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5 Common diet pitfalls & recipes that save the day

Kendra Y. Mims is a freelance writer and online content editor in the Chicagoland area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in journalism. Her passions include writing, reading, and traveling.

Smart diet Food strategies

Sneaky weight gain, hair loss, just plain feeling crummy –- all common diet side effects everyone whose ever vowed to fit into too-tight jeans know all too well. Avoid these diet killers and kiss that extra junk in your trunk goodbye with these balanced, low-calorie recipes you can whip together in a snap.

4. Problem: Cranky, cranky!

Maybe you started a crash diet to get into that bikini, but you (and everyone around you) can't ignore that you've been moody.

Food fix: Expand your horizons

Don't feel guilty about expanding your food selection. If eating salads are an essential part of your weight loss plan, there are ways to spice up salads other than lettuce so that you are getting a complete meal within your target calorie range. Here is a delightful salad and dressing recipe that is high in protein and low in calories.

Grilled Turkey Salad with Dijon Dressing
Serves 4 (300 calories/33 grams of protein)

Ingredients:
1 pound of turkey breast tenderloins or cutlets, grilled
12 to 16 cherry tomatoes cut in half
12 to 16 small mushrooms cut in half
1 small red onion, peeled, thinly sliced, separated into rings
1 medium sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into long thin strips
1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup Dijon mustard dressing, commercial or homemade*
4 cups torn mixed salad greens, chilled and divided
Coarsely ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Cut grilled turkey across the grain into strips

2.  In a large bowl, combine turkey, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, sweet red pepper strips and parsley

3.  Add Dijon dressing, tossing lightly to coat turkey and vegetables thoroughly

4.  Arrange about 1 cup crisp torn mixed salad greens on each of 4 small dinner plates

5.  Spoon turkey mixture onto lettuce-lined plates, dividing evenly

6.  Sprinkle each salad lightly with coarsely ground black pepper

Homemade Dijon Dressing

Ingredients:
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup salad oil

Directions:
1.  Whisk the first 5 ingredients listed above in a small bowl

2.  Gradually whisk oil into mixture until thickened and thoroughly blended

3.  Store covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month

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