Eating Healthy - Where to start?

  1. Hi. I'm Shel and I'm tired of eating like crap.
    That being said, let me explain.

    Now my poor eating is not the ultimate sin...
    I buy whole wheat bread, lean deli meats, drink lots of water, and always pack a healthy lunch so I know I at least get one healthy meal at work.
    However, there is SO much room for improvement but I don't really know where to start. I'm cooking more lately as it is summer and I am not taking summer classes. I've become a pretty decent cook but I cringe at some of the recipes I try loaded with oils, butter, salt, and tons of sugar. It seems that if one main dish isn't oily then it's packed with calories from sugars and if it is sparse on oil there are piles of sugar and salt hidden here and there.

    Information is out there but which information is correct?
    My head spins when I try to research eating healthy in books or here online.
    Drink diet, eat sugarfree...eat fat but no carbs...beef is bad, eat veggies and good oils and nuts...stay away from oils, nuts, and butters cause low-fat, with sugar is the way to go!
    Yikes.

    Does anyone have a few good cookbooks to recommend, a good web site link or two, or just some decent proper advice? I just signed up for a Nutrition class this upcoming Fall semester just so I can figure out what is what. Hopefully that will help. In the meantime I'm afraid to eat anything at all! Then of course I'm starving so I go for the nearest burger and fries.

    Brown rice and steamed veggies are nice to eat but I can't eat that every night. I need some good simple recipes. I went to the library and checked out a few low-fat cooking cookbooks but they are from 1985 and each recipes contains about 20 ingredients - talk about intimidating!

    Any help or advice in this thread or through PM would be wonderful. What are your thoughts on healthy eating?

    Shel

    P.S. I'm not much interested in Dieting. The info I'm looking for is for life.
    Last edit by shel_wny on Jul 11, '04
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   Energizer Bunny
    First I would tell you to start small. Try eliminating sugar and use Splenda. It is the best for cooking and baking because it is derived from sugar itself. Try drinking water. If this bores you, add a slice of lime, lemon or orange. You could even slice a strawberry into it. Try cutting salt in half in your recipes and before long, you may not even care if it is there.

    Try www.eatright.org (the American Dietetic Assoc) and www.fitday.com where you can keep track of everything going in your mouth for free. There are a ton of websites out there with healthy recipes. Here are the cookbooks I have:

    Good Housekeepings light and healthy cookbook

    15 minute low carb recipes (I'm not a low carber but there are some great ideas here) by Dana Carpender

    Healthy Crockery Cookery by Mable Hoffman (if you have a crock pot, this is a great resource!)

    HTH.....
  4. by   Energizer Bunny
    Oh and don't deprive yourself of anything...just smaller quantities! I'm not dieting either...doing it for life and I have taken off 33 pounds since January with almost no exercise because of my abdominal/pelvic pain.
  5. by   kitty29
    I work 12 hour nights and know what you mean...and I am trying to drop a sign. amt of wt to boot! I'll include some things that workfor me.

    Eat a good breakfast (if you work nights, eat something balanced when you get up). I find eggs scrambled with some mushrooms, spinach & garlic to be very good, and quick when I work. Or make a PRO shake with whey PRO, adding some fruit...it's great in the summer.

    I keep alot of frozen veggies & meats on hand (I shop at Sam's). They have a precooked chichen that I like and I ussually zap that with green beans...sometimes I springle the veggies with walnuts or almonds.

    Try making up a large salad....assorted greens, fetta cheese, fresh onion, garlic, apple or oranges, almonds alittle garlic, olive oil, & red viniger....I ussuall add chicken or fake sea food.

    Get yourself a good nonstick pan and learn the art of stir frying...I do this a lot with garden veggies in the summer.

    Another treat to help get those fruits in...fresh fruit with vanalla yogert on top! There are some great ready made sauces in the g. store now.

