Favorite Foods Made Healthier, Oh boy this is one topic hard to master. And, when you do finally make your favorite foods healthier don’t tell the hubby or the kids! I have been altering many of the family’s favorite dishes to provide a healthier meal. Before I share my top ten healthy changes, let me share a bit of personal experience about Weight Watchers, the founders of “Eat Your Best”.

I have an Aunt who, when I was a child, weighed well over 200 lbs. She was very self conscious of her weight and being as such it dictated her lifestyle. She was shy, quiet in public, and quite an introvert. Little did she realize that in reality she was a beautiful, creative woman, and an excellent baker and cook. She made my first son’s baby cake and it looked like a bakery store cake, so beautifully decorated as though done by a professional. This unhappy personality continued until she found Weight Watchers. From that moment on she was changed, transformed into a whole new person. To this very day, my Aunt credits her transformation to Weight Watchers. With the introduction of Smart Ones, this made her life a whole lot easier too! Here is a coupon for Weight Watchers Smart Ones, to maybe give you a start on eating smart all day!

As promised these are the top ten and most frequent changes, I have made to eat healthier:

1. Use low fat or fat free dairy products, especially with Mexican dishes. This can reduce calories and fat by about 25%. Oh and wash those canned beans before adding them to your chili or nachos, it reduces the salt and preservatives!
2. Baking – Use applesauce or coconut milk in place of fat. Replace water with natural fruit juice for added vitamins.
3. Substitute ground turkey for beef, especially in those high fat Italian dishes.
4. Use a salt substitute like Mrs. Dash. Take that one step further and replace your favorite taco seasonings with Mrs. Dash® Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend. Lowering sodium intake is said to aid in reducing the risk of high blood pressure as well as being good for the body organs associated with blood pressure.
5. Prepare side dishes from scratch in advance rather than purchasing boxed. The consumption of processed foods is one of the top unhealthy eating habits in America today. Time is of the essence for working mothers I know. Did you know that cooked rice freezes beautifully and can be reheated in just a few minutes? Cook a large portion of rice and freeze in family size portions. Bake a large portion of sweet potatoes then freeze, or refrigerate them. They will keep in the fridge for 7 -10 days and longer in the freezer.
6. Make vegetable stock with the water after boiling fresh vegetables. This is great flavor enhancer for use in gravies and sauces. This will keep for 1 – 2 days in the fridge and much longer when frozen. Using the vegetables stock adds a bit of nutrients that boiling extracted from the fresh veggies.
7. Replace junk foods with fruits, veggies, and flat breads. Serve flavorful dips with finger size fruits and vegetables as an alternative to junk food. Dehydrate fruits or slice thin and bake slowly to serve in place of chips or candy. Another healthy alternative to potato chips is baked pita or tortilla chips. Brush lightly with oil or butter and season with your favorite low sodium barbecue, onion, or taco seasoning. Slice into strips or triangle and bake until crisp. (Snack time is a great time to try those Smart Ones)
8. Eat fresh green salads with dinner. Serve with low fat or fat free dressings. Add low fat cheese or nuts to your salads for an added texture and flavor.
9. Portion control is necessary to maintain or loose weight. Load up on salad first and then move to the main course, limiting the portions. Hubby cut out potatoes and breads except once a week, sticking to meat and salads. He lost almost 60 pounds in 11 months.
10. Finally, increase your fiber intake. There are tons of ways to do this. Serve a high fiber, nutritious dessert in seconds. Slice a piece of fruit, top with yogurt and a sprinkle of bran buds. On the other hand, if it is baked goods you prefer, mix oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, and margarine to make a crumb mix. Slice a peeled apple or two, top with the crumb mix and microwave for a minute or two… Apple crisp in a flash! (Another situation for a Smart Ones Indulgence.)

This is my healthy Taco Bake alternative, ssshhhh it is a secret!

This is oh so good when you make them with low fat sour cream, ground turkey, and Mrs. Dash® Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend. My original recipe is post here. The alterations include using ground turkey seasoned with Chipotle Seasoning rather than chili powder. Add 2 teaspoons rather that one increase the flavor. Rather than serving sour cream on the side, add the dollops of low fat sour cream prior to serving, the family will never know!

Hope you enjoyed the post and found new helpful tip or two for eating healthy.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Weight Watchers Smart Ones blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”