Keep the Comfort Foods, Ditch the Weight!
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Keep the Comfort Foods, Ditch the Weight!

I keep telling my hubby that people were designed to hibernate like bears!  He's beginning to see my point in the cold, dreary Michigan winters. However, we don't; therefore, we shouldn't eat like them either! Storing up for a long winter's nap isn't a good thing.

Do you love comfort foods? Most people do, especially those who live in cold regions like us. Southern states have their own version of comfort foods, too. They were originally meant to provide fuel for long, hard physical work days. Comfort foods give a release of feel good hormones when we eat them, that's why we have such a hard time leaving them alone. There is a downside: they pack on pounds! Not only do they pack on the pounds, they also increase blood sugar levels and blood pressure, as some give off a low level inflammation throughout the body. But this need not happen. They can taste good without adding mega calories.


Here are some substitutes you can use:

  1. Cream soups can still be creamy by using low cal almond milk (30-40 calorie), low fat yogurt, or skim milk. Most people prefer the first two subs for better consistency.
  2. Waffles and pancakes are great warm-me-up breakfasts. Use either buckwheat flour, or another whole grain flour, almond or coconut flour, quinoa or amaranth flour.  Use a non-stick pan with a spritz of polyunsaturated oil like safflower oil. Top with applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon, pureed banana, or a light drizzle of real maple syrup.
  3. Casseroles are big in the winter. Most of them are carbs, fats, and salt. Try some paleo versions of these foods or at least swap out 1/2 of the carbs for more veggies, cut amount of cheese in half and add either low fat cottage cheese pureed, or low fat yogurt, or use low fat, part skim versions. Use extra lean ground meats or chop cooked lean meats finely.
  4. Making rice or pasta dishes? Use whole grain products instead. For rice, try brown, black, or wild rice.You could also substitute rice with quinoa.  Hint: if you use black rice, drain and rinse because it looks weird if you don't!
  5. Cook lean meats instead of highly processed meats like ham or sausage. I sometimes use lean ground turkey (93/7) with rosemary, thyme, and sage in place of sausage. Skip complicated sauces or marinades, but use spices and seasonings instead. Use some water to keep the meat moist. Avoid frying!
  6. Instead of gravy, go au jus. This is a much thinner version. Use low-sodium broth or skim fat off meat juice before making it. You can do this easily by letting the meat juice sit to cool in fridge while allowing fat to solidify. Scoop it off fat off and use the juice.
  7. Use Stevia or Splenda blend in baked goods to cut sugar down or use honey, rice syrup, or agave nectar. The last three you don't need to use as much because how sweet they are.
  8. Reduce the amount of oil or margarine in a baked goods recipe and sub applesauce, mashed banana, or plain yogurt.

Enjoying comfort foods during the winter doesn't have to pack pounds on your middle. Have great Christmas get-togethers and winter meals! May God bless you!

For other tips and  great recipes, go to:










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