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Food & Fitness: Holiday “Diet” Tips December 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.

I hate the word DIET.  It starts with the word DIE and that’s exactly how many feel when DIE-ting . . . as if we’re DIE-ing.

But He Who Must Be Fed is 6 feet tall and needs manly meals.  I am just over 5 feet tall and need NOT to feel deprived.

I don’t want to watch He Who Must Be Fed eating a dinner on a turkey platter while I graze on a small salad plate.

Trying to sustain myself with TINY portions would make me angry with H W M B F  for being able to eat anything that suits his fancy without gaining weight.

What works for me is to take a reasonable portion of whatever H W M B F is having ~ be it macaroni and cheese, lasagna, pizza, or any other calorie dense main course ~ and fill the rest of my plate with low calorie, high fiber foods that fill me up without filling me out.

So, I tend to have one slice of pizza, while filling the rest of my plate with cut up fruit and/or crudités (a more appetizing way of saying “raw veggies”).

If I had to fix raw veggies or fruit when in the throes of hunger, I would just reach for an extra slice of pizza.  So, I try to fill the fridge with produce that is ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Instead of washing and cutting up a rib or two of celery for a single meal, I prepare several ribs at a time, and keep them in containers stacked in the fridge along with carrot sticks, sliced red peppers, and cucumber.

Some fruits are easy to prepare on a moment’s notice ~ it’s easy enough to wash and slice an apple, or to peel a banana, to fill up one’s plate.  But other fruit is easier to incorporate into your meals if you fix it in large batches.

I buy whole watermelon, and cut up about half of it at a time, storing the cubed fruit in large, see-through containers in the fridge.

Same thing with whole cantaloupe or honeydew melon.

Or I make a fruit salad by combining a couple of apples, a couple of oranges, and some grapes with a can of pineapple (packed in its own juice).  The pineapple juice keeps the apples from turning brown and keeps all the fruit tasting fresh.

Because the fruit and raw veggies are already washed, and ready to serve, it is easy to put a low calorie, high fiber meal together for me, while H W M B F  indulges himself on pizza.

Other easy substitutions:

* Instead of salad, saturated with high calorie dressing, fill your plate with steamed broccoli sprinkled with a bit of garlic salt, or green beans seasoned with salt and pepper.

When eaten alongside of creamy macaroni and cheese, or cheesy lasagna, plain veggies taste wonderful and filling.

* Eat whole grain pasta (check the fiber content on the box), brown rice, and whole wheat bread, instead of plain white rice, white bread, or low fiber pasta.  The fiber fills you up (and empties you out) with greater efficiency than grains that have been stripped of their nutrients and fiber.

Make meatless meals:

* Instead of lasagna with meat sauce, make veggie lasagne with broccoli, grated carrot, spinach, or zucchini.

* Instead of papering a pizza with piles of pepperoni, cover it with strips of red, green, and yellow peppers.

* Make a delicious vegetarian chili with black, pinto, or kidney beans.

* Purée garbanzo beans into Hummus, for a low calorie, high fiber dip.

The most dangerous time of my dining day arrives AFTER dinner.

If I am typing in my office, talking on the phone, writing a letter, or reading a book, I avoid consuming empty calories in the evening.

In contrast, if I’m watching a  movie with H W M B F, it’s  easy to mindlessly munch on chips, chocolate, nuts, and ice cream . . . and double my caloric intake for the day.

My solution?

I don’t have one.  Sorry.

Mmm . . . chocolate.  


Actually, here’s a tip that might work:  M~I~N~T!

A minty taste in your mouth will make most junk food taste terrible:  Brush your teeth, chew mint gum, or suck on a peppermint candy.

Mmm . . . mint chocolate.

Related posts:  Holiday Parties * Top 10 Ways to Keep the Weight OFF * A Month of Meatless Meals * Lose Weight by Satisfying your True Hunger


1. Cindy - December 8, 2010

Oh I am soooooooo hungry!

nrhatch - December 8, 2010

How ’bout a buttery, flaky croissant . . . fresh out of the oven? With some orange marmalade on the side?

2. souldipper - December 8, 2010

Okay, my halo that grew as I read your blog, just flopped sideways after your croissant gig, Nancy, and I’m off to make myself some lunch. *She overrides all knowledge of an Alkaline Lifestyle and grabs the last large piece of banana loaf with dark chocolate chips and slathers fresh butter on it.*

souldipper - December 8, 2010

P.S. – Love the photo of you two. After your description of height differences, you must be sitting well forward in the photo!

nrhatch - December 8, 2010

I love this photo of us because he’s not towering over me. 😉

I’m sitting on the edge of the raft, and he’s bottomed out in the middle of it.

nrhatch - December 8, 2010

That sounds delightful! Banana bread with chocolate chips. Yum.

3. kateshrewsday - December 8, 2010

For someone who must vie with middle class middle aged mums in swimmies at the pool in just three weeks the post is fabulous: but the comments…..sheesh…..

nrhatch - December 8, 2010

I really do eat like in the post MOST of the time . . . but an occasional splurge (or sweet treat) “does a body good” ~ or, if not a body, the psyche. 😉

4. 4minutewriter - December 9, 2010

I find substituting vegetables with chocolate creates a more satisfying meal.

nrhatch - December 9, 2010

Actually, as much as I love chocolate, I get sick of it easily. I enjoy small portions to savor rather than whole boxes to consume.

In contrast, after eating a huge salad or plate of veggies, I feel contented, satisfied, and not sick to my stomach. 😉

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