Monday, June 11, 2012

Five Faves to Keep on Hand!

I have a whole bunch of points-friendly and happy-health foods I like to keep in stock at home at all times. I wanted to share a handful with you! If you have any you'd like to share with me, they're welcome! .. I'm always wanting new things to try!

1. Kraft light tex mex cheese mix.

It's pre-shredded so you save so much time by not having to grate it! It is so delicious, and it's very mildly flavored with tex mex spices (very mild! Im a spice wuss!). It cooks perfectly and is the gooey, ungreasy kind of cheese you would expect on a pizza .. Perfect for when we make homemade pizza! The best part: 1/3 cup is only two points!! and trust me, that goes a LONG way!

Ps. Kraft also has another light cheese blend (I believe it's made with provolone, emmental, Parmesan and white cheddar) ... It's delicious but doesn't melt the same wonderful way that the tex mex stuff does!

2. Baby spinach

I adore baby spinach. I use it in place of lettuce because it has a MUCH longer shelf life. I throw it in everything! Chop it up and add it to your scrambled eggs, smoothies, homemade meatballs, pasta sauces, salads .. It's one of those foods that can add so much to every meal.

Spinach is also aMaZiNg for you. Not only is it low in calories, it's chock full of calcium (good for building strength in your bones and teeth!) and it's loaded with energy-boosting iron too. It also has lots of other goodies like vitamin k, magnesium, potassium .. But my favorite part about it is the taste! Yum!

3. 95% fat-free Cool Whip

Okay, I know that it's made mostly out of ingredients I can't pronounce, which is a huge dietary no-no .. But we all need a treat every now and then, and this Cool Whip is one of my favorites. It is only one point for three tablespoons! Pair it up with your favorite fresh summer fruit and you have a delicious dessert. We also love using it on crepes and waffles in place of sugary syrup.

Our most favorite snack is to mix one serving of Cool Whip with half a fat-free chocolate pudding cup. It makes an absolutely fantastic chocolate mousse to dip strawberries in! Great for those chocolate or sweet cravings and guilt-free!

(for those who are concerned about only eating all-natural foods, you can use Greek yogurt instead of the Cool Whip. It may be a bit higher in points but it's natural and has many more health benefits!)

4. Country Harvest multigrain crunch OR flax seed bread

My husband and I love bread, and while making our home health-friendly, we decided that bread was going to stay. Most people cut bread out completely, but that choice wasn't one we were willing to make!

We only ever bought whole wheat bread before (white bread?! NEVER!) but we've upped our bread to the BEST kind! The Country Harvest breads are made with whole grain wheat, so we get all the goodness of the entire grain. They're loaded with fiber as well (fiber makes for happy colons!). And we absolutely love the specks of grains and flax in the bread, makes for a great texture in sandwiches.

Another benefit of these breads: they're SUPER moist!! Most "diet" breads are bone dry and taste like nothing, so this bread is a real joy to have. But be sure to moderate yourself when eating - they're two points per slice!

5. Fresh fruits and vegetables

You had to know that was coming :)

We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for you, and we know the many reasons why.

For someone watching their weight, veggies can be your best friend. Make sure your portion of vegetables is the biggest one on the plate - bigger than your protein and your starch combined. This way you will be filling up on the goodness of veggies instead of on the rice or potatoes, and saving your hips those nasty calories.

Try to have vegetables with every meal. Throw some mushrooms, green onions and peppers into your breakfast omelette. Load your roast beef sandwich with tomatoes, spinach and have some cucumber on the side. At supper, mix your mashed potatoes with some cauliflower purée and have some roasted broccoli, carrots and leeks as a side dish. There's SO much out there to choose from!

Fruits make great snacks. And they don't have any added sugar - just the natural sugars mother nature intended them to come with (the ones that are easy for your body to process and not harmful!). They're perfect to help curb a sweet craving and can be cool and refreshing on a hot summer day (watermelon, anyone?!)

And as always, the awesome things about fruits and vegetables? Zero points per serving.

Have a fabulous Monday!!

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