3 Simple Tips to Enjoying Comfort Food Without the Guilt
These three great ideas are easy to implement and stay consistent with, so you can keep enjoying your favorite comfort foods... without the guilt.
Eating right to stay (or get) healthy these days is just darn confusing!
Everyone has a different opinion, and it's really hard to stay consistent with any of it.There is also so much written on this topic, that most people find it very overwhelming.
Especially if you can't lose the weight, really don't know how to make those healthy choices, or you can't afford the latest fad.
We watch videos that gross us out and we decide to go Vegan, or we decide that the Mediterranean diet is the way to go because those people are historically healthy...right?
Lately it's all about Paleo, Keto and rebalancing your hormones.
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It seems that we all get caught up in it one way or another.
We also see things like a friend at work who dumps a ton of weight, but then when we ask how...
It's quite often a new Network Marketing Product - like shakes & pills that did the trick, or those B12 injections.
Some people get the results they're looking for and some don't.
Or the minute you decide you can't afford to stick with the plan after the weight has dropped off you gain it all back ...and then some!
I'm not slamming any of it - I've tried lots of different methods myself - and if it's working for you...that's fantastic!
This blog is for those who are fed up with all the noise.
For those that want to be healthy, but also want to live their life and continue to enjoy some basic comfort foods without all that guilt.
You also need to understand that creating a ton of stress around your food choices is a sure fire way to just quitting. Even giving up your healthy habits altogether, and eating what the heck you want.
That's why so many of us yoyo back and forth, which is very frustrating.
Stress is also a huge contributor to weight gain and health issues!
As a certified Nutritional Consultant, I could list all the proper ways to eat and why, but my objective here today is to give you something that's super easy to do right away, and more importantly easy to stay consistent with.
I just want to address 3 major comfort foods that are always considered "the bad stuff" that we must eliminate from our diets to be healthy.
And then I'll show you how to continue to enjoy them but...without the guilt!
Now let me explain...
Here are the 3 Favorite "Go To's" I want to address;
- Evening Snacks
There are more badies obviously, but these are by far the hardest to give up and make us feel deprived when we can't have them.
I bet at least one of them is on your list...am I right?
So instead of eliminating them try this. Let's start with everybody's favorite...
You probably know that the main ingredients - flour and sugar - are silent killers and can cause some serious health issues.
So why, oh why does it taste so darn good?!
Why does it go so well with so many meals?
Are you telling me I can never have a sandwich again?? My God...
That's enough to make you want to quit a diet plan right out of the gate...right? lol
If you've done your research you also know that if you buy whole wheat, or whole grain, or rye or wraps or whatever else they advertise as healthier choices you're still getting lousy ingredients that can be full of preservatives and worse.
So where's the good news?
What's my easy trick I promised that will keep you eating it?
The answer is: Your own bread maker.
Ah! That sounds like work! And they're expensive...geez.
But hold on...
I have to be honest, I thought all that too!
But it's actually easier than you think, and to get a great one that will last for years they're only about $100.
They come with a recipe book that list the few ingredients in the exact order they go in the machine.
You choose how you like your crust, the size of your loaf, and then with a push of the cycle button you're done.
It takes maybe 10 minutes to pull it out, plug it in and add the ingredients.
Since you're in control of the ingredients; choose them with care!
- Choose organic (unbleached) flour instead of processed white flour
- Choose pink himalayan salt instead of regular table salt
- Choose organic brown cane sugar or stevia instead of the usual white
Then let the machine do it's job...
In 2 to 3 hours you have a fresh loaf of delicious bread and the house smells fantastic as you go about your business.
Clean up is even a breeze!
You'll notice that without all the preservatives it won't last long sitting out on the counter...but that's great news for you!
Your body can't break down all the additives and preservatives in store bought bread, so it just stores it as fat and bloats you like crazy.
So once it's cool, slice it and store it in the freezer, then pull slices out as needed.
The newer models make it super simple, and you can also make sweet bread loaves (like banana nut) and even pizza dough!
There are even recipes (that come with the machine) for Gluten free bread if you're gluten intolerant.
Now remember, it's a waste of time to go to the grocery store and buy bleached white flour to use in your machine - the key here is to make it super healthy - so choose ingredients like these;
- Organic, Unbleached, non GMO flours
- Almond, whole grain and coconut flour are excellent choices.
Same goes for the sugar - don't just use refined white sugar from your pantry, choose these instead;
- Organic cane sugar
- Or good substitutes like organic stevia or a sugar alcohol like Xylitol.
So you end up with a beautiful loaf of bread, made from healthy ingredients, that is low in sugar & salt and tastes fantastic.
Not to mention that when you buy these clean ingredients, you're not subjecting yourself to all the dyes, high fructose corn syrup and a long list of preservatives you get in store bought bread.
Comfort Food at it's best - without the Guilt!
I sure don't need to go into detail on this one, as you know moderation is the key, but here are some better choices so you can continue to enjoy and possibly discover some new favorites.
Just like bread...people, especially guys, love beer.
The problem is they're full of grains - wheat barley & rye, so like bread they are huge for weight gain, bloating and the infamous beer belly.
Not to mention heartburn.
If you love beer try these instead;
- Ultra light - to avoid the bloat
- Organic Beer - to avoid the preservatives.
