Because there’s no way I’m totally giving up pasta or chocolate chip cookies…
Like many of us, I struggle with eating healthy and also trying to, you know, LIVE MY LIFE. I’ve done the “all or nothing” type diets before, some with success, but I think as I get older I just really have this whole “life is too short to deprive myself” kind of attitude, which could also be interpreted as “YOLO.” That said, there are a few things I simply can’t cut out 100% but, luckily for me (and you), I’ve found some healthy hacks for each of my cravings 🙂
Side note: I’m obsessed with the Third Love organic cotton jogger set that I’m wearing in the above photo. My friend Jess was raving about it, so when the brand sent me a set I knew it was going to be my new go-to for lounging/doing work in my apartment.
Also, this is the first time I’ve dabbled in more of a wellness kind of post and I’d love your thoughts! Is this something you’d like to see more of? Let me know!
Here are my best hacks…
Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour: I discovered the power of almond flour awhile back when I was trying to make “healthy” chicken cutlets (one of my favorite meals ever). The truth? It’s almost just as good as traditional bread crumbs when it comes to coating chicken or putting it in chicken or turkey meatballs, I promise. I even just got my mom to use it over the holidays and she is OBSESSED now. Sure, almonds still have a good amount of calories, but if you use almond flour over bread crumbs, it’s at least gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. Almonds are also an excellent source of vitamin E, fiber and magnesium so you’re getting added benefits there.
From the brand:
Almond flour, also known as almond meal, is made from blanched (skinned) almonds, which are ground to a fine flour consistency that is ideal for baking. Substituting Almond meal/flour for up to 25 percent of the wheat flour in cakes, cookies, and breads boosts nutrition and imparts a rich, sweet, buttery flavor. Almond meal/flour is also an excellent ingredient for gluten free, grain free, paleo and low carb baking.
Try it out- I promise you will barely even notice a difference in taste.
Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta: Pasta is the one thing I have a hard time resisting (that and french fries!) so I take personal pride in the fact that I’ve tried pretty much every kind of healthy pasta substitute out there and, let me tell you, this one is TOPS. Chickpea pasta wasn’t really for me and, honestly, you can only have a tiny serving anyway because of the calories. Red lentil pasta (when it’s one ingredient only) is super good-for-you and tastes almost exactly like “real” pasta. Each serving of Tolerant Organic Red Lentil pasta delivers 21 g of protein and 13 g of dietary fiber…and the fiber is what actually keeps you full so you won’t go back for seconds and thirds. I actually asked my friend Jackie London, R.D. and Nutrition Director at Good Housekeeping, about Tolerant red lentil pasta and she said “This is amazing! I love these guys.” So, there you go. It’s dietician-approved AND delicious. Personally, I do 1 cup of this with 5-6 oz. of lean protein (think turkey meatballs, shrimp or grilled chicken) and some Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce…SO GOOD.
Skinny Pasta: Speaking of pasta, this stuff is another obsession (seriously I bought a 24-pack multi-case). For starters, it’s made from konjac root which is a whopping 9 calories per serving and oddly filling. The best part about these, aside from the low caloric intake, is the fact that they make it in a few shapes: noodles, couscous, spaghetti, lasagna, fettuccini and rice! Skinny Pasta is completely free of sugar, gluten, starch, wheat, lactose, soy, salt, cholesterol, fat, and preservatives and, like I said, it’s surprisingly filling – I eat the whole pack with some protein and sometimes veggies and am 100% satisfied (and I’m an eater).
According to the brand, when combined with one to two glasses of water, the konjac fibers found in each Skinny Pasta dish has the superb ability to absorb liquids. Once these fibers come into contact with water upon digestion, this helps to fill the stomach, creating a sense of satisfaction and aiding in weight loss. AND it does NOT have any kind of funky smell (apparently that’s a complaint of other root pasta alternatives).
This stuff is seriously life-changing and I really just love that it comes in so many shapes so your meals can be versatile.
P.S. Snacks Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Lastly, I’m not a huge dessert person but I DO love me some cookie dough. What drew me in to P.S. Snacks is the fact that they make their dough from chickpeas and there’s no egg (yep, it’s vegan) so you can eat the dough and not worry about getting sick. For me, personally, I also really need this to be in the portion-controlled cups or I will eat way more than one portion…who’s with me? They have a few flavors but this particular flavor is 200 calories for the whole cup (not bad at all) and you can feel good about the fact that it’s made from plant-based, nutrient-dense, good-for-you ingredients. Seriously, the ingredient list is below and I promise it will totally satisfy your cookie cravings…
What’s in it:
Organic Garbanzo Beans, Almonds, Organic Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter), Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Baking Powder, Pure Vanilla Extract, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt.
Again, this is the first time I’ve dabbled in more of a wellness kind of post and I’d love your thoughts! Is this something you’d like to see more of? Let me know!