With many social events that revolve around food, it’s not easy to get a fresh start on making healthy food choices. However, with a little thought and planning, you can prevent taking your body on a roller coaster ride – without having to choose between food deprivation and satisfaction.
“Whether you are hosting an event or attending someone else’s celebration, planning ahead can help you stay on track,” said Mitzi Dulan, a registered dietitian and nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert. “Having quick and simple strategies and recipes on hand makes it easy to eat well and keep you feeling great.”
Put a winning plan in place to take a new look at your approach to eating smart with these tips from Dulan, who is the team nutritionist for the World Series champion Kansas City Royals.
Don’t skip meals
Although skipping breakfast may seem like a good way to cut calories, it’s a plan that can actually backfire, making you hungrier as the day wears on, and more likely to overeat or sneak unhealthy snacks. Start each day with a well-rounded breakfast to fuel your body. Apply a similar approach to events later in the day, as well. You may be tempted to skip a meal so you can enjoy the treats at a party, but chances are you’ll end up overdoing it with high-calorie indulgences, so make sure you fuel up ahead of time.
Love what you eat
Be mindful of the food you eat, and make every bite count. Enjoying each delicious taste will make it easier to stick to a sensible eating plan. For the foods you do love, look for ways to make them better – better for you, that is. For example, if pizza is your weak spot, substitute a lower-calorie crust, such as Flatout Flatbread. Then choose toppings wisely to amp up the flavor while managing added fat and calories.
Eat smaller portions
When you simply must indulge, you may be surprised to hear “go ahead,” but to do so in moderation. One clever way to keep your portions small: use a tablespoon, not a serving spoon to dish out portions. Then eat slowly so your body has time to tell your brain you’re full.
Get your fill in healthy ways
Overeating often comes down to a very basic cause: hunger. Becoming more conscious of how you answer your hunger will help you stay on track. Drinking water before and during events will help to fill you up so you are less likely to consume excess calories. Snacking throughout the day can also help keep hunger at bay; several small, healthy snacks, such as a handful of nuts or trail mix, can help keep you feeling full. Also, remember to stop eating when you feel satisfied, but before you feel full.
Thin Crust Egg, Sausage and Pepper Breakfast Pizza
1 Flatout Flatbread Artisan Thin Pizza Crust
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
2 eggs, lightly scrambled
3 ounces sausage, cooked and crumbled
2 ounces yellow peppers, diced
2ounces red peppers, diced
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Place flatbread on cookie sheet. Bake for 2 minutes. Remove from oven. Top flatbread with cheese, scrambled egg, sausage and peppers. Return to oven and bake 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.
Grilling method: Heat grill to 375 degrees. Pre-bake flatbread on grill for 1-2 minutes. Remove from grill. Top flatbread with cheese, scrambled egg, sausage and peppers. Return to grill. Close lid. Grill 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.
Arugula Mushroom Flatbread Pizza
1 Flatout Flatbread
1/2 cup mushrooms, cooked
1/2 cup arugula
6 grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
11/2 teaspoons fat-free balsamic vinegar
Heat grill or oven to 375 degrees.
Pre-bake flatbread for 2 minutes. Remove.
Warm mushrooms in microwave or pan. Top flatbread with arugula, tomatoes and mushrooms. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Cut into slices.
Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza
1 Flatout Flatbread Artisan Thin Pizza Crust
1/4 cup chunky red sauce
3 slices provolone cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
30 pepperoni mini slices
Heat oven or grill to 375 degrees.
Place flatbread on cookie sheet. Bake 2 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread sauce on flatbread. Lay provolone on top of sauce. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni. Return to oven and bake 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.
Grilling method: Heat grill to 375 degrees. Pre-bake flatbread on grill for 2 minutes. Remove from grill. Spread sauce on flatbread. Lay provolone on top of sauce. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni. Return flatbread to grill. Close lid. Grill for 4 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Barbecue Chicken Flatbread Pizza
non-stick baking spray
2 Flatout Flatbreads
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 ounces grilled chicken breast, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon red onion, diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray large baking sheet with non-stick baking spray. Place flatbreads on baking sheet. On each flatbread, evenly spread 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce.
Sprinkle both cheeses over flatbreads. Mix remaining barbecue sauce with grilled chicken and place on pizzas. Top with diced onion. Bake 5 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve.