I just had my physical. Actually did ok for the shape I am in. However. There are a couple of things, and they mostly revolve around eating. As in I eat too much. And I eat the wrong things. I buy fruit. It goes bad. I love berries. I even like berries on yogurt! Sometimes. Mostly I eat a bowl of something like Captain crunch for breakfast. Or a muffin. With lots of butter. I love to cook. But having lived with relatively bad choices all my life, how do I switch from LOVING spaghetti and meatsauce, to , sigh, grilled Tilapia. I buy the fish. I grill the fish. Tastes like @#$@$$ I can eat chicken, but I prefer beef. And pork. I love asian food, but love sauces. I am a sauce freak. But lately, I seem to have forgotten everything I ever knew about cooking. I LIKE veggies, but they do need a little, and I do mean a little, not slathered on butter. Mostly lately, I have been going to Mickey D's to the dollar meal stuff. I think I am addicted to cheeseburgers.
I also KNOW I need to walk the dogs. Even though I have a lovely yard with great shady maples, they need to be walked. And of course, so do I. I have a membership to a psuedo gym here in town for $15 a YEAR. Not many machines, but as many as a person can use. It is a crime not to use them. I am too tired to get out of my own way.
I know I am depressed, and Dr Feelgood has thrown every sort of drug at me, but nothing helps. I could do it if I felt better, but I am too tired so I go to sleep.
Some of you I know will shriek at me, and I probably deserve it. But I guess the point of this is really, how to make the transition from meatloaf and scallopped potatoes, to Tilapia and rice? I read all the threads on cooking, but some do sound good and some don't. My blood sugar is creeping up and I am walking with my eyes wide open towards diabetes.
I'm also trying to improve my diet. And I flove beef.
How about salmon instead? It goes on sale here a lot and I bake it in foil rather than grill it. I marinate in a mix of olive oil and spices and it comes out really well. Recipe for the marinade is similar to this one:
Tilapia is kind of bland/tasteless. Can you eat Salmon/Mahi Mahi or swordfish?
An easy quick really tasty Salmon recipe (that gets rid of the strong fishy taste) is- Place salmon steaks in glass baking dish.
Add enough milk to cover bottom of dish. Add a glop of Smart Balance (butter replacement) on top of fish. Sprinkle with dill weed. Cover with wax paper and microwave approx 4-5 min until cooked through.
Mahi Mahi/swordfish can easily be broiled.
Spread low fat miracle whip in thin layer over fish.
Squeeze a lime over it. Broil for approx 4 min or until done.
I don't know why, but the miracle whip and lime juice really make them flavorful...and I don't normally like Miracle whip.
Only eat what you like, but learn how to cook it right. Potatoes are no worse than rice, depending how you doctor them up. Lean beef is fine, as long as you watch your portions. Shrimp and tuna are two types of fish I like, so I eat them, but you wouldn't catch me with those bland white fish. Think about joining Weight Watchers--you get all sorts of support and the WW site has a lot of excellent recipes. I just made a low cal sauce for General Tso chicken and it was delicious. But you have to make the effort. (You are NOT addicted to cheeseburgers.)
I would skip the Mahi or swordfish--swordfish are badly overfished (and so overpriced), and both are more likely to have higher levels of mercury.
Try (even though it IS oily) Pacific salmon, LAKE perch in season (not ocean; that tastes like crap). Catfish is delicious and actually has a flavor. Try scallops, mussels, and other shellfish (moules marinara is a great way to steam-cook mussels.) Beware of buying shrimp--pretty much ALL seafood comes frozen unless you're right at the dock and even then, some stuff is flash frozen at sea, but the frozen stuff from Vietnam is most common and needs to be cleaned REALLY WELL (deveined especially.)
For spaghetti sauce--get a bottled version from one of the higher-end brands (not Ragu or Prego, they've got a lot of added sugar) that's just tomato/vegetable stuff. Doctor is--you CAN use well-cooked, well drained ground lean beef, or ground turkey is great and very low-fat. Use spaghetti squash to add texture. Add chunks of grilled portabella. If you really feel you NEED to skip the pasta, try spaghetti squash--properly cooked it has an al dente texture not unlike noodles.
