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By Lisa Lillien
Updated December 08, 2020 10:36 AM
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Credit: Courtesy Lisa Lillien

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.

Some trends have staying power; others fizzle out. I’ve got a feeling these healthy foods will be around for a while!

Spiralized Veggies

If I ever meet the person who created the first veggie spiralizer, I can’t guarantee I won’t grab them and plant a big Bugs Bunny-style kiss on their face. In case you’ve missed it, slicing vegetables into noodle-like strands is a creative way to kick a pasta craving without taking in a whole lot of calories… Genius! My favorite veggie to spiralize is zucchini — the taste is mild, and the texture is perfect in pretty much any pasta recipe. Try it with lightened-up Alfredo sauce, in chicken lo mein… even as a pasta-salad swap!

Lettuce-Wrapped Burgers

Remember the Dark Ages, when servers would look at you like you had two heads if you requested lettuce leaves instead of a bun? Now it’s so popular, the option is sometimes listed right on the menu! In-N-Out Burger has offered lettuce buns for years via the protein style option on the chain’s not-so-secret menu, Carl’s Jr. has low-carb burgers, and even Red Robin is hip to the lettuce-bun game. Wanna enjoy it at home? Click for recipes.

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Protein-Infused Everything

I love protein-boosted foods (so satisfying!), and there are more and more tasty items emerging on the market. I’ve been a fan of Enlightened The Good-for-You Ice Cream for ages, and Flatout Flatbread has added ProteinUP Carb Down varieties to its product line. Wanna get creative at home? Add a little protein powder to unsuspecting recipes, like this Oreo Frappé (under 200 calories!).

Cauliflower Instead of Carbs

Cauliflower is taking over the world — it’s the ultimate starch swap! You can even find packaged cauliflower rice on shelves at grocery stores. I’ve been using cauliflower to lighten up heavy dishes for years, so I was thrilled when this veggie swap went fully mainstream. The best beginner recipe? This cauliflower fried rice.

Beans Everywhere

The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, a.k.a. beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc., and I’m fully on board. Pulses are packed with a satiating combo of protein and fiber, which makes them nutritional powerhouses and hunger-squashing dynamos. Crunchy chickpea snacks are pretty hot right now, and the Basil, White Bean & Olive Oil Savory Bars by Kashi are SO GOOD. But my current favorite way to enjoy beans is by sneaking them into desserts. Make a batch of these Mini Flourless PB Chocolate Cakes; healthy sweet treats with just 105 calories!

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!