Eat This Not That for the American Diet

Peppers and Pasta

The American diet is so full of food that is bad for your health. Like everyone else, I crave hamburgers, pizza, Italian and Mexican food knowing good and well most of it will upset my stomach, cause me to pack on pounds and make me retain fluid. Over time I have collected a number of ways to improve the health factor on things that I buy or cook. Here are some NOT THIS — EAT THAT  examples:

1/4 pound Bacon Cheeseburger —- Single Small Patty Hamburger no Cheese or Bacon
Single Small Patty Hamburger —- Single Small Patty Hamburger no Bun
Single Small Patty Hamburger —- Chicken Breast Sandwhich
Pepperoni Pizza —- Veggie Pizza
Thick Crust Pizza —- Thin Crust or Flat-bread
Fettucinni Alfredo —- Fettucinni Marinara
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce —- Spaghetti with Grilled Veggies
Pasta in Butter Sauce —- Pasta, Bell Pepper Cooked in Olive Oil & Non-Fat Feta Cheese
Lasagna with Meat Sauce —- Vegetable Lasagna with Non-Fat Cottage Cheese
Eggplant  Parmesan —-  Vegetable Lasagna with Non-Fat Cottage Cheese
Caesar Salad —- Caprese Salad
Fried Chicken Chimichanga —- Chicken Fajitas
Cheese Enchilada —- Shredded Chicken Enchilada with Non-Fat Feta Cheese
Refried Beans —- Boiled, Pureed Beans
Guacamole —- Salsa
Sour Cream —- Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Cheese —- less or No Cheese

Besides what you eat, the AMOUNT of what you eat is important. Since most restaurants meals are enough for two people I take half of my home and eat it for lunch the next day.

See, you can still enjoy this type of food, just make better choices!


Grapefruit….the healthy winter citrus


I love this sweet, juicy, healthy fruit found in the winter when you can’t find much in the way of fresh produce. My favorite is the sweeter pink grapefruit which is loaded with antioxidants. So many, in fact, that it ranks right up there with what we call our super fruits such as cranberries.  Benefits specific to grapefruit include prevention of many types of cancer, lower cholesterol, Alzheimer’s prevention  and increased metabolism. Grapefruit is low in fat and calories, high in fiber, loaded with Vitamin A and C, and a variety of minerals.

This fantastic fruit originally came from a fruit called a pomela that grew on the Indo-Chinese peninsula in Indonesia. It rapidly grew in the West Indies and the jungles of Fiji. Pomela eventually became the Grapefruit, or Citrus Paradisi, when it was crossed with an orange for sweetness in Barbados and brought to America.

Word of warning! Before you eat grapefruit, check with your pharmacist to see if your medication prevents you from having grapefruit. There are some known drug interactions of big concern. If you don’t, you are good to go!

To pick a good grapefruit, look for one that is large, heavy and thin skinned. You can tell the skin in thin if its firm but slightly springs back.

In my opinion, the best way to eat a grapefruit is to cut it in half, run a knife around the inside of each sections membrane, and then pop out each section half with a spoon. You can also eat it like an orange by peeling it and separating into edible pieces. You can also place membrane free pieces onto a salad or just drink the juice.

Any way you eat it, grapefruit is a wonderful way to start the day and augment your healthy diet.


Tailgating snacks for the healthy


It’s almost time for the big game! Whether you are tailgating at the game or have a party at your home, snacks will be expected. What can you do to keep it healthy?

I had the best of intentions at my rally potluck yesterday.  I brought lean turkey sandwich bites with tomato, lettuce and mustard, but half of the dishes were desserts! I’m a sucker for sweets so I attempted to choose one least dangerous dessert to eat. Unfortunately that didn’t satisfy me.  Looking back, if I had had that one small piece of ultra chocolately goodness, I probably would have been more than satisfied and stopped there.

If you have your own party you can have better control over your food options. Here are some of the best:

  • Quartered turkey sandwiches on whole grain bread with mustard and veggies
  • Lean beef meatballs in light barbeque sauce
  • Low fat hot wings, like my wing recipe on this site
  • Salad with a light vinaigrette dressing
  • Cut up veggies with low fat dips
  • Onion dip made with non-fat greek yogurt and a packet of dry onion soup mix
  • Ranch dip made with non-fat greek yogurt and a packet of dry ranch dressing mix
  • Mixed fruit tray with a creative sport design out of the fruit, or cut fruit into sport ball shapes
  • Make your own tortilla chips by cutting soft corn tortillas into triangles, sprinkle them with chili powder or other spices and lightly bake them
  • Side your tortilla chips with a homemade bean dip by using my bean tostada recipe on this site but adding more of the spices
  • Instead  of mixed nuts have a small bowl of raw almonds handy
  • Chocolate or regular crispy rice cereal treats can be shaped into sports balls, are easy travel in the heat and are actually a better option for dessert
  • If you must have alcohol, wine is better than beer, and spritzers are even better
  • A non-alcoholic drink option is a 100% juice punch made your favorite 100% juice, diet lemon/lime and slices of lemons, limes and/or oranges

Is that a big enough list for you! You and your team are sure to win!