Let the good times be healthy!
Mardi Gras is here! I love the atmosphere of this holiday. The calories, not so much. So I rolled up my sleeves and healthified some of my favorite hometown recipes so you can celebrate this fun time without sacrificing your health and nutrition. You're welcome.
I'm from Louisiana, and when I go home, hoo boy it's hard to be healthy. It's like an obstacle course of high-calorie traps, and I have to make sure my consistency, data, accountability, and intention are in full force. I usually do really well for about two days and then it all goes to hell. If I can get a run in each day I am there, that really helps me stay focused...and burns the calories off for when I am not so focused. :)
One of my biggest Mardi Gras pitfalls is king cake. This sugary-sweet cake is like a pandora's box of sugar cravings. One teeny tiny slice is so gooey and sweet that I feel sluggish and gross when I eat it. But I still want to eat it, and so does everyone else. So I adapted a recipe that reminded me of king cake into something a lot healthier that won't induce sugar cravings or blow your calorie budget.
I thought about calling this Grown Up King Cake because of the frosting - its a yogurt-based glaze with a lot less sugar than store-bought icing - but when I brought this to a party for some test sampling, adults and kids alike scarfed it down. It felt so good to tell them that the cake they were eating was only 140 calories a slice and made with whole wheat and low sugar. But no, that doesn't mean you should have two. Food is still fuel! It's just not realistic to think that I will go to Mardi Gras and not eat king cake. So this fuel isn't exactly high-octane, but it isn't going to put sugar in my tank when I am out at the parades.
The rest of my Mardi Gras Menu includes my Actually Healthy Jambalaya and Red Beans and Brown Rice. You can find all three recipes on the "Healthy Mardi Gras?" page at the top of your screen!
I hope you have a great Carnival season and are able to enjoy it without losing ground on your fitness and wellness goals. And here's some lagniappe - if you need a reminder (or a way to burn off the calories) check out the Mardi Gras Rock and Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans on February 13.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!