Haha, stole a Julia Child quote for the title. I mean, who else would I quote for a post about food? But I have a feeling when she said steak, she didn't mean the leanest steak available like she should have been. However, she had the right idea about diet food. Just say no! I've had quite a few people ask what I've been eating to help me lose weight, so I decided to share here. The answer is...10 Whoppers and large fries everyday! It's a very complicated system involving flushing out my fat with the fat from the burgers and fries. Hahaha...yeah right. I mean, I saw that Super Size Me documentary, so that is one diet I will not be trying. Although disturbingly enough, after seeing that movie my best friend and I did go out to Outback to eat. Guess the movie wasn't disturbing enough. I also used to eat ice cream while watching The Biggest Loser. Ah, memories, memories.
Moving on, here is my rationale concerning food. When I have dieted before, I focused on eating low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb everything. Basically, diet food. Most diet food is not so good. It was hard to stick to that, and I constantly felt deprived. Obviously, eventually I just fell off the wagon. This time, my focus is on eating real food. With few exceptions, by eating fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains, and low fat dairy in reasonable portions, it is hard to go wrong. I mean, obviously some foods are better than others, but I think it would be pretty hard not to lose weight on that diet. Plus, it's so tasty that I don't usually feel deprived. Sorry to disappoint those who just thought I was a weight loss prodigy (lol), but I don't have some crazy secret to losing weight. Here are some of my staples:
Chicken: Let me tell you, I would honestly be screwed if I didn't like chicken. I eat it all the time, mainly boneless skinless breasts. On a side note, I had an embarrassing experience when cooking chicken breasts for my family a few weeks ago. My dad said he wasn't hungry then because he just had surgery. Without thinking, I asked if he would like me to save him a breast. That earned me a weird look. But yeah, I would say chicken is my main meat (is it just me, or does that sound vaguely dirty?). I've found quite a few different recipes I love using chicken as the main ingredient. Last night, I made sesame chicken and it was great, if I do say so myself. Luckily, my family agreed.
Tuna: Sadly, I am not much of a seafood fan, which is a shame because of all the omega-3 fatty acids in them. But tuna is one exception to that. Yes, it's canned, but I still get my omega-3's! I usually eat it on my awesome double fiber multigrain bread (using very, very little mayo mixed in), or in a salad.
Extra-lean ground beef: This is probably just a once a week food. I like to keep my red meat to a minimum. I usually use the 93% lean kind for hamburgers or use it in spaghetti sauce.
Canadian bacon: Great option for breakfast sandwiches.
Spinach: I eat spinach like it's going out of style. I eat it in salads, as a topping on sandwiches, even sometimes as part of my breakfast. What can I say? I've weirdly liked spinach since I was a toddler.
Sweet potatoes: I eat this as a side dish a lot. Awesome nutritional value, much better than white potatoes. I put a little all spice in, and it is delicious!
Squash and zucchini: Great taste, both stewed or baked. Actually, sometimes I just eat them raw too.
Mushrooms: Not even fancy mushrooms, just regular ones. I tend to put mushrooms in most of my crock pot dishes. Also, sometimes I make "pizzas" using portabello mushroom caps as the crust.
Peppers: All the colors! Is it just me, or does putting lots of pepper colors in a dish make it automatically seem healthier? I just hear so much about eating all the colors of the rainbow, and peppers make it so easy to do.
Cauliflower: Another veggie I eat both in crock pot recipes, and just raw as a snack.
Baby carrots: Duh. Doesn't every diet have this one? But seriously, they are good. I tend to pair them with cottage cheese.
Avocados: This is a relatively new veggie for me, but I have been eating it a lot because of those good fats it has. I even made chicken salad with it using it as a replacement for mayo.
Tomatoes, sadly a veggie (wait, actually a fruit) that is absent from this list: I HATE TOMATOES! I wish I liked them. I know how good they are good for you. And actually I enjoy pretty much everything derived from tomatoes. But as far as tomatoes themselves, I've hated them for as long as I can remember. Actually, when I was very little I picked all the green tomatoes from my mom's garden.
Strawberries: My fave fruit! I love them as much as I hate tomatoes.
Blueberries: These are okay, just not my favorite. But I eat them because they are a superfood! I like to mix them with greek yogurt.
Plums: Portable and only 30 calories apiece...what's not to like?
Nectarines: I started eating these as a replacement for peaches. They have a similar taste, but have fewer calories and lower sugar.
Pineapple: I love pineapple in just about everything. I pair it with chicken a lot.
Apples: They don't say it keeps the doctor away for nothing...
Oranges: I like the clementine ones because they are portable and less messy than regular oranges.
The fruits not included: There are some fruits that I like, but have stopped eating because they are higher in calories and sugar. These include bananas, peaches, and grapes.
Greek yogurt: This would have to be my number one dairy source. I used to eat Chobani, but that brand has pretty high calories and sugar. So I've switched to Dannon. Way less sugar and only 80 calories.
Cottage cheese: Another diet cliche unfortunately. But seriously, I love the 2% as an afternoon snack, mixed with fruit. It is a good savory snack, and has protein so it fills you up.
String cheese: Great emergency snack.
Milk, not so much: I'm not really a milk drinker. I've tried to buy it after being blasted with the milk mustache campaigns, but it usually just went bad. Now I just try to get my milk vitamins and minerals from the sources I listed above.
Grains, Carbs, whatever you want to call them:
Nature's Own Double Fiber Bread: This is what I make my sandwiches with, and then I feel virtuous.
Flat Out wraps: I use them when I make wraps (obviously). It took me a while to find a wrap I liked with good nutritional value, but these do the job.
Quinoa: Now my family likes most of the dishes I've made, but I have not sold them on quinoa. They actually compared it to kitty litter. Is it my favorite thing? No, but it is so much better for you than rice as a side dish that I use it. And I don't agree with the kitty litter assertion.
Lite multi-grain English muffins: I use these for my breakfast sandwiches.
Oatmeal: I usually eat the low sugar kind, or plain and add fruit.
Soup: Pretty much any low cal, low sodium brand. I like Campbell's vegetable soup a lot.
Low sugar fudgecicles: Do these have any nutritional value? Not really, but they are only 80 calories for 2 and they satisfy my sweet tooth. So I think they're worth it.
Edy's Fruit Bars: As the box boldly proclaims, they are "made with real fruit!" 80 calories for a large fruit bar sounds good to me. Unlike a lot of fruit bars I've tried, they taste like fruit and not just ice.
Lean Cuisine meals: I'm trying to cut down my intake on these because many of them have a lot of sugar and sodium. However, some of them aren't too bad and can be a good option if you are short on time.
Eggs: I love me some eggs. I eat egg whites as part of my breakfast sandwich and hard boiled eggs as a snack. They are really filling!
Almonds: I let the amount of fat freak me out and keep me from buying them for a long time. But like avocados, almonds have mainly good fats.
I've left some stuff out, but this is a good general idea of what I usually have on hand. Most of these, people already know about, but maybe this list includes a few foods you haven't thought of. My main change with food has been thinking of it in terms of how much total nutritional value it has, not just if it is low fat and low calorie. Food is fuel, and I have so much more energy eating like this. I'm off to make lunch because writing this has made me hungry!