Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of eleven books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.
I’m all for treating yourself every now and then, but I also like to re-create decadent foods in healthy ways. I find inspiration everywhere, including Instagram. Celebs love posting pics of their favorite foods just as much as the rest of us, and I’ve got some amazing calorie-slashed swaps!
Sofia Vergara vs. Cake
Checking out Vergara’s Instagram account, you become certain of a couple of things: the woman knows how to have fun, and she loves food, especially cake! I so identify with her. One of my recent favorites is this Black Forest cake. It’s flourless and has a secret healthy ingredient: black beans! I really need to get better at keeping secrets.
Heidi Klum vs. McDonald’s Cheeseburger
Yes, even models get fast-food cravings. Exhibit A: Heidi Klum. If you want that Mickey D’s flavor without the crazy nutritional stats, I’ve got you covered. This portabella burger features a lightened-up special sauce, plus cheese, pickles, and onions. All the good stuff, for a small fraction of the calories!
Daphne Oz vs. French Fries
The Chew’s Daphne Oz seen here eating some crinkle-cut French fries. Now, fries happen to be one of my favorite foods in the world, and I feel strongly that the crinkle-cut ones are the best. Great news: You can DIY! Try using a mix of potatoes and turnips to make your fries. Crinkle-cut them with this cheap tool, and bake until crispy!
Jimmy Fallon vs. Banana Shake
Every year, Jimmy Fallon treats himself to a cheeseburger and “banana health shake” (a.k.a. the meal he ate right before his SNL audition in 1998) for luck. I already gave you a cheeseburger recommendation, but I’ve got a shake swap too (since wheat germ doesn’t cancel out all that ice cream!). Whip up this smoothie recipe, using vanilla protein powder if you want that banana flavor to really come through. Or stick with the chocolate, because, well, it’s chocolate.
Bridget Moynahan vs. Tater Tots
My jaw dropped when I saw Moynahan’s post: “I wanted Tator [sic] Tots but I made sautéed kale with broccoli and couscous.” Someone hasn’t heard of cauliflower tots! If anyone knows Bridget, go ahead and forward her this recipe — cauliflower can do basically anything! And if you don’t want to get all DIY in the kitchen, just grab a bag of the frozen kind by Green Giant.
FROM COINAGE: Try This Healthy, Cheap Late-Night Snack
Tim McGraw vs. Potato Chips
Who hasn’t boredom-snacked on some chips just because they’re THERE? I feel ya, Tim, but this is why I travel with a healthy snack stash. My top chip swaps? Roasted seaweed snacks (you can find them in great flavors these days) and freeze-dried veggie chips (like those made from beets). I especially love Crunchies Freeze-Dried Beets — so good!
‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!