8 Skinny Swaps to Set You Free!

 Eat this instead of that to cut calories and lose weight

If this view looks familiar, you might be a busy mom.
I don't know about you, but my day is pretty much chock full.  As a working mom, I'm generally at the computer, running through the house, or driving around town, trying to check things off my To Do list. Frankly, there isn't a whole lot of extra time to think deeply about weight loss or weight management in my day. I know I'm not alone.

Skinny Swaps to set you free (and cut calories)!
Enter the Skinny Swaps. Everyone needs a cheat sheet in life. Skinny Swaps are an easy way to make healthy, waist-friendly choices very day.  Eat this, not that.  After all, losing weight or maintaining it is all about choices.  When I eat one thing instead of another, I'm that much closer to cutting the 3500 calories needed to lose 1 pound. Or it's a little less time I need to spend on cardio. Win-Win!

Here are a 8 Skinny Swaps to get you started:

Water instead of Soda: This one's a no-brainer. You can drink a can of regular soda at 140 calories, or drink as much water as you want at 0 calories. You say you don't like the taste of plain water? Toss in a slice of lemon or lime. The more you drink water, the less you'll crave soda. Trust me. Savings: 140 calories

Black Coffee instead of Starbucks: Let's not even talk about the money this swap will save you (not to mention the time). A tall cappuccino with 2% milk has 90 calories. A tall mocha with 2% and whipped cream has 270 calories. Like water, black coffee has 0 calories. And admit it, you usually get a larger size than Tall. Savings: 90-270+ calories

Toast instead of a Bagel or Muffin: Truth is, I prefer to start my day with high protein Greek yogurt. But if you're a carb person, choose two slices of wheat toast (140 calories) over the bagel (270 calories) or muffin (410 calories). Savings: 130-270 calories

Mustard instead of Mayo: Making yourself a sandwich? Become a mustard lover. Slathering it with 1 tablespoon of mustard (30 calories) instead of mayo (90 calories) is a tasty way to cut calories. Savings: 60 calories

Mashed Cauliflower instead of Mashed Potatoes: That spud you grew up with is not your friend. At 67 calories per 1/2 cup and a glycemic load of 98, the potato is a bloating, unhealthy choice. Instead, mash boiled cauliflower; 1/2 cup is only 14 calories with a very low glycemic load of 15. By the way, you probably eat more like a cup of these mashed comfort foods per meal. Savings: 53-106 calories

Shirataki Noodles instead of Spaghetti: Made from the Asian root konjac or konnuyaku, Skinny Noodles brand shirataki noodles have 0 calories and 0 net carbs per serving (1/2 bag). The same size serving of regular spaghetti contains 200 calories and over 40g carbs. Plus the fiber in the shirataki noodles will help you feel full longer.  Savings: 200 calories

Fish instead of Red Meat: Everyone knows fish is good for you. But did you realize it's so waist-friendly? A 3 ounce serving of steak has 230 calories (plus a bunch of saturated fat) versus 124 calories for wild salmon with all its healthy Omega-3 fatty acids: Savings: 106 calories

Air-Popped Popcorn instead of Potato Chips: When you're feeling the need for crunch, skip the potato chips and opt for air-popped popcorn. One ounce (12 chips) has 160 calories while the same amount of popcorn has only 30 calories. Besides, you know you can't eat just 12 chips! Savings: 130 calories

Compare labels, I'm sure you'll find a few more Skinny Swaps to help you along toward your goal. As far as I'm concerned, every swap is a little less time I have to spend on the elliptical, in exercise class, or walking. That's more time I get to spend doing what I have to do -- or love to do. Like hanging out with my daughters ... which is usually a good thing.  Most days.

Delicious Ways to Stay Healthy & Get Skinny

 Boosting Immunity with Waist-Friendly, Vitamin C-Rich Foods

A few weeks ago, my 6th grade twin daughters were gearing up for a week-long science camp in the Southern California mountains. And of course, one of them came down with a nasty cold just a few days before they were scheduled to leave.  It's that time of year when you don't know what to expect from the weather -- one day it's rainy and cold, the next it's warm and sunny. So whether you're 8, 80, or 38, you try to figure out how to boost your immunity and stay healthy.

April is National Cabbage Month.
Cabbage is a good source of vitamin C. Via growveg.com

Eating the right things can be especially tough when you're trying to lose weight or follow a particular diet (diabetic-friendly or gluten-free for instance). When my daughter was sick, I could have loaded her up with chewable vitamin C. But like most of us, she'd much rather munch on something tasty.  Added vitamin C is a bonus.  In those days before camp, she snacked on her favorite Cuties mandarins and cantaloupe slices. We also made the twins' favorite stir fry loaded with vitamin C-rich veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach served over Skinny Noodles Spaghetti. Before she jumped on that bus to leave, I could see my daughter was feeling better and on the mend.

Easy Summer Salad made with red bell peppers, cabbage,
and Skinny Noodles Shirataki
Since April brings National Vitamin C Day (April 4) and National Cabbage Month, it's a great time to try our Easy Summer Salad with Cabbage & Red Pepper. On busy Spring days, this quick side dish for baked chicken or grilled fish provides 93 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C. Just 142 calories, 14g fat, 5g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, and 1g protein per serving, this salad is only 4 Weight Watchers Points.  Eat something delicious, boost your immunity, and watch your waist all at the same time. Now that's what this mama calls multi-tasking!

Foods High in Vitamin C
Sweet red bell peppers
Mustard greens