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carrots and ranch

Ranch Dip

It’s the little things in life that make the most difference, don’t you think? Like someone waving you into a long line of traffic or a stranger holding the door open for you or getting a real letter in the mail. While these things do not seem like much, they can definitely put a smile on my face during a pretty crappy day.

The same thing happens with nutrition. It’s the little things that can make a big difference. Are you frustrated because your weight loss has slowed down in the past few months or maybe you have hit a weight loss plateau? Look at the little things!

  • How much oil do you use when cooking?
  • How much cream do you use in your morning coffee?
  • Are your veggies saturated in margarine?
  • Is there more dressing than salad on your plate?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use any of these things, but the quantity matters. If this hits home with you, that’s okay…I have a trick up my sleeve to share.

Plain greek yogurt. It is such a versatile food. It can be use as a substitute for mayonnaise in many recipes, on taco salad instead of sour cream, and my favorite…as ranch dressing.

Here’s the skinny on how to use plain greek yogurt as ranch dressing.

This is a very complex process….so I hope you are ready.

carrots and ranch

This protein ranch dip is probably one of the easiest substitutions you can make to your meals to make it just a little healthier. Remember, it’s the little things!

Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble

Let’s talk about breakfast. I love it! But unfortunately I find myself eating eggs a lot and I’m getting a little tired of them. I was trying to think of high protein breakfast foods that weren’t the same old cooked eggs. Tofu is perfect in this situation! Now, I know tofu is thought of as boring and people think it’s just a lame (or gross) alternative to meat, but get excited because this recipe for tofu scramble is delicious.

The great thing about tofu is that it hardly has any flavor on it’s own which makes it super versatile. This tofu scramble has a ton of flavor and will keep you full for a good amount of time.

This recipe is considered vegan as well as vegetarian because it contains no animal products at all.

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Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

As I’m writing this blog, I am sitting underneath an umbrella with a cool breeze in the air and a nice glass of sun tea in my hand. Not a worry in sight.

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Aaannnddddd, now I’m back to reality. Thank you for going on that daydream with me. I’m craving a vacation in the salty, cool breezes of the beaches we visited last August. Alas, I will have to settle for the mist from my backyard sprinkler.

I gravitate toward the grill more and more often when the days get long. One of my favorites during this time of year is grilled asparagus.

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Serve grilled asparagus alongside grilled pork chops

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grilled asparagus

Grilled pork chop on a bed of grilled asparagus

I hope your daydreams will take you someplace where it is cool and all the meals are prepared for you. 

salad- side view

BLT Chopped Salad

Knowing that you should avoid certain food is not the same thing as not wanting a certain food (cue bread cravings.) The mind is a very strong thing. You can try all of the tricks- exercise, drink water, leave your house, etc, but every once in a while your brain just doesn’t quit. That’s how I felt last week (yes, dietitians have cravings and struggles too). I wanted a BLT sandwich. Really wanted one. So I did the most logical thing I could like of….I had a BLT…without the bread…plus some other yummy ingredients. Lo and behold, my craving was satisfied. If you are a BLT lover and a salad lover, then you will love this BLT Chopped Salad.

salad- side view

food

Cottage Cheese Slaw

Coleslaw is good for you, but only when made with certain ingredients. The added sugar and ton of mayo are not those “good for you” ingredients. But it is one of my favorite cook out dishes, so I set out to make a healthier version of this summer staple. Cottage cheese slaw is higher in protein and lower in fat than traditional recipes.

Cottage Cheese Slaw from WeightWise.

Cottage Cheese Slaw

Now, I’m not a huge fan of cottage cheese, but I have grown to tolerate it if I am really hungry. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the cottage cheese married so well with the cabbage. In my husbands words, this one is “blog worthy” (yes, I do make some “not blog worthy” dishes). I will definitely be making this version of coleslaw again.

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No heat necessary for this cottage cheese slaw, which makes it ideal for hot summer months. Cottage cheese slaw can be your new cook out staple alongside grilled pork chops or baked BBQ chicken.

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Jicama Black Bean Salad

photo-5_FotorThis is a Jicama (pronounced: “hic-a-ma”). It can be used as a dipper, as “french fries”, or in this case a salad. This salad is paired with black beans for a Jicama Black Bean Salad. Say hello to your new sweet, crunchy, and multi-talented friend.

plated salad 2

Jicama black bean salad is great for a cookout or potluck. Also, it is great for dinner along side grilled proteins (like pork chops or hamburger patties) or as a main dish for a hot summer day. *Remember: beans should be limited to twice per week due to the starch content.*

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Naked Egg Rolls

Dying for that Asian food fix? Trying to stay on track with your healthy eating? We have a fix for you! Often times it seems almost impossible to find something that is within your limits at Asian restaurants. Items are typically fried or are made with rice and noodles. What is a dinner without a fried egg roll, right? So to solve your problem and avoid the restaurant we have a solution for you. Well here it is, Naked Egg Rolls! Catchy Right? This is a simple side dish to pair with you favorite Asian inspired protein.

This dish will satisfy your cravings and not break the diet. By going naked and eliminating the ‘roll’ you are cutting carbs and fat. Follow these simple steps and within 30 minutes you’ll have your tasty Asian inspired side dish ready to eat!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Is it Brussels sprouts or brussel sprouts??? Apparently there is a wide discussion about which is correct. All of you type A personalities out there might be interested to know the results of my research. Brussels sprouts originated from Belgium in Northern Europe. The capital of Belgium is Brussels, hence the name of this variety of cabbage. So Brussels sprouts is it!

Now that we are done with our grammar/geography lesson, let’s get on with the cooking.

Roasted Brussels sprouts are a delicious side dish. The texture is more crunchy and firm than you get with boiled or steamed Brussels sprouts. If you like a sweeter taste, choose smaller (young) sprouts. They have a sweeter taste while the larger ones have a bittersweet flavor.

Roasted Brussels sprouts are very easy to throw together; however, they do take some time in the oven. Follow these steps to make a great tasting dish. 

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