so while you may think that my diet (i hate that word) is bland and boring, it’s quite the contrary. i’ve always been able to take recipes and tweak them to make them healthier – my guests love it when i cook because they know they’re in for a healthy meal that tastes like normal food! however, this little competition has been a challenge to my culinary creativity. but that’s been the fun part: taking the foods i can eat and not only making them taste good, but learning to satisfy my cravings – and for me it’s always a sweet craving. enter my 3 best friends: spray butter + cinnamon + splenda.
these three little happy ingredients have the ability to transform any boring food into something yummy – so i’ll share with you some of my favorite snacks using these three condiments….trust me they are all yummy:
cinnamoney cottage cheese: mix 1 teaspoon splenda and 1 teaspoon cinnamon into 1/2 cup cottage cheese this seriously takes like rice pudding and has only has 90 calories and will crave even the toughest sweet craving! this is good when i need something after dinner and is perfect before bed because it’s pure protein and low in calories.
super sweet greek yogurt: mix 2 teaspoons splenda into a 8oz container of greek yogurt (make sure it’s the non-fat, plain) and then serve with 1/4 cup blueberries. the splenda takes it from tart to sweet and for only 115 calories, it’s a filling little snack! another favorite pre-bedtime snack…high in protein and curbs my need for sweets after dinner.
sweet potato heaven: trust me on this one and try it…it’s so good! either boil or microwave 1 medium sweet potato (appox. 4 oz) until it’s soft in the middle – or buy the ones wrapped in plastic at the store that you just pop in the microwave. place in a bowl and mash and cut the skin (leave it on though – it’s good for you!) until it looks like a mashed potato. spritz with 10 sprays ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ spray, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon splenda, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or try pumpkin pie spice!). mix together and enjoy…you can’t beat a dessert that packs in a serving of vegetables, will leave you full, and has only 123 calories! i love this pre-workout to give me some carbs for energy!
french toast egg white scramble: ok so i got this from a friend at the gym and i must say that this sounded super wierd…but it’s amazing. note: i could write a whole blog on how amazing egg whites are, but i’ll leave that for another time. okay, so scramble 6 egg whites (only 17 calories each!), then place in a bowl and spritz with 10 sprays ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ spray, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon splenda and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. i kid you not this tastes like french toast…and the whole bowl (which is pretty big) is a whopping 108 calories. perfect for when you want to raid the fridge and need to fill your tummy!
cinnamon rice crunchers: at the grocery store look for ‘brown rice’ rice cakes (unsalted) and make some of these and keep them in your car for emergency snacks! take one of the rice cakes and spritz with butter spray (only 10!), sprinkle with cinnamon and splenda and you’ve got a little yummy snack of whole grains that has only 85 calories. i take these in the car with me and have one of these post-workout with my protein shake…great way to get some high-quality carbs in my body after a tough workout and it’s crunchy and sweet…love these!
i could probably go on and on but i’ll spare you! last note on these: remember to ENJOY ALL THINGS IN MODERATION! my curiosity got the best of me because some of these snacks are so good that i couldn’t believe that these amazing condiments could truly be calorie free. and how enlightening my findings were. check this out:
- splenda: in my opinion this is still the best ‘no-calorie’ sweetener…but after a little research, it’s not really ‘no calorie’…but it’s still the best alternative. each little yellow packet (or 2 teaspoons) of sweetness has 4 calories. click here for an article on splenda from one of my personal favorite sites, hungry-girl.com.
- cinnmon: you can’t really go wrong here…there’s only 6 calories per teaspoon and you’ll rarely use much more than that. what’s more – this little spice is a super-food that has been shown to reduce blood sugar, lower cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease – and not to mention it packs in calcium, fiber, and vitamins c, k, and manganese…all in one itty bitty teaspoon! whew! click here for a good article from women’s health with more on health benefits and recipes.
- spray butter: here’s the kicker…i love this stuff…the ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ should be called ‘i can’t believe it’s calorie-free’ because that’s how good it is…until i found out it’s not really calorie free. gotta love the little FDA guidelines that say as long as it’s <5 calories per serving then it can be termed ‘calorie-free’. and when one serving is ONE SPRAY (hello!!! who uses one spray??)…it’s easy to get under 5 calories. here’s the scoop: 12.5 sprays = 10 calories…25 sprays = 20 calories. you’d be surpised how trigger happy you can get so just beware. i’m glad i looked…i love to spray to my heart’s content!! again, another article from hungry girl on spray butter…have to give them credit for this great info! all in all though – much better alternative to slathering your food in butter…just use in moderation!
so there you have it…my little love affair with spray butter + cinnamon + splenda. hope something here inspires you to get creative with your food…there’s always a healthy way to tweak something and more often than not, it’s pretty easy! i’m off to make my dinner, relax, and conquer the ever-full bottle of water…stay tuned tomorrow for updates on fitlosophy – we’re rockin’ and rollin’!