I talked to JKW today on the phone and we discussed many healthy foods. While I don't fancy myself an expert at all, I have done quite a bit of reading on healthy eating recently and have incorporated these finds into my diet. I have to tell you guys that I have never felt better or more healthy! My nails are stronger, my skin is clearer and my hair is shinier! So, as per request by JKW I will list my "must have" items and try to tell you a little about how I fit these items into my diet.
Baby Spinach - I buy this pre-packed. I love,love,love it! I try to eat some every single day! I will usually have it as a salad with grape tomatoes, cucumbers and fat free blue cheese dressing. I also like to saute' it in cooking spray and add it to my eggs. I will also sneak it into a smoothie! In the book "Eat This, Not That" it is listed as the number one food you should eat everyday! So get on it! What are you waiting for? Do Not, I repeat, Do Not let me catch you making a salad out of iceberg lettuce! First of all, it does not taste good, and while not bad for you, it has little or no nutritional value! Spinach is my number one pick but in a pinch Romaine will do as well as mixed baby greens.
Baby Carrots and Regular Carrots - I don't have to tell you guys that these are great to snack on! Dip them in fat-free dressing, chop them up and throw them in your salad, steam them with broccoli and cauliflower. Oh and by the way these are also listed as one of the foods you should eat everyday. See, I told you guys that you need to buy that book! Also, I buy carrot juice. I like it straight but it will also work in a smoothie (more on this later).
T. Marzetti light blue cheese dressing - or any low fat/low calorie dressing. I don't have to really tell you guys how to eat this do I?
Dannon light and fit vanilla yogurt (32 oz. container) - This is the base for my smoothies. I love the taste and at only 80 calories for 1 cup its a calorie bargain. This is on the list of things you should eat everyday as well. Yogurt is so good for you in more ways than one. In fact, studies show that people who eat a diet high in dairy lose more weight. (I learned this on that Dr. Oz show). If you don't like yogurt, make a smoothie, but by all means eat it!
Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges - This is great on celery (thanks Rach for the suggestion) and in eggs! Yum-ola! (ps. its another way to get your dairy)
Philadelphia fat free cream cheese - I spread this on rice cakes and top it with low calorie jam or jelly! It is delicious!
Eggs - Look, eggs are not bad for you. If you have problems with high cholesterol, then okay, don't eat them. But, most of you don't. Eggs are a great source of protein and eating a high protein breakfast will keep you fuller longer (more on this later). Scramble 2 eggs in cooking spray (no butter) and throw in some grape tomatoes and sauteed spinach and a little Parmesan cheese. Poach an egg (if you don't know how, then go to Wal-mart or Target and buy a microwave egg poacher for like $3) and make an egg McMuffin.
Grape tomatoes - Right now tomatoes are out of season. I can not stand the mealy taste of a hot house tomato! Grape tomatoes have a really sweet taste. Until summer comes and I can buy big tomatoes at the farmer's market, this is how I will get my fix. Yep, they are on the infamous list as well!
Hormel Natural Choice Lunch Meats - I am scared to death of sodium Nitrate! So, I was very happy when I found these! I love sandwiches so this is what I nestle between 2 slices of whole wheat bread to get my fix!
I Can't Believe Its Not Butter Spread - I spray this on my bread to make grilled cheese. I also use it on my baked potatoes.
Kraft 2% American Cheese singles - Here's the deal. Kraft has a fat free version that has 20 calories less per slice, however, it tastes awful! I'd rather eat 20 extra calories and have some flavor! We eat grilled cheese like crazy around here! I also put this on my homemade egg McMuffin!
Fat free milk - for cereal
Frozen blueberries - Believe it or not blueberries are on the list! Apparently they are great for brain function! I need all the blueberries I can get to repair all the years of damage I did with my Diet Coke habit (kicked, thank you). These go in my smoothies! yum! They also are unparalleled when it comes to anti-oxidants!
Sara Lee 45 calories and Delicious whole Wheat Bread - Weather for toast, a sandwich or grilled cheese, I have not found a whole wheat bread that tastes better!
Fiber One Bars and Cereal - Did you know that you should be getting 25-30 grams of fiber per day? This is two easy ways to get it. I like the cereal with the honey clusters in it. It has 13 grams of fiber. The bars are a good snack (or breakfast if you're in a hurry) and have 9 grams of fiber per bar!
Natures Grains Lite English Muffins - I love egg McMuffins, can you tell? These are really good! They have 110 calories per muffin. I keep them in the freezer (to make them last longer) and in the morning I take one out, wrap it in a paper towel, and microwave it for 30 seconds, then I toast it.
Klondike Slim-A-Bear 100 calorie bars - I eat ice cream everyday! I save 100 calories everyday just so I can have one of these! They are so good and eating ice cream makes you feel like you are not dieting! Ha! Which is the whole point right? I hide these and eat them after the kids go to bed because if they found them, they would be gone! Hubby likes them too and swears they aren't low cal! In a pinch Skinny Cow low fat ice cream sandwiches will do, but I like the Klondike better!
Oatmeal - Yep, on the list too! Real oatmeal is easy to make! Use I Can't Believe Its Not Butter Spray on it, then throw in some raisins and just a touch of brown sugar!
Progresso Soups (your flavor preference) - I've mentioned these before. They are a calorie bargain! I like the black bean which has a whooping 8 grams of fiber!
And in my produce section - English cucumbers, squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, grapes, apples ( I don't eat these, I'm allergic, they are for the kids), cantaloupe and bananas.
Okay you've seen my grocery list, so let me tell you about my meals. For breakfast here are my usual choices : Cereal, eggs, a smoothie, a mcmuffin, a Fiber One bar or oatmeal. Here's how I make an egg McMuffin. I toast an English muffin and spray it with I Can't Believe Its Not Butter, top it with a poached egg, 2 slices of Hormel Naurals smocked ham, and 1 slice of Kraft 2% milk cheese! For 260 calories you've got yourself a very filling breakfast. All that protein will keep you full for hours. I ate one at 6:30 this morning and didn't even feel a little hungry until 11:30! Now, your smoothie recipes. You can make a smoothie 100 differant ways, but here are my two favorites. I take 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup orange juice and about 4 or 5 ice cubes. Blend for 1 minute. (205 calories) You can throw in a banana for 100 calories more! Here is the smoothie "Eat This, Not That" suggests 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup carrot juice, 1 cup frozen blueberries and 1 cup spinach. This one is good two and all the ingredients are on the must eat list. I promise you won't taste the spinach and it doesn't make the smoothie green!
For lunch I usually eat a sandwich with a spinach salad or soup. Sometimes I'll make a smoothie and split it with the kids.
Dinner is a toss up. I broil a lot of lean meats. We like chicken a lot and Pork chops. I will serve it with steamed squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots or snow peas and sometimes a combination of several! If I didn't have a salad at lunch, I try to have one with my dinner. Sometimes I will bake potatoes. Believe it or not, my kids love steamed veggies!
So, there you have it! I hope this helps you all!