When we feel stressed or depressed, we often reach for fatty comfort foods to alleviate the distress, and a recent scientific study uncovers why. Researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium, found that consuming fat reduces negative emotion. The study discovered that participants who received fatty acids through a feeding tube were about half as sad as participants on a placebo.
When overwhelming emotions threaten to derail your diet, Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends a dose of healthy comfort foods. Make a cup of tea, and wrap yourself in the cozy comfort of these homemade, guilt-free alternatives.
Mac and Cheese Please
Butternut squash has over 200 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin A, 10 percent omega fatty acids, and it is loaded with cancer fighting antioxidants. For a healthier mac and cheese, substitute some of the cheese with frozen, pureed butternut squash, and use low-fat milk.
The Magic of Muffins
Healthy muffins can be moist, tender and delicious snacks that you can feel good about eating. Fat keeps muffins moist and tender, so use heart-healthy canola oil instead of butter. Using whole grain pastry flour will add fiber, and create a lighter texture, while fruit purees lend moisture, a tender crumb and acts as a natural sweetener.
Creamy Creamless Soup
You don’t need to add cream, butter or cheese for a rich, velvety soup. Achieve silky smooth results by using a blender to puree vegetable soups. For a luscious soup, whisk an egg and slowly add broth before adding to the soup pot. Mash white beans and stir into broths for lean protein and full-bodied texture.
The Scoop On Dips
Use buttermilk, low fat mayonnaise, or yogurt as a base in healthy dips. Salsas, bean dips and guacamole are loaded with nutrition and fiber. Pureed edamame with silken tofu makes a fresh and creamy dip.
Tips On Chips
Believe it or not, kale makes one addicting chip. Simply strip the leaves from the stalk, toss them with a little olive oil, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper, and pop them into a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
After a few of these healthy indulgences, you may find your spirits lifting, as well as your energy.
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. She has advanced the business opportunities of women and men in the fitness industry by growing the program into an international franchise business that today, hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries.
The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, cardio box and Latin style movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor. Additional Jazzercise programs include Junior Jazzercise, Jazzercise Lite and Personal Touch. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.