Healthy bites for one: An introduction

Here are some basic concepts to incorporate into your daily approach to food:

Moderation is crucial: Do not deprive yourself. This will make it easier to stay on track and not overindulge. If you want a treat, eat it in a reasonable portion, savoring every bite, and make healthy choices for the rest of the day. Also, try modifying recipes to reduce the fat or sugar content.

When to splurge: Treat yourself earlier in the day. Instead of going out for dinner, go out for lunch instead, and eat a light dinner and healthy snacks for the remainder of the day. Or, select a splurge-worthy item, but pair it with a side of steamed vegetables, instead of a calorie or fat-laden side item.

Have your cake and share it, too: Look at a social or business event as a wonderful way to experience the joy of cooking or baking. Sharing your homemade items with others is a much better alternative to eating a batch of chocolate peanut butter chip cookies all by yourself!

Quality splurges: Make your caloric splurge worth it! For example, if sweets are your utter weakness, treat yourself to higher-quality sweets (Publix bakery), and pass on mediocre sweets you can live without.

Protein - think outside the animal: There is a vast selection of non-animal protein options (soy, tempeh, etc.) available at your local grocery store. However, since the typical American’s plate is centered on meat, they are often overlooked. They should not be; they are budget-friendly, portable, and reheat well.

Leftovers — be creative: If you cannot stomach the thought of eating the same food for more than one or two days, prepare the food in two different ways. For example, make two boneless chicken breasts for dinner. Eat one breast for dinner, and make a chicken salad sandwich with the remaining breast, or chop it and toss into a salad for the next day’s lunch.

Freezer bags: These are excellent for storing leftovers from multi-serving recipes. Sometimes you end up with leftovers, even if your primary focus is cooking for one. Freezer bags work best for baked items, but also work for various other types of food, including home-cooked and store-bought.

Single serving pre-packaged foods: These handy items provide built-in portion control. They are portable for the on-the-go person, and the food remains fresh. They are extremely resourceful for the single person, especially for between-meal snacking.

Budget bites - It is possible to maintain your waistline while keeping your wallet and stomach full.

This is just a preview of topics I will be featuring in my column. So, welcome to 'Healthy Bites for One' and bon appetit!

click to enlarge Healthy bites for one: An introduction -
Healthy bites for one: An introduction

click to enlarge Healthy bites for one: An introduction -
Healthy bites for one: An introduction

Being a single woman, I know that many singles shy away from cooking meals for just one person because they see it as a waste of time, do not like eating leftovers, or for various other reasons. Being a single person who refuses to be dependent on takeout food (for nutrition and monetary reasons), I learned to successfully cook for one, in a health-conscious and budget-friendly manner.

In my column, I will write about nutrition and fitness topics from a single person’s point of view, while answering frequently asked questions of the general public and readers of my column, and curbing common nutrition and fitness myths, while maintaining relevance to the Tampa Bay area while contributing the occasional recipe.

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