5 Simple Swaps for a Healthier Cinco de Mayo

Fun facts about me:

  • My birthday is Cinco de Mayo (and I love my birthday!)

  • I speak Spanish fluently (es una lengua muy bonita)

  • I *heart* Mexican food (everything about it)

In honor of the celebration that will take place tomorrow, I'd like to offer a few simple suggestions for how you can cut calories without missing out on this tasty holiday.

Cinco de Mayo Swaps from Peas and Hoppiness - www.peasandhoppiness.com

Swap #1: Chicken Fajitas instead of Chicken Burrito

If you're smart about your toppings, you can save almost an entire meal's worth of calories here. When building your fajita:

  • Choose lean chicken with lots of veggies

  • Avoid adding too much cheese or sour cream (pile on the salsa instead)

  • Pick corn tortillas instead of flour (2 corn tortillas = 1 flour tortilla in terms of calories!)

Approx. Calorie Savings: 300-500

Better yet? Share the dish with a friend to save you room for that Margarita ;)

Swap #2: Black beans instead of rice or re-fried Beans

Not only do you save calories, but the extra fiber in whole black beans will help you feel more full.

  • If black beans aren't on the menu, choose another whole bean side

  • If a dish comes with both beans & rice, instead choose whole beans & veggies

Approx Calorie Savings: 100-150

Better yet? Choose grilled veggies instead of rice; total calorie savings: 150-200

Cinco de Mayo Simple Swaps from Peas and Hoppiness - www.peasandhoppiness.com

Swap #3: Salsa instead of Queso

I know, I know - there's nothing quite like that hot melty queso mess. But if you're one of the 0.01% who is ambivalent about hot cheese, choosing salsa will leave you lots of room for dessert!

  • Keep a high salsa-to-chip ratio so you don't overeat chips!

  • Portion chips on your napkin in front of you to keep track of how many you eat

  • Pour salsa on everything (it counts as a veggie!)

Approx. Calorie Savings: 80 calories per 2 Tablespoons (gasp!!)

Can't live without cheese sauce? Make your own at home with this recipe from Skinny Taste or try my Guiltless Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Swap #4: Skinny Margarita instead of the Strawberry Swirl

Or whatever that flavored margarita is. Cocktails contain calories in the alcohol (7 calories per gram) and from the sugar used to make mixed drinks (4 calories per gram). Best to choose low-sugar options to cut calories, or simply stay away from alcohol if that's a better choice for you.

  • Eliminate the extra syrup in flavored cocktails

  • If you prefer the taste, have the smaller version of the real thing

  • Other ideas: Choose a cocktail with a diet mixer (rum + diet soda) or a high-end liquor on the rocks (sipping tequila on the rocks)

Cinco de Mayo Simple Swaps from Peas and Hoppiness - www.peasandhoppiness.com

Approx. Calorie Savings: 100-300 calories

Better yet? Corona Light for an additional 80-100 calorie savings!

Swap #5: Coffee instead of Sopapillas

Finish off your meal with coffee instead of deep fat fried dessert + sugar!

  • Choose an artificial sweetener and limit to 1 Tbsp. cream

  • If you decide to have dessert, share with friends: research shows you get the most enjoyment from the first 3 bites of food - you probably need just a taste to curb your craving!

  • If you've chosen a sweet cocktail, enjoy this as your dessert instead!

Approx. Calorie Savings: 200-500 calories

Better yet? Try a fresh fruit Paleta - a Mexican popsicle. Super yum and an extra 100+ calorie savings! Find them in a Mexican grocery or (if you're really lucky) a local Paletaria

Note: references for calories based on On the Border Mexican Grill nutrition facts and Calorie King estimates

Work birthday gifts. My co-workers know just the way to my heart. See: quality dark chocolate <3 <3

Work birthday gifts. My co-workers know just the way to my heart. See: quality dark chocolate <3 <3

At the end of the day, remember that life is all about balance. Enjoy treats in moderation, engage in plenty of physical activity, and eat lots of fruits and veggies. Love your body and your life!

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all of you and Happy Birthday to me! ;)

With love from Peas and Hoppiness.