    For three years I have been taking suppliments on a regular basis, things that seem to help with PMS: multi vit, evening primrose oil, omega 3 oil caps (flax or fish oil), chromium, garlic, vit. e...it seems to help.

    I try to push the fluids, and the program I'm on (Fat Flush) encourages diluted unsweeten cranberry juice. And I LOVE splenda!
  6. by   Saved_by_Grace
    Don't feel bad I'm currently in a nutrition class, have an A in there, and still couldn't tell you how to eat right. I have been trying to keep my fat grams under 15g a day, drinking tons of water, exercising, and I've GAINED 15 lbs. since March. I went to the dr. for my physical Friday, and I'm so ashamed to admit this but I'm up to 254 lbs. I wan't even this big when I GAVE BIRTH to my kids.....I was never tiny but never such a whale either. It's all in the area right under my breasts. My legs look normal, my arms don't have fat hanging from them, it's all in my stomach especially right under my breasts and hips and butts. I look like Humpty Dumpty.I'm desperate....I lost 40 lbs once using Phentermine that was prescribed but now it doesn't work for me and just raises my blood pressure tremendously. I don't even feel human anymore... ...I thought I was doing this the right way..sensibly but it's not working at all. I will check out the websites you posted Kim. I'm interested in hearing about information on this topic as well. Kim how have you cut the portions? Do you measure or just throw half of everything away of your plate?
  7. by   Tweety
    Here is a good book that has a lot of the foods you should include in your diet. It includes superfoods, and subsuperfoods within those groups.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...470551-2380132

    My only criticism is he doesn't pay much attention to glycemic index telling you to drink blueberry juices, and eat jams etc. So also learn what the glycemic index is.

    Eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables of a wide variety and your body will love you and will help you recover from being bad. Eat healthy fats like nuts, canola and olive oil.

    Heathy immunity to for me is tied to lower glycemic index foods lots of antioxidants, and high fiber foods (like beans). The closer to original nature, the better. For example, instant oatmeal is to high GI, but the slower cooked larger grain oatmeal has an abundance of good things for you.

    I could go on and on and on, after all books have been written on healthy eating.

    You're right it is confusing because things change every day. There are healthy fats, healthy carbs, and healthy sources of protein. Good luck!
  8. by   suzanne4
    Quote from WannaBLPN2005
    Don't feel bad I'm currently in a nutrition class, have an A in there, and still couldn't tell you how to eat right. I have been trying to keep my fat grams under 15g a day, drinking tons of water, exercising, and I've GAINED 15 lbs. since March. I went to the dr. for my physical Friday, and I'm so ashamed to admit this but I'm up to 254 lbs. I wan't even this big when I GAVE BIRTH to my kids.....I was never tiny but never such a whale either. It's all in the area right under my breasts. My legs look normal, my arms don't have fat hanging from them, it's all in my stomach especially right under my breasts and hips and butts. I look like Humpty Dumpty.I'm desperate....I lost 40 lbs once using Phentermine that was prescribed but now it doesn't work for me and just raises my blood pressure tremendously. I don't even feel human anymore... ...I thought I was doing this the right way..sensibly but it's not working at all. I will check out the websites you posted Kim. I'm interested in hearing about information on this topic as well. Kim how have you cut the portions? Do you measure or just throw half of everything away of your plate?
    You are putting your body into a hibernation made with trying to restrict your fats like that. You are actually going to increase your weight and not lose anything. Increase your fats and cut out the sugars and you will see a dramatic weight loss very quickly.

    When my friend was visiting last week from the US, the swore that I had had surgery done, and none, just using Splenda and increasing the fats. My waist can't really get any smaller than it is. Try to keep your foods as natural as possible, which means form scratch and not canned.

    Good luck and please let me know if this works for you....
  9. by   suzanne4
    Quote from shel_wny
    Hi. I'm Shel and I'm tired of eating like crap.
    That being said, let me explain.

