We all love comfort foods. You know, the food that’s usually heavy and relatively unhealthy, but makes your tummy feel full and happy, and leaves you lounging on the couch longing for a nap.
There is a way to make these recipes healthier without losing the satisfaction of a full and happy tummy.
Healthy Comfort Food Tip #1: Make from scratch
First of all, make the food yourself. Don’t rely on packaged and prepared food. Anything that comes out of a box or a can usually has added sodium, which encourages your body to retain fluids leaving you feeling bloated.
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to reduce your sodium intake and increase your fluid intake. Your body will flush out the fluids like it’s supposed to. Much of the initial weight loss experienced in most weight loss programs is retained “water weight”.
Many choose prepared foods for the ease of cooking and preparing but, though the prep time may be longer, the cooking time is usually about the same. For the sake of a healthier alternative, take the time to make the meal yourself. Not only will you have a healthier meal, you’ll also have the satisfaction of having done it yourself.
Healthy Comfort Food Tip #2 - Avoid using soups and soup mixes, and other canned foods
Similar to #1, many recipes call for condensed soups or soup mixes and other canned items. If you have to use canned food such as diced tomatoes choose those that say “reduced sodium” or “no salt added.”
As an alternative, have your own spices on hand -- minced garlic, ground or whole pepper, minced onion, ginger, oregano, sage, cumin. Stay away from garlic salt or onion salt. You can add your own pinch of salt.
You’ll be surprised how little salt you actually need to add flavor to your meals. Learning which spices blend well or which spices your family prefers takes a little experimentation. (This is how I discovered that there is such thing as too much curry).
Also, avoid prepared meats such as sausage or burgers which contain high amounts of sodium and who knows what else.