low in calories and healthy. Try making noodles from thinly sliced zucchini. It actually tastes the same as my favorite, but has more nutrition and fewer calories.