    Now my poor eating is not the ultimate sin...
    I buy whole wheat bread, lean deli meats, drink lots of water, and always pack a healthy lunch so I know I at least get one healthy meal at work.
    However, there is SO much room for improvement but I don't really know where to start. I'm cooking more lately as it is summer and I am not taking summer classes. I've become a pretty decent cook but I cringe at some of the recipes I try loaded with oils, butter, salt, and tons of sugar. It seems that if one main dish isn't oily then it's packed with calories from sugars and if it is sparse on oil there are piles of sugar and salt hidden here and there.

    Information is out there but which information is correct?
    My head spins when I try to research eating healthy in books or here online.
    Drink diet, eat sugarfree...eat fat but no carbs...beef is bad, eat veggies and good oils and nuts...stay away from oils, nuts, and butters cause low-fat, with sugar is the way to go!
    Yikes.

    Does anyone have a few good cookbooks to recommend, a good web site link or two, or just some decent proper advice? I just signed up for a Nutrition class this upcoming Fall semester just so I can figure out what is what. Hopefully that will help. In the meantime I'm afraid to eat anything at all! Then of course I'm starving so I go for the nearest burger and fries.

    Brown rice and steamed veggies are nice to eat but I can't eat that every night. I need some good simple recipes. I went to the library and checked out a few low-fat cooking cookbooks but they are from 1985 and each recipes contains about 20 ingredients - talk about intimidating!

    Any help or advice in this thread or through PM would be wonderful. What are your thoughts on healthy eating?

    Shel

    P.S. I'm not much interested in Dieting. The info I'm looking for is for life.
    Cut out the bread, first step. Save it for special treats only.
    You can cook broccoli with chicken, garlic, and even cashew nuts.
    Beef and broccoli and toasted shallots.
    Home made chicken soup and use mung bean noodles or home made wontons.
    Are you using enough spices with your stir-fry or leaving them quite bland?
    You need to spice them up, and I do not mean just with chilis, but with flavor.
    You can bake a crustless quiche in the oven and reheat it at work in the micro-wave.
    Remember that when the fat is reduced, the sugar is increased for flavor and that is what you are tring to avoid.
    I don't diet, do not even like the word, just change your eating habits, but first you need to try and see what works for you, not specifically what a book says.

    Try to cut out the sugar-free drinks, especially anything made with aspartame for one week, and anyhting made with sugar and see how you feel.
    Try also cutting out the bread, white pasta, and white rice. If you need the sandwich at lunch, out the insides in lettuce leaves, or use vegetable roll-ups.
    I eat brown rice everyday at lunch but with very flavorful toppings.

    Hope that this helps........................
  10. by   Energizer Bunny
    Suzanne...I cannot agree with you about cutting out the bread. If you really want to cut out flour, etc, there is always Ezekiel bread but I don't think there is anything wrong with whole wheat bread as long as it is in moderation. If someone is sitting down eating a whole loaf of bread, I could understand cutting it out (as I used to actually do) but a couple slices a day doesn't hurt anything (if it's not white).

