Monday, April 25, 2016

Health Journey: Food Part 2

As promised, I am sharing a bit more about the changes in my diet.

I shared my notebooks that are my guidelines and typical breakfast items in the first part

With my new diet, I actually try not to snack between meals. That was the recommendation for me based on my health conditions. My metabolism works better if I stay away from the snacks and give some time between eating.

That is not to say that I never have something. If I am hungry I eat something. It is better to eat something small than set yourself up for eating too much and the wrong things.
Remember my Butterfinger story.

If I need something, I drink a glass a water and if that doesn't help, then I will eat a snack. 
Some examples of snacks based on how hungry I am feeling are....
-a gluten free cracker with almond butter (actually wasn't crazy about either when I started, but again they have grown on me and I actually like them now)
-and.....I am trying new items every week in the gluten free category.


It is recommended that I eat some protein along with my veggies. I don't always want that protein, but I try. When I just don't want the meat, I try to add some beans to the mix. I love the little petite green limas, so that makes up for my lack of meat eating.

I eat a lot of leftovers for lunch. I have one of those hubbies that will not eat leftovers. I however do!

A typical lunch might be some grilled meat and veggies from the night before.
I will usually pop that into the toaster oven (not the microwave). The microwave vs the toaster oven is another post.

We have also tried a number of soup recipes over the last couple of months. Hubby likes to cook, so he has been hunting for recipes to try. He will usually make a big pot on Sunday evening: that way he has something to take for lunch that is easy.

An Olive Garden copycat of pasta e fagioli.

Italian ???? It is saved on my hubby's computer. Can't remember the name, but tasty.

We have some winners and losers...but more winners. The above photos were both winners.

When we make soup, we choose the no hormone meats and organic vegetables. If a pasta is in the soup, we try gluten free options or quinoa. 
I wasn't in love all with quinoa at first, but again over time I have learned to like it.

I don't know if we will keep the soup thing up over the summery months. They do seem more of a cold weather thing, although I love a bowl of soup.

I want say that all of this was easy peasy, but I probably would not be as motivated if it was just for weight loss. When facing some health difficulties, then it is a choice between feeling good or not. It makes the decision a bit easier.

I usually eat a lighter lunch, because I eat breakfast much later than I did when I a working woman.

One more note about lunch... I am not a salad girl. I don't like any kind of dressings. Remember I am picky. I don't find salads to keep me full; they leave me still longing for something. I do better to eat something warm.


For supper, we grill a good bit, but I have also learned to make some pretty tasty meats right in the skillet on the stove. I use a lot of different spices such as Tony's Cachere's to make grilled chicken tenders in my iron skillet. I use olive oil for just about all cooking after breakfast. Hubby is always collecting different types of rubs and seasonings. I also love California style garlic salt and pepper.

Olive oil even in my cabbage! I love steamed cabbage. I like it kind of crunchy...that came from all the Thai food places around our area....NOT to be confused with Chinese cuisine.
Totally different. 
Back to my cabbage..the Thai stir fry it and leave it a bit crunchy, so that is a go to vegetable of mine.

I stir fry squash and zucchini, steam broccoli, and of course my petite limas or fresh green beans for side dishes.

I have started paying attention to recipes for something to spice it up a bit. For instance, I saw where chicken was served with steamed squash and spinach. We recreated it at home. Yum!


Oh, and while eating at Ruby Tuesday for lunch one day, I had some zucchini shredded to look like spaghetti noodles with my fish. Another option I probably wouldn't have tried until forced to try and think up new things for the hubby.

I try to buy fresh or frozen vegetables. Not much in the line of canned goods these days.

And... we do have rice and potatoes, just not every night. 

Portion control ---although after I finished that detox, I didn't need as much food to eat and I have stopped when I am full or eaten what I think is plenty. I don't stretch the stomach.

I don't eat any bread at all for lunch and supper. I do however eat cornbread about once a week. There is ton less flour in that. I have some gluten free cornmeal, but I haven't used it yet. 

We eat fish often. We are fortunate that we can get fresh fish here, so we take advantage of that. Again I broil it or Hubby grills it.

