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Food For Thought Sundays: My Best Advice

**I’ve been playing around with the design of the blog. Please excuse its rough appearance as I continue to tinker with it this week. I’m still waffling about what I want to do with it and am trying some things out!**

 

Ahhh, December. ‘Tis the season for a bombardment of tips on how to “beat the holiday bulge.” Things like sneaking in exercise, cutting back on alcohol, taking smaller portions. They’re all the same.

Today I am going to share with you just one tip. It’s the one that has allowed me to indulge with everyone else at the table, all the while making healthy choices and saving room for dessert.

When in doubt, add vegetables.

The holidays for me aren’t just about office parties and cookie trays. They’re about eating meal after meal prepared by people other than myself. Rich, hearty foods to match the cold weather outside.

This isn’t just something I employ over the holidays. It’s something I do every single day, allowing me to eat some of my favourite high calorie meals but without all the extra calories.

Let’s take a look at the exhibits.

Buffalo style meatballs. Instead of gorging on a plate full dipped in blue cheese sauce, I ate them on a pile of greens drizzled with a watered down cream cheese dressing.

Falafel and lentil salad. A deceptively healthy sounding meal, but often loaded in oils due to deep frying and dressing. Throw a smaller portion on some greens and I’ve got a full belly!

Regular homestyle chili can add up with the beef and beans. Usually there aren’t many vegetables in there to break it up. Hot chili tastes amazing on top of greens with a few tortilla chips.

In that same vein, taco dip tastes fab on top of salads as well. Instead of filling up on caloric chips and dip, throw it on a mass of greens and your belly will feel just as satisfied.

Not into throwing hot foods on cold veggies? Make sure you’ve got some greens on hand to completely overtake your plate. People won’t pester you about skimping on servings, and your eyes will still think your tummy is getting a full plate’s worth.

I don’t just do warm salads, I love throwing high calorie food on roasted and steamed veggies as well!

Such as adding a little spaghetti squash to regular spaghetti noodles.

Or eating meatballs with a bowl of frozen veggies.

 

This isn’t another “how to beat the holiday bulge” post. It’s a tactic I use every day. But especially when I’m eating somewhere where main dishes are prepared for me. My family is now used to my ginormous salads, or the rate at which I can blow through a bag of frozen broccoli. I often show up places with salads, chopped veggies or fruit trays. Or even carry an apple in my purse! I’ll eat the hamburger and the bun being served, but then load up with carrot sticks on the side.

In some ways, learning to plump things up with veggies has kept me sane. I can still eat my mom’s famous taco dip with the family without skipping a beat in terms of healthy eating. Thankfully, my belly also loves the fibrous nature of most veggies.

Most importantly, lightening up dinner with veggies not only saves your waistline, but also saves room for dessert ;)

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