Happy Mardi Gras! In the land of swamps and gators; the party season begins with King Cake on Epiphany and ends with gumbo on Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras feels like a state-wide continuous parade of friends, fun and feasting.However, come Ash Wednesday- it’s over. Lent awakens weeks of self-discipline to shape up for swimsuit season. Whether you live in Louisiana or somewhere else, try my top 5 nutrient-rich foods- which provide more complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, protein and healthy fats per calorie- and superstars when it comes to weight loss.
- Seafood and Fish – Americans do not eat enough of this dynamic duo. Both offer tasty heart healthy fats for little calories. One ounce or 6 medium sized shrimp has about 30 calories and 6 grams of protein. Aim for a grilled seafood or fish meal at least 2 times a week. Give our Mediterranean Shrimp or Salmon Cakes a try.
- Eggs– Each egg offers 7 grams of protein for only 75 calories. This vegetable frittata is an easy, light supper meal that satisfies.
- Berries– Loaded with antioxidants; berries can help protect against illness. This strawberry yogurt smoothie is breakfast on the go or a filling afternoon snack that tames a sweet tooth.
- Greek Yogurt – As you age, protein is needed more than ever for muscle tone. Greek yogurt offers more protein of any style yogurt. Enjoy fresh vegetables with the creaminess of the Greek Yogurt Dip Trio.
- Oatmeal- Baked oatmeal serves up beta-glucan fiber, which studies show may reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels and promotes healthy bacteria. Best of all, oatmeal promotes a feeling of fullness.
Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday ends dreary winter and announces sunny spring. Start now eating healthful foods and be ready to exchange your wool coat for a beach cover-up.
Mary Martin Nordness, MA, RDN, LD, CHES
Director of Food and Nutrition Outreach