At We Olive our celebrations involve delicious, seasonal food passed around a big table of family and friends. Most often those meals are healthful, but around the holidays it’s easy to overdo the sweet treats and the hearty, heavier fare. When we need to right the ship and get back to lighter eating, we have a few tricks up our sleeve that make eating healthy a delicious endeavor.
Add fat-free flavor. Our Aged Balsamic Vinegar packs a powerful punch in the fight against bland food. Just a drizzle of this sweet and tangy sauce that’s more condiment than vinegar can add a boost of flavor without adding fat to salads, lean proteins like chicken breast and pork tenderloin, and roasted veggies. It even doubles as a dessert topping – try it with plain non-fat greek yogurt and berries for a sweet treat!
Swap out butter. While you may be sautéeing or roasting in EVOO or even making your own vinaigrettes, did you know that you can swap heart healthy olive oil for butter in most recipes? We love taking traditional diet busters like baked goods and swapping out a few key ingredients to make a deliciously satisfying healthy version. Try these Banana Oat Bran muffins where we’ve replaced the some of the flour with oat bran, the butter with olive oil and mashed banana, and the refined sugar with a bit of honey. Use our butter/olive oil conversion chart to make your favorite recipes more healthful!
Lighten up your beverages. It’s not difficult to drink almost as many calories as you eat, whether you’re slurping up sodas or knocking back a few extra glasses of wine. While water is the most important beverage on our clean eating list, we sometimes want a sweet sipper to quench our thirst. Our white balsamic vinegars make a perfect stir in to club soda for a refreshing DIY soda. Try a teaspoon of our White Apple or Fresh Peach white balsamic vinegars in club soda or sparkling water. Add your spirit of choice for a skinny cocktail!
Go green. You can’t go wrong eating greens. Pack a lunch and load up your favorite greens with lean proteins, veggies, nuts, and flavorful cheeses like parmesan, blue or feta where a little goes a long way in the flavor department. Dress it with a little bit of California extra virgin olive oil and a good quality vinegar and you are set for a super healthy, filling meal. Don’t skip adding olive oil because you’re afraid of the fat content, studies show that in order to best absorb powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants like lycopene in tomatoes or lutein in spinach, you need to consume them with fat. A drizzle of olive oil will help you get the most out of those veggies!
Be prepared. We’ve found that if we don’t make healthy eating easy for ourselves, we are prone to eating convenience foods that sabotage our diets. Stock up on veggies, fruits, and healthy snacks like yogurt or hummus. Spend a little time post-grocery shopping prepping your food to make it snack and lunch ready in seconds. We even like to pre-portion or snacks and meals to keep a healthy option on hand at all times. We also found this super convenient salad bowl that makes it easy to brown bag it. Load the main compartment with leafy greens and all your salad fixins’ and store your dressing in the top compartment. No need to pack utensils because it comes with that too!