Secrets of Success

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Mock caprese

Like caprese but don't want the calories of a big hunk of buffo mozzarella? Substitute lowfat cottage cheese for the mozzarella. And if you don't have fresh basil, buy a plant rather than a bunch at the grocery. You can snip enough for caprese from a freshly planted basil plant.

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Planning Ahead

On days when I know I will be very busy and tired, early in the day I prepare as much of lunch and supper as I can manage. Then there is no excuse to just eat food that is not healthy for me.

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Don't Just Track Food

Don't use the nutrition tracker just for tracking foods you ate. Use it to plan what you will eat--either daily or weekly. I like to plan the major parts of each meal for a week in advance and then fill in the other components a day or two before. You can use the "copy foods" button to copy a mea...

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Cooking is activity

One of the advantages of cooking is that you are active for 45 minutes to an hour. It's not enough to track but it is better than sitting on the couch.

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Vegetables for breakfast

Take a tip from the English and add a tomato to your breakfast. If you have a toaster oven it is easy to broil a tomato.

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Using over-ripe veggies and fruits

Sometimes we keep fruits and veggies past their prime. Instead of tossing them, remove any rotted pieces, bag the rest, and freeze them. When you want to add veggies or fruits to cooked dishes, e.g., soup, pasta sauce, add these instead of purchased frozen foods. I keep fruits for use in jello.

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Quick 40-calorie dipping sauce for strawberries

Combine 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream with 1 packet Splenda (or a little sugar if you prefer). Use this as a dip for strawberries that are not quite sweet enough.

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Use a grapefruit knife to remove the seeds from winter squash.

The curved tip fits inside the seed cavity.

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Banana split dessert

Slice a banana and place it in the bottom of 4 dessert dishes. Top with Jello Chocolate Fudge Pudding (made with skim milk). Finish with 2 tablespoons of Cool Whip Free, a drizzle of Hershey's Sugar-free Chocolate Syrup, and 2 pecans, chopped. This makes a quick dessert with one-half of a fruit s...

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Gourmet Hot Chocolate

Add 1/4 teaspoon instant decaffeinated coffee to a packet of Nestle Hot Chocolate Drink. 20 calories and 1/3 of your daily calcium requirement.

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.