After we received more than 4,000 delicious Make It Mindful contest entries, Mindful chefs and dietitians got to work on finding the perfect balance between great taste and good health to select our four finalists.
Now I’m sharing the simple ways that you can enjoy the tastes you love—and stay healthy—at home.
Ponder portions. An extra 500 calories per day translates to one pound per week of weight gain. So if you’re craving seconds, wait 15 minutes to digest and know there will always be an opportunity to enjoy the food on another occasion.
Give Greek yogurt a try. With more protein and less fat, Greek yogurt puts sour cream to shame as a healthy substitution. Pair it with all-natural nut butter and honey and you have yourself a tasty ice cream alternative. You won’t miss the mayo in spinach and artichoke dip either when you swap it for Greek yogurt.
Sweeten without added sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, try getting your satisfaction with fruit or naturally sweet foods, such as maple syrup or honey. Even cinnamon in coffee provides a flavor kick without the added calories. The more you have sugar, the more you’ll crave it, so outsmart your taste buds with healthier options.
Choose healthy fats. Skip the higher fat meats, creamy sauces, hard cheese and butter, which are high in unhealthy saturated fat. Instead, opt for avocados, olives, plant-based oils, seeds, nuts and nut butters—all are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fat.
Put the sauce on the side. Try using only enough sauce or dressing to lightly cover your food, or pour a small amount in a bowl to the side and dip your fork in the dressing before grabbing your food. Both techniques allow you to enjoy the flavor without the added calories.
Color your plate. Each color of food provides your body with different nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and antioxidants. Food is a beautiful experience inside and out, so eat with your eyes first and enjoy the benefits of all the colors that fruits and veggies can offer.