Now that the winter holidays are drawing to a close, we're left with just the memories of the delicious meals: the savory stuffing, latkes, Christmas cookies, and Champagne toasts. Were you left with something more than mere memories? Like maybe a few extra pounds? Don't let the ghosts (and calories) of seasons past haunt you the rest of the year! There are some things you can eat just about as much of as you'd like without the threat of tipping the scales.
You've heard it before, "Eat your vegetables!" Whether or not you like to admit it, mom was right. Non-starchy vegetables (prepared in a healthy manner or eaten raw) are good for you since they're low in calories and high in vitamins and fiber (which helps keep you full). We've thrown in a few other options besides just vegetables. Consider the following five items to eat…and eat.
Leafy and green, kale is one of those veggies teeming with vitamins. Not only is it healthy, it's easy to prepare and easy to add to just about anything you're cooking. Add it to soups and stir-frys, sauté it Asian-style with soy sauce and sesame seeds, or try making kale chips.
To make kale chips, first preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Tear the kale leaves off the stems into bite-sized pieces and spread them out onto a baking sheet; drizzle the leaves with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle them with sea salt and Parmesan cheese, if you'd like. Bake them for about 15 minutes, until the edges are brown and the kale is crisp.
Did you know cauliflower comes in more colors than just the standard white variety? Pick your favorite color and crunch, crunch, crunch! You can eat cauliflower raw (with maybe just a little dip like hummus), add small, bite-sized pieces to your salad, or roast it for a great side dish. Cauliflower can even be prepared as a "mashed potato substitute."
Packed with flavor and packaged in a naturally festive color, cherry tomatoes are super-low in calories and super-high in vitamins A and C. Toss them in salads or just pop them into your mouth. Since they're small and need virtually no preparation, they're a convenient snack when you're on the go. They also make a great topping for pasta dishes. Tip: Don't refrigerate tomatoes, but keep them on a windowsill or counter.
We're not talking movie theatre buttered and salted popcorn, but when prepared in a healthy way, popcorn is a terrific food source most of us love to munch. Popcorn is a whole grain, and we all know grains are good for us. Popcorn is also full of fiber so when you eat it, you easily get a sense of fullness that lasts for hours.
The healthiest way to make popcorn is to air pop it and forego the butter and salt. Instead, you can sprinkle on salt-free chili or garlic powder, or maybe toss with a bit of low-fat Parmesan cheese or cinnamon.
While it won't tip the nutritional-value scale, sugar-free Jell-O—with no calories or fat—is a great snack to help satisfy any sweet tooth. If you're feeling like you can live a little, add sliced fruit like pineapple to the mix. Gelatin promotes a feeling of fullness and is said to keep your skin firm and your hair strong and shiny.
Stick with healthy food options, prepared in healthy ways, and you can't go wrong!
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