Tag Archives: Health

Giveaway Winner and Random Sunday Musings

Hi Everyone! I hope all of you are enjoying the weekend – I definitely am! We were supposed to get horrible weather in the Bay Area this weekend – rain, freezing cold – even the potential of snow (which I have to admit would have been pretty cool). I’m not sure what happened – but it’s been nothing but sunny and gorgeous here (still chilly but nowhere near what the forecast was predicting!) And this sunny, springtime weather has put me in kind of a lazy, rambling mood. I’ve never done a post like this before – where there are multiple, unrelated foodie topics – so I figured I’d try it out today.

First off – I have to announce the winner from my Fearless Chocolate giveaway — Congratulations to Bobbie!!

Bobbie – your chocolates should be on their way soon. Thanks to all of you who entered! And just so you know – I’ll be launching my next awesome giveaway this Friday – so stay tuned 🙂

Now, on to my random musings for this Sunday. First – let’s talk about fast food oatmeal. It’s an interesting trend – but more and more fast food restaurants are adding oatmeal to their breakfast menus – the most recent addition coming from McDonald’s.


The most interesting thing about this newest oatmeal addition was the chatter and criticism over how unhealthy the oatmeal actually was. For those of you who haven’t seen Mark Bittman’s article: How to Make Oatmeal…Wrong – definitely check it out here. The sad thing is, he’s 100% right. Somehow, McDonald’s did manage to make oatmeal unhealthy, and I can’t begin to figure out why.

So let’s start with the basics – why is McDonald’s oatmeal unhealthy?

  1. Oatmeal really should be one ingredient: whole rolled oats (or steel cut oats). McDonald’s has SEVEN – and this is just in the base – not in the added ingredients! Oats is their #1 ingredient, but they also add weird things like: “food starch modified” — what IS that?? Other added ingredients include: “natural flavor,” “barley malt extract,” and “caramel color.” Honestly – I don’t know why you need to add color to oatmeal. That’s just bizarre.
  2. Oatmeal should have zero grams of sugar as a base: Of course, you can (and should) add natural sugars (like honey, or stevia, or agave) to oatmeal to sweeten it up, but as a base – it should have zero sugars. The “base” for McDonald’s has 14g sugar. And that’s BEFORE you add the sweetened dried fruit (which has another 15g sugar). Just fyi – if you add the dried fruit to your already sweetened McDonald’s oatmeal – you’ll end up with as much sugar as in a whole Snickers bar. Isn’t that crazy?
  3. Instead of adding creme to oatmeal, milk is a better option: Unfortunately, the McDonald’s oatmeal only gives you the option of adding creme – not milk. The creme has 20 calories – 15 of which come from fat.

So yes, all of this really sucks, and it’s disappointing that McDonald’s didn’t try harder to make a healthier oatmeal like other fast food restaurants (more details on that below). But – to give a balanced review – I have to call out a few things about McDonald’s oatmeal that are somewhat redeeming:

  1. The oatmeal “base” is made with rolled oats – which is still good for you (even with the added crap). Also – a decent size serving has only 190 calories, 2.5g fat, 3g fiber and 4g protein. That’s not bad compared to other fast food breakfast options out there. And I’ve heard you can order it without the brown sugar – which will cut down on the total sugar in the dish and will save you some calories.
  2. One of the toppings is diced fresh apples. This is a GREAT option to both sweeten the oatmeal and add an extra 1g fiber without any calories. If you just got the apples + oatmeal – your entire breakfast would be 200 calories, 4g fiber, and 4g protein. (It is weird to me that the apples have “calcium ascorbate” added – doesn’t seem necessary but at least they’re still fresh apples.) One thing is for certain – stay away from the “cranberry raisin blend” and “creme” toppings – those two will add a total of 90 calories – most of which comes from sugar and fat – totally unnecessary for your breakfast.

