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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!

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

I explore new foods and create recipes year round. Buffalo Chicken Dip is one of my new favorites. I am more creative with recipes during sports seasons…maybe because we have friends over more often and I want to try new things? Whatever the reason, I’m excited to share this new favorite with you!

I made this Buffalo Chicken Dip for a gathering this Sunday and it was a hit! The high protein, low carb nature of this recipe makes it great for post bariatric surgery or any weight loss plan.

I ate it with celery, but my husband and his carb loving friends opted for pita chips. It is versatile, flavorful, and easy— everything you need for a last minute party.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip with celery

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. 

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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 Fries

If you are anything like Mr. A, it is hard for you to eat a hamburger without the fries. So I set out to find a way to make delicious, crispy, pub type fries….without the spud. Ho-hum.

A few trial and errors later, I was still not satisfied with my “fries”. Then I read about using jicama (pronounced hic-a-ma) for a french fry. Trigger the lightbulb- Jicama Fries. So simple. So yum. Your family might even give you a round of applause.

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plated salad 2

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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Roasted Eggplant

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Roasted Eggplant

Taste fatigue occurs when you eat the same thing time and again. Cooking the same recipes and gravitating to familiar foods in the store causes this rut to happen. The more familiar the food, the better in some cases. It is hard to get outside of your comfort zone in the store. How is one supposed to know the look, feel, and smell of a good vegetable to choose? So instead of branching out, we stick to what we know.

When choices are limited for an extended period, those choices become less desirable. The less desirable the foods, the more fatigued you feel when eating them. It is a viscous cycle. So today, tomorrow, this weekend, whenever….I want you to try something new. You can start with Roasted Eggplant. Roasted eggplant is a wonderful way to avoid taste fatigue and change up your veggies!  

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Eating Well Made (Super) Easy

I have friends who love to cook. On weekends, they happily spend all day in the kitchen creating masterpieces. On weeknights, they somehow muster the energy to whip up amazing dinners for their families. They’re always on the lookout for a great new recipe, an exotic ingredient, or a fancy kitchen gadget. They read cookbooks for fun.

I am not like them.

I’m going to be honest with you: I’m no rock star in the kitchen. I like meals that are fast, simple, and convenient. I avoid fancy recipes, long ingredient lists, and dishes that involve actual cooking. I’ve been known to botch embarrassingly simple kitchen tasks.

You might think that in order to eat well, you need to put a lot of time, effort, and skill into food preparation. But eating well can be made easy. If you’re like me, don’t despair! There’s a lot you can do with a few simple ingredients in a short amount of time—and it doesn’t have to be flavorless or boring, either.

Eating Well Made (Super) Easy

Here are three recipes that are tasty, quick, and easy to prepare. They’re perfect for the kitchen-challenged, or for anyone who just needs a fast weeknight dinner idea.

  1. Cucumber Tuna Bites can be assembled in five minutes for lunch or dinner. They offer a perfect combo of protein and non-starchy veggie, not to mention fabulous flavor.IMG_0832
  2. Our Easy Tzatziki Sauce is another no-cook, five-minute recipe. For an easy weeknight dinner, you can pour it over steam-in-the-bag veggies and your choice of lean protein. You can also use it as a dip for raw veggies.IMG_0856
  3. Cauliflower Hummus requires a little more time and effort, but it’s worth it. In 30 minutes, you’ll have a delicious, creamy dip that’s less starchy and lower in fat than regular hummus.IMG_0849

And the best part? Not even I could screw these recipes up.

~Lizzie Hubbard, Dietetic Intern

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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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