This is just my two cents worth:
I read a lot about food–from a nutrition standpoint, from a “what's hot now” standpoint and from a “what looks really delicious” standpoint. Some of you know that I had started down the road to become a DTR (registered dietetics technician) and have a few classes under my belt, but that certainly does not make me an expert or a nutritionist. This is just a way for me to share some of what I have learned over the years from studying and reading the newest information available on how to eat right and what has been working for me.
Those that have known me for many years, also know that I used to be 20 pounds heavier and certainly far from fit. I didn't have the best eating habits, either. That's where I'm coming from–where many people have/are coming from, too, I believe. Also, I have to admit that I am not one to completely go one way or another, meaning I don't subscribe to clean eating, paleo, vegetarianism, veganism, raw foodism, etc. What I do subscribe to is trying to eat well and feeling satisfied.
*I try to adhere to an 1800 calorie a day diet (meaning lifestyle) and I do not drink my calories–I like to eat too much for that.
What foods do I consistently eat/keep stocked?
- Unsweetened Original Almond Milk (either Almond Breeze or Silk), 30-40 calories a cup! plus more calcium than cow's milk and I think that it tastes better
- Fiber One Original Cereal, 60 calories a serving! tastes good, high in fiber, versatile–top yogurt or mix with other cereals
- Puffed Wheat cereals, 60 calories a cup! great to mix with other cereals to fill them out or mix in with yogurt or make cereal bars with as it has more fiber than Rice Krispies
- Joseph's Lavash or Pita breads, 50-60 calories a serving! they taste good, are high in fiber, versatile–crisp up to make a tostada, grill to make grilled cheese or fill for a wrap
- Nature Valley Oats n Chocolate Granola Bars (the crunchy kind), 190 calories for 2! these are not exactly health food but when you want something akin to a candy bar, they will do and for far fewer calories and fat grams
- Quick or Old Fashioned Oats, 100 calories for 1/3 cup dry! oats are just plain good for you, filling and easy to mix n match with fruit, nut butter and spices
- Plain Non Fat Yogurt, 50 calories for 1/2 cup! this stuff is great for eating with fruit and cereal and for cooking with (use in place of sour cream or oil in baking–keeps baked goods moist)
- Salmon pouches, 70 calories a pouch! love to mix with mustard, pickles and onions for sandwiches or to top salads
- Eggs (the whole egg), 70 calories each! there have now been numerous studies showing that eating an egg a day is good for you and can keep you fuller for longer when eaten for breakfast
- Fruits, 25-105 calories a serving! apples, bananas, cherries, cantaloupe, oranges, nectarines, peaches, mangoes, pineapple, plums, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, pears–love them all and eat several servings a day (sometimes at breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Vegetables, 10-100 calories a serving! zucchini, cucumbers, onions, garlic, green onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery, eggplant, leeks, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, coleslaw mix, broccoli slaw mix, all manner of frozen vegetables and canned, too
- Beans, 100 – 120 calories for 1/2 cup! these are higher in calories but they pack a lot of fiber and a decent amount of protein; black, kidney, cannellini, navy, garbanzo, pinto, etc–they're all good
- Salsa, 10-25 calories a serving! sometimes I make my own, but there are many good ones out there; add to burgers, to salads in place of dressing, in sandwich wraps, or in chili
- Laughing Cow cheese wedges, 35 calories each! these things add a lot of flavor for so few calories. I love them in wraps and in pasta dishes in place of cream cheese
What am I trying to get more servings of/incorporate into my diet?
- nuts: I tend to shy away from them since they are so high in calories for such a small serving; I'm trying to wrap my brain around the health benefits and not be held hostage by the calorie count. Recently, I've been sprinkling a few tablespoons of slivered almonds on my yogurt…
- more salmon: I usually only eat 1 serving every 2 weeks and I just read that to reap the most benefits, one should aim for at least 2 servings a week. I'm going to try to have some for lunch at least twice a week. Very doable.
- olive oil: this falls under the nut problem for me–120 calories for 1 tablespoon! hard for me to justify as I normally don't miss it when I cook. I may try to add a little bit here and there and work my way up. This is just a hard one for me.
- fewer desserts: I've been doing better on this already but I have fallen off the wagon a few times. I really like my treats and I'm a sucker for pies, cakes, cookies and bread-based goodies. I can totally skip candies and packaged cookies but put in front of a bakery and I'm doomed. I've pretty much muscled myself under to no high calorie/high fat desserts Monday through Thursday. I'm working on Fridays…
- marshmallows: don't ask me why, but I just love the things. I can eat them plain or on graham crackers. I've just tried not to buy them anymore.
- water: I just don't drink enough, but I'm getting better.
I'm sure there's more but that's probably good enough for now. I hope that this was somewhat informative and shows how easy it can be to eat well, simply.