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For many of us, the dawning of a new year means that the battle of the bulge is joined again. Among the most popular New Year’s resolutions is losing weight. And losing weight often means changing one’s diet.
That battle can be difficult. Food is abundant and relatively cheap. Processed meals and restaurants offer easy temptation of the calories, fat and sodium that fill our bellies and fire the pleasure center of our brains but leave our bodies nutrition-poor.
This is not a hopeless battle: The trick for me is not giving up the foods I love—creating cravings that I eventually give in to—but to enjoy them less often. I also try to make healthier versions of my favorite meals. This might mean trimming portions, eating healthy snacks or substituting ingredients.
The weight war can rarely be won at the dining table alone. Exercise, a dirty word to some, usually must be deployed. Even if it’s just a 15-minute walk every day, every step you take will bring you closer to your goal.
After that walk, treat yourself. One of my favorite treats is pizza. Now, I love the full-calorie meat-and-cheese-laden slices from a pizzeria. But there are ways to reduce pizza’s impact on your waistline.
This recipe goes all out, eliminating much of the fat and calories of a regular pizza. Roasted vegetables provide the creamy texture of cheese, and marinated mushroom slices substitute for meat. Of course, you can take the basic idea and add your own flavors and styles or shake on some Parmesan. You might be surprised at how satisfying this pie can be. Compare this, at 79 calories for two slices, to a single slice of the same size restaurant-baked cheese pizza at 275 calories.
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 portabella mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 large onion
1 small eggplant
2 red bell peppers
1 cup tomato puree
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon fresh basil, julienned
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 thin 12-inch pizza crust (store-bought or homemade)
Servings: 4. Serving size: 2 slices. Per serving: 79 calories, 3.4 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 17.7 g carbohydrates, 4.7 g dietary fiber, 245 mg sodium, 9.8 g sugars