Becoming aware of serving sizes and how they impact your healthy eating goals is a key step toward healthy living. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, De Las Mías is not about diets or deprivation. We don’t want you to stop eating anything that you love to eat. Even a sweet treat is okay in moderation. The other day I was talking to a doctor, a specialist in diabetes, and we were discussing the traditional New Mexican diet. She said, “Face it—there is no way of making a healthy bizcochito,” and she is right. Traditional bizcochitos are made with flour, sugar and lard. Period. So, what to do? Are you really going to try to give up these tasty little morsels? I don’t think so. The next-best thing is to eat a smaller amount. Enjoy it, savor it and don’t overdo it. So, if you’re used to dunking four bizcochitos into that hot chocolate on a cold winter’s eve, now you cut it by half. Dunk two and enjoy! Giving up your favorite foods is just going to make you feel deprived, and we don’t want you to feel deprived. We want you to feel nourished and happy. Treating yourself once in a while is not going to hurt you; it might even make you happy. That’s why one of our favorite traditional dichos is “Una vez al año, no hace daño”—”Once a year doesn’t hurt.” We believe that, with small tweaks, a traditional recipe can be turned into a healthier recipe without sacrificing flavor. See what we have done with traditional green chile: we use olive oil instead of lard. Try our low-fat pozole recipe and taste a bit of heaven. And go ahead and make the enchiladas, but instead of frying them before rolling them, make them flat and use a little less cheese. The De Las Mías recipes are chock-full of traditional foods made healthier, but even the best chef can’t get the fat out of the bizcochito. At those special times, just eat “un poquito,” a little less of it, and you’ll be fine. And by the way, don’t begrudge yourself after you eat a special treat like that. Once you decide to indulge in the deliciousness of a homemade bizcochito, don’t ruin it by beating yourself up. Own it and go on to healthier options at your next meal. Remember, you always have a chance to have a healthier meal. Here are five ways to cut down on serving sizes:
- Instead of four bizcochitos, have two.
- Divide a meal. Instead of having the whole burrito, eat half now and save the rest for later!
- Instead of two flour tortillas, have one flour and one corn tortilla.
- At a restaurant that serves chips and salsa along with big meal portions, simply skip the chips.
- Eat a salad before your main meal. That way you will naturally eat less and get your veggies to boot!
The biggest takeaway is this: By making small changes to your portion sizes, you can still enjoy your traditional foods. Cutting back on the amount of fat you eat is a good way to make healthy changes. You can cut back on fat without cutting back on flavor. If you follow these guidelines, you are well on your way to making healthy changes without compromising your passion for traditional foods.