When I started this blog my main focus was to help other moms lose weight and get healthy by sharing my own weight loss experiences (both good and bad). However, one of things I did not realize at the time was how much I would learn from connecting with other moms in the blogosphere. One mom I connected with early on was Heather from the blog Feel Good About Dinner.
Heather lives in a Detroit suburb with her husband, Mark, and two boys, Jonathan (15) and David (10). Heather is a full-time wife and mother and a part-time substitute teacher. Heather shares how to make delicious, healthy meals for the family that are time and budget friendly at Feel Good About Dinner.
Today she is going to guest post and share some tips she has learned about transitioning to a healthier lifestyle and losing weight.
Let’s welcome Heather.
Skinny Mom’s Kitchen has been such an inspiration and help as I seek to learn portion control and calorie awareness to manage my weight. I have focused on nutrition for many years now, but Tammy has helped me to bring concrete answers to these two previously vague areas of my life.
Thanks to Tammy, I now use my fitness pal and faithfully record my calorie intake for the day. This process has helped me to make wiser choices for food that is flavorful without loading on the calories with “little” extras.
I would like to share with you a few simple snack and lunch ideas I have learned as I have been seeking to be more calorie aware.
13 Low Calorie Substitutes
1. Salsa is a condiment too. Skip the 100-calorie per tablespoon mayo; a can of tuna mixed with 1Ž4 cup of salsa makes a great lunch. You can even afford to add a couple of tablespoons of cheese. This is great on a sandwich slim, or just as a salad.
2. Dip triscuits into salsa for a low calorie treat. I like to scoop the salsa to get a lot on each cracker. The salsa is the low calorie ingredient, so make the most of it.
3. One of my favorite filling, quick lunches is to eat one cup of heated black or pinto beans mixed with 1Ž4 of a cup of salsa. If desired, you can add either 1-2 tablespoons of cheese, or sour cream. If you like more of a chili flavor, add a dash of chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt to the mix.
4. Instead of using bacon to top pizza, salads, sandwiches, or just to enjoy for breakfast, cook thin slices of lean ham. You can do this in a sprayed skillet or in the oven until crisp. Top the ham with lots of cracked black pepper as you prepare it and you will be amazed how much it tastes like bacon.
5. Tammy introduced whole-wheat sandwich thins to me and I love them. They have a wonderful flavor and I like them even better than traditional bread for sandwiches. Knowing they are only 100 calories makes them taste even better.
6. In place of my favorite lunchmeat, salami, I have found some tasty low calorie lunchmeats. Turkey pastrami has a very nice flavor that somewhat mimics the spicy flavor of salami. At 35 calories per ounce (2 medium slices), it is a winner in my book. If you don’t like that flavor, there are several varieties of low calorie lunch meat like turkey, chicken, or ham.
7. To help make a sandwich interesting, add low calorie and no calorie extras. To add tomato to a packed lunch sandwich, remove the juice and seeds so it doesn’t make the sandwich soggy.Roma tomatoes are great for this.
Other no or low calorie options are lettuce, pickles, mustard, onion, ground pepper, and don’t forget the oregano. Wow, suddenly my sandwich isn’t boring anymore.
8. I love ranch dressing, but I have found several varieties of low calorie salad dressing that I really enjoy. Balsamic is one of my favorites at only 45 calories for 2 tablespoons. That is less than half of the 110 calories found in 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing.
9. If you must eat ranch, consider thinning it out with skim milk. Use one tablespoon of ranch and one tablespoon of milk. In addition to lowering the calories, the milk will help the dressing cover your salad. Because ranch dressing is so thick, it is easy to use 200-300 calories worth to cover your salad.
10. Never eyeball it when it comes to condiments like salad dressing. One or two extra tablespoons can really add up. For my taste, one tablespoon is plenty on a small salad and two tablespoons works on a large salad. If you are at a restaurant, always ask for your salad dressing on the side so you are in control of the amount.
11. My husband is not a vinaigrette fan, but he likes cottage cheese in place of salad dressing on his salad. Low fat cottage cheese is only 41 calories for 1/4 of a cup, making it a great choice.
12. When eating salads, make lettuce the main event. Two cups of romaine lettuce is only 16 calories. If, like me, you love sunflower seeds and cheese on your salad, adding one tablespoon of each adds all of the flavor needed at just 45-50 calories each.
Feel free to load up on other low calorie vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, peppers, onion, broccoli, etc.
13. I like a lot of milk on my cereal. I like to at least be able to dunk the cereal in the milk. I have discovered that if I use a small, deep bowl instead of a wide, large bowl, it makes it easier to dunk. This helps me use less milk.
What are some healthy low calorie substitutes you like to use?
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