And for heaven's sake, look in your fridge. Anything that is artificially hydrogenated (all the fake non-butter spreads, for example) and uses powders and filler to make it "light", throw out. Real butter and olive oil taste a LOT better, are better FOR you, and you can use less and get a proper texture. It's better to eat a smaller serving of real fats and carbs and protein than a big one of diet garbage. Measure when you're doing something like sauteeing--a little oil goes a long way (and again, olive oil-good for you, and even makes a great dipper for bread.)
There's another thing, it is not bad to eat carbs. It is bad to eat MOUNTAINS of carbs and dump a ton of stuff on them (cheese, butter, etc. in big doses.) Potatoes are nutritious--try a baker with a little cheese or a dab of sour cream, green onions, salsa with extra tomato and peppers. It's a meal and it's delicious, better than a taco. Or look at the size of pasta servings in Italy versus here--the average restaurant portion is more like three portions.
PROTEIN in the morning. If I just have cereal I'm starving in an hour. One egg is going to go a lot farther. I'll also sometimes have cheese sticks (string cheese) and have one with my fruit in the morning. When I have protein first thing, I'm not hungry again for hours.
If it makes you feel any better, tilapia is not really that good for you. And the farms where they are raised are really not good for the environment.
If you love to cook, and are good at it, I'd suggest getting yourself some Cooking Light magazines, or going on their website. I am not a low cal/low fat cook, but they make some great lighter versions of recipes, without using a lot of artificial ingredients. If you can have the flavors you like, I bet you will be more willing to put in the effort to cook healthier.
Tilapia is nasty bottom feeder fish. Blech! Try good fish, snapper, grouper, rockfish etc but only buy from a good fish market. And if you can afford to buy sustainably harvested fish, yay! I always try and buy wild US caught, and defintely not anything farmed in Asia. Here is a good guide http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/flav...0400000020111/
I don't like tilapia either nor do I like most ocean fish. I do like salmon, haddock, trout and most freshwater fish. Salmon is the easiest to prepare as it can be poached in the microwave. The rest can be dry fried or baked. Was given an a basic parchment recipe for fish that involves stuffing the fish with lemon and whatever you desire (for salmon and trout, add dill), wrapping in parchment or tin foil and baking it. Always comes out tender and flavourful and never dry.
Pork really isn't all that bad for you unless you are like me and think braised pork shoulder or fried pork chops are good eats. Dry roasted any part of the pig, with most fat removed is good. Same with beef in reasonable amounts (not like some people I know who thing 16oz steak is fine dining).
Chicken and other fowl is also good, even the fat geese and ducks as most renders out. I did find, however, that deli roast chicken is cheaper than starting with a raw chicken on your own....I do not understand why a cooked chicken is 4-5 dollars cheaper than a raw one of the same size but no matter.
What you do have to stay away from are processed meats, unless you know where they came from: local store makes lean fresh sausage. far better than the packaged stuff and not so salty.
Learn about new vegetables. I like 'icky' vegetables like artichokes, brussel sprouts, beet tops, and other oddments.
I donn't much like rice or pasta, so eat a bit of potato, not huge amounts though.
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Remember that you don't have to jump head first into diet mode. Make small changes, a little at a time. It took you time to gain the weight, and to develop unhealthy eating habits. It's going to take you time to change the way you eat. If you don't do it all at once, it might be easier. And, gradually, as you change more and more, it will get easier.
danceronice had some very good advice. I wholeheartedly agree that you should stay away from all of the fake butter substitutes. I just recently found a great product, that makes everything taste better. Try Olivio Coconut Spread. Yes, it has fat, but, you need fat in your diet. The white color takes a little bit to get used to. It's non-hydrogenated, however, and it has half the calories of butter. The final benefit? It tastes great.