- Lagers seem better if you suffer from acid reflux
If you love wine;
- Go for red instead of white - way less sugar!
- Organic wines - because grapes are delicate and therefore require huge amounts of pesticides
- Carmenere & Pinot Noir - for low carb options
If you love the hard stuff;
Because they're best if you drink them straight...
Always skip the sweet mixers...even tonic water has sugar, so read the label.
If you like Gin - mix instead with fresh organic lemon juice, organic sparkling water and lots of ice.
If you like Vodka - a martini straight up with an olive is always a winner
Enjoy your Comfort Drinks - without the Guilt!
3. EVENING SNACKS:
It's so hard to resist a nice salty snack while watching Netflix isn't it?
My total weakness is potato chips - I love them all!
There's just nothing better than cuddling up with your sweetheart, a cozy blanket and a bowl of popcorn or chips & a glass of wine - yum!
Add your favourite show and it's just an awesome evening.
It's the next morning when you feel bloated, puffy (not to mention guilty)and wonder why you can't enjoy all the foods you love (that bring you comfort) without gaining weight and feeling yucky.
I can totally relate, and don't worry there's a solution!
These days there are plenty of choices at the grocery store to pick healthier snacks.
If you live in an area where you have access to those beautiful stores like; Whole Foods or Trader Joes, you'll have even more choices.
Let's start with Popcorn;
Believe it or not - it's not all created equal...
But the good news is - if you do it the right way, it's actually a great choice.
I know that's exciting right!
I'll start with the Don'ts;
- Don't buy the microwave brands - you have no quality control over the corn itself, and they are full of unhealthy oils, salt, preservatives and artificial colors/flavors.
- Don't buy those jiffy pop trays you make on the stovetop - same deal as above.
- Don't buy the big jars of 'no name' kernels - even the 'big name' ones that claim to be healthier.
- And stay away from the already popped stuff in a bag with seasonings - for all the same reasons.
Let's Focus on the Healthy way to enjoy your popcorn instead:
Buy fresh organic popcorn kernels - like this one.
You're looking for labels on the front that say - ORGANIC, NON GMO - no additives or preservatives.
Yes - it's going to be more expensive, but that's what it takes sometimes to make healthy choices.
Hey - the good news is you can still enjoy your fav snack without the guilt!
The photo is clickable if you can't find this in your supermarket - Amazon has everything!
Now - how will you pop it?
Stay with me here...it really will make all the difference!
The absolute best way is with an air popper - NOT the microwave.
These little gizmos are very inexpensive and they last forever.
There are lots of options - but I liked this one because it has a portion control lever and it's pretty quick.
It also has a storage compartment for your popcorn so you don't have to fill it every time you use it.
You just slide the bowl you're going to eat your popcorn from right under the nozzle and voila!
Hot fresh popcorn.
Best of all you're popping with hot (calorie free) air instead of unhealthy oils.
OK...so now your popcorn is ready but it's NOT buttery, or salty for that matter!
What are the best choices now?
Moderation for sure, but you can take this one step further and it makes it taste even better in my opinion.
If you can eat it plain - more power to you.
BUT - what is popcorn without butter and salt?
Dry corn - why even bother? :)lol
Have you ever tasted fresh butter from grass fed cows?
OMG it's the best!
It's how it all used to be, but these days our food is so processed and full of preservatives that most of it doesn't even resemble real butter anymore.
So watch out for butters and margarine that have preservatives, too many ingredients listed on the back, and trans fat.
Real fresh butter is much healthier by far. And if you can get the kind that says from 'grass fed cows' even better.
Once you taste the difference you'll never want anything else - seriously.
Now for the SALT:
If you haven't already, you should switch from white iodized table salt to pink Himalayan salt for all your recipes, and for your table.
It's packed with lots of great info that explains it all...
Should you care to scan it or read the whole thing - just know that it's a great move as far as your health is concerned.
Sprinkle the fine version of it or grind the course pieces - totally up to you.
And there you have it- a healthy version of your favorite evening snack!
NO Guilt - So enjoy!
Now for my Favorite : Chips!
There are so many choices - and I seem to like most of them 🙂
Salty & crunchy - yummy!
I'll keep this short and to the point, because you probably know most of this already;
Healthier choices in this category usually means you're giving up taste and texture, but I found some that are great.
Again look for your Organic Brands - I'm not naming them, as every grocery store has them if you're shopping in the right isles.
ou probably won't find them with all the other chips, nachos and pretzels in that huge isle where we usually shop.
Kettle cooked are my favorite, because they pack a great crunch, are Non GMO and no bad oils.
You'll see chips made with avocado oil and himalayan salt too!
Look for labels that say - absolutely no preservatives - like these.
There are also chips made from black beans, beets, carrots even parsnips that taste fantastic.
Just take a few extra minutes and read some labels instead of just grabbing those Lays or Nachos you're in the habit of picking up.
Go to the Health Food isles and look at all the great choices.
Be brave and try something new - you just might love it!
Hopefully you got a few good ideas from this.
I know that since I switched things up I feel better and I'm still enjoying my favorite comfort foods without the bloat and weight gain!
If you have other easy solutions you'd like to share, questions or comments - I'd love to read them in the comments below 😉
Cheers to Getting & Staying Healthy - Liz
PS - If you like Straight Talk & Practical Solutions...check out some of my other blogs here.