‘Extreme food makeovers’

If you want to start eating better, it may be time for an “extreme food makeover” targeting what’s currently on your takeout menu or in your fridge and kitchen cabinets. Here are some makeover recipes and ideas for what should get tossed in a hefty bag to make room for healthier choices:

Make Takeout Healthier

A recent episode of the Dr. Oz Show featured how to take all the fat and calories out of popular takeout entrees like these: . A healthier recipe for shrimp fried rice uses quinoa instead of rice; ponzu sauce (which has a lot less sodium than soy sauce), edamame, asparagus, peppers and a few tbs. of canola oil. While the typical takeout version has as much as 1,000 calories – this healthier version only has 360 calories per serving.

A healthier meatball parmesan recipe uses ground chicken instead of ground beef or pork and whole wheat pasta. Other “secret” ingredients include two egg whites, frozen spinach, and grated parmesan cheese. A regular takeout serving has 970 calories – but this healthier version only has 490 calories per serving.

Shelve It

If you’ve got yogurt on your refrigerator shelf, take the “Activia challenge” and discover. Activia Dessert Vanilla Bean in a four oz. size has a whopping 19g of sugar – but Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla has only 1g sugar per 6 oz serving.

Are your cabinet shelves stocked with energy bars marketed as high protein? Some actually have very low amounts of protein and high amounts of carbohydrates in the form of sugar. For example, one leading brand has 10 grams of protein and as much as 18 grams of sugar – while another better choice has 30 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar.

Bowled Over

Beware of what’s in your bowl since “healthy looking cereals” such as Kellogg’s Raisin Bran or Smart Start have as much as 17g sugar; Quaker flavored oatmeal has 9g sugar; and Nature Valley Granola Bars have 12g sugar. Smarter choices include Publix Bran Flakes, Multigrain Cheerios and Quaker original flavored oatmeal.

Pour it Out

Beware of fruit smoothies! One 24- ounce smoothie provides about 450 calories – that’s the same amount of calories in 10-12 doughnut holes! A solution is to make less caloric homemade versions using 1-2 servings fruit, 1/2 cup skim milk, and 1/2 cup non-fat flavored yogurt.

Out the Door

If shelves on your refrigerator door are filled with fattening salad dressings and condiments, lose ‘em and buy winning replacements to enjoy with all the fresh vegetables and lean proteins you’ll be restocking with. Using balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, calorie-free Walden Farms dressings (available in the produce department) and mustard instead of mayo or ketchup can help toss added fat and calories out of salads and sandwiches.

Go Yonanas!

Instead of ice cream, now you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a lot less fat and calories thanks to the amazing Yonanas machine. It makes creamy, delicious frozen treats, using only frozen fruit, that looks, tastes and feels like soft-serve ice cream in seconds! Visit yonanas.com (available at Bed Bath & Beyond).

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