Lighten Up Family Favorite Meals

by Jaime Brenkus

Remember Mom’s rich brownies? Or Grandpa’s five-alarm chili? They’re in every family — sacred recipes that get passed down through the generations. The problem is that family favorite meals often aren’t as healthy as they could be. But with a few alterations to the recipe and cooking methods, you can still enjoy the tastes you love while cutting out excess fat and calories.

Try the following tips:

Spray, Don’t Pour
Coat pans and baking dishes with cooking-spray butter, margarine, or oil.

Go Non-stick
A non-stick pan can reduce the need for fat when you sauté.

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Reach for Broth
Sauté vegetables in low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock for great flavor minus the fat.

Strip the Skin
Cut calories by always removing the skin from poultry and trimming visible fat off meat.

Soak Up the Flavor
Leaner cuts of meat can be less tender. Use a low-sodium marinade to add flavor and help tenderize.

Switch Tactics
Bake, boil, or broil meats and other foods you’d normally fry.

Cut Back
Cut the amount of cheese and other fatty ingredients in your favorite recipes by one half, or replace them with low-fat versions.

Get Saucy
Try replacing some or all of the fat in baking recipes with applesauce.

Go Veggie for a Day
Replace meat in dishes with beans or meat substitutes like tofu or vegetarian crumbles.

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Slow Cook
Use a slow cooker to turn lean meats, vegetables, and beans into delicious soups, stews, and casseroles without adding fat.

Spice Things Up
Add flavor but not fat to foods with dried and fresh herbs and spices. From the sweet and citrusy flavors of basil and lemongrass to the distinctive flair of cilantro to the richness of curry, a world of flavor awaits your exploration.

Get to Know Yogurt
Replace the sour cream on your table with low-fat plain yogurt. It makes a great topping for baked potatoes.

And remember, no matter what you’re cooking or baking at home, always keep portion control in mind when you sit down to eat it. Moderation is a key to success! 

Last updated: 11.24.2017
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Written byJaime Brenkus

Celebrity exercise guru and Evergreen Wellness® Fitness Coach Jaime Brenkus is an early innovator of exercise videos in the 90s, having created the highly successful “8-Minute” video series featuring the blockbuster-selling “8-Minute Abs” video. Jaime has helped millions of people get fit, having also developed other well-received health and wellness products, including the Perfect Portions control plate. Jaime is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Physiologist – a designation he has held for nearly two decades. By teaming up with Evergreen Wellness, Jaime brings his fitness expertise to older adults through easily performed workout videos, in-person events, live streams, seminars, classes, and endorsed wellness-related products. As an Evergreen Wellness Fitness Coach, his goal is to add more “boom” to baby boomers’ lives, inspiring them to look and feel better by leading happier, healthier lifestyles.

Coach Image

Written by Jaime Brenkus

Celebrity exercise guru and Evergreen Wellness® Fitness Coach Jaime Brenkus is an early innovator of exercise videos in the 90s, having created the highly successful “8-Minute” video series featuring the blockbuster-selling “8-Minute Abs” video. Jaime has helped millions of people get fit, having also developed other well-received health and wellness products, including the Perfect Portions control plate. Jaime is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Physiologist – a designation he has held for nearly two decades. By teaming up with Evergreen Wellness, Jaime brings his fitness expertise to older adults through easily performed workout videos, in-person events, live streams, seminars, classes, and endorsed wellness-related products. As an Evergreen Wellness Fitness Coach, his goal is to add more “boom” to baby boomers’ lives, inspiring them to look and feel better by leading happier, healthier lifestyles.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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