By Colleen Flaherty

Killeen Daily Herald

It's no secret that I love food.

It love shopping for food, cooking food, reading about food and, most of all, love eating food - and a lot of it.

A lifelong member of the clean plate club, I have never been the kind of person who feels full after a few bites.

To try to bridge the gap between my love of voluminous food and some of my other "loves," such as feeling healthy and good about myself, I try to incorporate as many fresh ingredients into my favorite recipes as I can.

Loosely based on the "Volumetrics" eating plan championed by doctor Barbara Rolls, my approach to cooking and eating is to fill up my plate with low-, or at least lower-calorie, high-fiber foods to feel full faster.

Instead of two pieces of pizza, for example, the idea behind this plan is to eat just one slice of pizza and a bowl of brothy soup to feel just as full with fewer calories.

When cooking, to keep my homemade meatballs juicy (a must, as I am married to a person of Italian descent) and healthy (another must, since I don't share his amazing anti-fat genes), I add a large, grated zucchini to my lean meat or chicken, egg and spice mix. I get a little more bang for my buck and, hopefully, will have consumed fewer calories by the end of the meal than I would have eating the same amount of food with a meat-only recipe.

This style of eating isn't for everyone. You have to love vegetables and not mind keeping your crisper full of fresh goodies.

But for someone like me, for whom a trip to the produce section of a grocery store can be as sensory an experience as a trip to an art museum, it's a great way to keep all my "loves" in harmony.

Contact Colleen Flaherty at or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHFortHood.

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