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Life in Balance: Healthy comfort foods that are delicious

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 18 2012 4:35 p.m. MST

Dian Thomas freezes ripened bananas to use in frozen fruit shakes.

Dian Thomas, Dian Thomas

When I have flashback of the long ago days when almost any rich delicious food was a comfort food for me, I also remember the aches and pains and how hard it was to get around when I weighed more than 300 pounds.

I am always on the look out for healthy, delicious and nutritious foods.

At Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law Cherrie Thomas served me one that I came right home and fixed — and I've made several times since. She had sliced yams into quarter-inch slices and then put them on an oiled cookie sheet with just a little butter (I use a little olive oil) and roasted them in the oven. Wow! They tasted like a vegetable candy. Like anything else, portion control is key, so I limited a serving to ½ cup per serving.

Holidays are often a tough time to get through as parties are loaded with food that can put weight on you the minute you look at the food. I like to prepare foods that I will look forward to but do not put on the pounds. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Pomegranate and Grape-Nuts: I always have an apple when I have a bowl of whole grain cereal in the morning. One day I was out of apples and decided that pomegranates would do. I had ½ cup Grape-Nuts with, 1 cup pomegranate seeds and 1 cup of soy milk. It was so good I think I have had it every day for the past two weeks.

2. Frozen fruit shake: Ice cream custard was one of my favorites long ago, so I had to find a shake that would take it place and satisfy my craving for my old shake. I now buy a bunch of bananas in the store and let them sit on the counter until they get a few little dark brown dots on them. At this point, they are ripe and the sugar in the banana if fully developed.

I then cut them into 2-inch slices and put them on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap and freeze them. When I am ready for my special treat, I put a frozen banana into the blender with 1 to 1½ cups of vanilla soy milk or milk. Add just a few drops of vanilla and turn the blender on. Frozen strawberries and other fruit as wonderful to add the basic banana.

3. Smoked salmon sandwich: Buy thin sliced smoked salmon, and no-fat cream cheese. Toast a slice of whole grain bread and then spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese over it and then place 2 ounces of the thinly slice salmon.

4. Hearty chicken salad: First, I put in the romaine lettuce then add yellow and red peppers. I then added some grapes and pomegranates along with some roasted butternut squash that has been warmed. Add 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast and a little of Newman's Own low fat sesame ginger dressing.

Speaker and author Dian Thomas shares her journey of weight loss, exercise and life on the run in the Deseret News and at www.DianThomas.com. She also speaks to groups and takes tour to China.

Email: info@dianthomas.com