Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP has counseled thousands of his patients on healthy, sustainable weight loss. Now he's compiled his best tips and recipes into a six-week plan for you to learn how to eat great food that just happens to be great for you - and if losing weight is your goal, you can do that, too.
Get the prescription for better health as well as healthy weight loss, including:
I was thinking about the idea that shopping around the edges of the grocery store is better for you. It's an idea that makes sense on the face of it. You start in the fresh produce section, make your way along to the fish counter, maybe pick up some fresh meat or dairy products and then to the bakery counter. I even had a group of the first year medical students suggest this as a healthy strategy in a recent student project, but upon closer inspection I think that using this as a general suggestion does folks a disservice.
I went to the local Winn Dixie (can't get a much more basic grocery store than that) and walked around the edges, starting at the door and working counter-clockwise (some stores are set up opposite). I was a bit dismayed by what I found. It's not all that great around the edges. Shopping The Edges of the Grocery Store: Good For You or Myth?
I created a number of Dr. Gourmet pantry meals so that you can almost always have something on hand that's easy, tasty and better for you than ordering pizza or popping a frozen meal in the microwave. One of my favorites is the Tamale Pie. It's quick, easy and uses items that keep well in your pantry, fridge or freezer.
Tamale Pie (Pantry Meal)
Growing up this had a lot of names depending on whose house I was at. Tortilla casserole, taco casserole, tamale pie, it didn't matter. And there are endless variations. This one was created to be as simple as possible and to use items out of your pantry or freezer.
This is also made to be more family friendly and is less spicy than some folks might want. A bit more cumin (an extra teaspoon) and chili powder (another 1/2 teaspoon) will give it more flavor. Adding a bit of cayenne pepper adds the zing that you might crave.
There are a lot of taco shells on the market. Some of them still contain trans-fats, so check the package carefully. Interestingly, the house brand taco shells at my local Winn-Dixie don't have any sodium in them.