Remember that you need fiber. When I started dieting (down 88 pounds now), I made a big mistake and didn't get enough. I had lots of problems because of it with, how to put this delicately, elimination.
Eat many small meals throughout the day. I eat six or seven times a day. It helps keep the tummy full. And, don't worry about not doing everything exactly the way that the diet gurus say. Find what works for you. Break the rules, as long as you are eating healthy and losing weight. I'm a night time snacker. I didn't give it up, I always save some kind of goodie, raisins or air popped popcorn for example, for evening. You're not supposed to eat at night, but, it works for me and keeps me happy and focused.
You can do it. You just have to want to badly enough. Feel free to PM me, if you need some moral support.
My big problem I guess is portion control. I do use the leanest beef I can get, and if i have a beef tenderloin steak, 6 oz is better than 8. Its the casseroles where I get into trouble, and I know, just don't make them. And by the way, I would NEVER use jarred sauce on my pasta!! the horrors!!! Ihave really gotten to like chili, with VERY lean pork, or even chicken, but there is the portion control. And I love my spinich salad with dried cranberries, and feta, but it is so scattershot. One day good, the rest gone to pot.
What I am afraid of, and I really think there is part of me that WANTS to fail [?} so instead of crawling out of bed, in good or bad weather to walk the dogs, I just roll over. I am having real behavior problems at the moment with one of the dogs, and walking would help. Then if I had just a teensy bit of good from that I could crawl to the next task. It is getting the boulder dislodged.....
I second spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti. Also, when you're baking you can substitute 1/2 canola oil, 1/2 apple sauce for butter. There are a lot of little changes you can make that make a big difference! I love oatmeal cookies made with the fat substitute above and 1/2 the sugar. Way better than a bowl of oatmeal :-)
Repeat this personal mantra of mine over & over & over & over: EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.
If more people followed that mantra, there would be far less fad diets advertised these days, because the companies wouldn't be making any money.
Eat what you want, but think in terms of MODERATION. There's nothing wrong with spaghetti with meat sauce. But start with a smaller portion & eat slowly. You'll be surprised at how quickly you actually feel "full", wherein if you piled up your dish the first time around, you'd mentally feel a need to polish the whole thing off. Want garlic bread with that? Fine. But just cut yourself a slice or two, portion out the rest & freeze it for another time.
And think of good (not deprivation) substitutes. I'm kind of lucky in that my husband doesn't eat any red-meat products. Hasn't for around 20 years. So our diet consists of poultry, seafood, & vegetarian meals. Any recipe calling for red meat instantly gets morphed into a poultry product. Oddly enough, I've never felt deprived by this & have really enjoyed experimenting with lots of different dishes with this stipulation.
Thinking & exploring different food options will be your friend here - not fad diets.
Don't! If you give something up you'll grieve it. Start with trying to make better choices. Keep track of them. Congratulate yourself for them! The day is full of hundreds of choices. Without effort, I could make the wrong choice 90% of the time! Some days I still do. But then there are days where I start out making a better choice on 2-4 things in a row and it's kind of exhilarating. I'm talking about more things than food -- take the bus instead of drive, use the stairs instead of elevator, finish the project before going to lunch, clean out the car at lunch instead of playing Words with Friends. And of course the eating.
I noticed that you seem to have a lot of the same preferences I do food-wise. Though you did mention spaghetti and meatballs, you did NOT mention a lot of bread, cake -- oh wait there was a muffin wasn't there lol? So maybe I'm totally wrong. The point I was trying to make was that you seem like a possible candidate for going gluten-free. I miss pasta a LOT, and even have it on occasion (if I can spend the next day dozing off or suffering from sinusitis) but for almost everything else the benefits of losing the gluten outweigh the "suffering". I know that's true because I have stuck with it for nearly a year. Based on my own experience I'd suggest giving that a try, but otherwise, don't think in terms of huge, course-altering changes and "giving up". Think about one smart choice at a time and be proud of yourself for every one! Habits are hard to break.
