Friday, November 02, 2007

Fun Foods For A New Lifestyle

One disclaimer before I share...always check the correct portion size. This was my nemesis and why I had a weight problem. I really didn't understand portion control. As promised, I'm sharing the foods that win the taste test in my new lifestyle. Some are whole foods, some are brand names, and some are recipes or tips...

Sweetners:
My favorite is fructose. I buy it in bulk at our local health food store. Fructose is fruit sugar. The studies I checked on the sugar/sweetner issue showed that fructose doesn't cause your insulin to go nuts. It takes less to sweeten something too. I use about 75% fructose than what I would of sugar. I sometimes use Splenda too. You have to experiment a little here. I tried Stevia, but didn't like the aftertaste. My friend dislikes fructose and uses Stevia. I do use a tablespoon of dark brown sugar on my hot cereal and milk in the mornings.

Some specialty finds...Hershey's Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate Syrup is major for me. I make my own lattes. Now I can have a 12 ounce mocha with sugar-free peppermint. The Torani Syrups are found in several grocer's, but go for the sugar-free with Splenda. Why? Because they are multi-talented little syrups:-) I use them mixed with espresso and milk, yes, but I also have them with Seltzer Water for a sugar-free Italian Soda made right at home. (I do skip the whipped cream topping though.) These are great for guests too! It makes them feel special and like you've really gone out of the way for them.

Breads: First, this was a tough one for me because I LOVE bread! But I really did learn a better way. I switched to whole grain and high fiber versions. There are some tasty options out there.
If you cannot handle anything but white, start with Franz or Hostess high fiber white. Both are soft and have a great texture. Then make sure to begin looking for any bread with 3 or more grams of fiber per slice. I even found hot dog and hamburger buns with it when I really looked. Weight Watcher's also has a new high fiber bread, but it isn't in every store yet.

For whole wheat, Franz Oregon Trail 100% Whole Wheat (with pockets of honey) or Franz 100% Whole Wheat are very tasty. One piece of bread is only 1 point in the Weight Watcher system. So you could have a sandwich, 2 oz of turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, mustard and my favorite Baked Lays Potato Chips (one serving size of these chips is only 2 points per 1 ounce or 9 large chips) for 6 points a lunch.

Pastas:
Okay, I love pasta. So I switched to whole grain. This was seriously trial and error! There are some super duds out there. But I found Barilla Plus Spaghetti and other styles that have 4 grams of fiber and added ALA Omega-3. Love this brand because I really can't tell the difference. Another great brand is Golden Grain Mission Whole Grain Penne Rigate. This one has 5 grams of fiber and tastes great, not gritty. It's much more filling than regular spaghetti too.

Vegies:
We're going to come back to this one time and time again, but by experimenting with vegetable recipes, I found some I loved. Then I found more. I added salad every night to dinner. I fill the salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, pea pods or sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, jicama (aha! here's a fun new vegie for you.) Then I top it with a teaspoon of shredded parmesan (not canned powder cheese), a teaspoon of sunflower seeds, 6 kalamata olives, Hormel 50% lower fat bacon bits, and the new spray on salad dressings in various flavors by Wishbone Salad Spritzers. I should mention that Kalamata olives can be quite expensive. I buy them in a gallon jug from my local Bakery & Restaurant Supply.


Fruits:
I love Honey Crisp Apples, any berry, almost all fruits. I buy bananas a little green so they last longer. I'll also switch out fresh fruit salads that I make in place of tossed salads sometimes for variety. I chop whatever fruit I have and toss with lemon or lime juice and fructose.

Cereals:
Oh there are so many! I love Arrowhead Four Grain hot cereal, Frosted Miniwheats, Special K Red with Strawberries, Cheerios, all with a half cup of skim milk. Read the serving size. If you follow it, then your breakfast is only 3 points in the Weight Watcher's Flex system. That gives me the option of a fun mid-morning snack! So I usually have 3 more points 2-3 hours after breakfast. I keep a box of Frosted MiniWheats in my car for those long days without time for a meal. I nibble on them like chips so I won't buy the first massive fastfood menu I see. And yes, I would do that without my miniwheats:-D

Beverages:
Mm mm, mm. I love XS Energy Drinks because they taste like soda and are sugar free. Besides that, they're full of vitamins and nutrients. My favorite flavors are cran-grape, cherry, and cola. (And yes I do sell this product and a few others, but I'm my own best customer, lol.) I also love the Simply Nutrilite Twisty Tube beverages for the health benefits. I drink the raspberry flavor for the glucosamine, the blueberry for the antioxidants, and all I do is add them to a 16 oz. bottle of water. Each flavor is for a different nutrient purpose. There's even a tropical for sports! So what's the big deal? I can't stand city water with all the chlorine. If I have to drink it at a restaurant, I perk it up with one of these yummy choices. I feel like I'm having a serious treat when it is 0-10 calories.

To switch from higher fat milk, I began mixing 2% with 1%. Then I slowly went to only 1%. Then I began mixing 1% and skim until I could drink skim. Now I've been doing it so long that I can't stand the higher fat milks. I crave the skim milk.

I'll also admit to a Diet Coke preference. I think this is a treat because no soda is ever "good" for you. But I get headaches from the sweetner used in Diet Pepsi. So for me, I treat myself with Diet Coke with Splenda.

I don't drink a lot of juice (in fact, hardly ever.) I drink tons of water. My other favorite add in for water is the new Crystal Light Blueberry Tea. It comes in a box of 14 or so. The single serving foil packet is excellent for tucking in my purse just like the Simply Nutrilite Twisty Tubes. The convenience is awesome and they taste sooo good. Again, these are my favorites. There are other flavors available.

Snacks:
Okay, this is my downfall so I had to make sure I could find things that would be liveable for me. Simply Nutrilite has 3 point snack bars that have excellent nutritional value. (All the Nutrilite products are available from a Quixtar Business Owner.)These are a main snack for me because I do not eat fish. I have to get my Omegas somewhere. These snack bars have them as do the pastas I mentioned above. Yay!

Weight Watcher's had awesome snack bars too. They are 1-2 points depending on the size. My favorites are the Chocolate Mint (because I love both dark chocolate, mint, and that they taste just like Girl Scout Cookies.) But honestly, they are all good.

Another great filler snack is Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop 94% Fat free Kettle Korn!!! I can eat half a 2.9 ounce bag for I think around 2 points. So good!

I mentioned Baked Lays Potato Chips, but sometimes I need a stick of beef jerky to carry me through. Both have the salt I crave sometimes and the jerky will stay with me longer. So it depends on how hungry I am. I might also grab a part-skim string cheese stick as another option. Then I really drag out the eating of that for the fun of it. Food has to be fun for me.

This has gotten quite long. Sorry, I hope you found it helpful. I'll post tips on another post.

I'm not telling you to buy any of these. They are simply foods I like that help me manage the decision I made to change. I hope these are something helpful to you:-D

Angie
PS I'll do some more taste test food posts again soon.
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