Summer has ended and the days are getting shorter and shorter. Everyone knows the fall months is the time when many people fall off their healthy eating habits and give in to the high calorie treats and over-eating that the holidays bring. Avoid the usual ‘holiday weight gain’ by giving your kitchen a fall makeover to make sure it is fully stocked with healthy ingredients to help you stay on track this fall and into the winter! Usually, food isn’t as tempting if it’s not right in front of your face. Eliminating your kitchen of unhealthy junk food and replacing them with healthy options will keep your hunger satisfied and you will be less likely to give into that ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ urge. So what can you do to give your own kitchen a healthy makeover for fall? Here are some tips:
· Packaged baked goods: Bad because: High in calories, fat, and sugar and low in nutrients. These may fill your craving now, but they do not satisfy your hunger and you will likely be hungry again in a couple hours. Many also contain trans fat, which you should try to avoid in your daily diet.
Replace with: Whole-wheat toast and sugar free jelly or bake you own healthy muffins and breads at home. Try the recipe for a healthier banana bread at the end of this post!
· High Sugar Cereals: Bad because: These are usually high in sugar and low in fiber.
Replace with: Oatmeal or whole grain cereals. Look for brands with less than 4g of sugar and at least 5 g of fiber per serving. This will give you needed energy for your day and keep you full until your morning snack or lunch.
· White Rice/Pasta:Bad because: These use enriched flours that strip the original grain of essential nutrients.
Replace with: Whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, barely and other whole grains.
· High Sugar YogurtBad because: Many flavored yogurts are loaded with sugar
Replace with: Plain, fat-free yogurt or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
· Full-Fat Milk:Bad because: high in fat
Replace with: Low fat or fat free milk. If you are lactose intolerant try unsweetened soy or almond milk.
· Processed cheese slicesBad because: While these are convenient, they are often high in sodium and other additives
Replace with: Natural low-fat cheeses, low-fat cream cheese, and low-fat ricotta
Fruits and Veggies:
· Fruits and vegetables are important in every healthy diet.
What to avoid: Fruits canned in heavy syrup as these can contain extra sugar and calories. Canned or preserved vegetables as these are usually high in sodium.
Replace with: Fresh, frozen, or dried fruits, and fruits canned in water or juice. Replace canned vegetables with no salt added varieties or fresh or frozen vegetables.
· Try some fresh fall fruits and veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, and artichokes.
Bad because: Most packaged snacks are loaded with calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.
Replace with: · Replace potato chips with baked varieties, unsalted nuts, or air-popped popcorn. · Replace cookies and crackers with low-fat, whole grain varieties or brown rice cakes. · Replace hard candy with dried fruit (watch portions!) and replace candy bars with pure dark chocolate squares. (Dark chocolate in moderation can supply antioxidants and help keep your heart healthy!) · If you have a sweet tooth try grabbing fresh fruit for a quick snack instead of a candy or granola bar. They are naturally sweet and have fiber to help keep you satisfied!
Bad because: most margarines contains partially hydrogenated fats (aka: trans fat). Artificial coffee creamers contain trans fat as well as many different additives. Ketchup can contain hidden added sugar.
Replace with: · Look for margarine made with olive oil or no hydrogenated oils (look at the ingredients list, just because it says 0 g trans fat does not mean it is trans fat free. If the ingredients lists ‘partially hydrogenated’ than it has trans fat!Manufacturers are not required to list it if there is less than .5g per serving)· Add skim milk to you coffee instead of creamer it has less fat and an extra boost of calcium. · Look for no sugar added ketchup varieties.
Bad because: An occasional treat during the holidays is okay, but when you keep them stocked in your house you are more likely to over-indulge. Most packaged and commercially produced treats are high in calories, fat, and sugar.
Replace with: · Light or Fat-free varieties of your favorite ice cream. While ½ cup of Hagen-daz can contain up to 300 calories. ½ cup of Dryers Slow Churned has around 120 calories. · Try baking your own deserts and subbing ½ the oil with applesauce and using less sugar or replacing with Splenda.
Healthy Banana Bread Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Optional Toppings: Cool Whip Free, sugar free jelly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine both types of flour, Splenda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (in other words, all dry ingredients). In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, egg substitute, applesauce, and vanilla extract (all the wet ingredients). Add this mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir until just blended. Spoon batter into a large loaf pan (about 9" X 5") sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, and then cut into 8 slices. If you like spread with sugar free jelly or a dollop of Cool Whip. MAKES 8 SERVINGS
Serving Size: 1 (thick!) slice
*Recipe from Hungry-girl.com