I have said it before, and I'll say it again: if the United States can put a monkey in space, it can certainly come up with a way for me to eat 5-10lbs of chocolate per day without gaining any weight! Sadly, however, no one seems to be tackling the calorie-less food problem, so I'm here to share my favorite foods that don't land on your thighs.
1.) Diet Snapple and Diet Root Beer. Diet Snapple has become my new best friend. Granted, it contains some caffeine, but speaking as someone who's always been sensitive to (read: pretty reliably inclined to worship the porcelain throne after ingesting) caffeinated products, I can tell you this beverage is pretty mild. It comes in three flavors, lemon, peach, and raspberry, of which lemon is probably my favorite. And Diet Root Beer is also the best - my preferences are A&W or Stewart's, but try a bunch to find your favorites! The down side to this one is that it contains a crap ton of sodium, but hey, I haven't gone into cardiac arrest yet! The best part of both of these? ZERO CALORIES. That's right, chug down 8 quarts of these bad boys and NOTHING lands on your thighs. W00T!
2.) Spices of all kinds. The problem some people find with eating healthier foods is that they don't have any taste to them - good news! Spices, in general, have so few calories that you can pile them on without a problem. Eating something with some flavor to it makes me a lot happier than eating a bag of raw spinach with nothing on it, am I right folks?
3.) Rice cakes. Whenever I think of rice cakes, I think of this one episode of the Bill Cosby show I saw when I was a kid in which Bill's wife (what was her character's name? I don't remember) is trying to get him to eat healthier and she gives him a rice cake to try and says "No added salt, no added sugar…" and he interrupts her with "No taste!" to the delight of the studio audience. Back in those days, rice cakes didn't have awesome flavors like white cheddar (my favorite), apple cinnamon, and chocolate (yes, you heard right). They also have these mini rice cakes now that are totally delicious that are RANCH and caramel and pomegranate blueberry flavored! I KNOW, RIGHT???
4.) Fresh veggies and fruits. Okay, I know, you've heard this one before, but stick with me. You're making a dish that's full of pasta or potatoes or something else that might not be totally awesome for you. Want an easy way to double the volume of food you're eating for 75 calories or less? Throw in some fresh vegetables! You can get 2 cups of spinach for about 10 calories, a whole tomato for about 30, I could go on and on. Even though fresh fruits can be pretty high in sugar, they still come out low on the calorie scale - a large apple is 50 calories or less and a POUND of strawberries is only about 150 calories. If you want something totally delicious, hit up your local farmer's market and make a dish out of whatever happens to be in season - the freshest plants are the tastiest!
5. RiceWorks Brown Rice Chips and SnaPea Crisps. I know it's going to look like I'm branding here (and I guess I am) but for real, I eat these things at work all the time. The brown rice chips come in salsa and chili flavors now and basically taste like Doritos without all the neon orange crap, and SnaPea Crisps are like…pea pod chips? They aren't real pea pods, but they are flaky, and made of peas…look, they're a little hard to describe so you'll just have to try them.
6. Assorted low-calorie options at restaurants. Some restaurants are starting to jump on the low-calorie bandwagon - at Pizzeria Uno, you can get a veggie wrap for about 290 calories (I KNOW) and Applebees has this awesome new "Skinny Bee" 100-calorie margarita! Keep an eye out for new, healthier options on the menu and try them out - they can be really good!
Those are my picks for low-cal foods and snacks to round out your diet in time for swimsuit season. Do you have any in-house healthy-food tips to share? Post them in the comments below!
-June the Homemaker