Tag Archives: low fat

Eating Naughty

When it comes to eating naughty, calorie-laden foods, I think it’s safe to say that I shed my amateur status years ago.  Most obese people have a love/hate relationship with food…and the only people I know who have ever successfully wrestled this tiger to the ground are the ones who made peace with their demons.  I think I’ve been successful for so long this time because I’m looking the demons right in their angry little green faces…and then clubbing the shit out of them with my weapon of choice:  common sense.

My first common sense victory happened when I decided to stop force feeding myself “diet” food and really spent some time & energy finding healthy food that I actually enjoyed.  I knew I wasn’t going to see any long term success if I stuffed my freezer with diet entrees and forced brown rice down my throat every night.  I really enjoy finding and testing recipes that are tasty and healthy – and I refuse to settle for anything less.

I love it when someone comes out with a lighter/leaner version of something and it’s absolutely delicious.  However, some of these lighter/leaner recipes make me wonder if the creator didn’t eat a big bowl ‘o stupid when they thought them up.

For example, I once saw a lighter/leaner recipe for Starbucks cake pops.  A single Starbucks cake pop has 180 calories.  This website published their lighter recipe, which made 24 cake pops that were 118 calories each.  Are you kidding me?

First of all, that’s only 62 calories less for all the trouble you’re going through to make them.  Second, I’m an eater.  I need 24 cake pops in my house like the world needs another Snooki.  Those cake pops would be whispering to me from the kitchen until they were all gone…which would take about as much time as it does to watch the evening news and a couple episodes of “Friends”.  Trying to save those 62 ridiculous calories would have given me a 2,832 calorie binge and a hell of a guilt trip.  No, thank you!










I also found a lighter recipe for Jamba Juice’s “Orange Dream Machine”.  The lighter recipe was 164 calories (compared to Jamba’s 350 calories) and contained fat free powdered non-dairy creamer and a packet of no calorie sweetener.  Jamba Juice’s recipe contains fruit, soy milk, and all natural ingredients.

It’s a no brainer for me…in favor of the original, higher calorie recipe.  I don’t go to Jamba Juice very often – so if I go, I’m prepared to spend a little extra time on the treadmill.  And I really don’t want to eat chemicals, ok?  Seriously.  Fat free powdered non-dairy creamer and a packet o’ chemicals just so we can say we had half  the calories?  What about the value of those calories?

If I’m really that hung up about the 350 calories in the 16 oz Orange Dream Machine, I’ll drink half of it and save half of it for tomorrow.  There!  I just cut it in half AND got to enjoy the other half the next day…voila!  Common sense.

I also have an issue with some of the recipes that appear in magazines like Cooking Light and Clean Eating.  I love these magazines…but there comes a point when I just want to roll my eyes and smack the crap out of the people in their test kitchens.   Clean Eating magazine once featured a recipe for coconut cream pie on their cover and I was so excited I nearly peed my pants right there in Barnes & Noble…right in front of the bridal magazine section where all the skinny girls stand, too.  How embarrassing!

I feverishly flipped through the magazine to see what the calorie damage was on the coconut cream pie and found a list of ingredients I’d never heard of before – including “organic evaporated cane juice”.  Whaaaat?

Oh, organic evaporated cane juice?  Yes, of course I have some of that in my pantry…right next to the jar where I keep Batman’s left testicle.  They’re both equally difficult to get a hold of.  Where do these ingredients come from?

Maybe the summer issue of Better Homes and Gardens will feature a super low-cal star spangled blueberry pie with just a few simple ingredients:

pie crust
evaporated non-dry, whole-grain unbleached bleached white flour
apple flavored single malt gelatin granules
36.2 packets of calorie-free, sugar-free sugar substitute with bacon extract
the bark from the north facing side of a willow tree
and 1/2 of a banana

Jesus!  Sometimes it’s easier (and healthier) to just eat the original recipe, calories and all…and work it off the old fashioned way.

