Healthy Dieting the Simplistik Way

Are you hungry? Now, I’m not talking about eat a burger hungry but–you know–need a snack hungry. Yeah, me too… Maybe you’re like me and you’ve made a promise to yourself to make better food choices in your diet. Well, that actually means making better between meal choices too. And what I’ve done is I’ve gathered up a bunch of solutions to help you stay on track.

Now, the key is to eat something that packs a lot of flavor in a few bites, so portion size is something you really want to consider when you’re looking to manage your diet. So let’s start at the sweet end of my little snacketeria here.

Talk about portion control. These Sugar-Free Jell-O Snacks are only 10 calories a serving. It doesn’t get better than that. And fruit is one of my favorite snacks, but calories can vary widely between different types of fruit. One medium kiwi, for instance, is about 50 calories, a cup of orange sections is 80 calories, and a medium pear or a medium banana is about 110 calories each.

Try to stick with medium-sized fruits when you’re shopping. Think of it as nature’s portion control.

Now, you might think that watching your calories means giving up cookies. And while it does mean giving up eating the whole bag, you can have two Strawberry Newtons for 100 calories. And of course, there are lots of 100 calorie snack packs on the market now, like these Oreo Thin Crisps.

And if you’re in the mood for something creamy, Jell-O makes these Sugar-Free Pudding Snacks, and they’re 60 calories. Or you can make a smoothie. This one calls for three-quarters of a cup of Crystal Light Pink Lemonade, fresh cut strawberries, half a cup of Cool Whip Free, some ice, and two tablespoons of Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin. Now, you want to make sure that you get the kind that’s made for less or no sugar recipes. And then blend.

The pectin makes it thicken. This recipe makes two servings.

So let’s say you’re all about the savory snacks. When given a choice between chips and candy, you’ll choose chips every time. You know who you are. I’ve got a few very smart ideas for your afternoon hungries. A serving of baby carrots pack a big punch with two tablespoons of light ranch dressing. 2% Milk Singles pair nicely with a medium apple for 130 calories. And you can have three cups of air-popped popcorn sprinkled with four teaspoons of reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese for 130 calories.

I like things a little spicy, so I’m just going to grab a little pinch of cayenne pepper to spice it up. And hummus is one of my favorite snacks. Make little bites with two tablespoons of hummus and half a whole wheat pita cut into wedges. And that’s 140 calories.

Staying hydrated is essential to all of our well-being. Most of us just don’t like to drink plain water, so why not doll it up? I’m going to doll mine up with this Crystal Light Drink Mix. And suddenly your water isn’t just a plain drink, it’s a jazzy drink.

In the mood for a frozen blender drink? It’s so easy to do. Take some ice cubes, add some coffee, some skim milk, and then blend. Voila! You’ve got a yummy frozen drink. And you can sweeten it as you like it.

If you’d like nutritional information for what you’ve seen here or more great snacking ideas, visit www.howdini.com.

Making Simplistik Work of Quick Holiday Appetizers

Today we’re here to help you make last-minute holiday entertaining look effortless. You’d be surprised at just how easy it is to throw together a cocktail-do with things you probably already keep on hand… like nuts.

Pour few bowls to set around the living room or mix your nuts with some butter, cumin, and ground red pepper. Then mix them up really thoroughly, put them on a baking sheet, and pop them in the oven.

And here’s an easy holiday dip made with canned cranberry sauce, orange marmalade, and just a touch of ground red pepper. That’s cream cheese on the bottom.  Now you’re going to want to make sure that it’s softened before you spread it into the pie plate. Then, in a separate bowl, you’re going to mix your cranberry sauce, your orange marmalade, and just a touch of red pepper to give it a little bit of jazzing up. Then spread all of this over your cream cheese. Next, add some slivered almonds on top, and you’re ready to serve it. I personally love to serve this appetizer with Ritz crackers. Or you could dazzle the crowd by making your very own crackers.

These cheese crisps are not only fast, but they’re incredibly easy to make. They’re made with shredded Parmesan cheese and rosemary. You just bake them in little mounds.

This time of year, a lot of holiday parties have shrimp on the menu, and here’s an easy and an elegant shrimp appetizer like you’d find in a nice restaurant. It’s made with toasted coconut and Shake ‘N Bake® with curry powder and red pepper.

And instead of the usual cocktail sauce, whip up something new like this orange-curry dip All you do is mix up some Ranch dressing, orange marmalade, a dash of curry powder, and then what I like to do is toss in some hot pepper sauce to jazz it up a bit.

Add one more great flavor to your last-minute cocktail party with some creamy hummus. Now, I always have hummus on hand. It’s wonderful to serve with some warm pita bread, or you could even serve it with these beautiful, thin, triangular Triscuits.

Now, for a small-ish cocktail party, three or four choices of appetizers are usually enough. And you want to figure about 12 pieces per person.

Now we can’t forget the beverages for this cocktail party. It’s a good idea to keep a few bottles of wine on hand for impromptu parties just like this one. But I also like to have a specialty cocktail.

This one right here is a double-berry martini made with Crystal Light® Raspberry, ice, water, light cranberry juice cocktail, and, of course, some vodka. I’m just going to top it off with some club soda, or sparkling water would do, and then pour it in my glasses over a frozen cranberry.

Now for those who don’t drink, you always want to offer a nonalcoholic option, and what I like to do is serve a sparkling water with a lemon or a lime in a beautiful pitcher.

And finally, a cool way to make your winter guests feel special and warm is to break out the coffee machine. This one is the Tassimo system, and what I like to do is I like to whip up my guests’ favorite coffee drinks. Maybe it’s a latte, an espresso, or even a hot chocolate.