14 January 2010

Skinny Foods to Help Us Slim Those Excess Pounds

From Denny: Satisfy your taste buds and curb your appetite is a tall order sometimes. Joy Bauer of the Joy Fit Club and author of "Your Inner Skinny," a nutritionist who helps obese people trim off the excess weight, shares some wise advice.

I really like her low calorie Pumpkin Pudding of combining canned pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie canned filling which is loaded with sugar) with vanilla yogurt and some cinnamon - now there's some taste and fiber you can actually enjoy! :)

Other good advice? Start you dinner with a non-starchy vegetable soup. Studies prove you will eat about 20% less of the following dinner after a bowl of soup. Lots of healthy fiber expands to make you full. I love to make soups and one thing is for sure, lots of wonderful spices and garlic make a soup taste great, often all we have for dinner we love it so much!

Cucumbers are another great weight loss veggie because they are 95% water. Combined with lots of balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of your favorite oil, some tomatoes and a little green onion make for only a 125 calorie snack - a favorite at our house in the hot Louisiana summers when you can't eat much because of the humidity and heat.

Feeling emotional and need to stress down? Go for a hot mug of good green tea. You will have to experiment with various brands of green tea to find out your favorite. Green tea has been studied and proven to help provide some small calorie-burning advantage. Studies generally are small studies and an averaging. You might be one of those people that does not benefit from green tea as a weight loss tool.

Then there are others like myself that it affects greatly to the positive so I stick with it. Also, I spent time living in Taiwan when I was in high school as my father was stationed over there at the time. The Chinese introduced me to green tea and, especially, jasmine tea that was always served in businesses to honored guests. I've been a fan of Chinese teas ever since those days.

Remember: it is very easy to over-brew green tea (unless it is weight loss Wu-Long which can steep until "the cows come home"). Most green tea in teabags should only be dunked for about 20 seconds in almost boiling water. If your water is too hot it will turn a darker green and be intensely bitter. It's that bitterness that people new to green tea experience and get turned off to the product, not realizing they over-brewed in water far too hot for the delicate tea.

Another weight control trick is to use hot pepper sauce which we love in south Louisiana: the well known Tobasco sauce which is a bit more vinegary than we like at our house and another, Louisiana Hot Sauce which is a milder burn and a lot less vinegar pique. Around here everyone puts hot sauce on our morning over easy fried eggs, on hamburgers, you name it, even in tunafish salad - talk about kick up the flavor combined with the mayonnaise! The real trick of using hot sauce is that the explosion of flavor causes you to slow down your eating (and sometimes reach for that glass of water to quench the shock or a glass of milk to kill the fire since milk proteins kill hot pepper heat).

Shrimp cocktail is the skinniest appetizer on a restaurant menu - unless, of course, you come to Louisiana where they will put a roulade sauce on it, packed with calories. Most restaurants across America use a ketchup based only sauce. The best way is to control the calories in the sauce is ask them to bring you the condiments to make your own like we do in Louisiana: ketchup, horseradish sauce, fresh lemon juice, Lea and Perrins Worchestershire sauce and a hot sauce like Tobasco. Now we're talking: real cocktail sauce!

Boiled shrimp without the sauce are only 8 calories each! You do have to watch the salt and iodine levels. Too much salt in our diet can contribute to water weight gain or kidney problems. Too much shellfish with iodine in it like shrimp can contribute to slowing down your thyroid so don't go thinking it's a great idea to load up on boiled shrimp for the calorie level alone.

These are all great ideas for tasty food from a very practical nutritionist:

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