After the excesses of the holidays become apparent in our waistlines and our general lack of vigor, many people with a sigh and a shrug, reluctantly start on diets. ‘Tis the season to turn over a new leaf, make changes in what we eat, and keep some of those New Year resolutions.  Recently I was inspired by a dear friend’s experience with an on-line dieting app.  Ana had put forth her best effort and lost SIXTY pounds by making some important changes in her diet.  First she kept a food diary and wrote down every morsel that she consumed. Then she planned her meals, aiming to eat more fruits, veggies, and lean meats and keep fats, sugars, and processed foods at bay.  Ana had chosen a Weight Watchers app that keeps track of points and that worked for her, but a notebook would work as well.   


Ana’s key to successful dieting is to incorporate healthy choices in take-out menu items she loved.  For example, she loves KFC’s bowls, but wants to avoid the 720 calories and high sodium. Instead of mashed potatoes she substitutes mashed cauliflower.  She adds rinsed, canned corn, a sprinkle of low-fat cheese, chunks of baked chicken and ¼ cup gravy. These changes bring the total to a miserly 350 calories and can help a reluctant dieter stick to a healthy regimen.  Rather than ice cream, when Ana wants something sweet, she tops cut fruit with plain Greek yogurt. She eschews creamers in her coffee and uses milk instead. These changes all contribute to her diet success. 


Ana also loves bagels and pizza.  She concocted the following recipes so she can enjoy what she loves.     


Protein Bagels


1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Egg Wash: One beaten egg


Mix the flour and yogurt until a dough forms.

Shape the dough into four balls.

Poke a hole in the balls of dough and shape them into a mini-bagel shape.

Brush the unbaked bagels with egg wash and sprinkle with Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.


Bake at 350 degrees on a non-stick baking sheet for 15 minutes or until golden. Spread with low fat cream cheese or a little jam


Yield:  Four small bagels


Variation:  For cinnamon and raisin bagels add two tablespoons of raisins and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon. 


Pizza Variation: After mixing the dough, sprinkle a little flour on your prep surface and roll out the dough to form a round pizza crust.  Place on a baking sheet and spread the crust with some prepared pizza sauce. Place grated low fat cheese, turkey sausage or other toppings as desired. Bake at 350 degrees on a non-stick baking sheet for 15 minutes, or until golden. Makes four slices.