Sunday, August 4, 2013

I really gotta lay off the sauce!

No, no, no! Not That kind of sauce! Even in my "mildly wild" days I was never a big drinker. my husband says I am too much of a control freak. Maybe yes, maybe no.
 Back to the topic,the sauce I am referring to here is all the stuff I like to put on my food. As I have been working on improving my nutrition I have realized that sauces are my downfall.
I came to this realization as I was reading one of those "Simple shopping tips to help you lose weight" type of articles. It seems to me that all of those articles always have the "shop the perimeter of the store, because the processed foods are in the middle" tip. I have done this for years because processed food is expensive when you are cooking for a family of 7. My husband and I also love to cook so cooking from scratch really isn't a problem for us. So why am I so overweight if I follow this rule?
Because Dairy and Bread are on the perimeter of the store as well. I love dairy. Cottage cheese, Sour cream, cheeses of every shape and firmness. It sets the heart aflutter, does it not?
 I love fresh raw veggies but they are so much more appealing dipped in a fresh dip of sour cream and spices. Who doesn't love a loaded baked potato? Except my daughter.
Then there are the condiments all loaded up with sugar and sodium and fat. I can feel my arteries clogging just thinking about the mayo that was on my chicken sandwich last week.
We are down to just my husband and youngest daughter in the house. I admit it was tempting to fill up the freezer with "convenience" foods to go along with our busy schedules but we all agreed that we wanted to be healthier. As my husband and I were grocery shopping I realized that we, as a general rule, eat healthy foods but our choices to smother them with sauces and condiments cause a lot of our issues. I put the sour cream back. and the cream cheese. sigh.
So how do we fix the sauce problem? Here are a few tips that are working for us-
1. Season your food so that you do not need to add to it. Get creative with spices. Use fresh lemon,lime or orange juice to give things a little kick. You can mix it in while cooking or squeeze it over just before serving. Fresh garlic and onion and herbs just cannot be beat for a big pop of flavor! If you can't use these, make sure to use spices without salt i.e. garlic POWDER, Onion POWDER etc. Avoid seasoning salt. We all need a sodium in our diets but too much is just not good.
2. Don't overcook your food. Overcooked meat of any type is dry as dust. Overcooked veggies are mushy, colorless and tasteless. When a meal like that is put before you it BEGS for sauce of some sort. You don't have to attend culinary school to be able to cook simple meals. You just have to pay attention. Which brings me to
3. Don't try to multitask while preparing food. It will not end well and you will be melting cheese and pouring on the sauce to cover your mistakes in hopes that you meant to make it "extra crispy"!
4. Don't use too high of heat when cooking your food. You end up with burnt outside, raw inside and again reach for the sauce to make it edible.
5. Get creative with sandwiches. I can't stand a dry sandwich. Replace the mayo, ketchup-whatever- with avocado or hummus or smashed black beans seasoned to fit your taste. Goodbye boring lunches!

Any other suggestions?

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