Put Yourself in Diet Rehab
Ellie Krieger, RD
Job: Host of Healthy Appetite on the Cooking Channel and author of Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy
Personal food philosophy: A balanced eater who places all foods into usually/sometimes/rarely categories rather than making certain foods entirely off-limits.
Stash your own snacks. I portion out dried cherries in sandwich bags and keep them in my purse. Not only are they high in fiber and a great source of antioxidants, they're also tasty -- a perfect balance of tart and sweet.
Eat lean on the go. When I was on a book tour hitting 10 cities in a month, I discovered that Starbucks has some really healthy options. The chicken salad sandwich on whole-grain, the fruit and cheese plate, and the yogurt parfait are nutritious and filling choices when you're on the run.
Stop dieting. You go on a diet, you go off a diet, but it's just a temporary fix. Eventually you'll return to your old ways and gain back the weight. Instead, reframe your thinking: What habits can I change? What can I live with? For example, I don't like skim milk in my coffee, so I use whole milk instead. To make up for that, I pass on the extra cookie. It's all about finding balance.
Go Greek. Greek-style nonfat yogurt is my secret ingredient. I use it in place of sour cream in most of my recipes; I also marinate chicken in it. It's got a rich, creamy texture and lots of flavor.
Hold the mayo. I substitute avocado for mayo in my sandwiches or spread it on toast with tomato instead of butter. This fruit is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, which are good for your heart and give you glowing skin, and it also has folate and fiber.
Ellie's Go-To Foods
I'm a busy working mom and these save me time. I choose romaine, spinach, or mixed lettuce -- they've got more flavor and nutrition than iceberg.
The shrimp at the seafood counter is usually frozen, but thawed out. So save money and buy frozen. It's a lean protein source that works in salad and pasta.
I always keep soybeans -- a great source of healthy soy protein -- in my freezer. I puree them into hummus, toss them in salads, or eat them plain.
Just a few as a snack can make you feel very satisfied, but they also work well chopped up in savory foods like beef stew. They're a great source of vitamin E, protein, calcium, and fiber.