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Eating Right Doesn't Have to Be Boring

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sometimes I read blogs or listen to people talk about dieting and they say things like

"Dinner every night is plain baked chicken breast, steamed veggies and brown rice."


This is the type of food that makes people yo-yo. Because eating that crap everyday is BORING.

You do not have to go without flavor to lose fat!

I eat all sorts of crazy things, NORMAL things. I just tweak them to meet my calorie needs and I READ PACKAGES.

Places where reading packages really is important:

-flour tortillas

Choosing the right items is paramount.

I have discovered that Best brand pita are only 80 calories apiece. They're thin, Lebanese style pita, as opposed to the thick, soggy style. But I like them, and they hold up better to juicier items, despite their thinness. I have a hard time finding them sometimes, but if I can get them, that's what I buy.

Tortillas vary GREATLY in calories. I found an 8 inch burrito sized tortilla by Sahara brand that's 140 calories apiece. Not bad, considering some tortillas can go up to 200 calories apiece. Old El Paso makes 6 inch soft taco size tortillas that are 150 calories for TWO. Not bad. emoticon

Yogurt can vary GREATLY by quality and calories. My favorite is Greek yogurt, and of that, I love Fage. It's the highest in protein you can get around here, and it's 100 calories for plain fat free in a 6 oz serving. Not bad!

That covers calories, but what about FLAVOR?

Veggies add tons of flavor! Hot chilies, garlic, onions, etc. Plus spices! I have so many spices at my house you wouldn't believe it. I think I may have a bit of a problem. I even keep exotic spices at home, just in case: curry leaves, two kinds of cardamom, za'atar, powdered sumac, fennel/caraway/sesame seeds, three kinds of Asian chili sauce, my own homemade Portuguese spice mix (by the way if you've never crumbled bay leaves into a meat marinade before, you should, they're not just for soup), powdered ginger. I also keep some fresh aromatics in my freezer, like lemongrass and ginger. I keep liquid seasonings as well: soy sauce, five types of vinegar (rice, champagne, red, white and apple cider), Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce (ok I hardly every use this, I hate it, but I have it anyway), Tabasco and Frank's Red Hot, two types of honey, molasses, etc.

Most of these items, except for the sweeteners, are so low calorie you can use them to your hearts content!

Tonight I'm making bean burritos. I'm using pinto beans I soaked last night and cooked this morning before work. I'm going to cook them into a mash with onions, garlic, some Goya Sazon, oregano and a smidgen of cider vinegar. I'm going to wrap that in a tortilla with a little rice cooked with fresh cilantro, top it with a couple of tablespoons of Herdez green salsa and a sprinkling of 2% cheddar cheese and ENJOY THE CRAP OUT OF IT with some fresh veggies on the side.

Screw plain baked chicken breast, steamed veggies and brown rice! I want to eat THIS:


Great article on spicing your meat and vegetables here:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Awesome! I love cooking, and have had a lot of fun learning to make recipes that help me along the way in my health journey! Great blog!!
    1773 days ago
    Shaking my head in agreement and saying AMEN!
    Well, except for the paragraph about the spices when I had to stop and read some of the names twice and wondered, "what's that?"
    Thanks for the link!
    You tell it!
    1773 days ago
    I agree. That picture on the bottom looks YUM!
    1774 days ago
    You are absolutely right! Seems we like the same foods and flavors! Thanks for the tips!
    1774 days ago
  • PIPPAMOUSE are amazing. I like to cook and all, but holy cow you have the mother load of spices. I covet your recipe list and brain to make things with all of those items!
    1774 days ago
    Wonderful blog! It's very true! We have to educate ourselves about foods that are good for us, look good, and taste good, and meet our healthier requirements. We shouldn't be afraid to experiment with our food! That burrito looked yummy! I think that's one reason why I like soups and stews so much. There seems to be an endless variety of them!
    1774 days ago
    Fantastic blog! If you get even a hint of "this is boring" you need to make some changes! While spices are expensive to experiment with, they really can make or break a great meal! Never lose sight of the fact that if you want to make life long changes, you've got to be open to trying new things. Not to sound like Dr Phil but "where did your old ways lead you? "

    Great ideas here, Girl!

    emoticon emoticon
    1775 days ago
  • SISSIE21
    Thanks so much for the food tips, I will head to the grocery store and see if I can find those brands. And am definitively going to try your burrito recipe. Sounds delicious!
    1775 days ago
    I actually like pretty plain food, but I agree that good healthy meals don't have to be boring!
    1775 days ago
    Great blog! Very inspiring. Some people just need a little nudge in the right direction. Cooking outside the "box" can be so overwhelming. You make it sound doable and fun. emoticon And yummy.
    1775 days ago
    Wow, very helpful and informative! I definitely try to keep the food interesting.
    1775 days ago
    Great post and I absolutely agree! I'm always trying new dishes or using old favorites with some tweaks to them. I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, but I like to have some weeks with some variety in them. Even weeks where I prefer simple broiled salmon with rice and broccoli, I will make sure to throw lemon juice, dill, garlic, and olive oil on those pieces of salmon. No need to eat anything plain!

    One of the issues is that when you first start cutting down on things like salt and sugar, things do still taste bland even if you try other seasonings, because we are so used to things being oversalted or tons of sugar. When I first started cutting down on sugar in my coffee, it was a huge struggle because it tasted so bitter. Same with low-sodium soups. I thought they were extremely bland. Now I can handle coffee with one sweetner packet and a tablespoon of creamer, and I actually enjoy the low-sodium soups as well. It takes time for our taste buds to readjust.

    However, one thing I do need to work one is more liberal use of the spices. I'm always worried I'm going to use too much of something, especially the spicier stuff like chili powder or cumin. I do not do well with very spicy foods and I dont' want to screw up a whole dish because I went overboard.
    1775 days ago
    Yeah!!! Love this... I think I want to eat bean burritos for dinner tonight!! I have been trying to tell people for the longest time.... THIS IS NOT A DIET!!! Choose food to eat that you like and prepare it in a way that is healthy and delicious. There are so many ways to make food taste good without the fat and calories and you listed so many of them right here. Way to go!! emoticon
    1775 days ago
    I am all about cooking creatively. use fresh herbs. Use new flavor profiles. Great blog.
    1775 days ago
    I'm a foodie to the max. For me, it's a matter of committing to do some prep-work on the weekends to make my weekday meals easier, delicious and nutrient-packed. I'm choosing to be whey, wheat and egg -free right now so making a chili, curry or homemade soup on the weekend is the difference between lunch-time heaven and mid-day disaster.

    My days are so much better when I know I have a satisfying lunch or dinner to look forward to. People comment OFTEN to me in the lunch room at work how great my lunch looks or smells. My husband tells me that not everyone cares so much about their food.

    I take pride in knowing that I care about what fuels me. I'm happier by knowing what I eat and making it a priority in my day to day life. Sounds like you are, too!

    Thanks for spreading the "good food gospel"!

    1775 days ago
    my plate is always spicy
    1775 days ago
    Great blog! I hear people all the time saying how boring and plain "diet" food it and how they eat the same thing over and over again.

    NOT ME!! I love to cook, so that really helps me with getting varriety into my meals, but food isn't boring. As long as you are aware of what you're eating - there are so many possibilities!

    Enjoy your bean burrito. I had a chicken burrito last night - only 390 calories and it was yummyyyy
    1775 days ago
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