Healthy diet programs go heavy on the vegetables. Try replacing some or all of the typical starches with healthy vegetables. You will not only increase the nutritional value, but you will also save on calories.

Healthy diet programs are particularly challenging when we eat out. An entree typically consists of two or three servings of protein and starch, usually mashed potatoes or white rice. If any vegetables are served, it is a very small portion. Frequently the vegetables are full of oil or butter to enhance their flavor.

When I eat out I order two sides of grilled vegetables. I ask for extra vegetables even if it is not listed as a “side.” What I do is just look at the menu ingredients and from there determine what vegetables the chef could cook up for me. I always ask for them roasted because that cooking method enhances the flavor significantly and also prevents the chef from adding oil or butter. So, become a demanding diner and eat healthier.


How to Stick to Healthy Diet Programs at Home


It’s easier to stick to healthy diet programs when you cook at home. You have total control of the ingredient selection and the cooking methods. Adopting healthy diet programs does not mean giving up your favorite dishes. Experiment with making some substitutions to make the meal healthier and more nutritious. That usually means removing some of the simple starches and replacing them with vegetables.



A Good Recipe for Healthy Diet Programs


If you like Thai Peanut Chicken Noodles you know that it contains a large amount of peanut butter and spaghetti noodles. Why not lighten it up with this ingenious recipe from SkinnyTaste cookbook?



Healthy Diet Programs Recipe for Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken



This recipe for Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken is made with stir fried chicken strips, rice noodles, scallions, carrots, broccoli slaw, bean sprouts in a spicy peanut sauce. To lighten up this dish, increasing the vegetables is a must, so load it up with plenty of noodle-sized vegetables to eat along with the rice noodles.


This recipe calls for substituting peanut butter with a product called “Better’n Peanut Butter.” It has fewer calories and less fat than regular peanut butter. It also contains several different types of sugar to make it taste good. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether you want to use that product or not. You could also try a reduced fat, reduced calorie peanut butter. If you want to stick to regular peanut butter, just use less and add more vegetables.


Recipe notes:

• Rice sticks or rice noodles can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket and make this a gluten free dish.

• If you can’t find rice noodles, udon noodles or linguini will work.
• The best option is to skip the noodles and use spiralized veggies, like sweet potatoes instead.

• Although there’s a long list of ingredients, it really comes together quite quickly.

• Buy pre-shredded carrots and broccoli slaw to help speed things up.

• You may also can substitute shrimp or tofu for the chicken if you prefer.



INGREDIENTS: (serves 6)

For the Peanut Sauce:
• 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
• 5 tbsp better’n peanut butter
• 1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
• 2 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
• 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
For the chicken:
• 16 oz chicken breast, cut into thin strips
• salt and pepper (to taste)
• 1 tbsp Sriracha
• chili sauce (more or less to taste)
• juice of 1/2 lime
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
• 1 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
• 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
• 8 oz rice noodles
• 3/4 cup green onion, chopped
• 1 -1/4 cups shredded carrots
• 1/4 cups cup shredded broccoli slaw
• 1 cup bean sprouts
• 2 tbsp chopped peanuts
• 1 lime, sliced
• cilantro for garnish (optional)




1. For the peanut sauce: Combine 1 cup chicken broth, peanut butter, sriracha, honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce, ginger, and 3 cloves crushed garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until sauce becomes smooth and well blended, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

2. Boil water for the noodles cook pasta according to package instructions.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, sriracha, lime, garlic, ginger and soy sauce.

4. Heat a large skillet or wok until hot. Add oil and sauté chicken on high heat until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.

5. Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, scallions, carrots, broccoli slaw and/or bean sprouts and salt, sauté until tender crisp, about 1-2 minutes.

6. Drain noodles and toss with peanut sauce and additional chicken broth if needed to loosen the sauce. When chicken is cooked, toss with noodles.

7. Divide noodles and chicken between 6 bowls, top with sautéed vegetables, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts (or you can toss everything together to hide the vegetables so your family members don’t push them aside!) and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.


NUTRITION: (per serving)

Calories: 359
Total Fat: 6g
Carbohydrates: 53g
Fiber: 4g
Protein: 22g


Click here to find the full recipe to add to healthy diet programs.