Easy Healthful Cooking Tips!
Before I dive into the topic this week, I wanted to quickly share that we are doing a shoe drive at Terra Nova Fitness. Gently used and new shoes are being collected for the nonprofit Soles for Souls. There is a collection box and a sign in sheet for all donations. Everyone who donates will be entered into a raffle to win some cool prizes! Please take a look in your closets, we are collecting all shoe sizes!
This week, I wanted to share some tricks I use while cooking at home. A few friends have asked me what I cook at home and if I have any tips to share. Of course, I am in no way a nutritionist or professional! Having said that, implementing these habits is one of the many ways I have managed to keep the weight off after five years.
When cooking at home, I try to cut carbohydrates by using vegetables or a combination of a carbohydrate and a vegetable to go with my protein.
Zoodles are a fantastic way to cut carbs! A zucchini spiralizer is a great and relatively inexpensive investment (They can be purchased on Amazon for around $10). I use my spiralizer to make zoodles (zucchini “noodles”). They are easy to cook (I sauté them in a pan with a little oil, a dash of garlic powder, salt, and pepper) and substitute them in place of spaghetti. If you really have your heart set on spaghetti, you can always use half zoodles and half spaghetti!
I mentioned making a combination of a vegetable and a carbohydrate. Here are a few options!
-Mashed cauliflower/potatoes--Let’s face it, mashed potatoes are delicious. Unfortunately, they aren’t the best for you! Mashed cauliflower and potatoes is a great option. When making cauliflower mashed potatoes I use half steamed cauliflower and half potatoes. There are a lot of fantastic cauliflower and potato recipes online. Check them out!
-Rice and chopped zucchini-I love some steamed rice with my Mongolian beef! But my stomach isn’t a huge fan. I like to chop up some zucchini (or another vegetable, like broccoli) and sauté it in the pan with some spices. I serve up some rice and vegetables and mix it up on my plate. Then I add some delicious orange chicken or Mongolian beef on top.
In addition to using a vegetable/carbohydrate combination, I also have a few other tips. First, spices are your friend! If you make some zoodles, cauliflower mashed potatoes or any other dishes, reach for the spices! Adding some garlic or another favorite spice can add some great flavors without adding calories.
Another relatively easy ingredient I use is Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt can be substituted in a lot of recipes! There are some great recipes online, and a few charts that can show you how to use greek yogurt as a substitution for a less nutritious ingredient. I love it! I also use greek yogurt instead of sour cream on various dishes; it adds that creaminess I am looking for and some tang. YUM!
These are just a handful of tips I use for cooking in a healthful way at home without losing good flavors. I think one of the common misconceptions is that if you cook in a mindful and healthy way, the food will be bland and terrible. While that is definitely a possibility, who wants to eat like that? I know I couldn’t eat like that the past five years!
Terra Nova Fitness has a fantastic My Fit Life Habit Planner. It has a lot of space for writing down workouts and recipes. I have jotted down many recipes and ideas for cooking over the years. I even used it as a reference for this blog post! If you are looking to join Terra Nova Fitness for the amazing workouts, the habit planner is also an amazing tool to help you eat well and achieve your goals.