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?
Tilapia is yucky. Most of it tastes like dirt. Chicken or turkey breast works just as well.
If you're having trouble with motivation, how about working with a personal trainer for a few months? Most of them can also help with nutrition.
When people would ask how I lost weight and got in shape I used to joke that I paid someone a lot of money to tell me the same stuff we all heard in high school 'health' class.
It won't be cheap, but it's a good investment in your health. And on those days where you really don't wanna go... having written that check and knowing you won't get a refund is a great motivator!
If that doesn't float your boat... post a notice at that community gym you mentioned and see if you can find a workout partner. Even if you don't actually show up at the same times you could connect online and hold each other accountable.
If you prefer anonymity there are tons of sites online like sparkpeople.com and thedailyplate.com .
I used to eat like you describe. Growing up, dinner was always "hunk of dead animal and potatoes." Vegetables were dumped out of a can and heated in the microwave. And corn was considered a vegetable, so dinner could be... fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn.
Going out to eat, we'd say "Yes!" when they asked if we wanted a second bowl of corn chips before our huge plates of cheese slathered Mexican food arrived. (Pretty much anything you are served in a restaurant should be halved. The portions are insane.)
Working with a trainer, *totally* changed the way we eat -- it really helped that DH was also in training, so nobody was bringing junk into the house. Nothing was off limits... but if you *really* wanted that candy bar, then lunch or dinner is going to be pretty slim. You learn to play games with the numbers and find out you can eat and not be hungry on 1600 calories a day... *if* you make the right choices.
So how do you do it? You just start. One day at a time. Write down (or record online) everything you eat and figure out what's really going in, then decide what changes you can live with. If you *love* ice cream, then make sure you fit it in once a week or so (or maybe have frozen yogurt instead?)
For tracking I'm a big fan of TheDailyPlate.com -- it will help you track calories as well as protein/fat/carbs so you can make sure those are also in balance. After a while you'll figure out what works for you. Some people can do low carb... not me, I can't live without my homemade bread.
Hopefully there's something helpful in there somewhere. Good luck! It's *so* worth it when you're in shape and eating well... and you will have lots more energy.
Larksmom, if you start getting out with the dogs or out to the gym, your depression will likely ease up, too. I know it is TOUGH to start, but it gets a bit easier to continue once you've started.
I found it far easier to eat healthy when I started using Door to Door Organics. They deliver a box of organic fruits and veggies to my doorstep every week. You can select things as "likes" or "dislikes" so they won't bring you stuff you hate, and you can also shop from their store for more healthy items. It works for me because I HATE grocery shopping and I feel guilty when I start throwing away produce...perhaps you have a similar option available?
What about a lovely piece of Orange Roughy? Salmon? Halibut, Cod, any fresh, flaky whitefish. If you need too add fish into your diet... seek out great fish seller and they will make sure to steer you in the right direction.
I agree with the portion control, and seriously, eat s.l.o.w.l.y., give your stomach time to feel full. You don't need to ditch all the good tasting stuff in your life, just change how you eat it! I personally will not give up beef, potatoes, rice, eggs, or pasta. They make me happy and I like finding new ways to prepare them. I found a yummy roasted potato recipe in a British recipe book that I could eat every night and it only has three ingredients.
As to walking your dogs and getting exercise...only you can get yourself to do that. You need to be firm with yourself, don't make it a choice.
I really like Tilapia, I eat it once a week usually. It super easy to make. (if you like garlic)
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Put some olive oil in a glass baking dish (fish sized) and put some chopped garlic in the oiled pan, put in the oven while oven heats up (no longer than 10 mins though-garlic will burn).
When garlic is brown, salt and pepper fish, put in pan. Cover fish with chopped/ sliced tomato,more garlic, basil and a few capers. Cover with foil, bake for 20 mins. Serve over whole wheat pasta. Its delicious! And it works for all fish, even salmon!