A few years ago, when I first made major changes to my diet, my friend Debbie used to come over to my desk every lunch hour, just to see what I was eating. And it wasn’t just her – I attracted the attention of most of the people in my department. I guess when you go from eating a box of Chicken in the Biscuit crackers with a side of M&M’s for lunch to eating protein, veggies and whole grains, people immediately sense “freak show” and come running. I became old news after a while, for everyone except Debbie. She always had an intense interest and would ask me the names of what I was eating, how I cooked it, if I liked it, etc.
Learning to eat healthy is hard. It takes time and energy to read labels and find recipes and plan your meals. It’s expensive and experimenting with new foods can be tough on your pocketbook if it turns out you don’t like it. While I am not a nutritionist by any means, I do have several years worth of food knowledge banging around inside my brain cavity. I thought you, like my friend Debbie, might be interested in hearing about some of the tidbits I have picked up. I would like to share the ideas and foods that worked for me, and also will experiment with new ideas and give you my honest feedback on the results. I would love it if you shared your insights with me too!
Tonight, I am going to talk about my Top 3 favorite health foods, and how I incorporate them in my diet.
Number One on my list is: The incredible, edible egg. I love eggs. I really do. Hard boiled, soft boiled, fried, scrambled, over easy, sunny side up, poached – did I miss any? I seriously eat eggs at least 5 times a week, and have done so for at least the last 5 years (6 years, actually – I just counted) with no adverse affects to my cholesterol (new studies show that for most people, eating eggs do not significantly contribute to heart disease). Eggs are high in protein, low in calories and chock full of vitamins and minerals. Eggs are fairly inexpensive, unless you are like me and feel bad for the chickens stuck in cages – I think it reminds me too much of living in a cubicle all day. So I buy eggs laid by free range or cage free chickens for about $3 a dozen, depending on the store. Sometimes I can find a farmer to purchase from as well, for much less, but it takes more time out of my schedule to get them. Find out more about eggs here.
Number Two: Corn Thins by Real Foods. Basically, Corn Thins are like squashed rice cakes, only made out of corn, although they do have a rice variety as well. I use them in place of bread – they still have a higher glycemic index, but are not as processed, are gluten and GMO free, and have more fiber than bread. Basically, I will top them with little low fat cream cheese, tomato and chicken, turkey or ham. Sometimes I add a little mayo or mustard, cheese or pickles. It’s like an open faced sandwich. I find them at Woodman’s and Festival Foods here in Wisconsin, but you can check on their website here for more info on where to find them in your area.
Number Three: Grapes. Natures perfect finger food! I like to put grapes in my fat free plain Fage Greek Yogurt (yum!) as an after workout recovery snack. Sometimes I will freeze them and then take out about a cup and snack on them frozen as a bedtime snack. Any more than that, and my mouth freezes a bit and it makes it hard to yell at my dogs when they bark at the phantom squirrels in the backyard at midnight. I prefer red seedless because a really good green seedless is hard to come by, but will buy the green when they are large and firm. I’m not afraid to taste test before I buy either – grapes are too expensive to end up with a bag full of bad ones.
Tomorrow, I will share a couple of my favorite recipes, and a review a new one I just tried over the weekend!