A very healthy, low-carb snack you can throw together in about one minute!
Well, it’s that time of year again. Holiday cooking and eating seems a lot like shopping for things on a credit card to give as gifts. Sure as anything, January rolls around and the bills start rolling in. And if you haven’t seen your bill for what you ate, just turn around and look behind you. It’s possible you haven’t seen it yet, but I assure you, everyone else has. 😉
Now that our fun has gone straight to our hips, it’s time to set to work getting rid of it.
First, something about me and my dieting views: I am not really big on cutting calories excessively. I believe that it sets up our metabolism to actually hold on to fat in our bodies. Because if we cause our bodies to think we are starving, it is going to save everything it can to save itself. This may or may not be true- I have read studies about it but also believe if someone wants to sell an idea or concept, they can get a study to say just about anything.
What I do know is that every time I have cut calories heavily in a dieting attempt, it works, but every single time I lost weight, I eventually went off the diet and would regain every single ounce of it. Plus about 5 pounds more for good measure. (Thanks, brain! I wasn’t starving! 😉 )
I have found that cutting carbohydrates is very effective for weight loss. This means that diets such as Atkins, Low-Carb, Diabetic, Paleo, South Beach, etc., all work well for me. Having become a diabetic myself (I am type II with a genetic predisposition for that) I find it necessary to cut carbs and sugars wherever I can. So foods that are naturally low-glycemic are good for my diet as well, and not just for diabetics. Having a lower glycemic load is better for everyone as it helps prevent the 3 o’clock crash. If you haven’t heard about that, it is the time of day when your blood sugars fall, because the carbs you ate for lunch that pumped your blood full of glucose suddenly left the building. If you haven’t noticed it, make a point of seeing how you feel about 2 hours or so after lunch. It’s usually the time people think about snacks. (another time is that point in the evening several hours after dinner when folks suddenly get a bit peckish- t.v. advertisers know this too and prey on it).
I really don’t think there is anything wrong in snacking, per se. In fact, I think it is a great thing. Especially if you can shrink the size of your meal and try for a more “grazing” approach throughout the day. Of course, this doesn’t mean to grab the nearest Snickers bar. They do “really satisfy” but they also fuel your brains need to satisfy its need for fat and calm its phobia of starving to death.
So what to do? Healthy snacks are in order then. Things that are lower in calories but that do not set your body into starvation-protection mode. Things low in carbs, high in fiber, low in glycemic load, high in vitamins, that sort of thing. These lettuce wraps are very good to satisfy hunger pangs. I wouldn’t say they are chock-full of vitamins, especially since iceberg lettuce doesn’t have that much nutritional value (if any at all). But the lettuce does serve to keep your fingers clean. If you would like something a bit more nutritious, you can always choose to use something like spinach or Swiss chard. The meat is high in pretein, usually low in fat. The cheese can have fat in it since dairy fat doesn’t impact as heavily as you would think, but it does have a little bit of sugar in it (lactose) which you may want to tally up if you are diabetic, or avoid altogether if you are lactose-intolerant. I will admit I am not really familiar with lactose free cream cheese, but I imagine something like that is available. And since I haven’t ever used that, can’t endorse it in any way. But if you have had something like that and enjoy it, by all means do use it. The sriracha in this actually may serve to help your metabolism (since chiles do that), and it sets off good brain response because it calms neurotransmitters associated with pain. Let’s hope we all can have sriracha available in the years to come (they are having legal issues associated with production) but should you suddenly run out, try something like sambal oelek chili paste, and since I do know how to make something similar to Huy Fong’s sriracha, I will post that as well sometime this year (but probably not until mid to late summer when crops of peppers come in). Just don’t use Louisiana hot sauce. It won’t taste the same.
I do hope you enjoy! And if you have made resolutions at the beginning of this year to embark on newer and better health, I do sincerely wish you all the luck in the world. Here’s to a thinner, healthier and better 2014!
Healthy Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups
- 1.5 ounces sliced smoked turkey breast
- 1.5 ounces fat-free cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
- 1 large iceberg lettuce leaf or 2-3 Boston lettuce leaves
- 4-5 toothpicks
- Place lettuce on plate and smash any thick portion of the leaf-stem if you need to.
- Layer turkey, cream cheese, and sriracha on a lettuce leaf.
- Roll up like a burrito, secure with toothpicks and slice.
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