I’ve lost 27 pounds in 3 months – and that includes a trip to my favorite Texas buffalo wing bar and 2 nights of “we have no clean dishes, let’s just order pizza”.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t all be trying to eat lighter as a whole, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.  Case in point:  buffalo wings.  I have never found a healthier, baked recipe that I enjoy.  EVER.  As far as I’m concerned, the extra calories are worth it.  However, I never need to buy a bag of oily chips again…because I enjoy my lighter, leaner potato chip recipe every bit as much as those oily chips.  More, actually.

Sometimes it’s okay to just eat naughty.  Get in touch with where you are emotionally.  Are you in a good place or a bad place?  Deep down, you know…and if you really don’t know, then don’t eat naughty until you do know.  Once you determine that you aren’t trying to medicate yourself with naughty food…go ahead and (gasp) eat it.  The trick is to actually take a little time and come up with a plan for yourself.  If you don’t have a plan, feel free to use mine…I can share.

Here are my 10 Common Sense Steps to Eating Naughty:

1. Figure out the caloric content & serving size you’re going to eat.  (Lying to yourself TRIPLES the calories…you’ve been warned.)

2. Figure out how much extra cardio you’re going to have to do to work it off.

3. Re-evaluate whether it’s really worth it to you to eat those calories.  Sometimes it is…and there’s nothing wrong with that.  If it’s worth it, commit to that extra cardio (and I mean set a time for it on the same day you’re eating naughty).

4. Make adjustments to your other meals for that day.  This is especially helpful if you’re eating something that’s very high in calories.  For example, if you’re eating something that’s 700 calories, then remove 350 calories from your other meals that day and burn 350 extra calories in cardio.  Do not skip meals!

5. If you’re cooking the naughty/unhealthy food and you know there will be leftovers, package it up IMMEDIATELY and send Johnny Jr. next door to give it to the neighbors…or the dog…I don’t care, just get it the hell out of your house.  You know you’ll go back for more if it’s still there before bed.

6. If you’re going out to a restaurant, are you eating the entire entree or will there be leftovers?  If there will be leftovers, ask the server to bring you a take-out container BEFORE your food.

7. Serve yourself the pre-determined serving amount.

8. Thoroughly enjoy it…guilt free.  If anyone makes any snarky comments, kick ’em in the Precious!

9. Get up off your ass and honor your cardio commitment before you talk yourself out of it.

10. Don’t visit Mr. Scale the next day…just in case he pisses you off or makes you feel guilty.

My best advice to you is this:  listen to yourself.  You know what’s really in your heart and your head.  If you can handle it and be honest with yourself, it doesn’t hurt to eat naughty once in a while.  If you’re not sure, either don’t do it…or start shopping for evaporated yak saliva and reconstituted cow hooves.  Yum!


Happy National Potato Chip Day

Hey y’all!

Tomorrow…Wednesday, March 14th, is National Potato Chip Day.  🙂

It looks to me like this holiday was conjured up by the corporations that bring you highly processed, super fatty snacky chips…which we’ve all enjoyed at some point in our lives, right?  I certainly have!

Potato chips were one of the vices that I didn’t want to completely do without, so I set about trying to find a healthier way to enjoy them.  I never thought I would find the answer in my microwave, but I did.  Baked potato chips always came out squishy and chewy in the oven.  Oil would have to be involved on the stove top.  So my last ditch effort was the microwave…and it paid off.

I now make crispy, crunch potato chips in my microwave whenever I want…and I can make any flavor I want.  In celebration of National Potato Chip Day, I’d like to share a couple of my seasoning tricks with you.

The recipe for making these chips is already posted here on the blog on the “Recipes” tab – click here to find it.  Simply substitute these seasoning blends for salt and you’ve got a completely different chip!

Rosemary Garlic Chips

Light sprinkle equal amounts of dried rosemary, garlic powder, and fine ground sea salt across your chips before putting them in the microwave.

