that time of year! Crisp weather, crunchy apples,
cinnamon, cider, corn
stalks, pumpkin patches. For most
of us, it's autumn! And on the heels of
autumn comes winter.
Time for hot, gooey, yummy comfort foods that warm
and stick to your ribs. Only problem is, most of our favorites
chock-full of fat, calories and carbs that really add up
when it comes to our
So how can you enjoy comfort foods this season without
on the usual winter padding? Here are some tips, straight
"home kitchen" (in other
words, my kitchen):
1. Eat broth-based soups and stews.
Change flour-based or
cream-based recipes. My beef stew recipe
called for a flour/water base, but
now I make it in the crock
pot with just a touch of flour to coat the meat.
The stew tastes
the same and is just as comforting, but now it's much
2. Watch your sides.
Want macaroni and cheese tonight? No
problem! Serve a crunchy
salad or steamed veggies on the side. Must have
3. Watch your portions.
Does this sound old hat? Well, it works!
If you want to eat
comfort foods but also want to lose weight, simply do
portions. You still enjoy the taste. It's not deprivation; it's
Simply changing what you think about portion control can
lack of willpower.
4. Drink water.
If you want to eat those comfort foods, save fat
and sugar by drinking a tall glass of water (or seltzer)
of diet sodas, sweetened beverages, milk or coffee with cream
sugar. If a can of soda contains over 60g of pure bad-for-
imagine how much more mac-n-cheese you can eat if you
skip it! Another great
beverage tip: feed dessert cravings with
flavored coffee. I love Green
Mountain Coffee's "Pumpkin Spice"
variety. I drink it black and it tastes
just like pumpkin pie.
All the taste, none of the sugar! I've seen flavors
cinnamon bun, caramel swirl and creme brulee on grocery
shelves. If you can't drink coffee black, use milk instead
of cream and skip
the sugar. Chances are those dessert varieties are
5. Change up recipes.
Switch to whole-wheat pasta or even
half-wheat pasta for
casseroles. You probably won't even be able to taste
difference. My family doesn't! You may find you can cut back
things like butter, milk, cream or high-fat cheese without
taste. Try cutting 10-20% of the "bad stuff" each
time you make a recipe.
See if you can notice a difference. If
you can't, keep cutting back until
it becomes obvious.
6. Skip dessert, or make dessert your main comfort food.
having a comfort-food main dish, skip dessert. But
if you really want that
dessert (anything made with pumpkin, in
my case), have a healthy meal with
dessert as the main focus!
6. Combine all these strategies to make meals that are
a lot less fattening.
How does this work? Let's say your favorite
comfort meal is
spaghetti and meatballs with Italian bread, Coke and salad.
follow up with a bowl of ice cream for dessert. Pretty heavy
calories and carbs, right? Switch your pasta to Barilla
white and tastes like white, but with higher
wheat content, it's better for
you. Skip the bread (or have
half a slice). Keep the salad but watch your
Replace the Coke with ice water. Refreshing! Save the
cream for tomorrow and have a steaming cup of dessert-flavored
instead. I guarantee you'll feel just as comforted,
but you won't have to
reach for your "stretchy pants".
Heck, follow all these strategies this
fall, and you may even
find you have to go out and buy new pants (in a
by the time Thanksgiving arrives!
Hope you find these
Keep it real, and see you next week!
P.S. Only sixteen more days until the "What I Ate While On Vacation" blog
starts up! And hey, thanks to Tropical Storm Hanna for not
Myrtle Beach as much as it could have. Whew. The
house on the beach
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Copyright (c) 2008 www.RealPeopleDontDiet.com and Cate Brizzell