Eat This, Not That! - The Hotspots Edition

by Mike Halterman

HotSpots! Magazine

Saturday January 9, 2016

One of my favorite columns in Men's Health was "Eat This, Not That!," written by David Zinczenko.It's very important to not feel deprived, but at the same time, it's also important to change your eating habits if you want to live a healthier life. Here are a few things you can eat in lieu of your favorites. Try them; I bet you'll like them!

Instead of chocolate... you can snack on nuts, but you have to make sure that they don't have any added salt or sugar, or that snack can set you back nearly as much as chocolate can! When you crave chocolate, there are two things you're missing: the sweet factor and also the fat content. Just one ounce of nuts contains approximately 180 calories, and it gives you the fat you may very well be seeking out. The best part is that the fat is monounsaturated, meaning it will impact your cholesterol levels in a positive way. Keep in mind that one ounce of nuts gives you up to a third of your recommended protein intake as well!

Instead of ice cream... you can order a fruit smoothie, which will still give you that cold and creamy taste that you want, with less fat and sugar. Invest in a good blender and buy your ingredients: your fruit (any kind you like), the yogurt of your choice (please pick one that is low in fat), and ice from your freezer. The more you limit your sugar choice, the better. If you like strawberry ice cream, make sure you load up your smoothie with the freshest strawberries. For a taste surprise, add a banana or a few blueberries. These smoothies are easy to make, making it even harder for you to formulate an excuse as to why you should really have ice cream!

Instead of potato chips... you can snack on some apple chips. The taste is different, yet the texture is oddly similar, making it a prime candidate for snacking if you want that potato chip "crunch." Once you either make or buy apple chips, you can store them for a long time and they won't lose their crunch, if you're worried about that. Apple chips are a good source of vitamin C and also give you lots of fiber. If you're looking for a brand to buy at the store, you can choose from Bare Fruit's organic apple chips, freeze-dried Fuji chips from Brothers, or crispy apple chips from Good Health Natural Foods.

Instead of hamburgers... you can eat a better hamburger. It's not necessarily the patty itself that's giving you trouble, it's all the things you add on to it. You can choose to go bunless, or you can simply choose whole wheat over the standard bleached white. You're gonna have to toss ketchup and mustard out the window, and definitely the slice of American cheese. Now if you still want some toppings, you just have to pick good ones. Change out the American cheese for feta cheese, the iceberg lettuce for spinach leaves, and a sauce with less sugar. Perhaps a mango salsa, or if you want to continue the Greek theme with the feta cheese, a dollop of tzatziki?

Instead of fried chicken... bake that chicken! Chicken is a lean meat to begin with, so frying it in fat and breading it is the absolute worst thing you can do. If you're looking for a flavorful way to continue to get nutrients, baking chicken is the best way to go. You'll still get your full allotment of protein as you would from cooking it in any other manner, and you will also get portions of your daily allotment of iron and vitamin B-12. How do you season your baked chicken? Well, after you remove the skin, you can use lemon or lime juice with pepper (whether it be black pepper or your own chili peppers) or tried and true flavorings like sage or even a jerk rub!

Instead of Coca-Cola... drink flavored seltzer water. One thing that people miss when they give up soda (apart from the sugar and the caffeine!) is the fizz from the soda's carbonation. There are quite a few flavored seltzer water brands, such as Seagram's and Canada Dry, which are located on the same aisle as Coca-Cola in the supermarket. If you're looking for something completely natural and free of everything (including artificial sweeteners), consider trying LaCroix Sparkling Water. Sold in 12-packs just like Coke, they come in many delicious flavors. If it isn't as sweet as you like, add a packet of stevia or Splenda and you're good to go!

The book "Eat This, Not That!" was the inspiration behind this feature. If you'd like to buy the book by Dave Zinczenko, you can purchase it today from The book is published by Rodale and updated nearly every year.


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