Ever since Jesley told me last November that you spend more energy digesting celery than the calories you gain from it, I’ve been curious to incorporate celery as an ingredient in my diet. Unfortunately, in the past 8 months I have only eaten celery less than 5 times, and perhaps even unknowingly.
This week, I decided I was going to try to feature healthier, less weight-damaging recipes, and very naturally, celery came to my mind. I know, I know, celery isn’t the most appealing and attractive vegetable, nor does it have the nicest taste. But hey, sometimes health comes at a price right? Let’s be a little more open-minded and see what this green species has to offer.
Here’s an interesting article:
“Celery: the ultimate weight loss snack food” by Wanda Leibowitz
Celery is, basically, a miracle food for dieters. However, it’s not the most delectable vegetable on the planet, and eating stalk after stalk of raw celery can easily feel more like a chore than a treat. These simple tips can help you find enjoyable ways to incorporate celery into your daily snack rotation.
What’s Special About Celery?
The calories that you spend chewing and digesting a piece of raw celery are equal to the calories that you gain from eating it. This means that every time you have a piece of celery, you get the sensation of fullness and the satisfaction of eating without any net calorie gain at all. Plus, celery is high in water content, which means it will help keep your skin, hair, and nails looking great.
If eating celery means breaking even nutritionally, why bother eating it? Why not just have a glass of water and call it even? Well, scientific evidence show that if you have a low-calorie, celery based snack once a day, you’ll actually lose weight more quickly than if you didn’t snack at all. Nutritional experts agree that eating small portions throughout the day is the key to keeping your metabolism running at top speed. A faster metabolism means that you burn through more calories no matter what you are doing. When you are walking, running, even watching television or sleeping, the speed of your metabolism determines how much energy, and how many pounds, you use up. So, if you can have a celery snack once a day, say between breakfast and lunch, or between lunch and dinner, you’ll be doing your waistline a big favor by kicking your metabolism into high gear.
What Shouldn’t I Put On Celery?
One of the most popular ways to snack on celery is to make it palatable by smothering it with cream cheese or peanut butter. However, this is far from an ideal solution for anyone who is watching their weight. Covering celery with a fatty, high-calorie spread does more damage than skipping the combo in favor of an overall healthier snack like an apple or a pear. However, if you simply must satisfy a craving for cream cheese or peanut butter, spreading it on a carbohydrate-free, calorie-free celery stalk is definitely better for your waistline than slathering it onto bread.
What Can I Put On Celery?
There are plenty of non-fatty spreads and garnishes you can add to celery to make it a more appetizing nosh. Instead of cream cheese, try gently spreading fat free cottage cheese into the curve of a stalk of celery for a light, refreshing treat. If you want the kick of energy-producing protein that peanut butter offers, try opting for a fat-free black bean dip instead. With a little bit of creativity, you can come up with dozens of smart and healthy substitutions for fat-heavy nut butters and cheeses.
A Whole Week Of Celery Ideas.
Here are seven celery snacks to get you through the week. With something different every day, it’ll be easy to stay on track.
For the working week, how about:
Mon: Celery with salsa,
Tues: Celery dipped in fat free Italian salad dressing,
Wed: Celery with a sprinkle of spicy paprika and cayenne pepper,
Thurs: Celery with hummus, and
Fri: Celery chopped up with fresh tomatoes and basil?
Celebrate the arrival of Saturday & Sunday with a gourmet splurge:
Sat: Spread a clove or two of creamy roasted garlic onto a stalk of celery, and then throw on thin slices of sun-dried tomato.
Sun: classic celery and peanut butter! Congratulations, you’ve just enjoyed a full week of fat busting, metabolism boosting celery snacks.