Creative Low-Cost Low-Calorie Food Tips and Recipes

I want to start off by saying that if you arrived to this post, it wasn't by accident your looking for some ideas on how to lower your calories and  how to eat on a budget. I get that, I totally do! I have 4 kids and suffice to say have to eat separate from what they do, not all of the time but most. Well here goes some tips and recipes to start with and in the future I'll make a page designated to this topic on its own. Starting with the tips and this coincides with my other blog post:
  1. Drink a tall glass of water with every meal, snacks also.
  2. Take multi-vitamin and fish oil tab 1/2 way through meal. This I take a lunchtime 
  3. Eat @ 250-350 calories per meal, snacks stay below 200 I have usually 2 snacks a day.
  4. Shop in your own pantry and fridge, sometimes we can find things if we just dig.
  5. Use spray butter for cooking on stove.
  6. Cut out the salt, salt bloats you, I am a professed salt-a-holic and have to say over time, I don't need it and when there's extra dumped on my food without me knowing, it tastes, well, salty!!
  7. Cut out the sugar, okay, besides the morning and afternoon cups of coffee, that's it! Limits people, limits!!
  8. No Protein bars unless the sugars are low, some protein or breakfast bars have more sugar than a candy bar, you might as well go have that snickers bar anyways!! Check the label.
  9. Cut the cheese, no not literally, cut it from your Food Plan. This bloats also, if I cheat, it's with Bleu or sprinkle of parm on my spaghetti, can't do without it. Your stomach will thank-you and you'll notice a difference in your side profile. If you have to have it, make sure its in moderation.
  10. Cut out the soda consumption, if you thrive on soda, this is where your calories come from 97 to be exact in one can of Coke, you could lose weight just by cutting out this very thing, diet soda too.
  11. Keep away from Aspartame, I was drinking diet iced tea thinking my vision was going and here it was aspartame messing with me, stay away from this stuff. Very in depth site,
  12. Use frozen veggies, I have too or alot of things would go bad in my fridge. Although I eat clean, I do my version of eating clean. 
  13. By prepacked produce, if this is just for you, smaller servings can be hidden in the fridge so tiny hands can't get them.
  14. Use micro meals at lunch (sodium can be a little high on these, so be careful) most are under 300 calories, boom, lunch is done or dinner. 
  15. Have fibrous carbs at Supper, what do I mean by fibrous, well these are your fiber veggies, spinach, lettuce, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumber. These take time to digest and therefore helps you to feel fuller longer and you can fill up on these and there are virtually no calories. I make a chicken salad that is huge and it by far exceeds the eyes are bigger than the stomach rule. 
  16. Arm yourself ahead of time with foods before the week starts. Okay I know alot of fitness people use this, but it is so true. "If you Fail to Plan, then you should plan to fail". A little preparedness goes a long way. I will see what I have in my fridge, pantry, and for snacks and make a list, go shopping and now I can eat without guilt.
  17. Have easy snacks on hand. I love, love, love the tomato/herb Special K crackers why do I love these, not only are they tasty, but they are the least calories for the most you can eat, trust me, I compared boxes and believe that most crackers are 140 calories per serving. So in essence you could have almost a double serving and still stay within your 200 calorie snack range.
  18. Shop in the organic section of your store, sometimes they have discontinued items that are really cheap or on sale items. Organic has come along way in their prepackaged dept. the prices I see are coming down and that's easier on the wallet.
  19. Make a list, have a budget and stick with it. If possible try not to shop with the kids, they can be distracting and get your focus off of eating good.
  20. Don't eat after 8:00, anything that you put in your mouth will eventually reach your stomach, 8:00 is 3 hours before I go to bed, my stomach will be empty and therefore the calories I burn throughout the night (when sleeping that's when your body goes to work) will be spent on the fat stores I have instead of the fuel I would eat right before bed, a no-no! If I want something, I'll have green tea with honey and a little milk, this makes me feel better, and suppresses that craving for food.
  21. Drink Green Tea like above, read about it here:
  22. Arm yourself with gum. I can't tell you how many times I just want to chew on something and if I have gum it takes away the food factor. 5 calories
  23. Deny the food monster, tell yourself mentally, I don't need it and I have control over food, it doesn't control me. PERIOD. Do not give in and have a piece of gum instead. The hunger pangs will pass and you will say, wow I don't feel hungry anymore. 
  24. Look at your labels, what is a serving size and what are the calories per serving size, don't automatically assume that a can is a serving, soup usually has 2 servings, so calories X2.
  25. You Can Do It. Keep telling yourself you can, and you will. I did and am going to keep doing it til I get to my goal. Now I have to, I just told you to! Now I have to stick with it. Holding myself accountable.
Now for the foods I use for fuel:
  1. Canned beans, navy, pinto, chick peas (it's funny my hubby calls anything other than a stringbean, Goya beans) beans beans they're good for your heart the more you eat the more protein you get, ; )
  2. Brown Rice this I make concoctions with chicken and beans and veggies.
  3. Non Salted Almonds in a pouch, Walmart sells these @ $3.00 a bag, very cheap.
  4. Apples, Bananas, Fruits Easy grab and go snacks
  5. Popcorn (Airpopped) I lightly salt ( I mean lightly, just can't do no salt with this) this with butter spray, plus popcorn has antioxidants and fiber, you can have a ton of this and not feel the guilt. Airpop so you don't use any oil, that is where the calories and fat lie.
  6. Whole grain, breads and pastas you can get white whole grain bread for kids (fakes em out) and yet you can still eat it to.
  7. Jello-and light whipped topping, maybe 15 calories, very minimal and slightly sinful.
  8. Slim-A-Bear Klondike bars, okay dudette, these are soooo good and at only 100 calories a bar, my kids fight me over these, I have to hide them in my freezer if we're out of popsicles.
  9. Flax seed, I roast these in a pan a teaspoon at a time and add my eggs, they pop like popcorn so you get the benefits omega-3s, antioxidants, and fiber.
  10. Oatmeal this is so filling, I do get the kind that takes a little to cook in microwave 
  11. Berries of different varieties, blueberries are a superfood
  12. Dark Chocolate, I am a dark chocolate fan. I get 70% and above, I think Cadbury's has them, but I get mine in the organic Aisle. Hubby says it tastes bland, but I am used to it and have a different palate now.
  13. Canned or pouched Tuna, Chicken, Salmon. Makes a meal fast. 
  14. Egg whites in the carton
  15. Vinegars of all sorts, I like Malt, Balsamic, Apple I mix them with Olive oil for a light dressing on salads
  16. Lemon Juice in the bottle or fresh if you can, makes dishes taste better, plus lemons amp up the metabolism. This I also use on salads
  17. Frank's Red Hot Sauce, Ampin' up the metabolism again, put a dash of this on your eggs, chicken, steak, shrimp, yum.
  18. Crackers in above tips
  19. Mrs. Dash, has a wide variety of salt-free sprinkles so get what you like.
  20. I was on a Protein shake kick, but only if I am lifting weights, will be introducing a fitness plan soon, so I'll be going back to that. Can find these in organic aisle or weight loss aisle. Or go to GNC protein shakes without soy, look it up about soy and estrogen, it can be confusing so I limit my intake of soy, yet I do things in moderation. It's your choice. I leave it out, read here
  21. Whole grain tortillas, these you can make an white egg omelet with veggies, sprinkle on some Frank's and you've got a breakfast tort to go.
  22. Veggies of all sorts, frozen as I said above for quick easy access
Creative Recipes or Concoctions

