Simple Switches to Cut Calories and Fat

As a personal coach, Altheus trainer Amy Nelson's job is to keep clients on a healthy track but her work doesn't end at the gym.

"I am tired at the end of the day. My day starts early and then it starts again when I get home in the evening," Nelson said.

Like a lot of moms, Nelson has to cook a well-balanced meal for her family in a short amount of time.

That's where nutritionist Christine Greene comes in. Many traditional recipes can tolerate a healthy and quick renovation and still taste great, she said.

Take, for instance, something basic like chicken in a creamy sauce. Cut the cream out completely and replaced it with apples and cider, said Greene.

"The first thing you want to consider is looking at it overall and you want to look at, 'Where can I alter the fat, the sugar and the salt," Greene said.

She used 3/4 of a cup of apple cider, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to add that to a plate and saved more than 130 calories and 33 grams of fat without losing the flavor.

Want some other suggestions?

Instead of creamed soups, use pureed carrots or mashed potato flakes, Greene said.

The next time you bake, you may want to use mashed bananas or prune puree in place of vegetable oil.  If your recipe calls for a cup of oil, you can substitute a cup of applesauce.

But what's a nice meal without desert?

Greene recommends a traditional apple crisp. To bake a low-fat apple crisp, she made some adjustments by decreasing the amount of brown sugar as well as regular sugar, cutting the butter in half and increasing the amount of cinnamon.

There was no difference in taste from the unhealthier version. Greene said that’s what its all about.

"I'm not asking you to change mom's stuffing recipe completely, OK. Make some little changes to make it your recipe, perhaps," she said.

For working moms like Nelson, that's one less weight off her back.

"These are simple, easy options and making gradual little changes really can go such a long way," said Nelson.

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