Oh, comfort food. We seek you out when we’re happy, because we want to celebrate our good moments. And we want you when we’re sad, because we had a crummy day and we just deserve it, okay? It doesn’t take an armchair psychologist to realize how much our emotions are tied into what we eat. Admitting you have a problem is half the battle. The other half is just a hack away.
A Lighter Slice of Pizza
It’s hard not to overindulge with pizza. It’s one of our go-to comfort foods when we’re not in the mood to cook or clean up. And while restaurants keep finding creative ways to add more cheese and processed meat, you can get just as creative.
Start by swapping traditional white flour crust for whole wheat crust; not only do you get to reap a ton of nutritious benefits, but you do so without sacrificing flavor. Whole wheat boasts higher amounts of fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol and even help you lose weight. Most markets carry whole wheat dough, or if you’re in a pinch grab a Top This Fire Grilled Pizza Crust. The super thin crusts, which are available in whole wheat, are easy-to-use and delicious-to-eat. The Rhode Island-made crusts can be found at Dave’s Marketplace and other markets around the state.
You can find whole wheat crust on menus around the state, like Pizza Pie-er (Providence) and Fellini’s Pizzeria (locations in Providence and Cranston). Whether you’re baking your own or ordering in, ditch the meat and add lots vegetables for a pie that’s stuffed with vitamins instead of empty calories.
Burgers Gone Healthy
Making burgers healthy is one of the easiest hacks in the kitchen. Start by making your own patties with lean ground beef, turkey or chopped up salmon. Beef patties are pretty easy to prepare, and less is more in terms of spices. If you’re using turkey or salmon, you’ll need to add a few ingredients to help bind the patties, like an egg or chopped spinach, and also to throw them in the freezer for 20 minutes to help the patties stay together. Broil or grill, then top with sliced avocado, onions, tomatoes or fresh veggies of your choice. You can further lighten the calorie load by going with an open-faced sandwich, or curbing the carbs altogether by wrapping your burger with lettuce.
Bake (and Fake) Fries
To make fries healthy, you need to stop frying them and start baking them. Slice up regular or sweet potatoes, season with a spices and mix with a few drops of coconut or olive oil. Lay them flat on a baking sheet and cook them at a high temperature (450 degrees for thicker wedges) for about 45 minutes. These baked tots are really tasty and guilt free.
Hack Your Snacks
Kale, believe it or not, can become as crispy and irresistible as potato chips. Cut into bite size pieces and toss with salt, pepper and a few drops of olive oil. Lay them flat on a baking sheet and bake on 325 for about 10 minutes. The perfect blend of crunchy and chewy, these kale “chips” pack a vitamin dense punch.
Health Hacks That Go the Distance
Once you arm yourself with tips and techniques, eating better won’t just be a diet – it will just be the way you eat. Here’s seven ways to change your eating lifestyle.