Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Easy Ways to Cut Creeping Calories

Grilled Gardein fillets, loaded with spices over tons and tons of veggies in a home-made ranch dressing

So, over this incredibly terrible winter in Indy, I've discovered 2 things.

(1) I hate the cold. Like, HATE the cold.
(2) I've gotten fat and lazy.

During those harsh winter months, Andrew and I attempted to take the dogs hiking in several feet of snow, and we even tried running as we slid around the iced over streets of Indy. But we ran into a lot of issues. Mainly, that I complain a lot. Not to mention, poor Georgia Peaches would get so cold, we'd have to Sacagawea her in Andrew's backpack.

Georgia Peaches, in a back pack.

Early in May I decided to turn it all around, and began using this awesome *FREE* app called "Lose It!" to track my workouts and calories. And in the course of this past month, I've discovered a lot of calorie creeps that I didn't know about. I cook at home a lot, so my weight gain has me and me alone to blame. When I started logging my recipes in Lose It!, I discovered a lot of dumb things that made my food calorie-laden and unhealthy. So, here are some quick tips for the vegans who need to diet...

  1. Measuring your Oil and Earth Balance -  I used to NEVER measure my oil or butter. I would just pour and pour that spicket of olive oil until it looked good. And I thought, because I'm not eating much animal fat, I probably need all that oil-based fat. WRONG. By measuring my oil and butter that I put into sauces or sautéed my veggies in I realized that not only does the flavor of my food not diminish by using less oil/butter, but I am saving myself HUNDREDS of unnecessary calories. And while this may seem incredibly obvious, once you start measuring your ingredients rather than eyeballing what a tablespoon looks like, you'll realize you don't really know what a tablespoon of anything looks like.

  2. Breads and Other Starches - As a vegan, one of the few joys we still have in this world is starch. Lots and lots of bread, pasta, and rice. And it's easy to get into the habit of - toast for breakfast, rice filled veggie burrito for lunch,  23 servings of pasta for dinner. And before you know it, you've eaten like 2000 calories of various wheat and grain products. Not only is this not a balanced way to eat, but you probably aren't running a marathon tomorrow. Soooo.... you should probably cut that out. One of the ways I've rectified this is by actually MEASURING out a serving of pasta and then replacing the volume that I miss (because honestly, that one serving of pasta is tiny) with lots of veggies, like in my Cashew Creole Pasta with Too Many Veggies. Or I buy those little, flat sandwich buns that are like 1/4 of the calorie of a real bun.  Again, measuring is just key, and making sure that you aren't over-doing it. 

  3. gardein sandwich
    This is a flat bun, spicy gardein sandwich with spinach, a little melted Daiya mozzarella, and my "thousand island" sauce

  4. Vegenaise, my love - Vegan mayo is admittedly much healthier than it's predecessor (aka - "real mayo"). But at 90 calories per tablespoon, if you're not measuring and you like things really saucy like I do, you're loading up that flat bun chicken sammie with potentially hundreds of calories. A good way to cut the calories is to make a "thousand island" sauce. I mince up a few jalapeños, add 1 tablespoon ketchup with 1 tablespoon vegenaise, and what was once a sandwich filled to the brim with vegenaise, it now a sandwich covered in a delicate and much lighter sauce. 

  5. Spices are your friend - Not only do spices give flavor where you've lost it in diet foods, but they make your mouth hot. And what do you do when your mouth is hot? Drink water! And what better way to lose weight than to fill your tummy full of water?!
I hope these brief tips will serve you well. In the past month, I've lost a total of 7.6 pounds, while still making delicious food. If I can do it (and I'm lazy), you can too!

No comments:

Post a Comment