I have really tried to give up fried foods period. I have gotten much better with that over time. I would have ALWAYS chosen fried shrimp or fish over grilled.
Well, with one exception...the steamed shrimp at Dewey's in Destin is the BEST!

I still occasionally have something fried, but small portion.

I am finding the choices get easier with time.

For dessert, I eat fruit. I am always trying to get the men in my life to eat more anyway, so I try and make it desirable by serving it in a dessert dish.

I will do a post on sweets later. 

Although sweets are not my biggest desire. 

I could throw down a bag of Golden Flake barbecue potato chips. Not sweet heat or any special ones...just Golden Flake barbecue chips. I mean I could eat the whole bag. 
I DO NOT allow myself to even go down that aisle and if I do I have to rush by them.

Oh, I did notice that Lay's has some black bean chips that I tried with some fresh salsa. They were tasty, but you would have to like black beans because they taste like a salty Tostito with distinct black bean flavor.

Summing it up...
Gluten free
Limited and I mean limited sugar
No high fructose corn syrup (I believe that to me the biggest thing for me personally---inflammation for sure)
No hormone meats
Lot of vegetables, especially the green kind and organic when possible.
Organic fruits
Nothing, absolutely nothing processed.
Fresh and no chemicals.
I am not a big dairy eater, but the cheese list is the hard cheeses
Almond or coconut milk
I occasionally eat some organic ice cream.
Grains allowed are buckwheat, amaranth, crisp bread, millet, quinoa, and whole grain rice.

I have tried buckwheat (like), crisp bread (not so much), quinoa (like). I just don't like wild rice, so I do eat some organic rice varieties that I have found at the grocery store.

Remember all of this is based on my health conditions...Rheumatoid and hypothyroidism.

I am not suggesting that this is for everyone!

Oh, I really only drink water and coffee.
I can have all that green tea stuff, but I would be gagging if I did.

Three meals a day. You can eat fruit at the end of a meal as dessert.

My pantry and refrigerator look very differently these days. I have a lot more in the refrigerator due to trying eat more vegetables that are fresh. I don't bring any store-bought cookies, junk food, etc into the house.  I mean none. I have gluten free crackers, almond butter, nuts, etc in the pantry and tons of fresh fruit. If there are any sweets eaten they are homemade.

Hubby is on board, so we are really trying hard to make sure there are no temptations out there. We have cooked more and experimented and both of us are the better for it.

When I first started weeding out the foods in the pantry and refrigerator, my son would drop by after work and say, "Mom, you have nothing to eat in this house." He was the nay sayer always to anything  my daughter and I tried to tell him about healthy living.

I am beginning to see a change in him as well. I think he has seen the dramatic change in me. He has given up all soft drinks, and I have noticed he is making better choices too. More fruit for one. I will share more about that later.

I will try and share some more recipes along the way. I will also do a cheat day post to let you know I am not perfect, but I must say feeling better makes me walk away from many things. I have a few key places that we eat out at that keep me from having to cook everyday.

Changing one day at a time,


  1. Good for you Sandy!! I too am a very picky eater and I find it works best for me to just control my portions and walk my 10,000 steps a day. Which is really hard for me as I like to sit and cross stitch! I just went by Hobby Lobby for the thread to start two new projects. And I fell in the purse purchasing..I ordered a Haig Point bucket bag for the summer from Spartina! So glad you are enjoying the rewards of your discipline!

    1. We have to keep moving. I am walking with Mama in the evenings so that I can get her going. Oh my! You will love those purses. I can't even look yours up..or....

  2. Good for you walking with your mama. I am sure it makes her feel more secure. I will probably post a picture of the new purse on my blog. I have to admit that I saw a friend with this particular one and I "copied" her!:)

  3. Catching up on my blog reading, and I'm so happy for you! It takes willpower to get this far, and you've definitely made the commitment. I'm not as good as you and allow myself a little treat every now and then, but you are right that once you adjust to the new way of eating, it's hard to go back. I can barely stand to drink a coke these days!

    1. You are so right about the cokes. I really don't think I would even want one if offered. I am working on my mama about that though. She is stubborn!


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