Some, if not all, of the tips I am sharing with you are probably things you have already heard. That's fine. Just ignore this post. But here are some things I've picked up along the way thanks to Heather Hagan, my mom and things I've discovered on my own.
1. Vegetables: Add spices for flavor & few calories
-I love to add lemon pepper and cumin to my vegetables when I saute them. Sometimes I even add goat cheese or Gorgonzola to them for an extra kick!
2. Frozen Fruit & Vegetables: Eat 'em & Cook 'em!
-I know it is usually better to buy fresh, but frozen fruits and vegetables weigh less on your checkbooks and provide most of the same nutrients. The frozen vegetables can be thrown in a steamer or sauteed on the stove to make for a quick side. I am also able to get the berries that I crave so often when they are not in season.
*I add frozen blueberries to my yogurt for breakfast & use them as a snack by themselves or add a little dry cereal.
3. Plain Greek Yogurt: Replace this with your regular yogurt
-I will admit the consistency and taste of Greek yogurt is hard to get accustomed to--especially for all of us who are so accustomed to regular yogurt. However, the benefit of this yogurt is you can ADD and CONTROL the amount of calories and sugar you put in. Fage Total 0% Plain Greek Yogurt contains 90 calories, 7 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein! This leaves you room to add some things!
*For my Greek yogurt breakfast, I add 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup of Kashi Heart Healthy cereal, 1/4 cup and 2 tbsp. of Agave Nectar.
4. Agave Nectar: Use this in place of sugars and sweeteners
-I was introduced to this thanks to Heather. I will admit, this one is a bit pricey, but it can be used in place of sugar and sweeteners. I have only used it to sweeten my yogurt and oatmeal, but I know it can be used for a lot more things when cooking and baking!
5. When you eat a carb, pair it with a protein.
-This is another one I learned thanks to Heather! For example...I was eating a whole wheat "thin slice" (100 calories) only for a snack between breakfast and lunch. Now I add 2 tbsp. of peanut butter for protein.
*Some great, natural Peanut Butter I have found is Better N (100 cal./2 grams of fat per 2 tbsp.) and Peanut Butter & Co. (180 cal./14 grams of fat per 2 tbsp.) Peanut Butter & Co. has a variety of flavors as well! I personally like Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and White Chocolate Wonderful.
6. Be creative with your marinades
-I picked this up from my mother, Leigh Anne, who is the queen of creating delicious marinades for chicken and fish. Sometimes, it is not necessary to go to the store and you can throw together whatever you have in your pantry.
*My marinade for salmon: 1/2 cup of Ken's Walnut Raspberry Vinaigrette, a few dashes of lemon juice, Worcester sauce, lemon pepper and Salmon seasoning. Stir together, pour over salmon and add Gorgonzola cheese after marinade is poured. (All of this came from what I had in my pantry)
I hope some of these are useful! Do you have any tips that you have discovered?