Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Eating Healthy Living

Think about the best meal you have ever had or your favorite foods?  How does it make you feel?

Whether it's a sweet juicy slice of watermelon, crisp tart piece of granny smith apple, or creamy smooth morsel of chocolate, food makes me happy. It isn't just about enjoying these foods but the memories behind them.

If you ever visit my great grandmother during the summer, you would find one or more watermelons at her house. It wouldn't take much for me to be able to convince my great grandma to let me crack one open. Even though it was just the two of us, we could make a dent in it. With its naturally sweet candy like flavor, why would you ever want to cover it up?  My grandma would say it's better with salt sprinkled over it. Yuck! I could never bring myself to partake in this act. Sweet and salty I do like, whether popcorn & chocolate or salted caramel, but not salt and watermelon. No matter our differences, the smiles on our faces could never be erased.

I get really excited when I can share my passion for food with others. When I was asked to speak to a weight loss group and share my healthy cooking tips, I immediately began thinking about what helpful tips I could share.
Because of my love for food, I have come up with ways I can enjoy it without feeling guilty.
These are my cooking tips I shared with them and want to share with you.

Cooking Tips:
-Use olive oil for sautéing, oven-baking, grilling
-Use unsalted butter when needed in cooking to control salt amounts in dishes
-Quality ingredients Count!
            Good quality vs. poor quality
            -balsamic vinegar (use for preparing a quick & healthy salad dressing)
            -chocolate chips (Ghirardelli- rich chocolate vs. Nestle-waxy cheap flavor)
-Be creative with VEGETABLES!
            -Roast vegetables to enhance their flavor. Ex- brussel sprouts, zucchini, squash, etc.
            -Use a pizza stone to crisp vegetables for chips Ex. Sweet potatoes, kale chips
            -Use a pizza stone to prepare oven “fried” vegetables Ex. Squash, zucchini, etc.
            -Use vegetables to make a healthier low fat dip. Ex. Butterbean hummus
            -Pile on the vegetables onto your pizza to fill you up without adding extra calories
            -Prepare a pesto out of herbs, spinach, or other greens. Use it for a dip or as a
-To sweeten desserts or drink, use cane sugar which is natural, unrefined, and contains nutrients.

Happy Eating is easy and Healthy Living is even easier with my cooking tips!

Share your thoughts and tips with me.


  1. Thanks for sharing your tips! And I totally agree, watermelon should be left alone - it was my favorite food when I was young! I know vegetables are very healthy for you, but those are definitely the foods that I have the hardest time eating. It seems like I am going to need to invest in a pizza stone since I need to find a way to make them taste better for me. Very helpful tips!

  2. You should defenatly try wter melon with salt its not really satly it makes it tast sweeter and if you feel really daring try it with chilli and lemon

  3. These are some great tips. Roasting vegetables, especially, gives previously discarded veggies a whole new flavor profile for me. I know I was very hesitant to try brussel sprouts in particular until I roasted them, and it made a very big difference in the flavor. I blog for a weight loss residential program and have some recipes and tips for healthy eating on our blog, please feel free to check it out if interested. One of the tips our nutrition director gives is to recreate your favorite restaurant dishes at home if you're having a particular craving. Most of the time, you can really cut out a lot of calories, fat, and sodium but still maintain the flavor profiles by making dishes at home. We featured a copycat recipe of McDonald's breakfast burrito that cut the calories from their version, which has 600, to ours that had just over 200. Here's the link if you're interested:

  4. I've found that it's much easier to eat more fruits and vegetables when I get what I like and only what I know I'll eat. For example, bananas will never get eaten in my lunch box, so I shouldn't buy them expecting they'll get eaten because they're healthy. I also buy fruits in season; I live in Alabama and peaches are getting better and better by the day, and the sweeter and juicier they are, the more likely I am to eat them instead of candy. Best advice I can give is to not kid yourself when you're at the grocery store or farmer's market; feeling guilty about not eating the food you never liked in the first place is no bueno.

  5. It would be nice if you posted more pictures when giving us some recipes or tips.. I actually understand more when I SEE over someone just describing. A pizza stone for making chips? I love Sweet Potato Chips...

  6. Excellent tips and I am so excited about your new book. You've been busy!

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