Egg White Omelet, I measure out enough for like a 2-3 egg omelet with egg whites, but I first add can't believe its not butter then onions peppers spinach whatever I've got that day and measure serving size for the calories I need keeping it well under 300. Add egg whites, cook and flip, sometimes I don't flip it. Oh and I add fiesta lime Mrs. Dash.
Oatmeal (not the packets, they have too much sugar) the oats in the cardboard tube, usually on the lower shelf in the cereal aisle, with berries or bananas, again whatever I have on hand. I measure out 1/4 cup, this can balloon up to 3/4 filling up the bowl, add berries when you cook the oatmeal in microwave, mix around a little so the berries are still intact somewhat, and yummy.
Grilled Turkey and egg tortilla, grilled turkey with peppers and eggwhites, cook like above eggs and add to the tort, is so yummy and watch your potion sizes, this is key.

Micro meal from Weight Watchers or Healthy Choice, you pick.
Brown Rice, with 1-2 small chicken tenders or breasts, check the calories per serving, with veggies, either spinach, onions, squash, eggplant etc..
Couscous with Salmon or Tuna pouch ( I like to get the steaks in the pouches) add lemon and dash of flaxseed with some type of veggies, sometimes I add beans. Make sure that your calories will come out to up to 350.
Salad with 1/2 Avocado, cherry tomatoes, Butter lettuce or spring mix for variety, mushrooms, cucumbers, Add cooked Chicken breast or saute'ed shrimp. Mix Olive oil Balsamic Vinegar and Mrs. Dash together in tiny bowl with lid and toss with salad.

Bananas with little bit of peanut butter
Strawberries and fat free yogurt
You can sub a micro meal for dinner or vice versa, I tend to switch daily.

Hope that I have given some good hints for you to be successful. The only part I can't do is be there and make sure that you implement it, that's your part. So good luck and in fairness of being human, we all make mistakes, so if you fall off the wagon, don't beat yourself up, just get up, dust yourself off, hold your head up, because you're worthy of being healthy, Now Git'R done. Hope to hear some progress has been made. Click on the comments button to leave me a note and subscribe to my blog, lots coming up!
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