What really gets me about all this: if you are just a normal consumer who assumes oatmeal and the toppings that come with it are healthy – you could unknowingly walk into a breakfast that causes you a sugar high & crash every day: the 30g of sugar in the fully loaded oatmeal guarantees it. And while the total caloric count (oatmeal + all toppings) isn’t outrageous (it’s only 290 calories total) – the nutritional bang for your buck isn’t great. I just feel like unless you do research and know your nutritional labels inside & out – a company like McDonald’s could totally dupe customers by introducing a “pseudo healthy” product. Which is why I felt the need to post about it today. I guess you have to give them credit for “trying,” – but even in their efforts to try they kind of get it wrong.

The good news is: there are FOUR other great fast food oatmeal options out there that actually are healthy and don’t have random ingredients added.

First up – Starbucks

This has to be one of my favorite fast food oatmeals because: 1) Their “base” has 0g sugar, 140 calories and 4g fiber. It’s instant oatmeal – which isn’t ideal, but better than oatmeal with tons of sugar added. 2) All of their toppings come in 50-100 calories packs – and you can add as much as you like: I suggest adding the nuts for extra fiber/protein, and skipping most of the dried fruit which has 20g sugar (ridiculous).

Our next fast food oatmeal star – Jamba Juice

This oatmeal option is probably the best one – because it’s made with steel cut oats! And the “Plain Oatmeal with Brown Sugar” has only 4 ingredients: Steel cut oats, soymilk, and brown sugar crumble (which you can ask for on the side, or eliminated altogether). The steel cut oats base only has 220 calories, 5g fiber and 8g protein. The brown sugar crumble has 7g sugar and 40 calories (which isn’t too bad).

Two other good options: AuBonPain and Cosi’s

ABP’s small (8oz) oatmeal has 170 calories, 1g sugar, 4g fiber, and 6g protein – and only 2 ingredients: Water and Rolled Oats.

Cosi has steel cut oats as well! And their serving has 220 calories, 4g fiber, 5g protein and 3g sugar. They have a crazy list of toppings – some of which are super unhealthy (like the dried fruit or whipped cream) – but all of them come on the side. And they have two great healthy toppings – pistachios and strawberries.

So while the McDonald’s version is deceptively unhealthy, there are plenty of good fast food oatmeal options out there – which is good news! It is sad though that consumers have to do so much digging to get to the bottom of what’s actually in the food we buy.

Which brings me to my next topic: I was recently contacted by a site called Food Facts – whose mission it is to eliminate confusion about what’s actually IN the foods we eat, and create a centralized resource for all the food information you could want! Check out their site here, and a video overview here.

I really applaud the work they’re doing and was happy to partner with them on a few things (since our sites have very similar missions). I’d definitely recommend touring their site for any food related questions you have.

And as I move on to my last topic, I’m acutely aware that it’s midnight and I have to wake up early for work tomorrow. So, I feel like a very appropriate last topic is my issue with getting enough sleep every night. Do any of you feel like you don’t sleep enough during the work week? I’m the type of person that actually needs 8 hours of sleep every night. When I’m well rested, I will wake up every morning after 8 hours of sleep like clockwork. The only trouble is, during the week I get about 6-7 hours (usually closer to 7). While that’s not bad – I feel like that’s still not enough sleep for me, because I always feel like I’m making up for lost sleep on the weekends.

So as I sign off tonight – I’ll leave you with two questions: 1) How much sleep do you usually get every night? and 2) Do you have any tips for me to make my sleep schedule more regular?

And with that, I think it’s my cue to head to bed. Happy (early) Monday everyone!

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Join me tomorrow for HealthWeek on Wetawa.com!!

Hi Everyone!! I have some very exciting news to share – I’m being featured on wetawa.com this week to answer all of your health and food related questions! I’ll be doing a live chat on Wetawa’s Facebook page tomorrow so please be sure to visit and ask me any questions you have! Wetawa has been great to partner with – check out our joint promo below…

Pretty cool huh? 🙂 Also – have you seen The Picky Eater’s Facebook page?? Be sure to check it out and “like” the page! It’s a great way to stay up to date on the latest news in health and on my blog 🙂 I look forward to chatting with all of you on Facebook tomorrow – can’t wait for our first live chat with Wetawa!

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Indian Inspired Dinner: Cauliflower & Sweet Potato “Sabji” with Lentil Stew!

