Good health is a valuable commodity. Good tasting food can be both comforting and nourishing. Combine wise food choices, portion control,  moderate exercise and regular physical and dental checkups to make for a happier healthier life.
Here are 10 tips for flavorful fantastic food – healthier options.
1.  The 3 B’s – Bake, Broil, and Braise instead of deep frying. Oven frying can bring crisp results without the fat. Quick frying on the stove top using a small amount of heart healthy olive oil, is also an option.
2.  Use more herbs and spices and less salt.
Read, read, read labels.  Some processed foods, contain a full day’s worth (or more)  of the suggested amount  of sodium that should be consumed. At first you might miss that extra saltiness, but your palate will quickly adapt, and before long, you won’t feel the need to grab the salt shaker.
3.  Squeeze a little lemon juice on broccoli, and use just a dab of butter. The lemon juice brings a new fresh  flavor to the “little trees”.  For even more crunch add some sesame seeds.
4.  Substitute, low fat or fat free milk, for whole milk, for both eating and cooking. 
(If you have young children, check with our pediatrician. There are age guidelines – along with other issues, that will  determine when whole milk should be phased out of a child’s regular eating plan.) It won’t make any difference in most recipes, but will make a big difference in the amount of fat!
5.  Add color and crunch to your meals, by eating more raw vegetables and fruits. Make your plate a rainbow with green, red, orange and yellow foods.
The extra crunch and chewing, will help you to feel full faster, and not add empty calories.
6.  Eat fewer refined and processed foods. Slowly switch from gooey white bread, to whole grain breads and cereals.
There are so many on the market, to choose from now days. There are even very soft wheat breads, that kids find appealing.  Cut their sandwiches in fun shapes to encourage them to try new textures.
7.  Add a variety of rice’s to your menu’s.  
It’s amazing how much more flavor there is brown and wild rices, than there is in plain white rice.  Some have nutty flavors, while others have earthy undertones.  Try mixing brown rice, or wild rice, with white rice. Experiment with different
liquids to replace some or all of the water.  Fat free or low fat chicken or beef broth, tomato juice, and other fruit juices, can bring all kinds of new flavors.
8.  Speaking of juice – try slowly watering it down. I love Ruby Red Grapefruit and can drink it all day long,  but the extra sugar and calories sure isn’t needed, so I’ve been gradually adding more and more water, and now I’m very happy with a 2 parts water to 1 part juice. Of course eating whole fruits,is even better than drinking juice.
9.  Eat salad, but watch all those extras!
You can actually consume more fat and calories in some salads, when dining at restaurants and fast food eateries, than you would, from a burger and small order of fries.One popular chains “healthy chicken salad” sandwich had more than a full day’s worth  of calories.There are lots of great tasting low an fat free salad dressings.  Add a FEW raisins, or dried cranberries, or maybe a spoonful of sunflower seeds, but don’t load them on.If you spend an hour once a week, chopping, slicing and dicing carrots, celery, green (or red, orange, yellow) bell peppers,cucumbers, and squash, it makes for quick and easy preparations later in the week.  Try adding a chopped apple, and some lower fat cheese, along with leftover baked chicken, and you have a meal in a bowl.
10.  Drink more WATER!  
Add lemon or lime juice.
Drink it cold or at room temperature. Drink it hot, with lemon and a bit of honey.
Starting out with healthy eating habits, is so much easier than breaking poor eating habits later in life. Mealtime should be more fun – not stressful. Forcing children to eat foods that they don’t like, rarely does any good.  Encouragement
and patients goes a long way, as does, a good example. Adopting the clean plate rule, can lead to a lifetime of overeating.  Use common sense.  Don’t ban sweets, just offer alternatives healthier options more often.
Eat to live – Don’t live to eat.
*Always check with your health care professionals before making drastic changes to your diet or starting an exercise program.*

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”
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Flavorful Fantastic Food – Healthier Options

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