Thursday, January 23, 2014

Substitute Rather than Feel Denied

If you are trying to change things in your life in an effort to improve your health, you have probably thought about substitutions. 

Substitutions can be part of life. For example, I have a type of nail file that I really like but if I broke a nail and need to clean up a straggly sharp nail edge, I will use any type of file.  It can be the same with food. Sometimes rather than give up all your favorite foods, you can substitute foods in that can lower the calories or salt intake and still be satisfying. 
I like the taste of butter on rolls, potatoes, pancakes, and many other foods. But the calories and fat content are things I should avoid. (Dear State of Wisconsin, I love butter and will occasionally indulge. I wish I could eat it more often. You have a great product.) I have found – despite great resistance on my part – that I can use either I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light or go without. The light spread is not bad and for a very low calorie count can provide the feel of butter. 

I tend to overuse the salt shaker. If you like the taste of pepper on your food, I suggest that you switch and use Mrs. Dash (there are several varieties) rather than salt. No, the taste is not the same but I think you might find that there is more taste. Here is a link to their web site to see the 14 varieties of Mrs. Dash.

Is there anything like the taste of fresh popped popcorn with butter and salt? Well, yes, and you can save calories. I like the 94% fat free microwave popcorn. I have also tried air popping corn and using the spray on butter with some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  Both are great substitutions for popcorn with butter and salt. 

I like potato chips. As the catch phrase goes “Just can’t stop eating them.” But, of course you need to stop. I suggest that you get some of the new baked chips or crackers. I have a new favorite.  Wheat Thins has a line of baked crackers and the Parmesan herb crackers are delicious. Just make sure that you read the portion size and put that amount in a bowl for your snack. Eat slowly and enjoy the taste. No mindless eating! (something I am very good at doing!)
A dietitian once told me that having something crunchy with a meal can make you feel more satisfied.  Sometimes an apple will fill that void for me but there are other times that I need something more.  I have found that if I switch thin bagles for regular bagles, I get the crunch without all the calories.   

We have also switched our ice cream. We now enjoy frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Since we view it as a treat anyway, switching in a great tasting frozen yogurt still feels indulgent.

As you know from the title of this blog, we switched plate sizes to help cut back.  Well, we also switched bowl sizes. We now have small bowls for our frozen yogurt.  A small bowl will restrict your serving size but it is still enough of a treat. 

Have you found a substitute that works wonderfully for you? Please let me know! I can always use more help. 

Thanks for reading!

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