Last night, I was really in the mood to COOK. Normally, I’m more of a 30 minute meal kind of girl (not to be channeling Rachael Ray) – but I really like to be efficient in the kitchen and have a one pot meal ready to eat soon after I’ve started cooking. But with the weather changing, and the days becoming a bit shorter, I just felt like taking some time to make a warming, spicy meal for our Sunday night dinner. I came across two recipes – one from VegetarianTimes.com and one from Cookingchannel.com, and thought they would go great together. Here are the links: Cauliflower & Sweet Potato “Sabji” and Lentil Pilaf Stew. Both of them turned out super flavorful and ended up being a really balanced meal (sweet potatoes have tons of antioxidants and fiber, and the lentils/rice combination made a complete protein!) My modifications to the recipes are below, enjoy!

Cauliflower & Sweet Potato “Sabji”

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (Note: I just used 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil – honestly you don’t need 2 Tbsp for this recipe! Omitting 1 Tbsp saves 120 calories 🙂 )
  • 1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (Note: This adds great flavor, but this is a LOT of coriander seeds – I think it was a bit much for me and my husband. Next time I’ll probably use half the amount)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets

Directions

  1. Place the oil in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, and salt and toast for 15 seconds and then add the tomatoes and sweet potatoes, and cook until they are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower and stir well to combine. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and cook until the cauliflower is crisp- tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Lentil Pilaf Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and sorted (Note: I used the already cooked/steamed brown lentils from Trader Joe’s – cut down on the cooking time and still tasted great!)
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil (Again, I only used 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups) (I used red onion)
  • 2 large carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup basmati rice (I actually used 1/4 cup of brown rice. The reason was – I wanted to make this more like a stew or “dal” so I wanted some of the liquid to remain in the pot instead of getting absorbed by the rice)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • cilantro for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. [If you are using dry lentils, follow this step. Otherwise start at step 2]. Bring lentils and 4 cups water to a boil in large pot or Dutch oven. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until lentils are firm-tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking water (only reserve the water if you are planning on making a pilaf instead of the stew), and transfer lentils to bowl.
  2. Wipe out pot; heat oil over medium high. Sauté onion in oil 4 minutes, or until just golden.
  3. Add carrots and rice, and cook 3 minutes, or until rice is toasted and fragrant, stirring constantly.
  4. Add garlic, ginger and garam masala, and cook 1 minute more.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, broth, reserved lentil cooking water (omit this ingredient if you are making the stew) and lentils, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper (mine didn’t need any additional salt or pepper). Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.
  7. [This step only applies if you’re making a pilaf] Fluff with fork , then spoon pilaf into shallow bowls, and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve hot.

Pictures!


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Rajma (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Chili)!

I found this recipe for “Rajma” on FoodNetwork.com a while back, and decided to try it out this past weekend. For those of you new to Indian food, Rajma is basically a North Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in a thick curry with lots of Indian whole spices – it’s usually served with rice or naan. When made without tons of oil/butter/cream, Rajma is actually a super healthy one pot meal – think of it as vegetarian chili with lots of yummy Indian spices! This recipe is especially healthy because in addition to the kidney beans (which have tons of fiber, protein and are low in calories), there are tons of veggies to round out the meal as well. The recipe with my notes are below – it only took about an hour to make and that’s including cutting all the veggies, heating the naan and waiting for the curry to simmer and cook through!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Note – I only used 1 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and it was enough. Save the extra 120 calories and only use 1 Tbsp!)
  • 1 cup minced onions (I used a red onion, and probably used more than a cup – I just used 1 small red onion and cut the whole thing)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I actually used 4 cloves for more taste/flavor)
  • 4 firm, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (Roma tomatoes work great here. Note: Make sure you use all the seeds and pulp from inside the tomato, it makes a great base for the curry!)
  • teaspoons minced gingerroot, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I ended up using closer to 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional) (I would highly recommend adding this in – gives the curry a nice kick without being too spicy!)
  • 2 cups drained kidney beans (19-ounce can)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, add the oil, onions and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, gingerroot, cumin seeds, Garam Masala, lemon pepper, and dried red pepper flakes, if desired, and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more. (Note – I ended up cooking it for 10 min) Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro (and then I let it heat through for 1-2 min)

Pictures!


