Health Tip:

Guilt-Free Cinco de Mayo

All the enjoyment of the holiday without the guilt!

Despite popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexican Independence, but rather an annual commemoration of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. A huge victory for the much smaller Mexican army. Nowadays, May 5th is treated as a celebration of Mexican heritage and is usually accompanied by copious amounts of margaritas and Mexican food.

Carbs add up on Cinco de Mayo.

Unfortunately, the carbs we consume on Cinco de Mayo can really add up. If you choose to eat out at a Mexican restaurant, a couple of enchiladas with a side of rice and beans will give you roughly 130 grams of carbs…and that’s before the endless tortilla chips that accompany any Mexican meal. A typical restaurant margarita generally contains over 40 grams of carbs from added sugar alone. When you add in the actual alcohol carbs (your liver actually converts alcohol into sugar), that margarita actually turns into approximately 73 grams of carbohydrates (to calculate this, divide the total calories in your cocktail by 4).

To recap, that’s a whopping 203 grams of carbohydrates in ONE MEAL!

Try these recipes instead!

For those of you who want to keep your weight in check this Cinco de Mayo, below are some delicious low carb alternatives that will give you the Mexican flavors you crave without sending you off-track.

Cheesy Taco-Stuffed Peppers (yield: 6 servings)

Ingredients
  • 3 green bell peppers, halved, insides removed
  • ½ medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own using 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp salt)
  • 10 oz Rotel tomatoes and green chilis
  • 2 cup cheddar cheese, divided
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • Optional toppers: Salsa, cilantro, green onions, sour cream, sliced avocado, diced jalapeños
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish and place the peppers cut-side up inside.
  2. Over medium heat, cook the onions until slightly translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Once the beef is browned, drain the fat, and add your taco seasonings and Rotel. Allow the meat to simmer for a few minutes and absorb the seasonings. Add a little water if needed to prevent dryness.
  3. After about 3-5 minutes, mix in 1 cup of cheese and the sour cream.
  4. Scoop the meat mixture evenly into the peppers.
  5. Cover the peppers with foil and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the foil, top with remaining cheese, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with optional toppers as desired

Nutrition Facts (1/2 stuffed pepper): 9 grams net carbohydrates

Spicy Spanish “Rice” (Yield 6 servings)

Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, riced (or 2 12-oz packages of frozen riced cauliflower)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • ½ medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (seeds removed if desired)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro (to top)
  • Juice of ½ to 1 lime (to top)
Instructions
  1. To rice the cauliflower, cut into small florets, then pulse in a food processor until it turns to the size of rice grains. You may need to do this in small batches! If you don’t have a food processor, simply purchase frozen riced cauliflower.
  2. Heat the oil a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, stirring occasionally. Cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes)
  3. Add the garlic and jalapeño. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant (do not let garlic burn!)
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and remaining spices. Once well-incorporated, add the cauliflower, stirring to coat.
  5. Cook the cauliflower until soft, and until the majority of liquid has dried off.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1 cup): 5 grams net carbohydrates

Sweet and Spicy Margarita Mocktail (Yield: 2 drinks)

Ingredients
  • 2 fl. oz fresh orange juice (¼ cup)
  • 1 fl. oz fresh lime juice (2 Tbsp)
  • 2 dash orange bitters
  • Liquid stevia to taste
  • ½ jalapeño sliced (plus more to top)
  • Topo Chico or other sparkling mineral water
  • 2 cups ice
  • Salt or Tajin for rim (optional)
Instructions
  1. Salt the rim of 2 glasses with either course salt or Tajin. Add ice to each.
  2. In a shaker, add ice, orange juice, lime juice, bitters, stevia, and jalapeños. Shake until frost appears on the outside of the shaker bottle.
  3. Strain the liquid into the glasses and top with Topo Chico. Garnish with additional jalapeno slices if desired.

Nutrition Facts (1 drink): 4 grams net carbohydrates

At WellnessFromFood, we believe delicious food is vital for long-term weight loss success and we’re committed to teaching you how to create low carb dishes for all occasions. Losing weight does not have to be difficult! Learn how to lose weight for good with our lifestyle-based low carbohydrate program: Sign up today.

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Hi there! I’m Gabby, head registered dietitian at WellnessFromFood. If you have questions, please email me! Want to lose weight with me? Click here

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