A New Year and a New You!

A New Year and a New You!

The holidays can be a time of overindulgence for many. This can lead to unwanted pounds and a need to shed the weight. Excess carbohydrates in the form of pasta, rice and tortillas can make it difficult to lose weight. Here are a few ideas to nix or decrease the carbs in your diet and add more nutrition to your everyday food dishes-Enjoy!


1) Healthy pasta swaps:

a. Vegetable based pasta-Make a vegetable based pasta dish using a vegetable spiralizer such as the Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer. My favorite vegetable pasta recipe is zucchini pasta sautéed in olive oil (or ghee), salt, pepper, garlic powder. Add pine nuts 1 minute before finished cooking. Click here for a good quality spiralizer.

b. Skinny noodles- Pasta Zero® is a shirataki mushroom noodle that has a very mild flavor and goes well in soup and stir fry. Just warm and serve.

c. Spaghetti squash- Substituting spaghetti squash for regular pasta can give the satisfaction of noodles in pasta dishes with the added benefit of a micronutrient dense food. Learn more about the nutritional benefits and cooking ideas here.

2) It’s a wrap:

Vietnamese summer rolls- The concept of doing a rice paper roll is similar to rolling a tortilla. The only difference is that you need to dip the rice paper in hot water to soften it and then you’re ready to go. When making spring rolls, my favorite ingredients are: cooked mild fish or shrimp, green leaf lettuce, shredded carrot, bean sprouts, thin sliced avocado, mint and cilantro. Some people add rice noodles; however, this will increase the carbohydrate load. Vietnamese summer rolls (also called fresh rolls) are typically $6.00-$8.00 in grocery stores or restaurants. You can purchase an entire package of 25 rice paper rolls in upper end grocery stores or oriental food stores for $2.00-$3.00! Click here for a video on how to roll and 2 recipes for summer rolls here and here.

a. Lettuce wraps- In a restaurant with no alternatives, using lettuce as a wrap around a burger can be an option. One of my personal favorite wrap recipes includes Applegate®organic turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and Primal Kitchen® or Grapeseed oil Vegenaise® mayonnaise.

3) Crackers:

Homemade flaxseed crackers- This is a very inexpensive but a tasty option to chips or crackers. These gems are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, folate, soluble fiber and even boron. Flax is also the #1 whole-food source of lignans, a phytonutrient associated with prolonged survival in cancer patients (especially breast cancer), having 800x more than any other food. They take on the taste of anything that you decide to season with or put on top of the cracker. I enjoy hot curry flavor. Be creative and have fun. What will be your favorite flavor? Here’s a great recipe idea.

4) Cauliflower; a versatile veggie:

a. Cauliflower “rice”- White rice is null and void of nutrition for the most part. Here’s a healthier idea for those interested in cutting carbs and adding nutrition. Packed with indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, cauliflower can help prevent obesity, diabetes and also offers protection from prostate, ovarian, and cervical cancers. You can sometimes even find the cauliflower already cut and prepared for making the “rice” version of the vegetable. See here for a recipe.

b. Cauliflower mash- Here’s a recipe for an alternative to mashed potatoes.

Written by Amy Drab MPAS, PA-C