For years (like forever) I have always thought, if I was going to try to lose weight, I would need to be buying low fat, non fat, sugar free stuff. I thought I would need that crutch since I was needing to cut my calories. My vocabulary began to contain phrases like "tastes just like real" whatever it was I was replacing at the time. I have to admit one of the things I did enjoy was Publix Sugar Free Orange Sherbet. It tasted sooooo good. Draw back? It had so much fiber in it that if you ate more than the 1/2 cup serving in a day you would end up with a lot of......ahem...gas, and multiple trips to the bathroom. That was the most benign issue to have with some of the foods I chose. Should the food you choose to eat have a disclaimer? Some foods actually do. You know the famous Olestra ingredient in the low fat potato chips? That's another one that gives you serious bathroom issues if you have more than one serving in a day. Did ya know Aspartame was created by a guy trying to develop a new paint thinner? Did you also know that skim milk was originally a waste product from milk processing? It isn't even really white. Yea, they add chalk to it to get that color. Yum. Which bring me to my next point.....
2) Eat real food!- I eat normal everyday foods. With a few exceptions. I mix our lemonade with Stevia. I have two grown sons and they will go thru the lemonade. To cut the sugar down I use half and half Stevia/Sugar,or just straight Stevia. Our iced tea, however, is made with sugar. I use 1/2 cup sugar for a gallon of tea. Not Southern sweet tea, mind you, but it's how I like it. It is the same tea I grew up drinking. Turkey bacon is a staple at our house mainly due to cost. It's much cheaper than the real thing,but my oldest son actually prefers it to real bacon. I also make our sausage from ground turkey. I don't care for the really lean ground turkey. It's too dry. I use the 85%. I make our sausage this way due to cost as well. With those few caveats we eat only the real thing; Butter, sugar, whole milk, whole milk yogurt, peanut butter, real cheese, etc. I do count the calories. and I eat a smaller serving. I even buy regular potato chips! We just have a 3/4 oz serving compared to the 1 oz they recommend. Remember the whole portion control thing? Well here is where it's needed. However, I must say I would rather have 3 oz of sugar sweetened whole milk french vanilla yogurt than 6 oz of the nonfat artificially sweetened stuff. Like I stated in the last post, I use a free website called sparkpeople.com, but the internet is full of free diet/calorie counting websites. Just remember with great power comes great responsibility (totally stole that from the Spiderman movie). Yes you can have any food, but count the calories and in moderation. Don't forget your fruits and veggies! I try to balance something not so low cal with things very low calorie and nutritious. For example, I stated before how I have eaten Chic Fila 3 piece chicken tenders a couple of times. They are 350 calories for the serving. Not so low in calories. Not bad, but still pretty high. However, I balanced that treat with fruit. Fruits and veggies are great fillers to round out a meal when you are eating all this wonderful stuff IN MODERATION. I have discovered two things. I absolutely love' frozen bananas and roasted carrots. Not mixed together mind you. I love them so much so that I've started to buy 12 lbs of carrots at a time because I know that will be my go to veggie. I buy about that in bananas. My son informed me he was eating all of my frozen bananas, so I have to stay ahead of him. DH told me if I ever serve him regular cooked carrots he will be disappointed. Never fear! I have a recipe! Here's how!
1 lb bag carrots peeled and cut into chunks or sticks like fries
1 tsp oil. I use very little, but you go by your taste. This works for us.
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the carrots in the oils til the oil is distributed on all the carrots pretty well. Spread one layer on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 25-30 minutes or until fry like consistency; kinda crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Spread chunked ripe (don't use green ones they aren't as good. Use the ones with a few spots) bananas in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze. Put some in a bowl and eat. Reminds me of eating a ice cream Popsicle.
Because I'm eating real food, my body knows exactly what to do with it and I'm satisfied. That's the one thing that has amazed me the most! Technically I'm eating less over all food, but I'm not getting hungry or light headed. I don't feel like I'm not gonna make it to the next meal or that planning what I eat is an all encompassing task. Many times I'll come in from outside not knowing what to fix for lunch. Sometimes I will cook something, but often I just end up with a PB&J (see I do have bread), Apple w/Peanut butter, or Apple w/ Cheese stick. One day I just measured out Chocolate Granola with a banana and some vanilla yogurt on top. Be still my heart! Good times. I have a freedom never before allowed to myself. There is nothing off limits as long as I count it.
I believe one of the reasons for my success is making sure my breakfast is high protein. I have noticed if I have pancakes, coffee cake, or other bread for breakfast I will be hungrier than if I stick to Eggs, Turkey Bacon, Yogurt, or Turkey sausage with fruits and veggies. I save the pastry breakfasts for weekends when we eat breakfast later,
I hope I'm not running on and on. I have all this stuff in my head and putting it on paper can be a little daunting. Especially since I'm so excited about it all. I feel like I've struck gold, and I want to share. I've been waiting for almost 4 months and the flood gates are finally open! Brace yourself!
More to follow!