Today I have someone guest posting for me named Lauren. I met Lauren about 10 years ago when I commissioned her to do some paintings for me. She is an amazing artist and has recently started blogging about nutrition. Head on over to Strictly Nutritious and check out her blog! I think you will just LOVE what she has to tell you! Enjoy!
I’ve always thought that if you wanted to lose weight, you had to go without. Like most other freshmen in college, I gained a few pounds. I came from a healthy household (where my mother always put balanced meals on the table) and went straight to the free-for-all that is college… drinking, eating late-night 4th dinners (hello, Taco Bell) and sleeping much less than I did at home. There were parties to attend! Boys to meet! Friends to make! Hurray! I was living the life!
My party bus was cruising along until someone posted a picture on Facebook and alas, it was painfully obvious that I was a chubster (probably not to the extent that I could’ve been with all those trips to the dining hall… but I had definitely put on a few pounds). Not a good feeling when you’re trying to find a man.
So what did I do? I started drastically rationing my portions. I ate salads, salads and more salads. I lived off of Lean Cuisine French Bread Pizzas. I even remember only allowing myself to eat 7 pretzel sticks at a time. No more, no less.
Yes, that’s crazy talk. Yes, I lost weight. But, NO! It wasn’t healthy NOR was it satisfying!
If I could send one message to those who are trying to lose weight, it is this: It’s not about what you CAN’T eat… it’s about what you CAN eat. I don’t know about you, but the whole idea of deprivation just makes me want to eat more, as in… I’ll have one-last farewell slice of pizza today (ok, maybe two) and just start my crazy fad-diet tomorrow. The cycle goes on and on.
Instead of doing the ‘diet of deprivation dance’, you just need to get creative! Make clever choices. You can still feel full, and you can most definitely enjoy your food!
I’ve found some really great substitutes for my favorite foods and I’d like to share them with you. Pay attention now. Take some notes.
- You can make ‘mock’ mashed potatoes by mashing a cooked head of cauliflower (it tastes EXACTLY the same, if not better). Here’s a great recipe from health-foodie.com to get you started: http://www.health-
- I like my cauliflower roasted because it’s quick and easy! Roasted cauliflower makes a great snack in lieu of popcorn, chips or fries. Click this link for my step-by-step recipe: http://www.
strictlynutritious.com/2012/ 07/crazy-bout-cauliflower- options-are.html
- Try making kale chips instead of reaching for your favorite bag of munchies. They’re delicious and very easy to make. If you have an oven and half a brain, you’ll be fine. No special skills required. Click this link for my step-by-step recipe: http://www.
strictlynutritious.com/2012/ 07/kale-no-longer-jan-brady- of-cabbage.html
- Substitute quinoa when a recipe calls for white or even brown rice (it’s much more nutrient-rich and packed with much more protein and dietary fiber). Plus, quinoa only take about 5 minutes to make. If you have a moment of weakness and find a delivery guy at your doorstep bearing your General Tso’s Chicken, throw out the rice and put it on top of quinoa! Half the battle is won!
- If you’re in the produce section, grab some blueberries! Recent studies have shown that blueberries help to curb belly fat. They’re also high in fiber! I throw blueberries into oatmeal, cereal, salads (surprisingly good, by the way!) or on top of yogurt (for a substitute dessert). The options are endless!
- Incorporate hot peppers into your diet. Hot peppers have been shown to increase metabolism, in addition to providing you with other nutrients. Here’s my boyfriend’s recipe for a Pico De Gallo w/ Jalapeno Peppers: http://www.
strictlynutritious.com/2012/ 07/hot-off-press-pop-those- peppers.html
- If you eat meat, choose the grass-fed variety! It is much leaner than grain-fed beef AND provides you with many more heart-healthy omega-3′s.
You see? Losing weight doesn’t require you to read fad-diet books, nor does it require you to constantly deny yourself the good things in life. If you can get a little creative, your body and your taste buds will thank you!
…AND you, my friend, will enjoy the journey!