Monday, October 10, 2016

A Pre-emptive Strike Against Fat Season

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness..." first lines of the poem To Autumn by John Keats.

Fat season should have been included, because the opening gun in this American season is scarfing up all of the Halloween candy we can find followed by The Biggest Dinner Of the Year (Thanksgiving) and then the sweet excesses of Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa and Festivus.

It is a sage person (reference to T-Day stuffing!  Get it?  Get it?) who can avoid gaining excess pounds to love in winter.  Thus, out of the kindness of my sympathetic heart, (gratuitous foo-fa-ra; I don't have a heart)  here are some tips I gleaned from Taste of Home, suggesting substitutions. 

INSTEAD OF                   TRY THIS
spaghetti                             spaghetti squash - I tried this once - and it was awful.
mashed potatoes                  mashed cauliflower
chips and dip                       fresh vegetables and dip - bonus points, use yogurt instead
                                            of sour cream
French fries                         carrot fries (?)  sweet potato fries are good, but never heard of carrots
lasagna noodles                   zucchini strips
croutons                               toasted nuts
cheese crackers                     Parmesan crisps ( piles of Parmesan cheese baked until they melt into a "cookie" dubious for saving calories

bread crumb coating              ground almonds
tortillas                                  Bibb lettuce    

These have worked for me in the past and it's nearly time to saddle up again ...
Halloween candy - either buy something that you don't like (candy corn) or substitute something "healthy" like an apple.  Win parents hearts and minds by offering their child a snack-sized zip-lock baggie of celery and carrot sticks.  Just buy one of those party platters and use it for individual portioning. 

Substitute hard candies for chocolate anything. 

Eat more protein.  I find that with a protein load, the sweet tooth disappears back into the gum.
Try a jalapeno string cheese with a handful of Snyder's Jalapeno Pretzel chunks. 

Dip into a bowl of your favorite olives.  Not exactly "protein" but definitely not chocolate.

I re-read this and decided that Taste of Home has some nerve with their talk of substitutions...many of their recipes' ingredients are:  heavy cream, cream cheese, Velveeta and Cream of Mushroom soup, none of which are in any way "slimming" or "healthful."  Apparently this is an example of the classic "Don't do what I do; do what I say."

Reflect on that for a minute while I break out the miniature candy bars I got for Halloween - care for one?  The Almond Joys are particularly good this season. 

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