Eat 'Clean' to Shed Holiday Pounds
Trying to shed some holiday meal pounds? Dieting doesn't have to be bland. Try these tips for healthy, yet entertaining, meals.
It's a problem many of us face: How do you lose those extra pounds you put on during the holidays?
The scrumptious meal at Thanksgiving is quickly followed by holiday parties, cookie swaps, pie-baking, Hanukkah celebrations, Christmas feasts, New Year's Eve buffets and New Year's Day football parties.
Now it's the New Year, and that brings with it new resolutions to look and feel your best. Dieting doesn't have to mean eating only broiled chicken and salad. When I wanted to lose weight – and lose inches – I started eating clean. Here's what you do:
- Combine lean proteins and complex carbs at every meal
- Avoid salt, sugar, white rice and white flour
- Avoid saturated and trans fats
- Avoid soda and other sugary drinks
- Eat proper portion sizes
- Drink 8 cups of water per day
I know it can sound daunting, but you can make ultra-healthy food that tastes good. Here are some of my favorite recipes that are full of flavor, but are low-calorie, low-carb, and sodium and gluten-free:
- Instead of a typical meat lasagna with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, make a hearty, healthy lasagna by layering eggplant, ground up chicken that's seasoned with oregano, parsley, basil, thyme and fennel, with a tomato/basil sauce and a little cottage cheese to hold it all together. It's 190 calories for an 8-ounce piece.
- Instead of making traditional chiles rellenos, which are typically peppers stuffed with cheese and meat and then breaded and deep-fried, make a filling out of spinach and chicken with just a half-ounce of queso cheese to hold it all together, and then roast it. Calorie count: 147
- Skip a piece of plain chicken and instead make Orange Basil Chicken. Just puree the whole orange, add fresh basil and a little garlic and marinate it for 30 to 45 minutes, then bake it, basting it with the marinade every so often to give it even more flavor. There's no need for any oil or salt.
Linda Caivano-Baldwin is a Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) whose skills have been honed by 25 years in the catering, restaurant, and event production industry. In 2006, she founded her event production and catering company, Amore – It's A Lifestyle, at 4245 Henderson Blvd. in South Tampa. This fall, she added a line of ultra-healthy, ready-to-heat meals called Amore Now – Healthy Lifestyle To Go. To view the recipes listed above, visit her website at www.eventsbyamore.com.