Mistake 1: Vegetables are rarely found on your plate – or when they are, they’re covered in butter or dressing.
There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of flavor to add to your vegetables. But every veggie choice you eat shouldn’t be heavily coating in butter or creamy dressings, both of which are high in calories and saturated fat. Of course, research now alludes to the fact that saturated fats aren’t quite as unhealthy as we once thought – but it’s still smart to limit them, especially if you have any heart problems.
If you’re looking to add flavor while keeping a healthy plate, consider these options:
- Top a salad with salsa instead of dressing.
- Squeeze lemon onto vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. Or toss them while hot with a little garlic hummus.
- Use a basic oil and vinegar with spices as dressing for salads. It adds calories, but they come from much healthier sources of fat.
- Roast vegetables to bring out their naturally delicious flavor.
- Before cooking, toss veggies in herbs and seasonings like rosemary, thyme, or Cajun seasoning.
- Mix vegetables into stews and soups where they’ll help add flavor to the meal.
- Use strongly flavored vegetables to help bring new life to ones you might not find as tasty. For example, sauté onions and garlic with bell peppers.
- Grill vegetables for a bit of a smoky flavor.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar on fresh sliced vegetables.
Mistake 2: Frying is your favorite way of cooking meat or fish.
Instead of frying meat, switch to methods like grilling, baking or roasting. If you love that fried chicken taste, try making this baked “fried” chicken. You’ll still get that crispy coating but in a much more nutritious way.
First, coat chicken breasts in nonfat plain yogurt. In a bowl on the side, mix crushed cornflakes, pepper, and any other seasonings you might like (garlic powder, cayenne pepper, etc). You can crush regular cornflakes yourself, or some stores sell an already crushed cornflake mixture. Roll the chicken breasts in the cornflakes and bake in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads the proper temperature.
Mistake 3: You use heavy cream for soups, sauces, and creamy pasta dishes (or in your coffee/tea!).
Instead, stick with 1% milk as a substitute for heavy cream in cooking. One cup of 1% milk only adds 102 calories and 2 grams of fat, and adds a boost of protein and calcium. Most of the time, you won’t even notice the difference in flavor – although the sauce might be a bit thinner. You could also try fat free half and half, or evaporated milk as substitutes. And to thicken a sauce or soup, try adding pureed cauliflower. This works especially well in a creamy soup like baked potato soup or in a macaroni and cheese dish.
And as a side note - think about your coffee too! Even one tablespoon of heavy cream added to your morning coffee is an extra 52 calories. If you drink coffee every day and switched from that tablespoon of heavy cream to a tablespoon of 1% milk, you’d lose 5 pounds over a year just from that 1 change alone!
Share with us: Which meal mistake above do you struggle with most?