    Again, I really think that cutting any one thing out (and not just moderating) makes one feel deprived (it does me anyways) and makes me long for it even more. Then, I end up bingeing on it.
  11. by   Energizer Bunny
    Quote from WannaBLPN2005
    Don't feel bad I'm currently in a nutrition class, have an A in there, and still couldn't tell you how to eat right. I have been trying to keep my fat grams under 15g a day, drinking tons of water, exercising, and I've GAINED 15 lbs. since March. I went to the dr. for my physical Friday, and I'm so ashamed to admit this but I'm up to 254 lbs. I wan't even this big when I GAVE BIRTH to my kids.....I was never tiny but never such a whale either. It's all in the area right under my breasts. My legs look normal, my arms don't have fat hanging from them, it's all in my stomach especially right under my breasts and hips and butts. I look like Humpty Dumpty.I'm desperate....I lost 40 lbs once using Phentermine that was prescribed but now it doesn't work for me and just raises my blood pressure tremendously. I don't even feel human anymore... ...I thought I was doing this the right way..sensibly but it's not working at all. I will check out the websites you posted Kim. I'm interested in hearing about information on this topic as well. Kim how have you cut the portions? Do you measure or just throw half of everything away of your plate?
    As for cutting the portions, I have measured and I have just gotten rid of half of what is on my plate (my plates were huge...really huge) and it made a big difference. I cut most of the fat in my diet and was exercising and lost well. Now, I am not so picky about it and don't keep track as well. I just watch what I am eating and try not to be too obsessive about it. I also am unable to exercise now. I don't know if the exercise with the low fat made a difference or not but it kick started me to be able to continue.
  12. by   Energizer Bunny
    OP- I also wanted to say that you are going to get many opinions here, but that is just what they are opinions, including mine. Unless we have done research for years, there is no way to know what is healthy/unhealthy, etc. I would tell you to go to those in the know (such as the governments website and others that have done the research for long periods of time).

    one more thing (and then I'll shut up) things are different for everyone so what one of us tells you may/may not work for you. Our bodies are different, our metabolism is different and our preferences are different.
    Last edit by CNM2B on Jul 12, '04
  13. by   suzanne4
    Quote from CNM2B
    Suzanne...I cannot agree with you about cutting out the bread. If you really want to cut out flour, etc, there is always Ezekiel bread but I don't think there is anything wrong with whole wheat bread as long as it is in moderation. If someone is sitting down eating a whole loaf of bread, I could understand cutting it out (as I used to actually do) but a couple slices a day doesn't hurt anything (if it's not white).

    Again, I really think that cutting any one thing out (and not just moderating) makes one feel deprived (it does me anyways) and makes me long for it even more. Then, I end up bingeing on it.
    Believe me I love bread just as much as the other person, but if you are trting to change your eating habits, you need to increase the other good foods. And most people have a tendency to fill up on the breads. Even when making a sandwich at home to take to work, most people only put a samll amount of filling in the middle and count on the bread to make them feel full.
    And most of the bread that you buy at the supermarket is not true whole wheat bread. You want a true whole grain bread if you are going to use it for sandwiches, that way you get the most nutrition. I love a grilled cheese sandwich just like everyone else does, only I don't make it every day. Perhaps once every two weeks or so, the rest of the time I make tuna melts without the bread and I really don't miss it. I try not to substitute foods, one for another, but actually change the way that I eat and what I eat.
    I don't but any processes low-carb foods, they just don't exist over here. We do not have fat-free items, not even fat-free milk. We have what they call "partially" skim milk. No one has been able to tell me the amount of fat in it....I definitely don't deprive myself, nor do I get the cravings that I used to get. My body just doesn't want it any more and feels better without it.

    If I really want bread, I have a special whole grain that I will toast and add cream cheese, or place real Swiss cheese on it and melt it in the micro-wave.
    If I want chocolate, I buy the dark chocolate and find that I can only eat a small piece at a time. If I really have to have chocolate at that time of the month, then I make my sugar-free chocolate mousse with cream and low-fat milk.

    All I know that is since I switched to this way of eating, I get stopped almost on a daily basis, even by people that have never seen me to see what I am doing. Marie even accused me of having surgery. She was quite amazed when she saw the size of my waist and she knows me extremely well.

    Each person has to try what works for them, I tried all of the low-fat and fat-free things in the past, and they never worked, at least for any length of time. And since I switched my thoughts aobut food, the inches have just poured off. My abdomen is completely flat, my waist is small. My thighs are the thinnest that they have been since I can ever remember.......
  14. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from CNM2B
    First I would tell you... use Splenda...
    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Sure. Ingesting chlorine ions, that'll get us real healthy.

    Stay away from that stuff!

    (Please see previous thread on this.)

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