Tahoe-Truckee food: A beginner 5-item list to slim eating for 2017
In a few days this feature is going to have to be called, “Healthy for Always.” That’s right, the end of the holiday season is upon us — until Valentine’s Day.
On Dec. 26, there was an impressive amount of “drop ins” (impromptu one-day members) at the Truckee-Donner Park and Recreation Fitness and Aquatic Centers doing a little damage control (or taking advantage of the memberships sale we’ve got going on) after the 25th.
While plunging into exercise or the 82˚ lap pool is a great idea leading into the new year, you don’t want to go cold turkey (literally) in the food department.
Depriving yourself of sweets and carbohydrates will work for a short while, but it usually leads to free-for-all binge if your diet is too stringent. The key is moderation and substitution.
There are so many healthy alternatives available these days, you just need to know what to place in your shopping cart. TDRPD staff and, of course, our resourceful members, have compiled a beginners’ list to ease you into a slim way of eating.
You know what? These five items will become standards in your pantry and refrigerator.
Halo Top ice cream
OMG and finally! This ice cream is unreal. Only 240-280 calories for a whole pint (that is the same calories as a half-cup of premium ice cream), low in fat (two grams per half-cup) and loaded with protein and fiber.
It comes in a variety of flavors and really does the trick when that ice cream urge hits. Best when microwaved for about five seconds (to thaw it a bit) before serving.
Walden Farms calorie free caramel syrup
Don’t know how they do it and don’t care, this stuff is “the bomb.” (Teenage member’s jargon.) Very rich and creamy, it can be enjoyed on, obviously, ice cream, or used to flavor your coffee.
A nice warm beverage is heated cashew milk with a couple tablespoons of the syrup stirred in and sprinkled with nutmeg. Also available in chocolate but the caramel seems to be the hands-down favorite around the track.
La Tortilla Factory ‘wraps’
Not really the best tortillas, but great alternative to bread. At 50 calories, 11 carbohydrates and 8 grams of fiber, they are excellent filled with leftover turkey, ham or just about anything.
There are a bunch of instant oatmeals out there, but this one — mixing oats and flax seed and flavored with maple and cinnamon — is becoming a TDRPD favorite.
It is not easy to find, but always available at Winco if you are in the Reno neighborhood. Only 100 calories per serving packet, 18 carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber, this breakfast staple is also a great snack, as it is ready in 90 seconds and keeps you full and satisfied for hours.
Too bad there is no recycling center paying out on the wrappers of these puppies, TDRPD would be able to finance another Aquatic Center!
What makes these a super popular protein bar (20 grams) besides the carbs’ (24 grams) offset by high fiber (14 grams) is the texture and chewy consistency.
It takes a very long time to chew one of these – we are talking hours. It is like the Big Hunk of the protein bar family. Great sliced into small pieces and kept handy like candy for little pick-me-ups and to stave off sweet craving.
That should be enough for you to digest (no pun intended) at this stage of the game. We promise to add new items to this list in the ensuing weeks, as more new faces show up at TDRPD rec’ center and share his or her fitness tips. Happy 2017!
This column comes courtesy of Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District staff and members, reminding us to eat responsibly during the holidays. For more information on how you can stay in shape during the winter months, visit tdrpd.org.