Garlic & Onion Chips

Lightly sprinkle equal amounts of garlic and onion powder over chips.  Top with fine ground sea salt and put in microwave

Bleu Cheese Garlic Chips

Lightly sprinkle equal amounts of garlic powder and fine ground sea salt on chips, then crisp up in microwave.  Immediately remove warm crispy chips from microwave and place on serving dish.  Sprinkle 3 – 4 table spoons of crumbled bleu cheese across chips.  (You can also crisp up 2 slices of bacon, crumble it, and dump that on top as well…but you’ll spend a longer time on the treadmill if you do it!)

I fully intend on posting some pictures of these for you at a later time, but with my thumb bandaged up from the knife incident yesterday I was a bit skittish about being near any cutting devices today.  LOL.

You absolutely can have tasty, crispy potato chips without any oil.  All you’re getting are the calories from the actual potato.  And one potato makes a crap load of chips, my peeps.  Crunchy, yummy goodness!

Once you’re done making your chips, grab a single serving size of non-fat, plain Greek yogurt from the fridge and a packet of your favorite dip mix.  Mix in just enough and you’ve got a super healthy alternative to chips and dip that won’t take it’s vengeance on your hips.  🙂   You’re welcome!

You don’t need to guzzle the processed crap coming from the chip manufacturers, trust me.  These are just as tasty and infinitely more healthy.  Give it a shot.  In honor of National Potato Chip Day…live a little.  🙂

Dianne’s Guilt Free Potato Chips

I’ve finally found a method of making CRISPY potato chips with no oil. Ingredients? A potato. That’s it. No oil. And the real kicker is that they’re made in the microwave. Intrigued? Read on, my fellow warriors…read on…



1 potato, scrubbed (peeling on)
any seasoning of your choosing

That’s it! Now…let’s get started.

A word about slicing the potato: the slices must be uniform…and thin. I highly, highly, highly recommend getting a mandolin slicer if you don’t have one. They are AWESOME!!! But…if you use one, I would like to state the obvious: please use the gripper thing that comes with it…not your hand…to shove food towards the blade. Don’t end up like me. I actually cut my fingertip off back when I was still experimenting with this recipe.

Losing weight through healthy eating is awesome.

Losing weight through cutting off fingertips is…well…painful! PLEASE be careful!

So…the first thing you need to do when you start cooking is to gather all your equipment together as pictured below:

Given my prowess at slicing & dicing, my kitchen equipment list always includes Bactine, gauze pads, and medical tape.

Okay, just kidding. Onward!

Using the thinnest setting on your mandolin slicer, slice a whole potato. If you don’t have a mandolin slicer, use a food processor or a good old fashioned knife…but be CAREFUL!!! The potato slices should be about this thin (notice how you can just see through the slices):

Tear off a sheet of parchment paper that will just fit over the turntable in your microwave. If your microwave doesn’t have a turntable, awesome…just fit the parchment sheet to the bottom of the microwave.

Arrange potato slices on parchment paper, being careful not to overlap:

Season the potato slices with whatever seasoning you like. (I use plain sea salt…or if I want a little more flavor, I use “Uncle Bob’s Tater Tweaker” or “Mesquite ‘n Spicy Cowboy Rub”. Yum!)

Put the potatoes in the microwave and nuke ’em on HIGH for 5 minutes. Watch them carefully. Depending on your microwave and the thickness of the potato slices, the cooking time may vary. You’ve been warned!

After 5 minutes, your chips have started to cook nicely and the edges are starting to curl like real bagged FRIED chips you get in the grocery store:

But they’re not done yet! Continue cooking chips on HIGH in 3 minute increments…watching them carefully. If this is your first time with this recipe, I recommend testing the texture of one chip with your fingertip when you think they might be done. Continue to cook the chips until your desired texture is reached…then enjoy your crispy, warm, salty, awesome potato chips!!!

(If you’re not into parchment paper and want a greener alternative, Pampered Chef carries an awesome silicone chip maker. No BPA, dishwasher safe. Their Simple Slicer is also a GREAT mandoline and less pricey than others.)