Seriously, put it down. With obesity rates as high as 30.6% of our population in South Carolina, we really need to be thinking about healthier food options. Ok, ok, I know Chick-fil-a has deliciously juicy nuggets and perfectly crisp waffles fries, but let’s get our tummies and wallets in check whenever possible.
Making healthier choices can be difficult for a new dieter, but after a while it becomes a lifestyle. I never consider myself to be “dieting”; I am just conscious about the food choices I make. Chubby College Christina liked to dunk her nuggets in mayonnaise. Not a joke. Xtra Cute Xtina now likes to dip her nuggets in Chick-fil-a’s fat free honey mustard sauce, or plain old ketchup! (Shocking, I know.) Let’s review some changes I’ve made over the past five feeling great years:
Chubby Christina liked:
Xtra Cute Xtina loves:
Sugar in my coffee
Splenda or Agave syrup
Fiber One Original
Peaches n Cream oatmeal
Oat bran/rolled oats w/ real fruit!
Ranch dressing (gag, the word makes me nervous)
Yocrunch yogurt w/ m&ms
0% fat Oikos Greek yogurt
Peanut butter loaded w/ hydrogenated oils
Queso dip/French onion dip
Pints of Ben & Jerry’s
Small portions of gelato or sorbet
100% whole wheat bread
Better with Cheddar Hot dogs (also not a joke)
COOKIES, 4 at once, quite possibly 5
COOKIES IN MODERATION
As you can see, there’s always a healthier option out there. I didn’t cut out the items in the first list all at once either. What makes this become a “lifestyle” is that that they should be gradual changes. Don’t throw yourself into an eating disorder trying to become healthy. And with the last item, cookies, or any special treat for that matter, moderation is key to maintaining your new lifestyle. Learning self-control was my biggest obstacle, but now I’m pretty damn good at having just one cookie, or 2 spoonfuls of gelato and realizing that I’m satisfied. And knowing that I eat healthy the majority of the time, I am also guilt-free. 🙂
Onto tonight’s healthy dinner…Chicken Fingers and Fries
Option 1: Deep-fried chicken fingers and French fries with a side of fat-laden honey mustard dressing
Option 2: Baked pretzel-crusted chicken fingers and Baked sweet potato “fries” with a side of fat-free dill honey mustard sauce
Which is the correct choice?
DING DING DING!
Although this recipe was incredibly messy (or maybe I just have a problem), it was quite simple and fairly quick to make.
First I made the “fries”: I cut 1 big mama sweet potato into small strips. I tossed the strips with olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. I preheated the oven to 400* and popped them in for 20 minutes.
While those cooked, I cut up some chicken breasts into strips and nuggets and dipped them into an egg white wash. I then coated the chicken in crushed pretzel bits. After the sweet potato fries cooked for 20 minutes, I put the chicken in the oven and cooked both dishes for 15 more minutes.
On the side I made a healthified honey mustard sauce. Typical honey mustard dressings found in restaurants will have mayonnaise as a base. PUKE! I’m still even sure how that makes sense. Honey mustard = honey + mustard.
No need to add any fats!! I whisked together 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard + 2 tbsp of honey + 2 tbsp of fresh chopped dill. DELICIOSO.
…and real honey mustard:
All plated and ready to be destroyed:
And look at the awesome benefits in this meal (according to The Food Doctor):