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 ;)

Posted on December 19, 2010, in Food For Thought Sundays and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Great post and so very true. It’s all about portion sizes when it comes to “unhealthy” foods and this is a great way to keep them in line without feeling like you are barely eating anything!

  2. Go veggies, go veggies!

    I like the new header, layout, and vibe! And the comment field text/font is bigger, and blacker, and it makes it easier for me to read :) diggin it!

  3. I love your new header.

    I really need to get more veggies in myself. I have been lacking at that department.

  4. This is great advice! You always feel so much better filling up with veggies vs all e bad stuff but you still get to enjoy some of it. Good post!

  5. This is totally my motto these days. I just signed up for Weight Watchers, and adding fruits and veggies to everything is great, so far. I added canned pumpkin to my chili and I swear you could not taste it but it added tons of volume (and nutrients!).

  6. I really love the new look! Its very fun and very you!

    I like to eat A LOT so I always bulk up meals with extra veggies. I love grated carrots and zucchini in meatloaf or in burger patties. And I use steamed broccoli and cauliflower all blended up with avocado for a veggie infused guacamole. People need to stop thinks the holidays are weight death sentence!

  7. I use exactly the same technique – I add lots of fruit and veggies to everything. I will definitely be trying the chilli on top of nachos and greens – that sounds wonderful!

  8. I need to use this tip. For some reason I have been so skimpy on veggies lately. Just haven’t been feeling the love for them.

    • Try experimenting with different veggies or cooking techniques! I find I go through phases where all I want are roasted brussels sprouts, or stir-fried cabbage. Although, I almost always want plain ole’ carrot sticks ;)

  9. Love, love, love this. I couldn’t have given better advice myself!!


  10. I am always sneaking in extra veggies where ever I can. It is truely an awesome (and healthy!) way to fill up.

  11. Great tip, and one that I definitely live by: focus on eating well rather than eating small! I actually just lived it out a few minutes ago: there are all kinds of Christmas treats on the table in the breakroom in my office so I went and picked up a veggie heavy salad for lunch. I must have been reading your mind. :)

  12. I love the idea of combining the spaghetti with the spaghetti squash! And I hear ya – if you add more veggies, you usually cut the calories of some piece of bread or something else that just tastes “OK” and then you can really enjoy what’s decadent :)

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