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My Favorite Food "Staples"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Many times when you're trying to watch what you eat, you feel deprived and...downright hungry! In the process of monitoring what I eat, I've found some healthy options that I love working into my diet.

Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt: I always used to have flavored yogurt, but now I use plain because it doesn't have all of the added unnecessary sugars. If I want it sweeter, I add fresh fruit, some stevia or a drizzle of agave nectar.

Nuts: My favorites are - walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews. I've never really been a fan of salted nuts, but I used to go for sweetened varieties. Now, I've weened myself off of sweetened varieties and enjoy them plain. A handful of almonds after a good workout is wonderful! emoticon

Low sodium chicken broth/vegetable broth: When I cook veggies, I love adding some broth for them to soak up the flavor. It keeps me from using more oil and/or adding butter substitutes.

Fresh herbs: You can really add a ton of flavor without added fat or sodium with fresh herbs! I always have fresh parsley on hand, and right now I've been using fresh chives and thyme as well.

Peanut Butter Company "Dark Chocolate Dreams" & "White Chocolate Wonderful": This is my guilty pleasure! If you love Nutella, try "Dark Chocolate Dreams" - there's a TON less sugar, and its still delicious. I sometimes add a tbsp to my oatmeal in the morning, or if I'm craving something sweet sometimes I'll just have a spoonful (probably not something I should make a habit of...)

Larabars: These snack bars are gluten-free and vegan friendly. They use dates as a sweetener instead of added sugar, and are usually all fruit/nuts. I usually keep a bar in my purse when I'm on the go for an "emergency" snack. I try not to eat these that frequently because they do have a lot of sugar, but they're a good "on the go" option. My favorite flavors are: Apple Pie, Carrot Cake, Coconut Cream Pie.

Light Rice Wine Vinegar: I love using this for salads, its not too heavy/overpowering and it adds a nice bright acidity to dishes. I find myself temped to use less oil when I add some of this.

Kale: I didn't really used to think of kale as really "edible" because the only time I saw it when I was younger was as a garnish at restaurants (same goes for fresh curley parsley, too...). I started experimenting and cooking with it and I LOVE it! I eat it in salads, stir it into soups (reminds me a little of spinach, but does not wilt as much).

I'm sure there are more, but this is what comes to mind so far. What are your food staples?
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  • DMR023
    Great ideas! I love red cabbage, too! I'll have to remember to get some on my next trip to the grocery store. I've been having trouble getting enough protein too, so I use my husbands protein powder to mix in my oatmeal or for an after workout drink...but I might have to look into getting my own protein powder. Thanks for sharing emoticon
    2311 days ago
    Here are some of my staples!

    Fat free cottage cheese: Has a lot of protein packed into half of a cup! Can be used in a lot of recipes, even desserts!

    Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran, Whole Wheat Lavash: such a great substitute for tortillas and wraps! Is only 50 calories per serving!!! And if you eat a whole bread (2 servings, only 100 calories), you get something like 10 grams of protein! And is has fiber and the benefits of flax...and its soft and delicious. These are good for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert! If I have the calories to spare and need some more protein, I will cover a serving of Lavash with unsalted organic peanut butter - a thin layer - and then either a thin layer of raspberry jam, or if I need a chocolate fix, I put a thin layer of dark chocolate frosting over the peanut butter, roll it up and BAM - dessert.

    Red Cabbage: I love it in stir fry, in salads of all varieties, and it makes a great veggie filler if maybe I don't have enough lettuce for a big salad. I love making an asian coleslaw with cabbage using rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a little stir fry sauce of asian seasonings. Mmmmm....I bet I could eat a whole cabbage like that! But its also good if I don't have a huge selection of veggies for a stir fry, which I eat a lot of. As long as I have cabbage, I can count on a good dinner!

    Greek Yogurt: for all the same reasons.

    Weight Watchers Giant Latte Ice Cream Bars: only 90 calories and totally satisfies my ice cream desires.

    Apples: i put the in my oatmeal or have them with cinnamon when I want something sweet.

    Herbs and Spices!: Love LOVE LOOOOVE using spices and herbs. I cook a lot of Indian and Caribbean foods which are both heavy on delicious flavors

    Spirutein: This is essential to have around at all times. I don't eat enough protein usually, so if I need something quick or I'm on the go or at work, I can mix up a serving of Spirutein with water if I'm out, or fat free milk at home and get a heap of protein and good stuff. Fills me up and makes a great snack.

    and I think there are probably more but these are the first things I think about!
    2312 days ago
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