Friday, February 12, 2010

You Mean I'm Allowed to Taste?!

I am a deep-fried, strongly-seasoned, southern girl, so when I heard that I would have to adhere to a heart-healthy diet I thought that in itself would be enough to give me a heart attack. However, after losing over thirty pounds while in the hospital on a low to no sodium diet I learned to get used to it, and the weight loss was worth it. One of the first things I learned was, "where salt goes, water goes." So greatly reducing the sodium in your diet really knock of the pounds, and you really don't have to work to hard at it. 

With all of the material I was given by the hospital dietician and a little internet research, I soon learned that I had been eating a whole day's worth of sodium or more in one meal! It's no wonder they took ten pounds of fluid off of me the first 24 hours I was there! I love love love food, and there is nothing that I can think of off of the top of my head that I absolutely will not eat. So obviously cutting back is very difficult for me. I am very lucky in that my weight and figure directly correlates with my food intake, but I just love it too much. MY weight has fluctuated up and down by thirty pounds at least three times the past seven years. 

Before I get too sidetracked, let me get on with what I want to share with you in today's post. I have discovered a few things that have given "cutting back" a little flavor. All the items below are little things that make a big difference. I have found all of them at the local grocery store as well as Target and Wal-Mart. Each photo is linked to that company's website where you can look at nutritional info. and most them have some great recipes and other resources, too!

These are delish! I know it is hard to believe, but if I had not baked them, I would have never known the difference! They are so very fudgy, if that is a word. I baked mine in an 8 x 8 pan, but if you like them thicker than 1" use a smaller pan.

I was introduced to this right out out of the hospital, and it saved my sweet tooth. Yumyumyum! This Peanut Butter Fudge is great, but they have a Butter Pecan that is out of this world. Portion control is this the key here since I struggle to keep from eating the whole tub. 

I was never a big yogurt fan, but this stuff is addictive! It's the ones with the commercial that talks about "Boston Creme Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, etc." it is sooo good. I have tried all of them; I think. There are probably about 10-15 "dessert" flavors. I do not recommend the chocolate
mousse or cinnamon roll...I almost gagged. However, the cherry cobbler and strawberry shortcake are to die for! My husband even agrees: there's your proof!

If you like chocolate milk, this is a decent substitute. I would be willing to bet that the Hershey's Syrup: Lite is better, and it actually has less sodium than this one.

I love butter and jelly on toast for breakfast, and these are
great substitutes for the sugar-laden originals. They a slight hint of tartness to them due to obvious lack of sugar, but I like it. There are Sugar Free varieties and Low Sugar varieties; I didn't notice the difference until after I saw the label.

Now for the second part of my favorite breakfast habit: butter. This butter is soft, tasty, and most important of all SPREADABLE. I had tried the Smart Balance before and it was like wax. This seems just as good as Country Crock!

While we are on the subject of butter, here is what I keep mine in for easy
access and storage at room temperature. My mother-in-law gave it to me
for Christmas, and I love it. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. You can purchase 
them from a variety of vendors mine came from SolutionsSkyMall has them, as well.

I know I didn't have much to say about their butter, but their mayo rocks! Once again, if I didn't scoop it out of the jar myself, I wouldn't have known that it wasn't Hellman's or Kraft. Plus, it has Omega-3s. Thanks, babe, for finding this one! My hubby does the grocery shopping, since he does all of the cooking. Trust me, this hasn't been easy for him either. They make a great cooking spray, too.

I never in a MILLION YEARS thought that I would use these!
Just the thought of them made me gag, until one day my hubby made me an omelette with them and I later saw the carton next to the stove. I couldn't believe how good they were. The carton does say, "99% real eggs" I suppose. I like using them better than real eggs now. They are just easier to cook, clean up, and no scrambling involved, unless you add other stuff in like I do. 

The dietician at Ochsner told me about this stuff to use as a salt substitute. Let me just go ahead and admit this: there is no  substitute for salt: sorry, there just isn't. But, this comes pretty darn close. It has a distinct flavor, so use it sparingly. I once put too much on my eggs and nearly gagged. It helps give a little flavor to your dishes where Mrs. Dash may fail.

This probably one the most commonly known diet keys: substitute sour cream with plain yogurt. I do this with eggs, salsa, and other dip-type snack foods. Love it! I haven't gotten to the point where I can just eat it with a spoon yet, though.

I eat the croissant variety of these. You can definitely tell
that they are not McDonald's, but they are filling and tasty
substitutes. Jimmy also makes good, tasty, juicy turkey 
sausage that I had for breakfast this morning.

Good luck, girls! 

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