If you are sick-and-tired of being sick-and-tired of your appearance and health find out how eating well is living well. Read on and learn how a little bit of knowledge will give you the power to make a big change!
February 2012. At 258 pounds, it was getting tough to find clothes that made me feel good about my appearance. It was time to do SOMETHING different and learn how eating well is living well. A friend introduced me to MyFitnessPal and the journey began! Now, EVERYTHING passing my lips is part of a daily plan (avoiding the word ‘diet’) and a weekly goal. There’s more about that part of the adventure on my weight loss blog (HERE).
Fitness guru? Health nut? NOT!!
The learning continues for me on the journey to dropping 39 pounds and keeping the weight off. This blog is a way to share some pillars of my research into eating well.
Things I’ve learned so far: cooking healthy and eating well matters. Accurate measurement of my intake every day goes along with being a choosy eater. Sugar, sodium, artificial ingredients and super-high calorie counts are enemies of a healthy eating plan. Avoid most of the items on restaurant menus. Skip most of the processed and packaged foods sold in the stores. If you need proof, get the MyFitnessPal app and look-up some of your favorite foods. My (used-to-be) favorite Elephant Bar dish has more than 3,000 milligrams of salt! That’s more than twice the recommended daily allowance IN ONE DISH! Add on the appetizers and stroke here we come!
Check out the links below – and get some knowledge that might help you eat better and live better! Come back often for the latest as it comes across my plate (pun intended!). And please leave your comments on and ratings of some of my favorite recipes as they hit my BigOven page.
The best – and most important – meal of the day!
We’ve always heard how important it is to have breakfast. There’s lots of information that explains WHY breakfast is important when trying to maintain my weight or lose weight. Check out these articles and learn why you should make the investment in your first meal of the day. And, get some suggestions for some quick, easy and smart breakfast choices::
Eating to live instead of living to eat
My mind is on my stomach and my stomach is on my mind quite often! Eating makes me “calm” at busy or stress-filled times. Eating makes me “festive” when around people, “busy” when bored, etc., etc.. The trick is to make healthy choices while indulging, so it keeps guilt to a minimum. Zero guilt = able to stick with the plan longer (still avoiding the word ‘diet’). It comes down to eating only what’s necessary, when necessary!
Now that my eyes are open to making smart food choices, it is routine to plan meals farther out to avoid eating on the go, or on impulse. Even planning my treats or cocktails matters. And my days of smashing a half-jar of olive bruschetta or a can of peanuts at one sitting are over! A 4000-calorie day will add up fast when popping handfuls of “healthy” things (nuts, olives, some fruits) that carry huge calorie counts.
How to snack and still lose weight
There are several guilt-free items that seem right up the alley of a self-admitted snack monster like me! A couple of things in these articles have made it to my favorites list! So check out some tips on how to keep your jaws moving while avoiding the weight gain that happens when munching outside of meal time!
We’ve always heard that packing in a few hundred late-night calories is disastrous for the waistline. But, eating at night doesn’t have to make you fat. Eating at night may set your body up for sounder sleep AND put your metabolism in motion for higher calorie burning during the day. The key is making good choices about what’s on your late night snacking menu.
Eating to get well and stay well
Knowledge about healthy eating goes beyond just trying to manage body weight. It’s fascinating how much our food choices matter to our bodies, and how many foods have medicinal properties that add up over time.
If working out is not your cup of tea, there are many pages you can borrow from the recipe books of people who do workout. You’ll eat right while adding lots of variety to your diet.
This is an interesting article that busts lots of common beliefs about which foods are healthy or not. Number 10 was good news for me!
The best road to a good night’s sleep might be through the kitchen! Find out some foods that might help you get some quality Zs:
Taking the fight to the grocery aisle
When buying anything in the store that is not fresh, for me, the rule is: “if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t eat it!” So it usually takes me a long while to shop for groceries because it requires a lot of label-reading. Here’s a great guide that breaks down ingredients and tells us which ingredients to avoid
If you being more conscious of what you eat is your goal, you must learn how to read what food labels say…
To meat or not to meat
There are lots of arguments for and against including red meat in your meal plan. The keys to sorting it all out: study all the latest SCIENCE (as opposed to OPINIONS), then consult with your doctor to decide what works for you. There is some evidence piling up that a meatless diet might do some people more harm than good. When studying up, try to stay with the most recent articles you can find.
If you are looking for knowledge to help get you ready for that decision check out these links:
A good, lean steak is always in my immediate future. For me, steak is a good, low-fat source of protein and iron. Learning how to make the most healthy choices at the meat counter has been important and helpful.
Lots of people talk about the “Paleo diet.” The idea: eat only what cavemen would have eaten as they hunted animals and gathered plants. That leaves out man-made (i.e.: sugar, bread, processed foods) or farmed (legumes, grains) foods. An interesting concept! My meal plan has kinda evolved into a version of this.
Substitutes – a matter of taste!
One big thing has helped me develop and stick to a plan. Acquiring tastes for flavors that are healthier choices helps me please my palate. Pepper instead of salt to wake up foods. Mustard instead of mayo or ketchup. Oil and vinegar instead of Ranch or Thousand Island.
Greek yogurt is a recently discovered guilty pleasure! My lactose intolerance makes almost everything on the dairy aisle off-limits, including most yogurt. My tummy can handle Greek yogurt that is free from added ingredients like cream, which is not natural in real Greek yogurt. The crazy amount of protein you get in a small serving is what sold me. Greek yogurt eaten for lunch helps keep me from being hungry longer than a carb-based meal of equal calories. Substitute Greek yogurt for recipe ingredients like sour cream or mayonnaise – a pleasant surprise! Greek yogurt tastes great on baked or mashed potatoes, in pasta dishes, even on salads! Check out the links to ‘swap’ recipes below.
If you need to get comfortable about cooking, make the most out of your time in the kitchen by trying some new recipes. Look to this blog and my Big Oven page for ideas that might help you enjoy tying on the apron!
Tricks That’ll Make You A Culinary Wizard (HINT: number 2 on this link is a surprisingly effective trick!)
Please check back to my blog because as my journey of eating well continues you might find the latest update helpful to your own journey and feel free to Comment with some of your own experiences.