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Perfect Sunday Brunch: French Toast Casserole, Potato Hash & Strawberry Smoothies!

This weekend, I decided to surprise my husband by making brunch from scratch for him. I had never actually cooked brunch before in my life, so I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. But I found a couple great recipes from HungryGirl and EatingWell.com that looked really yummy, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m happy to report that the brunch was a total success!! All of the dishes turned out AMAZINGLY well – my husband LOVED them. And the french toast was a huge hit (thank you HungryGirl!) – my husband said he’s never liked french toast made at home, but he loved this dish. And the smoothies – which was a recipe that I made up – tasted exactly like the In-N-Out Strawberry Shakes, but my recipe was much healthier 🙂 All in all, it was a really fun cooking experience! The recipes (with my notes/modifications) and pictures are below, hope you enjoy them!

The Menu:

1) Fuji Apple French Toast Casserole

2) Potato & Onion Hash Browns

3) Strawberry Smoothies

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Fuji Apple French Toast Casserole

Notes: This is an amazing recipe for a super low calorie, fiber filled, and really flavorful french toast. Most recipes like this one would run you 500+ calories for 1-2 slices of french toast, but this recipe gives you a HUGE portion (4 inch by 4 inch casserole square) for only 200 calories! The only considerations here are – a lot of the ingredients in this recipe are somewhat processed (e.g. you’re not using real butter, sugar, syrup, etc.) So if that weirds you out a little, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe. I usually try to stick to whole foods without 30 ingredients per item, but once in a while I’m ok with trying a recipe that calls for more processed ingredients if it saves on calories and still has some good nutritional value (fiber, protein, etc.). Just my two cents before I give you the recipe 🙂

Ingredients

  • 8 slices light bread (40 – 45 calories each with around 2g fiber per slice), cut into cubes. I used Sara Lee 45 Calories Delightful 100% Whole Wheat bread with honey (link here)
  • 4 oz. fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 medium apple (preferably Fuji), peeled and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups light vanilla soymilk
  • 1 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown), melted
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda), or more to taste. 1 packet made the french toast sweet enough for us.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Place bread cubes evenly along the bottom of the dish.
  3. Sprinkle diced apple evenly over the bread.
  4. In a medium-large bowl, combine all other ingredients (cream cheese, soymilk, egg substitute, syrup, butter, cinnamon, and sweetener). If you like your French toast really sweet, add an extra packet of sweetener. Using a handheld electric mixer set to medium speed, mix until lump-free and smooth. Pour mixture over the bread and apple.
  5. Make sure bread is soaked in the liquid mixture. If needed, toss lightly to coat.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until egg mixture is pretty firm and cooked through. Note – mine took about 50 min. (Be sure not to overcook, as bread may burn.) Let cool slightly and cut into quarters. If you like, serve with additional syrup for dipping. Dig in!

Nutritional Info

Makes 4 servings – One serving = One 4inch by 4inch square

Calories: ~200

Fat: 4.25g

Fiber: 6g

Protein: 16.5g

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Potato and Onion Hash Browns

Note: I modified most of this recipe, so my notes are below in purple text. This recipe was also a HUGE hit with my husband. He said he’d actually want this at a restaurant (and he always thinks hash browns at restaurants are the best)!

Ingredients

  • 3 medium russet potatoes, (1 pound total), peeled and cut into quarters (Note: I used 1 lb of baby red potatoes and left the skins on for added fiber)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (I used a red onion because I like the flavor and color)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch paprika (I omitted this)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I actually used 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary because I love the flavors of rosemary with potatoes)

Directions

  1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold, lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and boil until potatoes are just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. (You should have 2 cups of cubed potatoes.)
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until they are limp and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue to sauté until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. (Lower heat slightly if pan becomes too hot.) Season with salt, pepper and paprika (if you use paprika). Stir in parsley or rosemary and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (for 1 serving)

Makes 4 servings

Calories: ~120

Fat: 2g

Protein: 3g

Fiber: 2g

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Strawberry Smoothies

Notes: This recipe is SUPER easy. Only 4 ingredients, and you can make it in like 2 minutes. A great breakfast on its own, or as an accompaniment to any brunch!

