My Favorite Healthy Foods:
1% milk- I actually do prefer this. Anything with more fat tastes odd to me. I only use whole milk if I’m making ice cream. And you can use your own judgment about the hormone debate.
Yogurt- Gary and I both like a treat of frozen yogurt. I buy the “whipped” yogurt and just keep several in the freezer door. I also LOVE plain yogurt (not vanilla) on fruit.
Cottage cheese- Need to make sure this is low-fat and watch the sodium content. I wasn’t aware that ½ cup of cottage cheese can have 350mg of sodium!
Cheese- I love cheese in all forms! I’m especially fond of horseradish cheese and string cheese. And sharp cheddar and mozzarella...okay, I’m not sure there is a cheese I don’t like. This is something I’ll have to work on as we go along- which kind is best and in what portions.
Eggs get a bad rap. They are actually good for you and contain lutein, which is good for your eyes. I plan to continue eating at least two each week because I like them that much!
Chicken- I like chicken, but I have to step away from the chicken nuggets! Too much sodium and added calories.
Salmon- Love, love, love salmon and many other types of fish. I need to add more to my weekly menus.
Shrimp- Love shrimp, but can’t eat too much of the breaded kind.
Couscous- This is actually my favorite side dish, especially with garlic and olive oil.
Rice- I like plain white rice, nothing on it. However, I’m not opposed to a little cheese on top either!
Barley- This is new for me because I read that it is good for your heart.
Pasta- I prefer regular pasta, although the whole wheat is supposed to be better for you. I like angel hair, rigatoni, and tortellini.
German Dark wheat- This is made by Pepperidge Farms and is my favorite bread of all time!! I’m not going to read the label. Whatever it says does not matter. I’m keeping this! J
Sourdough- I like bread with flavor. Guess that’s why I prefer anything in place of white bread.
Bagels- I love bagels, but I have to start reading labels more carefully because many are high in salt.
Oatmeal- I usually eat oatmeal at least twice a week. I like it with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Guess I can switch to a teaspoon and still have the flavor.
Kashi Cinnamon Harvest- My new favorite cereal because it tastes good, but doesn’t contain a lot of additives. No sodium!
Cheerios- My favorite cereal from childhood.
Vegetables- There aren’t many vegetables that I don’t like, but these are eaten pretty often in our household. In the past few months we’ve decided that we much prefer sweet potatoes over regular potatoes. We have a salad at least three nights a week. I really need to be more careful with the dressing though!
Fruits- I like fruit by itself, with plain yogurt, in cereal, in my salad, or as juice. Of course the best fruit is natural, but I buy some frozen or dried.
Nuts- I love nuts and often snack on them or put them on my salad. I think the key here is to measure them out so I don’t consume too many in a day. I keep the 100 calorie packs of almonds in my desk at school. I try to make sure I buy unsalted.
Condiments- These are my standards. I love mayo and I’m not giving it up, but I may try the low fat or olive oil blend.
Dove dark chocolate
Homemade Vanilla ice cream- I included this on the healthy list because it only has three ingredients and in small portions isn’t that bad for me.
Cranberry juice- I drink the 100% juice.
Iced Tea- no sugar.
Coffee- black, six cups a day.
Tonic Water- I started drinking this years ago as a cure for leg cramps. It does help, because of the quinine, and I’ve grown accustomed to the taste. I sometimes mix it with cranberry juice.
Quirky things to know:
I never skip breakfast.
I can’t use many “diet” products. Anything with Aspartame gives me a migraine.
I don’t put sugar on anything or in anything unless I’m baking. Don’t put it on my cereal or fruit. I use honey in hot tea.
I don’t salt anything. Don’t even buy salt. We have a small shaker in the cabinet that Robert bought last year. I use pepper and garlic and a few spices, but for the most part I eat foods that have flavor without modifications.
I seldom eat “fast food”. Hard to believe, but it just doesn’t fit my schedule. We can’t leave campus for lunch. I shop early on the weekends. I live miles from anything except the local DQ. Just don’t have the opportunity or desire to frequent a drive-through for anything. If we do eat out, we go to one of several Mexican restaurants, or a Chinese buffet, or the Caddo Café- for catfish.
I don’t like cake very much. Most commercial frosting gives me a blinding headache so I usually pass on workplace birthday cake.
I very, very seldom eat doughnuts. Just not a favorite food.
If I take a good look at my favorite, favorite foods- both healthy and not- it is immediately evident that I like white foods. Into that category falls milk, sour cream, ranch dressing, vanilla pudding, ice cream, mayonnaise, white potatoes, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, rice, etc. I don’t know what brought about this strange affinity for colorless food.
Now, before you start thinking I’m a saint, read on. Here are the other foods I love. These are the ones that cause me grief and extra pounds. These are the ones that definitely need to be controlled, modified, or in some cases eliminated from my diet!
My Favorite “Not So Healthy” Foods:
Pork- I grew up on pork and it shows. It was cheap and easy for us to raise hogs. I love sausage and pork roast and pulled pork and chops and ham. This is definitely a category for modifications. Thankfully not crazy about bacon and I haven’t had any in about six months or more.
Hot Dogs- Yes, they are bad. Yes, they have questionable origins, although I only eat the beef ones because my brother, experienced in meat packing, told me they are the safest.
Cheeseburgers- Not a big fan of beef and I probably haven’t eaten a steak in over a year. I like a little pot roast once in a while. But I LOVE cheeseburgers. Thank goodness I make them at home. I had a college friend who only ate a cheeseburger once a year, on her birthday! Don’t think I can do that, but once a month might be good.
French Fries- Of course if I love cheeseburgers they must be eaten with French fries! I’m thinking that the best plan here would be to give up the frozen ones and make my own. At least I would be giving up the salt.
Fried Okra- What Okie girl does NOT love fried okra?? I could honestly eat fried okra every other day. I can’t tell you why. Probably related to something from my childhood.
Biscuits- Another Okie fave! And of course they are best with real butter and a touch of jam or honey.
Corn bread- Ah, the perfect food! I don’t even butter this one most of the time. It tastes so good all by itself.
Coca cola- Believe it or not I have this one just about controlled. I’ve spent the last year drinking less and less and less. I’ve gone from “must have at least 20oz. each day” to 8oz. once a week if I’m craving the taste. And I’ve found lately that I’m bored with the taste. I’m not going to say that I’ll never drink another one, but I think I’m over the addiction phase.
Soup- this doesn’t seem like a bad choice, especially in the winter, but I’ve found that I have to read labels very, very carefully to avoid getting too much sodium. And of course I love clam chowder, and many of the “creamy” soups.
Cookies- I have to be very careful with cookies. I love cookies. I love the cheap vanilla ones. I love sugar wafers. I love oatmeal raisin cookies. I love while chocolate macadamia cookies. I love round cookies and square cookies and rectangular cookies. I totally, totally blame this on my grandmother, who baked cookies for me all the time!!! My new rule for cookies is that I must make them at home.
White Potatoes- I used to eat a baked potato at least once a week. However, I found that it made me feel so groggy and tired afterward that it was frightening. I have switched to sweet potatoes and haven’t missed the others at all. I do still like mashed potatoes- the instant ones. Strange, but true!
Pizza- We eat pizza once a week. During Survivor season it’s our Thursday night treat because then I don’t have a lot of cleanup to do before the show. I’m not sure what to do about this indulgence other than eat less of it.
I’m sure I’ll make some changes on this list from time to time, but this is a good start. Time now to look at both categories and figure out some changes and modifications. I welcome suggestions!