Slender Sights: “Healthy” Swaps to Skip

Swap Me Not: "healthy" swaps to skip | The Slender Student

I’m all about the slender swap. If I can get the same gustatory satisfaction from a spoonful of fat free Greek yogurt in my chicken salad as I would from calorie-laden mayonnaise, then why not do it? I’ve documented my swapping habits on at least a couple of occasions here on TSS. Back in the day, I offered some easy ways to cut 100 calories from your daily diet. And then, not too long ago, I told you all about my favorite salad dressing substitutions.

That’s all well and good, but what about “healthy” swaps? I say “healthy” because sometimes food marketing ploys are just that– ploys. This is often the case when it comes to choosing between one processed food item and another. Sure, the reduced-fat version of food A might indeed have less fat, but what did they use to fill that void? Salt? High fructose corn syrup? You might come across a sugar free option for food B, but is the taste as satisfying? Did you notice that it still has just as many calories and is filled with chemicals instead of real food?

These swapping snafus are covered in this article by Molly Kimball, RD. Check it out and read why she recommends sticking with the real deal when it comes to the items pictured above (and more).

The Slender Vacation: Action

Before we get into today’s post, take a second and help fund my blogging habit by repinning this recipe!

Tips and a grocery list to stay slender on vacation! | The Slender Student The other day, I shared some vacation preparation tips for those of you who don’t want to come back from a trip looking like the whales at Seaworld. Today’s post is all about what to do now that you’re actually on said vacation. Now, while this is good advice (if I do say so myself), it’s not for everyone on every vacation. This is just what I did while on a week long family trip in Tahoe, where we stayed in a house with a fully-equipped kitchen. That’s not your trip? Adjust accordingly.

First thing’s first, you have to go to the grocery store. You’ll be getting those things that wouldn’t make it through TSA– fresh produce, dairy, deli meat, and any other snacks you might want to have around. The more portable, the better… You’ll notice I included a couple treats.

A vacation grocery list to help you stay slender! | The Slender Student I basically went for the cheapest store brand versions of all of the above items. You don’t need anything fancy, just enough to get by when you’re not checking out local restaurants. Keep in mind that many of these things can come back with you in your suitcase (at least if you’re checking one). Waste not, want not!

Tips and a grocery list to stay slender on vacation! | The Slender Student And this, my friends, is how it’s done:

Healthy vacation meal inspiration! | The Slender Student

one: protein pancake with blueberries and strawberries
two: protein pancake with chopped apples and PB2
three: (restaurant) taco salad– add grilled chicken, no tortilla strips, dressing on the side
four: (restaurant) turkey sandwich– removed half of the bread, side salad instead of chips, balsamic vinegar as dressing
five: (restaurant) split a bison burger, removed half of the bun, side salad instead of fries, dressing on the side
six: EPIC bar
seven: (restaurant) 3/4 portion of steak cooked with minimal oil, nixed the mashed potatoes for double veggies
eight: southwestern salad with farmers market veggies and pulled BBQ chicken, roasted shishito peppers, spicy watermelon salad
nine: salad with raw and cooked vegetables, avocado, hummus, packaged tuna, balsamic vinegar for dressing

Whew, you made it through! Come back tomorrow for a super simple and portable breakfast/snack recipe that I whipped up while on the trip. Have some tips that I neglected? Leave ‘em in the comments!

The Slender Vacation: Preparation

Before we get into today’s post, take a second and help fund my blogging habit by repinning this recipe!

Preparation tips for staying slender while on vacation! | The Slender Student I mentioned in July Things  that I spent the last week in Lake Tahoe with the fam. While most people think of vacations as prime time to abandon their diets, I took a different approach. Between happy hours, goodbye dinners, and late nights on West Sixth Street, it’s been pretty difficult for me to keep it slender this summer in Austin. So instead of throwing caution and calories to the wind, I decided to challenge myself to keep it as healthy as possible during my trip, staying as close to the Tone It Up plan as possible.

If you follow any fitness or health accounts on Instagram, then the saying “fail to prep, prep to fail” has either become part of your life’s mantra or incredibly trite. Regardless of its overuse, the adage is true. For me, prepping for this trip meant throwing together meals and snacks for travel days, and packing some things to have around the house for the week.

Travel day started early, so I made sure to have breakfast ready to go. The night before my trip, I went ahead and cooked up a Perfect Fit Pancake and made it into a protein pancake PB&J sandwich (recipe to follow). I wrapped it in foil, refrigerated it, and put it in my carry on tote so I could eat it once we got to the terminal. A Health Warrior chia seed bar and Luna protein bar went in there as well since I knew we wouldn’t be eating lunch until after our flight (around 3 pm my time).

To cover me for the rest of the trip, I packed security-friendly items, knowing I’d be able to buy fresh produce at the grocery once we settled into Tahoe– more on that later this week. For breakfast, I knew I’d be able to rely on more protein pancakes, so I scooped 10 individual servings of vanilla whey protein powder into snack size Ziploc baggies. No brainer. I also grabbed some other snack items– Oatmega bars, Luna bars, Health Warrior chia seed bars, PB2, and 100 calorie packs of cocoa roast almonds. The less portion control work left to do on my trip, the better. These were the perfect snacks to throw in my bag if we were going to be out all day at the beach, on a boat, or just walking around the city.

Last but not least, I made sure my colossal Camelbak water bottle was in tow. What’s worse than dehydration? Paying $4 for a teeny water bottle at some tourist attraction.

Preparation tips for staying slender while on vacation! | The Slender Student

What are your slender trip tricks? Or are you more of the calories-don’t-count-on-vacation type?

Protein Pancake PB&J Sandwich-- the perfect healthy and portable breakfast! | The Slender Student Protein Pancake PB&J
Servings: 1 | Calories per serving: 196
Fat: 2.4 g (Sat Fat: 0.6 g) | Carbohydrate: 24.4 g | Fiber: 3.7 g| Protein: 21.3 g

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
2 T liquid egg whites
1/2 small banana, mashed
2 T PB2 prepared with 1 T water
3 small strawberries, sliced
2 T frozen blueberries, thawed and mashed
PAM Original nonstick spray

1. Combine the vanilla whey, egg whites, and mashed banana in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
2. In a large skillet coated with PAM over medium-low heat, split the batter to form two pancakes
3. Cook the pancakes for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown
4. Remove the pancakes from the heat and allow to cool before spreading with PB2, the mashed blueberries, and a layer of sliced strawberries