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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Healthy Tip- Use Recipes That Breakdown Calories and Measurements

The reality about getting used to a healthier lifestyle is that you have to be intentional in the way you live your life. This is particularly true if there are ways of doing things from eating to exercise that haven't come naturally or are not yet part of a healthy life style pattern. You have to consciously adopt and then adapt to the better way of doing things. And I have found, you need to find supportive mechanisms to help you be mindful.

Since I haven't a clue what the right amount of any food looks like, it is important for me to measure and weigh so I end up eating the appropriate amount of food. In order to plan a meal, I need to know what calories are in each food and how many people each recipe serves. Ideally, I like to know the specific measurement of food as well.

Most recipes will tell you how many servings the recipe makes but it is amazing how many recipes don't provide calories per serving. Especially our older cookbooks. This is a red flag. You need to know how many servings and how many calories are in each recipe. If you don't, how can you be intentional and how can you plan?

There are so many wonderful cookbooks out there these days that do provide both the calorie count and size of serving that it isn't hard to find. In fact, there are great resources on the internet as well. A few times I have really wanted to use an old favorite recipe, I have gone online to see if I can find something similar that does provide the calories and portion size. When I am really wanting to use something where I can't find a similar alternative, I will sit down with a calorie counter and try and figure it out. Not a great solution, but at least I have a sense of what I am dealing with. For instance, there is a fabulous marinade for a Butterflied Leg of Lamb from the Silver Palate Cookbook...an old time favorite from a stained and tattered page. There is no great alternative. The closest I got was was a Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce from sparkpeople.com. Not really what I want so I am probably going to have figure the calories out myself...I will let you know...and post it. It is a marinade that truly can't be beat and is not filled with bad calories...I hope!

Healthy Tip- To make life easy and manageable, the only way to go is to use recipes that define servings and calories. All the cookbooks I have listed on the blog do.