Healthy Simple Swaps from The Healthy Budgetnista


Starting this week, I will talk from time to time about my fabulous food finds and healthy simple swaps to help you slash some calories this Summer.

Smaller changes lead to bigger victories on the scale and in life. Be the change you want to see.


Fantastic Food Find: Dannon’s 100 Calorie Light and Fit Chocolate on Top Strawberry Greek Yogurt

IMG_20160413_093130Today’s Fit and Finally Free Fantastic Food Find: Dannon’s 100 calorie Light and Fit Chocolate on Top Strawberry Greek Yogurt

We all know about that sugar demon that tries to come for us and wreaks havoc on our bodies and healthy eating regimens. It makes feeling giddy for a second, then leaves us feeling guilty long after having eating it. It just won’t let us be great will it lol?

Well, I’ve found a healthy treat that usually satisfies my sweet tooth, which thank God, I don’t have often. I emphasize with those of you who have this issue.

Packed with 11g of protein and only 7g of sugar, I eat this particular flavor of yogurt whenever I have a sweet tooth and I’m craving some kind of dessert. I’ll mix a few flax seeds in for added fiber and raw slivered almonds for texture.

The added protein from the almonds along with the protein of the yogurt helps me feel fuller longer and it gives me an additional healthy fat for the day. The added fiber aids in digestion which helps keep me regular.

The flax seeds and almonds adds about another 75 to 100 calories to this healthy snack or dessert which still comes under 200 calories.

I hope you’ll give this snack/dessert a try and it will satisfy your unwavering sweet tooth. Just know there are healthy alternatives out there to put that sugar demon at bay.


Tumaro Garden Veggie Low-in-Carb Wraps

0849455000040_A1A3_ItemMaster_type_large I stopped at The Fresh Market to pick up a few specialty items and came across this little gem…Tumaro Garden Veggie Low-in-Carb Wraps.  I love making different kinds of wraps, breakfast burritos, specialty soft tacos, pizzas, and other Mexican dishes.

Wraps are so versatile as you can make many healthy low carb dishes with them. This wrap has a great taste, pliable and few in calories, carbs, fats, and sugars. They are also high in fiber. Tumaro’s low-in-carb wraps come in a variety of flavors such as honey wheat, whole wheat, sun dried tomato, multigrain, and several others to choose from.  All of them are only 60 calories with very few carbs and less than 1% of sugar which makes them diabetic friendly. Read the label below for the garden veggie wrap ingredients.

2015-07-01 22.08.42These wraps definitely get a stamp of approval from me as one of my fantastic food finds. Go to to find a retailer near you. I can’t wait to come up with some more fabulous recipes for you all to try and for you to try them with me.


Superbowl Snacks can be Simple, Healthy and Delicious

superbowl snacks 2

Superbowl Sunday is one of the biggest and most celebrated events in the US. Millions of people gather around the television with food and libations to watch the commercials, halftime show, and the best two teams of the NFL go head to head for the national championship title.

Unless you are a true fan of the sport or your team is playing in the Superbowl, it’s really all about the food and the fellowship. Traditional party food for gatherings such as this is loaded with high amounts of calories, carbs, fats, sodium, and sugars.

This year, I decided to throw a small Superbowl gathering amongst four friends and go beyond making the traditional calorie laden foods by creating healthier options using some of the fantastic food finds found in the Kroger’s Simple Truth Brand.

Simple Truth has a variety of snack options and natural antibiotic free and organic meats that are nutrition friendly.

For today’s party, I prepared sun dried tomato and cranberry chicken salad lettuce wraps using Simple Truth Natural Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts and Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil, asian ginger pasta salad using Aldi’s LiveGfree Gluten Free Brown Rice SpaghettiSimple Truth Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette, and other spices, fresh fruit, raw carrots, and Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Garlic and Herb Cheese Wedges. For my snack items, I decided to try Simple Truth Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Simple Truth Organic Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Simple Truth Multigrain Rice Crackers, and Simple Truth Natural Fruit and Nut Mix.

Eating traditional superbowl party food could easily add up to 4,000 calories or more for one meal/sitting which is beyond the FDA’s recommended daily value 2,000 calorie diet. Our recommendations if all is selected and eaten according to the serving size is less than 1,700 calories which isn’t too bad since this is a special occasion and you have a variety of snacks and foods to choose from. If diabetic, the brown rice spaghetti won’t spike your blood sugar up unlike semolina based pasta and our lettuce wraps are a perfect substitution for bread. It is also is gluten free for gluten sensitive readers.

Each Simple Truth snack item was less than 150 calories, 20 carbs, 150mg of sodium, 8g of fat, and 9 sugars per serving and the laughing cow cheese was only 35 calories, 1.5g of fat, 190mg of sodium and less than 1g of sugar for one serving.

Superbowl Sunday can be a fun filled gathering with simple and delicious guilt free food without blowing all of your hard work from eating healthy during the week. Look for our chicken salad and pasta salad recipe under our appetizers, soups and salads, vegetarian menu or click on the above links. 

These snack items and appetizers can be prepared for any party, potluck, holiday gathering or as a part of your weekly meal calendar for lunch or as a quick and healthy snack. We hope you will like our appetizers and decide to give them and our fantastic food finds a try. You won’t regret the calories nor the taste.


Tinkyaka Brown Rice Spaghetti Pasta


If anyone knows me and knows me well, they know I am a huge pasta lover. Doesn’t matter the shape, sauce or how it’s prepared as a casserole or as a single dish, I love it. Carbs, carbs and more carbs. Bad for my midsection, but can’t live without it. Carbs is the preferred energy source for the body. As an avid runner, good carbs have to be a part of my eating plan.

So, to help fill this waning desire of mine, I wanted to find a pasta that wasn’t made of semolina, wheat or gluten. I’m not gluten intolerant and I don’t dislike whole wheat pasta. I just wanted to try something new and didn’t spike my blood sugar.

I decided to visit Whole Foods and look in their pasta section for a pasta that would fit those three things…..semolina, wheat and gluten free. I asked some of the associates of a pasta they would recommend for me to try and had the same taste and texture of semolina pasta and the health benefits of whole wheat pasta. I was told to try Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta. I wanted to prepare spaghetti for dinner so I purchased the Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti.

I came home and prepared my spaghetti sauce wondering if I was going to like this pasta. Brown rice? How in the world do they make pasta out of brown rice and will it do my infamous sauce justice.

Here goes.  I followed the instructions on the package for it to cook about 13-17 minutes. I like my pasta to be al dente with a bite so I was hesitant to cook it that long but I followed the directions. The water turned unusually thick and murky unlike regular pasta when it boils and the starch is being released, but I had to trust the process.

I rinsed the pasta off even though chefs say not to because it’s the starch that causes the sauce to stick to the pasta. Me being the health conscious person that I am, I didn’t want all of the extras. It looked like pasta, felt like pasta, wondered if it was going to taste like pasta and do my sauce the justice it deserved. Does it get the Fantastic Food Find stamp of approval?

quality passed

FFF approved! It tasted great! So much so, I will probably never go back to semolina or whole wheat pasta. Had the same great taste and texture of regular pasta. It’s kosher and organic certified, has less than 5 ingredients on the label which is awesome, and comes in different shapes so you can create more fabulous pasta dishes.