Thursday, April 17, 2008

I actually do try to eat light sometimes: My top 10 light packaged foods

So, with all the corn muffins and lasagna and cupcakes you see on here, you're probably thinking that I'm a fat pig. Not so. However, when I was at the beach the other day I did happen to notice where all those corn muffin tops have been going.. straight to my muffin top! Alas, time to reel things in a bit. Luckily (kind of), I spent many of my teenage and college years obsessing about being thin, so I do have an arsenal of low-calorie, low-calorie, low-fat, low-point, low-glycemic index food knowledge to fall back on in times like these. It's just that usually, when I eat a low-fat fiber bar, I just don't blog about it.

So, I thought I would start a series of posts focused on "light" food. What do I mean by that? Well, for the most part food that is healthy, but some of it is just there to prevent you from eating that 1 lb chocolate bunny leftover from Easter. Whatever works, right? In this post I'll start with packaged foods from the grocery store (there are other yummies from the health food store I'll post about later), then move onto fast foods, then fresh food, etc. Ready?

Let's go! (in no particular order):

  1. Morningstar Farms veggie breakfast sausages and veggie burgers
    I especially love the breakfast "sausage" patties and the tomato basil burgers. One sausage, an egg, V-8 juice and vitamins is my fast power breakfast.

  2. Fiber 1 products
    Tons of fiber, awesome taste. I especially like the Honey Clusters cereal and the Oats and Chocolate and Oats a Peanut Butter bars. They taste like candy bars. The Caramel Clusters cereal tastes great too but is a little high in calories.

  3. Smart Balance Products
    They make the world's most perfect peanut butter... it's natural, tastes great, and has Flax Oil for Omega 3's! They also have a variety of very healthy "buttery" spreads.

  4. Plain 'Ol Fashioned Quaker Oats
    It's healthy, it fills you up, it's low cal, high fiber, low fat and you can pretty much do whatever you want with it.

  5. Trader Joe's Canned Salmon
    Can't seem to find a product link here.. but it's awesome. They some in salted and unsalted. You can make casseroles, put it on salads, even mix with mayo like you would with tuna (don't forget to drain the juices out for kitty).

  6. Frozen Chopped Spinach and Frozen Cooked Squash
    I always have a defrosted box of chopped spinach going in the fridge. I mostly throw it in omelets for breakfast or even in rice or pasta dishes. Instant healthiness with minimal effort. For the squash, I've been hiding this in anything with melted cheese: pizza, steak bombs, pasta, you name it. It lowers the total cals ('cause you use less cheese) and ups the nutrition factor.

  7. Whole-grain, low-carb or low-fat tortillas
    There are some really good brands out there with lots of fiber and protein. I get Flat Out Wraps or La Tortilla Factory. Make sandwhiches, snacks, breakfast burritos, etc.

  8. Hostess 100 Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes
    When I really need to have my cupcakes but don't want to eat 400 calories, I go for these. Delicious! Sometimes just one little 33-calorie sucker does the trick.

  9. Lean Pockets Soft-Baked Subs
    These are great for the kind of dinner when you're craving pizza or a sub, but want to stay on track at the same time. I've tried the pepperoni pizza and the steak and cheese and they were both very good. The trick is you have to BAKE them, don't microwave them. Serve them with a green salad and a nice vinaigrette dressing you can dip the crust in. The regular Lean Pockets just aren't very good, and the breakfast ones are just plain bad.

  10. Frozen Blueberries
    I've been defrosting them and throwing them in oatmeal or smoothies. Very healthy, low in cals, plus my personal favorite berry (besides mulberries, but those are very rare.)

That's it kids. PLEASE post your faves here too!