“The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you’re off it. ”
– Jackie Gleason, Actor
Spring has sprung and renewed many of our desires to trim down. Fear not, the Fat Guy’s Guide to Health has got your back.
The road to street level physical wellness is built on making sure we can still eat some of—or some version of—the things that we love; focusing on flavor, texture, volume and portion size. The wellness road is not paved in self-denial alone. That road, though traveled by many, is a bumpy dead end. This is true also of those diets which ask us to bid farewell to dairy, mostly because of its high fat and calorie content.
What about the incomparable flavor and texture of cheese, the creaminess of milk and the decadence of ice cream? Could life truly be considered well lived if it cut us off from these wonders? A well life is not about a diet, it’s about a lifestyle.
Here are four simple swaps to go from a “dieter” to a “well-liver” and save hundreds of calories per day but keep flavor and texture. Be aware, these are not high volume foods, but they can be totally rocked in satisfying portion sizes.
More Than Milk
“Don’t have a cow, man.”
– Bart Simpson,
The Simpsons (Of course.)
Milk-a-licious! – Yes, milk. Cereal is nothing without it. But at 150+ for whole milk and120 calories a cup for the 2% in most American fridges, many dieters are shy of it. Many more turn up their nose at the watery percentages which lurk below the 2% mark. But what about nut milk? No, we’re not nuts! Just ask companies like Silk, nuts, due to their natural proteins, are inherently creamy when processed, resulting in a super low calorie beverage that can still stand up to cereal. Unsweetened Almond Milk is only 30 calories a cup, and Cashew Milk—the preferred milk of the Fat Guy’s Guide to Health is only 25 calories per cup.
Butter Me Up! – Most dieters scowl and make the sign of the cross at poor 100 calorie per tablespoon yellow gold. Most doctors shake their heads at the fact that butter lovers put much more than one tablespoon on their toast, potato and whatever slows long enough to be buttered and swallowed. But thanks to the power of science, and companies like “I can’t Believe it’s not Butter” we have butter spray! It tastes like butter, it looks like fine melted butter on toast and it costs (breathe) NO CALORIES! Ok, almost, but really it’s zero to five calories on most labels, even if you over-indulge it’s nearly impossible to do more than 25 calories compared to an easy 200 or more.
So Cheesy! – Cheese lovers use a lustful tone of voice when we say “cheese.” But cheese, running from 120 and 150 calories a slice to, like a zillion calories for certain block cheeses, is hard to work into a healthy life. Cheese only requires a mindful choice to be rocked in line. Companies like Sargento turn that 120 calorie slice into a thin 40 calorie version. Laughing Cow gives us block cheese in cute little 60 calories chunks. Kraft makes bags of fat free Mozzarella and Cheddar which sprinkle and melt nearly the same as their hefty cousins, but at 45 calories per ½ cup compared to 110 per ½ or ¼ cup. Some may taste sharper than we’re used to, but that just means we get to taste-test for some faves.
We All Scream! – This is not an ad for light ice cream. Even the lightest of ice cream is loaded with Splenda and additives which can make some ill and yet still portioned at a tease-level. The Guide offer’s this alternative, and a brief little recipe:
Add 1 tablespoon of any sugar free pudding powder to 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup non-fat yogurt or 2% cottage cheese for over a cup of splendid, creamy frozen yogurt or ice cream-like frozen cottage cheese in about 30-45 minutes in the freezer. Don’t knock the frozen cream cheese; it’s crazily similar to ice cream! With chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch or even lemon or pistachio pudding, cocoa powder, possible coconut, vanilla, hazelnut, rum or almond extracts, and a rainbow of sugar free syrups, the flavors are nearly limitless. Bacon flavor, cardamom-rosewater, tiramisu and caramel apple have all been tried. Serious ice cream lovers can have over a cup of exotic handmade, custom frozen delight every night for around 100 calories!
Happy, healthy, flavorful living is out there for those not just looking for a diet but a lifestyle. It may take some taste-testing and adventurous effort but holy cow, it’s worth it!