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ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (196,884)
Fitness Minutes: (293,923)
Posts: 27,054
1/30/12 10:18 A

Hi, C0C0BABE !!

The Spark Meal plans are merely suggestions of meals you could eat. You don't have to eat them every single day. They can be used as a guideline if you need some structure.

It's true. Southern cooking is loaded with high fat fried foods. BUT, you can make healthier changes to foods you really love i.e. like say fried chicken. Have you checked out the Spark Recipes section ? Chef Meg as well as many many members have posted ten of thousands of great recipes. If you do a search on fried chicken (for an example), you'll find hundreds of healthier versions you could make instead of the traditional fried recipe.

Too many people think that healthy food tastes like cardboard. That is a misconception. Healthy food tastes much better than fast food or junk food. It's just a matter of reminding your body how good your veggies are.

I'm guessing that since you cook a lot of Southern food, you may enjoy veggies like okra or collards ? If so, there are healthier ways to cook those veggies and they are wonderful veggies. How about black eyed peas dishes ? Beans are a super food ! I'll bet if you check through the recipes section, you'll find many recipes that are not only tasty, but healthy too.

So, why not start with the recipes you do cook. Find healthier versions. that's a great way to start your quest for a healthy lifestyle. Don't look at this as a diet. You don't have to eat "diet" food to lose weight and be healthy. Start with small changes. Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated. make simple changes you can stick with and a simple change would be drinking more water each day.

If you're looking for healthier Southern recipes, how about checking out this website ?

RADIOTIKSPARK1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,813)
Posts: 638
1/30/12 9:48 A

C0c0babe, that's the curse of being southern, isn't it? I'm from Georgia and it took years to really sort out how to cook healthy.

The thing is, you actually CAN cook differently, you just have to make a conscious effort and make a plan. There are two things that, if you commit to, you should be fine:

1) don't have unhealthy ingredients in your house so it isn't even an option. Toss your usual shopping list in the trash.

2) choosy healthy recipes from books or online and follow them, step by step, with no substitutions. None. Nada.

That means if you are cooking a dinner that is off the meal plan, you select a recipe that is healthy (perhaps try the Spark Cookbook for a start or just google "low calorie chicken" or something like that) and follow it word for word. If you have the urge to add an ingredient, fight the urge!

Basically you are unlearning and relearning how to cook. Saying "I can't" is like saying "I won't". It is an excuse we tell ourselves. Do what is right for you and right for your family using recipes as a guide!

As a final suggestion, although I don't think it is your best option, is to google "low calorie substitute for x" where x is a high fat ingredient. You can often replace half the butter/crisco in something with apple sauce, believe it or not, and so on.

Edited by: RADIOTIKSPARK1 at: 1/30/2012 (09:49)
1/29/12 10:08 P

It takes baby steps try this it is Paula Deans sons lowfat alternative to her fried chicken.It is truly a great alternative and the seasoning can be your own. My whole family loves it.
ENJOY and good luck.
8 skinless boneless chicken breast or thighs, trimmed of all visible fat (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon Paula Dean’s House Seasoning
1/4 cup light mayonnaise or buttermilk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/4 cups cornflake crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.
Sprinkle the chicken with the House Seasoning. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon zest, juice, egg white, and hot sauce. Add the chicken; toss to coat.
Place the cornflake crumbs on a sheet of wax paper. Dip the chicken into the crumbs pressing so the crumbs adhere. Place the chicken in the pan and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 40 – 45 minutes. Do not turn.
Original Recipe courtesy Paula Dean

Tools You May Need
Paula Dean's House Seasoning
Nutritional Information: Per Serving: 227 Cal; 25 g Protein; 11 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 5 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 13 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 288 mg Sodium; 87 mg Cholesterol

C0C0BABE SparkPoints: (4)
Fitness Minutes: (2,870)
Posts: 6
1/29/12 9:29 P

Good Evening

I have been trying to curb my eating habits for sometime now and I really need help. However, I have been on and off diets for the same amount of time. I want to live a healthy life and maintain a normal body weight but my eating and exercising habits are not consistent than I would like it to be and now my poor health is taken a toll on me. I feel as though I am loosing control fast and I don't know what to do...I am used to cooking southern style (soul foods) with a lot of fats and calories and I can not cook any other way despite how hard I have tried. What can I do when making a meal is not on the listed meal plans?

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