Ingredients

  • 8 Frozen whole strawberries (Trader Joe’s has great organic frozen strawberries)
  • 3 oz low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s organic vanilla yogurt – 140 calories for 6 oz)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup 1% milk, or soy milk, or Unsweetened almond breeze
  • 1-2 packets Splenda sweetner

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until combined, creamy and smooth. You can also use a hand blender for this – it’s a lot easier for cleanup (that’s what I used and it turned out great)

Overall, it was a super satisfying, really healthy brunch – definitely felt like we were in a restaurant. Below are the final products all combined – can’t wait to make it again!


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New Product Find: Food Should Taste Good Chips!

Recently, I was contacted by the wonderful team at Food Should Taste Good – asking if I’d try their chips and write up a review. After checking out their website and reading about their company – I was intrigued, and agreed to try a sampling of 5 flavors (they have 11 total): Cheddar, Blue Corn, Sweet Potato, Chocolate, and Multi Grain. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect (especially from the Chocolate flavored chip!), but I have to say – after me and my husband tried the chips, we were both very impressed. The chips really live up to the company’s motto: they all taste really GOOD 🙂 And the best part about them – they are super healthy! I’m always on the lookout for healthy product finds, and these chips are probably the healthiest chips I’ve ever come across!

Here are the stats:

Serving size: 9-12 HUGE chips. Seriously – each chip is like a large cracker – even if you broke them all in half, youd end up with good sized chips (so you could even say that you get 18-24 half sized chips in one serving!)

Calories: 140 per serving

Fiber: 3-4g!

Protein: 2-3g

The other great thing about these chips is you can pronounce ALL the ingredients. Each ingredient list is pretty short too – and they use great power-foods like quinoa, flax seeds, stone ground corn, high oleic sunflower oil, etc. Their chips are gluten-free, kosher, lactose free, trans fat free, low in sodium, cholesterol free, not genetically modified, contain no MSG, and have no preservatives! You’d think – with a list like that, that the chips would end up tasting like cardboard. Trust me – that is NOT the case. They are super crispy, have a wonderful nutty flavor, and for the varieties like Chocolate or Sweet Potato – the chips contain a nice subtle essence of those ingredients – enough to taste, but not too much that it overpowers the flavor. Food Should Taste Good has also come up with a bunch of accompaniments to their flavor varieties on their website, from Artichoke Spinach Dip with Multigrain, to a Fresh Fruit Salsa with Sweet Potato.

Out of the flavors they sent me, I have to say the Cheddar and Multi Grain are my favorites – but I haven’t tried all of them so there could be even more amazing ones out there! I really commend this company for helping to promote healthy foods but in a very tasty, flavorful way. My husband (who is very particular about what chips he likes) – loved these as well – so these aren’t just for the health nuts out there (like me 🙂 ). If these are available at your local grocery store, I’d definitely recommend checking them out! Thanks Food Should Taste Good – great job on making an amazing product!

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Tips for Healthy Eating At Weddings or Dining Out in General

This weekend, we went to Baltimore for our friends’ wedding – and it was an amazing weekend – filled with dancing, good food, and hanging out with good friends. One of the great things about weddings is the awesome food (and cake!) – but that generally also ends up being a diet pitfall for many people who are trying to watch what they eat. A few of our friends suggested I do a post on eating at weddings – to provide some tips on how to enjoy wedding food without breaking your diet. So here goes – tips for eating at weddings – The Picky Eater way! 🙂

So, let me start by saying that weddings are a time to enjoy yourself, have fun and not worry too much about your diet. If you’re the type of person who can have a day of “cheating” with no problems getting back to eating healthy, then my suggestion would just be to have fun at the wedding and resume your diet when you get back home. Even if you ate 3000 calories at the wedding (double the amount normally recommended for a grown adult), you’re not going to gain like 5 lbs just from that one day, especially if you eat much lighter the next day. But – if you’re the type of person who needs to stay on your diet, because if you go “rogue” and pig out at a wedding, you’re never going to return to eating vegetables again, then you might want to try some of my suggestions 🙂

Generally, I think there are three strategies you can use when eating out / eating at weddings:

1) The Small Portions / Picky Eater strategy (recommended for people who don’t want to go off their diet, but still want to indulge and enjoy a bit – I generally eat this way when I go to weddings). You can also use this strategy when you go out to dinner and don’t want to break your diet!

