Tasty Thursday: Healthy Alternatives

It's a new year, which means new Tasty Thursdays! I'm about to hit you with a face full of honestly...are you ready? I started Young and Free Maine in June, and weight somewhere around 185 pounds. I was healthy, active and ate food that wasn't loaded with crap. Well...six months have come and gone. I weighed myself the other day, and the scale read 196! Epic fail! Let's just say, I am not a fan of my eating habits at the moment and plan on changing them. Credit unions cook up some of the best food at their events, and I have been able to taste many amazing dishes. Do I blame the credit unions for making me fat? Well, in a word...yes. Just kidding! Totally my own fault, but thankfully I have lost weight before and know how to drop the little bit of weight I have put on.

One of the ways to shed a few pounds is by substituting some foods that I eat for healthier alternatives. It doesn't have to be a big change, and I found a great resource on the Mayo Clinic website. I was hesitant at looking at the website at first. A Mayo Clinic just sounds like a big place where they make loads of Hellmanns Mayonnaise. I looked...It's not. The next time you are cooking, try some of these alternative healthy replacements in order to cut down on some calories! Here we go!

Bacon

I'm pretty sure that bacon ranks up at number one for top comfort foods. I love bacon, cooking things in bacon grease and rolling things in bacon to add flavor. Unfortunately, bacon is about one of the most unhealthy things you could eat. Instead of regular bacon, switch to Canadian bacon, or turkey bacon. It cuts out a ton of calories and fat, and you won't feel so bad about eating an extra slice or two!

Yogurt

Yogurt can be pretty healthy, but it can also be rather fattening and unhealthy as well. It may seem like buying fruit filled yogurts is a good idea, but it also means that there is probably a fair amount of corn syrup or preservatives as well to go along with it. Instead of buying fruit on the bottom yogurt, buy plain or vanilla and add fresh fruit yourself! It's healthier and will taste fresher as well. I have also recently made the switch from regular yogurt to Greek yogurt. It took a little getting used to, but it's healthier and keeps you fuller longer.

Eggs

Eggs are also healthy, but if you eat too many, they can boost your cholesterol levels a bit as well. Don't cut out the eggs, but instead of using whole eggs, use just the egg whites. It takes about two egg whites to replace a whole egg. If you are an omelet fan, use half egg white and the other half whole eggs. It will cut down on calories and cholesterol!

Butter, Margarine, Oil, Shortening

Paula Deen will not be happy with me if I say that butter is bad. I won't say to cut out all butter, but a healthy alternative to using butter/oils in recipes is to use either applesauce or prune puree(yucky prune). I'd stick to the applesauce personally, but both are healthy alternatives to using butter that can be high in fat. Try cutting out half the butter/oil in your next recipe and switch it for one of these two healthy alternatives. You may just be pleasantly surprised.

There are a lot more healthy alternatives you can incorporate into your daily life. Check out a full list here. Here's to a healthy 2012!

What healthy choices are you making this year?

Seth P.