One of the things I have found that keeps me from absolute sabotage, is including in my weekly plan, a few of my favorite treats. It was great for me to discover, I can still have them and stay skinny. I keep them small and it's just enough to keep me on track. The 100 calorie packs you can buy are one of my favorites. Especially, hostess 100 calorie cupcake packs, 100 calorie kettle corn (yes, it is and tastes diet, but close enough to the real thing to work for me) 100 calorie Fudge Stripes and Lorna Doone cookies. They are laughably teeny, but they work for me! Some dieters may disagree and say you should stay away from any of that stuff when trying to lose weight, but I found, it satisfied my craving and kept me on track, as opposed to depriving myself to the point that I can't take it anymore and eating an entire pan of brownies myself. Ok, I haven't ever actually gotten to that point, but I know there are times when we all feel like we could do that.(Speaking of brownies though, I found some all natural fat free ones called No Pudge All natural brownies that I love! You just add yogurt to make a single 120 calorie serving). In addition, one day a week I add a "free meal" to my weekly meals, where one meal, one night a week, I can eat whatever I want. (my sisters also do this, and really like it). I usually save that for the once a week date night. It actually motivates me to be on track for the week ahead.
Another hobby of mine has been finding slimmed down versions of my favorite recipes. One of my favorite recipe books is one by Lisa Lillien called, Hungry Girl:Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World. On the back of the book it says, "Have your cake, your pizza, your Nachos, and still fit into your jeans." How cute is that? Ok, I like cute things. I say things are cute all the time and my husband is like, "why is that cute?" Anyway, it's a really fun, colorful book with tons of slimmed down recipes. There are even survival sections on how to eat smart when you go out to different types of restaurants (Mexican, Italian, Chinese) and a section on how to snack smart while at the movies. I will include more recipes of hers (she has some great dinner ones!) in more in future blogs to come. Until then, here is one of my favorites, and a fun one for fall!
Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes
1 cupcake:108 calories, 2g fat
2 cups yellow cake mix (1/2 of an 18.25-ounce box)
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 c. fat-free liquid egg substitute
2 Tbs. sugar-free maple syrup
2 tsps. cinnamon
2 tsps. Splenda No calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/8 tsp. salt
3 cubes (about 1 ounce) chewy caramel
2 tsps. light vanilla soy milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all cupcake ingredients in a mixing bowl with 1/3 cup water. Whip with a whisk or fork for 2 minutes until well blended.
Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with baking cups. Evenly spoon batter into muffin cups. Place pan in the oven and cook for about 12 minutes (until cupcakes have puffed up but still appear gooey on top).
Once cupcakes are cool enough to handle, arrange them closely on a plate so that the edges are touching.
Place caramel and soy milk in a tall microwave-safe glass or dish (mixture will bubble and rise when heated). Microwave at medium power for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir mixture vigorously until smooth and thoroughly blended. (Return to microwave for 30 seconds at medium heat if caramel has not fully melted). Immediately drizzle caramel sauce over cupcakes.
Makes 12 servings