There are certain foods that I consider treats and that should be consumed in moderation. Things like chips, popcorn, red meat and dessert.
That being said, just because I consider them a treat doesn’t mean I don’t care about the quality. In fact, because I’m consuming these foods in moderation, I’m willing to spend a bit more money on them to ensure their quality.
When it comes to chips, I would recommend:
- Way Better Snacks: they’re made from sprouted whole grains, non-GMO corn, and organic ingredients. One of my fav flavors is the Sweet Chilli; just spicy enough that a few satisfies the craving (now available at Costco!).
- Late July: organic and non-GMO, these tortilla chips are available in awesome flavors like Mild Green Mojo, and Sea Salt by the Seashore (available at Winners, Home Sense or health food stores).
Popcorn is high in fiber, and low in calories, but put down the packaged microwave stuff that’s full of chemicals and preservatives. Instead, pick up a jar of organic kernels ($5 at Shoppers Drug Mart!) and make my Healthy Microwave Popcorn. Healthy topping options include: organic butter & sea salt, organic coconut oil & organic coconut sugar or extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.
I recommend consuming red meat about twice a month. Red meat is difficult to digest, and is considered an inflammatory food. I’m not suggesting cutting it out of your diet all together because it’s an amazing source of iron and protein, but when you do decide to indulge make sure you buy high-quality meat!
- For steak, I would recommend a visit to your local butcher. We go to Klosters in Newmarket to pick up cuts of their local, grass-fed steaks; more expensive than the grocery store, but they find the best quality, all-natural meat from local farms. If I’m only having steak a couple times a month I don’t mind paying more to ensure good quality meat.
- One of our favorite weekend meals are homemade gourmet burgers (I use Chatelaine’s “The Perfect Burger” recipe – simple & delish!). I buy lean ground beef that is free-from hormones & antibiotics, and is about $6 per package at the health food store (Nature’s Emporium). My fave toppings include avocado, Dijon mustard, caramelized onions and goat cheese on a whole-wheat bun.
- Sausage incorporates amazing flavor into pasta, chilli or homemade pizza, but most brands are full of nitrites (a preservative that can cause cancer when mixed with stomach acid), and unnecessary filler ingredients. Look for sausages that are all natural, nitrite-free, and made with free-from, local meat. A package of 4 is about $7 (available at Metro, Superstore, Vince’s and Nature’s Emporium).
When it comes to dessert, chocolate is one of my favorite choices, and the best part is that cocoa actually has amazing health benefits. Avoid milk chocolate that is high in sugar, non-GMO soy, hydrogenated oils & fat; instead choose brands that are at least 70% cocoa and organic. Giddy YoYo and Zazubean are a couple of my favorites ($3.99 per bar, and available at health food stores). You can also make your own chocolate using coconut oil, cocoa powder and maple syrup! Check out the simple recipe below from nutritionist Melissa Malisani,
Healthy Homemade Chocolate
¼ cup Organic Coconut Oil
¼ cup Organic Cacao Powder
2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl (coconut oil should be melted first), and stir until mixed.
Pour chocolate into a brownie or loaf pan. Let firm in the fridge for an hour or until hard. Best stored in the freezer.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite treats. Chips, red meat and dessert are still options, but consume in moderation, and when you do indulge, buy high-quality brands and ingredients!