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It's All About that Base

We all have our favorite special sauce that makes our sandwich, salad, or pizza just perfect. We love at and possibly crave the creamy texture, smooth mouth feel and rich flavor. Condiments can be a very gray area however, when it comes to personal perception of overall calorie intake. When you pour dressing on your salad and smear a spread on your sandwich could it be making or breaking your meal? It definitely adds to flavor but is it in line with your health goals is the real question.

Some condiments are super calorie dense adding 100-400 calories often with added sugar, sodium and fat. On the other hand, lower calorie options contain barely 10 calories in one heaping serving. When it comes to weight gain or loss an extra 500 calories per day leads to one pound change per week. It's time to consider your condiments!

Regardless of how calorie dense your condiment of choice is, they are capable of offering vitamins and minerals to nourish your body. The goal is being mindful in which you choose and how much you add. Depending on your personal goals and condiment preferences some options are better than others.

Base rule{s} of Thumb:

If you touch the tip of your thumb with the tip of your pointer finger {just try it} that’s a maximum level marker of how much dressing to add onto a salad, spread on a sandwich or mix into stir-fry. Think the size of a poker chip for a tablespoon and a die for a teaspoon.

If you can't identify the ingredients listed opt for something else. Condiments are notorious for additives and preservatives that will junk up your body. Eat clean and your body will thank you by feeling better, sleeping better and performing better both mentally and physically.

Teaser Tips:

When you've finished your meal do you ever have remaining dressing or sauce on your plate? Do you find it drips out of your sandwich, and sometimes even on you? {Side note- I always need a napkin when I eat!} To enjoy the flavor of the condiment without over serving yourself, try pouring the mindfull portion on your plate then dip your fork or bite of food into the dressing before eating it. You may realize you don’t need as much as you thought. And if you don’t that’s ok too! At least you’re actively making a choice to be aware of your portions. ​

Low Calorie + Nutrient Rich Bases:

Salsa – Try pureeing tomato, onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, and jalapeno. Add to sandwiches for a zesty kick in taste.

Pico De Gallo – Make your own by dicing tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro. Add to fish tacos or Mexican style salads with beans and roasted corn.

Pureed or Sliced Beets - Boil and slice or pickle them for endurance benefits.

Siracha - Primarily red chili sauce this gives you heat without added calories. One teaspoon in provides 0 calories, 0g of fat 2g of carbohydrate and 0g of protein. Add to soup, stir-fries or spread on sandwiches for a powerful kick in flavor!

Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, etc. – Herbs provide a burst in flavor and are rich in nutrients. Studies show basil has anti-aging and anti-inflammation properties. It's also rich in antioxidants, vitamins K, A, C, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.

Ginger Powder - Great to add to Greek yogurt for a savory rich taste. Ginger has been known to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties.

Roasted or Powdered Garlic - Studies show garlic increased antioxidant activity in young male athletes.

Plain Greek Yogurt – This low-fat dairy product is creamy in texture and rich in protein with 12g/ 5oz portion. Add any spice, vinegar and/or vegetables to improve bland flavor. Mix into protein and vegetable sautés or try substituting for sour cream to increase protein and decrease fat intake. Use it as a base to make Tzatziki with cucumber and herbs.

Vinegar - Study shows intake lowers glycemic response when combined with carbohydrate intake. Excellent when combined with plant based oil on sandwiches and salads in substitution for creamy high fat dressings.

{Recovery Post-Workout Breakfast: Avocado Toast sprinkled with Turmeric served with Veggie Scramble and Florida Pink Grapefruit}

High Calorie + Healthy Fat Bases:

Quinoa Pesto – Contains 220 calories/ cup + 8g protein, 5g fiber, 15% iron and rich in whole grain nutrients. Enjoy in pasta or spread onto a sandwich such as chicken, and roasted red pepper with part-skim mozzarella cheese. I love the one from Trader Joe's.

Olive Tapenade – A plant based, primarily polyunsaturated fat that contain phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Olives are a good source of copper, iron, fiber and vitamin E.

Tahini – Basically pureed sesame seeds. This rich nutty flavor is deliciously savory when added to vegetables or salad with a little avocado oil or EVOO.

Hummus – Pureed garbonzo beans are a perfect blend of carbohydrates and protein. This spread typically includes tahini and olive oil packing in added healthy fats. Great as a recovery snack with whole grain pita chips or crudités.

Avocado – The holy grail of plant based, heart healthy, monounsaturated fats that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Think of it like butter and smear it on toast. Try having ¼ - ½ to moderate intake.

Nut Butter- Almond, peanut, cashew you name it! I've completely fallen in love with Trader Joe's cashew butter. It's lightly salted. A spoonful with a banana completely give's my sweet tooth a fix.

Let’s talk about Mayonnaise for a hot minute! This fridge basic has been a culinary American past-time for decades. Mayo is adored in tuna sandwiches and on burgers for that creamy texture and rich taste. Typically mayo is made with eggs from caged hens and unhealthy oils such as genetically modified soybean oil. It often has added sugar, salt, and preservatives such as Calcium Disodium EDTA to improve taste. I’ve never been a huge fan.

Until now. If you’re pro-mayo or an avocado lover this Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise giveaway from Thrive Market may be worth a shot! It’s unique in that it’s made from avocado oil, a heart-healthy oil that is about 70% monounsaturated fats. These “good fats” are easy to digest and help the body regulate cholesterol levels, as well as increase the absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients.

What’s the scoop with Primal Kitchen Mayo anyway?

  • It’s the only mayo in existence made from nutrient-dense avocado oil

  • Made from cage-free organic eggs and egg yolks

  • Made from vinegar from non-GMO beets

  • Locally produced in Southern California

  • Completely free of dairy, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and gluten

  • Compatible with the gluten-free diet

  • Made from only five of the highest quality ingredients:


Thrive Market is offering all first-time members a FREE jar of Primal Kitchen’s avocado oil mayonnaise! All you have to do is pay the $1.95 shipping fee. Claim your free gift today before they’re gone! This offer applies to new members only, but existing members can also get a free jar when they make a purchase of $50 or more on Thrive!

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