5 Healthy-er Comfort Food Recipes

5 Healthy-er Comfort Food Recipes

I know you have your favorite comfort foods, why not make them better for you?
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I know everyone has their favorite comfort foods. Any food can be made a comfort food; pizza, tacos, fries. Comfort foods are the foods you go to for, well, comfort. They make you happy. Make you feel good inside. Mine is carbs. Any kind of carbs. Pasta, pizza, bread… ANY carbs.

I've always wanted to find comfort foods that weren't that bad for you. Pizza that wasn't full of calories, pasta that wasn't full of carbs. Any of my favorite comfort foods that wouldn't break the belt. This is when I stumbled upon some recipes on Pinterest, some of which I'd like to share…

1. Greek Yogurt Mac 'N' Cheese

For my pasta and cheese loving friends, have I got a recipe for you. With just pasta, cheese, greek yogurt, spinach, and some seasonings, this is a GREAT healthier comfort food recipe. Add some extra veggies to give it a little more pizazz.

You can find the full recipe here.

2. Cauliflower Pizza

Okay, now I know this one doesn't seem that great seeing as it has the word “cauliflower" in it, but I promise, its good. They're simple, and lower in calories and carbs than regular crust. I've made cauliflower crust pizza before and while I haven't made this specific recipe, it is VERY similar to ones I have used that are really, really good.

You can find the full recipe here.

3. Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese

A grilled cheese is the ULTIMATE comfort food. I love me a good, cheesy, gooey grilled cheese just as much as the next person. This recipe is gold, spinach and artichoke dip on bread? I'll take two, please. And the recipe is as easy as it sounds, too.

You can find the full recipe here.

4. Chocolate Cake

If you're anything like me, you love a good cake here and there. This cake is made with bananas, greek yogurt, peanut butter, and some other good ingredients that when mixed together for a delicious, chocolatey blend of goodness. You can also make a version of this in mug, all you need is a banana, an egg, and some cocoa powder.

You can find the full recipe here.

5. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love cookies. They're small, portable, and delicious. My mom has always made the best chocolate chip cookies around and I swear I could eat fifteen in one sitting. Although fantastic, I've always wanted ones that were a little bit better for you. I starting fooling around with some different recipes and I came across this one. I love peanut butter and I love chocolate. Why not mix them?

You can find the recipe here.

Cover Image Credit: Olia Gozha

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15 Ways I Beat The 'Freshman 15,' And Actually Managed To Lose It Instead

Miracles happen.

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"The freshman fifteen" refers to the amount of weight many college-freshmen gain in the first year. This is usually caused by a variety of factors many students are exposed to such as not playing team sports such as in high school, eating unhealthy dining hall options, and drinking alcohol which is full of empty carbs. Here's how I omitted to gain fifteen pounds my first semester of college, and actually lost it (with minimal effort).

1. Walking

Compared to my mostly sedentary lifestyle during the school year and summer (due to school and work), I didn't get a lot of daily exercise in unless I tried. Now, I walk 3-4 miles a day from just getting around campus.

2. Water

Many people don't get the daily water intake they should be getting. Once you're walking outside though, at the end of August/early September scalding heat, it's easy to consume an ample amount of water.

3. Hills

Walking up-hill a two to three times a day easily gets your heart rate up, and allows for you to get in a quick leg-workout as well.

4. Less snacking

In contrast to being at home, if it's one in the morning it's difficult to start making a snack in a dorm without waking one's roommate up. Besides, dorm snacks don't compare to home snacks.

5. Meal times

Something really unhealthy I did at home (along many others) is not denote specific times to eat. This made it easy to not eat until late in the day, and consume too many calories at once. The fact that dining halls are open only at specific times makes it easier to eat through out the day, as one's supposed to.

6. Better meal options

Although dining hall food has a lot of unhealthy options, they also have a decent amount of healthy options every day. Some of these even include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Unless your family at home went out of their way to always make dinner healthy, you probably had some not necessarily healthy meals. At college, there's always the salad bar that you can choose if your willpower is strong enough.

7. Being surrounded by trees

It's been scientifically proven that being around nature gives you benefits. It allows you to clear your mind and is a natural stress-reliever without you having to actually go out of your way.

8. Nature paths

Running on cracked sidewalks with having to watch out for cars wasn't always convenient when I did want to work out near home. In college, there's usually designated nature trails in walking distance for students to accessibly walk, bike on, or run.

9. Gym

Most colleges have a gym/ recreational center. You don't need to buy a membership like Planet Fitness back at home (since you're already paying the college a plethora of money), it's a great opportunity to utilize and has open hours that will fit into almost anyone's busy schedule.

10. Better sleep 

Unlike at home, I can't have the lights on all night or be listening to music due to the fact that I have a roommate. Therefore, laying in bed not having anything to do helps me get to sleep at an earlier time each night. Despite the typical college standard of lacking sleep (due to exams, parties, etc) sometimes it can allow for better sleep.

11. More activities

Many people find themselves eating when they are not hungry, but in fact, bored. In college, there are almost always activities going on to distract you from the demised "bored eating."

12. More homework

Having more homework allows for many students to find themselves in the library, which conveniently, doesn't have many food options. It's also sometimes hard enough to find time to sit down and eat, let alone eating when you have a list of things to do.

13. Less spending

When I lived at home and had merely no expenses, I rarely looked at food prices at stores. Now that I know I don't have much money to spend, those chips don't look as appetizing (okay, they still do, but not to my wallet).

14. Realizing insane market-prices

Markets on campuses seem convenient, almost too convenient like there's a caveat. The fact that most products in them are very over-priced may be one. On top of not wanting to buy "expensive" food from off-campus stores, the overly-priced on-campus food products (from the markets) just exemplify my desire of not spending money, in turn, less snacking.

15. Encouragement

Going home six weeks after the beginning of the semester and hearing my family/old co-workers remark on how it looks like I've lost weight, only gave me encouragement to keep going.

Small changes can go a long way, in a short amount of time. Don't feel the need to hide that you didn't gain the freshman fifteen!

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