Grouper with Fresh Mint and Red Peppers

A few weeks ago, I shared this recipe for Grouper with Fresh Mint and Red Peppers on the blog In Good Taste, by the talented blogger, Maris Callahan. I wrote a guest post for her with a “Healthy Date Night” menu. I made the recipe the other day, and I wanted to share it with you too. For the fish, I used grouper, but feel free to substitute any of your favorite mild, white fish. This recipe is so easy, flavorful, low-fat and healthy. It can be prepared in under 30 minutes and makes a great date night, sunday night or any weeknight main dish.

Here are a few of my Healthy Date Night Tips:

-Shop the perimeter of the store, which means stay to the outside edges. This is where you will find the freshest, healthiest food items.

-Use fresh herbs and spices. When cooking with herbs and spices, fresh are always best. If you’re using dried seasonings, make sure they are the freshest possible. I only use freshly ground pepper.

-Use the freshest ingredients possible. Avoid canned, processed or preserved ingredients.

-Grill, steam, braise, stir-fry or roast foods instead of frying.

-Add more vegetables and legumes (peas, beans and lentils) to your menu.

-When a recipe calls for cream, substitute with Greek yogurt, low-fat yogurt, skim milk or soy milk.

-Don’t automatically salt your food. Taste it first.

-Select lean cuts of beef and pork. If preparing chicken, select skinless.

-Use reduced-sodium soy sauce and tomatoes.

-Use nonstick spray or olive or canola oil instead of butter or margarine.

-If you’re serving cheese as an appetizer or in recipes, select lower-fat options.

-If you’re serving warmed bread, choose whole grain.

-Serve wine but drink in moderation.

-Make the meal a special occasion. Set the table and create a relaxing ambiance to enjoy your food.

-Eat slowly and savor every bite.

-Laugh, talk and have fun. The more you talk, the slower you will eat and enjoy the meal.

What are Your Diet Pitfalls?

If you are trying to lose weight, whether it be ten pounds or one hundred pounds, it is not uncommon to backslide into unhealthy eating and exercise habits. In March 2011, CNN identified “The Moments That Make us Fat” from dinner at a buffet restaurant to resisting dessert at a swanky cocktail party. According to James Hill, executive of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado, it can be dangerous to rely solely on willpower to sustain your diet in challenging situations. “Willpower is not inexhaustible, ” Hill told CNN.com. You only have a certain amount of it, and it’s gone.” Instead of relying on willpower, Hill suggests planning ahead. Identify the situations that tempt you to veer away from your healthy habits and plan strategies to keep yourself on track.

Diet Pitfall: Vacation

When you’re on vacation, sipping cocktails by the pool and indulging in new regional cuisine might be appealing but it will quickly result in weight gain if you aren’t careful. When on vacation, enjoy local food and beverages in moderation. Try to get plenty of exercise on vacation to offset indulgences.

Diet Pitfall: After a break-up

Instead of seeking comfort in your favorite flavor of ice cream or a deep-dish pizza, opt for exercise. The endorphins released during a sweat session will improve your mood. If you’re ready to get back out there and mingle, choose a group activity, like training for a 5K, which will help you socialize and meet new people.

Diet Pitfall: A party with fabulous food

Parties can be an easy place to fall off the diet wagon, especially when there is a spread of delicious food and drink. Before you head to your next affair, eat a small, healthy snack and limit alcohol consumption to avoid overindulging.

Diet Pitfall: Watching TV

When you settle in to watch a night of prime time TV, it can be tempting to pair your favorite shows with an unhealthy snack. Instead of eating junk food when you aren’t even hungry, beat mindless eating by becoming more aware of your own hunger cues. If you need to eat a snack, opt for fresh fruit, veggies or low-fat yogurt.

Diet Pitfall: A Buffet

Whether you’re dining out or enjoying a meal in someone’s home, buffets offer endless temptation.  Limit yourself to one plate of food and fill half of it with fruits and vegetables. If a second helping tempts you, drink a glass of water and wait twenty minutes before eating again to decide if you’re actually hungry. The cute diet journal (above) can be found at Cafe Press.  Thanks to Diets in Review and author, Maris Callahan, for sharing this post.