The key here is “a little bit” – those three words will be your favorite words when navigating the wedding buffet or eating the plated dinner. Take a look at this post on Portion Sizes for a bit more guidance on what “a little bit” means. But generally, think of it as little tastes from the buffet, or 1/2 the portion you’re served in a plated dinner.

Other helpful guidelines:

  • Look for healthy items during cocktail hour. Oftentimes people will put out veggies and dip, fruit, nuts, cheese, etc. If you take a ton of the veggies and fruit, complement them with a tablespoon of dip, and 1-2 cubes of cheese, you’ll walk into the reception feeling pretty full and likely won’t feel the need to pig out at the buffet
  • Avoid things that are deep fried, breaded, regular soda (if you want soda – go for the diet version – it has zero calories!), or anything in a cream sauce (salads, pastas, this goes for soup too – creamy soups pack almost double the calories of broth-based soups!). Again – if you want any of these things, try the “little bit” strategy 🙂 1-2 bites of anything isn’t going to break your diet!
  • For salads, take off the croutons – they randomly have tons of calories and fat
  • If there is a bread basket, don’t eat more than 1 roll or 1 slice – each one is about 150 calories at the very least! Think of it this way – if you had a choice between a bread roll now or the cake at the end… which one would you choose? 🙂
  • Beer and wine generally have fewer calories than mixed drinks (which can run up to 500-1000 calories depending on what’s in them!)
  • For dessert, share. That way you won’t end up eating the entire piece of cake yourself. Most buffets will also have fruit options or lighter fare for dessert which you should definitely go for. You can also use the “little bit” strategy with the cake – take a few bites and savor them – if you don’t eat those few bites mindlessly, you might find that your sweet craving has been satisfied without downing the entire slice!

2) The Going Rogue / Detox strategy (recommended for people who can easily discipline themselves the day after the wedding to detox and get back to eating healthy).

This strategy is simple – eat what you want on the day of the wedding, but the day after the wedding – do a complete detox. This doesn’t mean starve yourself by any means. Detox guidelines (note – this is JUST for the day after you get back from the wedding – it’ll revitalize your system and make you feel lighter/healthier!):

  • Eat whole foods. Don’t eat anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce or don’t understand
  • Eat tons of fresh fruits and veggies – you can have as much of these as you like 🙂
  • Eat whole grains (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa are some of my favorites)
  • Drink lots of water (no sodas, sugary juices, etc)
  • No desserts – 1 small piece of dark chocolate (70% cacao is a good choice) is probably ok though 🙂
  • For protein, try to stay away from meat – focus on dairy (1% milk, fat free yogurt, low fat cheese), tofu, 1/4 cup of almonds or walnuts, etc.
  • Minimize your intake of oils, fats, etc. (so basically, no french fries)

3) The Complete Avoidance strategy (which I wouldn’t recommend because honestly it’s not that much fun, but if you’re the type of person who can’t even have a taste of a cupcake without wanting to eat 5 of them, this strategy will probably work best for you). There aren’t really guidelines here – except that you’d basically stay away from all of the unhealthy foods (all desserts, anything fried, anything made with cream, any entree where the oil is visible or pools out in the sauce, etc.) If you did use this strategy, you’d probably have to bring a few snacks from home in order to supplement your meals throughout the day like fresh fruits, nuts, Lara Bars, etc. otherwise you’d starve!

Phew! I think that’s it 🙂 Hopefully these tips are helpful in navigating the world of wedding food – but remember, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and have fun!!

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