On eating healthy…and pizza rolls!

New Year's Resolution Cat

By now, many of you will have failed at some aspect in your New Year’s resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle. I’m a cynic, I know. I apologize. But it’s true! Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many memes floating around about it. I am all for eating more wholesome foods, but a girl’s got to have her chocolate (in moderation)! So many people start restricting their diets and try to quit eating their favorite foods. Trust me, this will not work for you unless you have crazy amounts of willpower. It is unreasonable to expect people to eat a completely clean diet right from the get-go. I tried giving up chocolate once. A week later…

chocolate-meme

What I have found works for me is a slow adaptive process of cleaning up of your diet. Start replacing unhealthy food choices with healthy alternatives. Switch out processed carbs for whole grains (once you go whole grain, you never go back!). Eat fruit, nature’s candy, when you crave something sweet. Flavor dishes with herbs and spices to tantalize your taste buds instead of piling on unhealthy processed condiments. Eating healthy along with physical exercise should be a lifestyle change instead of a temporary fix. You have to think of it as nourishing your body for the long run instead of swearing off sweets so that you don’t have jiggly arm fat come summer. We may not think of it this way, but God gave us the responsibility of taking care of our bodies. This includes how we nurture it.

healthy eating

At this point you will say, “Mary, this all sounds great. But sometimes I crave something, and I simply must have it! And you’re always posting photos of sinfully looking desserts on FB!”  Here is my philosophy on eating unhealthy foods: if you are really craving something and must have it, at least learn to make it yourself. That way, you can avoid all the unnecessary preservatives, additives, and fillers in processed foods. You can even learn to make your favorite foods healthier. Yes, I make desserts all the time, but I use whole wheat flour and organic raw sugar. It really is worth it to opt for organic or all natural foods.

I’m not saying you should give up certain things forever. It’s completely acceptable to indulge every once in a while such as having a celebratory dinner out with friends, finding comfort in your mom’s signature dish, or partaking of sweets during the holidays. One doughnut will not kill you (I’m currently nibbling on a delightful lemon filled pastry as I write). However, a daily doughnut just might. It’s not acceptable to make unhealthy eating a permanent pattern in your life. I understand that we’re all human, and there might be a day (or days) where we over-indulge. It’s not worth dwelling on or beating yourself up if you slip. What is important is that you pick yourself up and keep going. Eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies to flush toxins out of your system. Get moving. Hydrate yourself. We are human after all. But what’s great about us is that we have free will, and we can vow to do better. So eat for you. Eat for your health.

Yesterday, I had an extreme craving for pizza rolls and opted to make my own instead of settling for some store-bought ones. Who knew wonton wrappers could be so versatile? These pizza rolls are extremely customize-able. I have included a basic recipe, but feel free to spice it up! Add some protein, veggies, maybe even a dipping sauce! The next time you crave pizza, try these pizza rolls that are better for your body!

Here’s to mindful eating,

Mary

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Pizza Rolls

adapted from Dashing Dish

Makes about 16 pizza rolls

Wonton wrappers

1/2 cup pizza, tomato, or marinara sauce

1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, etc.)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried oregano

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Optional add-ins: pepperoni, sausage, sautéed vegetables, goat cheese, caramelized onions, etc.

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450°.

Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl (setting the wonton wrappers and parmesan cheese aside). Salt and pepper to taste.

Place a generous teaspoon of filling on center of wonton wrapper. Dab water on two adjacent sides of the wonton wrapper. Fold in half to form a triangle, and press to seal. The water will act as a “glue” to keep the wrapper sealed. You may end up with more or less than 16 pizza rolls depending on the amount of filling you use.

Once you’re done filling, lay the pizza rolls onto a baking sheet (either sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper/aluminum foil). Sprinkle the tops with Parmesan.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the rolls are a light golden brown.

Serve warm, with a dipping sauce if desired. Bon appétit!

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