Living a Healthy Lifestyle
“Being creative comes in all different shapes and sizes.
That’s why they call it creative!”
– The Uphill Skater –
Are you ready to discover some new ways to be creative with food without 25 new ingredients and hours in the kitchen? Sure, I watch the Food Network and get great ideas, but in general, I find the recipes a bit complicated and heavy on ingredients I usually have to buy special and then never use again. Outrageous designs are often off putting, as well. I could no more make one of those big, beautiful, highly-decorated cakes than fly to the moon. How then can we regular people, who are in such a rut that we simply go for Ritz crackers and sliced cheese, actually do something different?
I attended a class taught by a hospital nutritionist and learned more about food than I have in ages. Her point was not to shop for exotic ingredients, or try to step out of your food comfort zone, but rather to select foods you regularly buy and make them different and more interesting. She suggested doing things like combining ingredients differently, adding one new thing instead of trying a whole new food change, and using common sense about things you watch or read. She emphasized that we cannot change everything overnight, such as go totally Mediterranean in one fell swoop, so it is best to incorporate a little a time as to not become overwhelmed.
Here are a few examples of being creative with what you may already have: Rice cakes with peanut butter can level up to rice cakes with peanut butter, sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey without adding too many calories. Just cut down on the peanut butter a bit, and you will come out even. Make your own soup by simply putting together vegetables you enjoy, adding vegetable broth and puréeing a portion of the mixture. Go all out for salads! Go for ingredients like spinach, strawberries, walnuts and blue cheese, being sure to include a grain like farro or quinoa, lentils, garbanzos, or canned beans. This can be doubled for lunch the next day.
I love avocado, but I am tired of avocado toast. I’ve found a yummy new way to enjoy this good-for-you fruit by lightly breading slices of it with bread crumbs, and sautéing in butter until lightly browned. I make my own bread crumbs so while I’m making them, I make a bunch and use them to bread chicken or salmon. My favorite is Dave’s Killer Bread, which is flavorful and only 70 calories per slice. It noticeably changes up anything you may bread with the crumbs, especially if you add a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, or a shake of Parmesan cheese.
A few of my plain-Jane snacks are hummus and crackers, an apple, or a Halo orange. To add pizazz, I make a smoothie with my fruit, adding yogurt, ice cubes and protein powder. I use the 5-calorie cranberry juice for the liquid. For an added change-up, freeze your smoothie and eat it like ice cream. Try dipping apples, carrots or celery in your hummus and ditch the crackers. Use spinach leaves instead of lettuce on a sandwich or wrap. Gluten-free and low-carb tortillas are both delicious. You can wrap anything in a tortilla! Okay, not really anything. My grandson said: “Anything, Granny, even a frog?”
Finally, have you seen the peanut butter section expansion? There are now many kinds of nut butters in addition to peanut butter. Almond butter is popular, but have you tried walnut butter? It’s wonderful! Honey butter is great, too. Actually, honey is great with anything, and it is oh-so-Mediterranean. Drizzle it on yogurt, add it to a smoothie, use it in tea, mix it with cinnamon…even put it on figs with a pungent cheese.
So, we didn’t totally reinvent the wheel, but hopefully these creative suggestions inspired you to experiment with “new” tastes from your regular foods. Your body…and your taste buds… will thank you!
Visit www.skatinguphill.com blog for new recipes, daily thoughts and décor ideas. Also find reprints of Pink articles and shared comments. Blogging is fun and easy.
Judith Lawrenson is a former Hilton Head Island resident who has a huge heart and is loved by all who meet her. She has served and volunteered with numerous charitable organizations while living in the Lowcontry making an impact wherever she went. She and her husband recently moved to the wild hills of West Virginia to be closer to grandchildren. Judith is an avid sailor, a retired reading resource specialist, and a children's TV host whose local show originated from the Boys and girls Club. Judith is also a long time seeker of healthy, happy living and a lifestyle dedicated to service to others balanced with love of God and love of self. Check out her BLOG www.skatinguphill.com for fun info, recipes and nutrition ideas, current updates on nearly everything in the world, and lots of comments and opinions.