Striving For Healthy

I want to take a break from weddings for a second and talk about my second favorite subject: food. Seriously, I love food. While I was in college we must have gone out to eat at least 4 times a week. So of course the “freshman 15” followed me. When I left college and started my first job, that’s when things started to turn around, weight wise. I was making all my meals and going for regular walks. Eventually I cut out a lot of the fattening meals, focused on the healthy ones and “amped” up the physical activity and I lost all the college weight.

So since many women try to lose weight before the wedding, I thought I’d help y’all out with a little recipe swapping.

So many people deprive themselves of things they like to eat when they want to lose weight. It almost never works especially when you find pictures like this everywhere:

(Thanks Pinterest) And you cannot tell me you don’t salivate a little when you see that? Two of the best comfort foods in ONE sandwich? Who doesn’t love a good burger with Mac n Cheese?

I really wanted that burger, but I would have to somehow make it healthy…CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Instead of beef I chose to make a delicious eggplant burger. (Mine are not pictured, this is the gorgeous picture from the blog that holds the recipe)

 

It has eggplant, humus, cannellini beans, onion and so much other good-for-you stuff all ground up into one burger. I love veggie burgers, but you have to be in a cooking mood to make them. They have a lot of ingredients to them and can be a little complicated to make.

For the macaroni and cheese part I picked up gluten-free rice macaroni. And, since I was already in the organic section, I also picked up some organic cheddar cheese. It looks like it turned out alright.

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And, as a side dish, I went with baked sweet potato tater-tots. Here is how the pretty Pinterest picture looked:

And here’s how ours came out:

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Now besides the fact that we didn’t put the, in a fancy basket, I think they turned out well.

So how did I do? I am basing this around the calorie count of a Macaroni and Cheese burger from the Cheesecake Factory.

A Macaroni and Cheese burger from the Cheesecake Factory: 1,150 calories

My Eggplant Mac n Cheese Burger (Including the bun and the inevitable tomato & lettuce you’d put on it): Right around 580 calories, just about half of the cheesecake factory burger.

The tots are about 40 calories per tot, making 4 tots around 160 calories.

So the whole meal is fewer calories than one Cheesecake Factory Macaroni and Cheese burger. Is it the healthiest meal in the world? Absolutely not. I’m sure I’d be better served with a good salad. But sometimes we have to splurge, but the splurge doesn’t have to be a real leap. You don’t have to eat everything on the dollar menu and wash it down with a gallon of ice cream. A big part of losing weight is learning to eat smart. Being able to have the foods you want, just by substituting ingredients. In that way you don’t have to deprive yourself, but you don’t have to do the diet backstroke either!

I love a good challenge so if you have a recipe you’d like to see me “make healthy” send it my way! I just may feature it here on the blog!

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