Please help me with my ignorance

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by flutterbee, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I need to get really serious about this healthy eating thing. I did really well for a while, then fell off the wagon, did better, fell off again. I looked into joining Weight Watchers and I really can't afford it right now so I'm going to stick with SparkPeople.

    The thing is, I've always had serious issues with food. There is nothing I enjoy about eating. Nothing. I eat because I have to. I've tried to find something to enjoy about recipes and something that just really pleases the taste buds. I went out and bought all kinds of cookbooks. Nope. And because there is nothing I enjoy about it and I hate to cook I often eat things just because they are convenient or take little time to prepare...not because they are healthy. Usually convenience foods aren't healthy. Although, I do buy some weight watcher's meals and they're pretty good.

    Because of this, I know as much about food as I do about the stock market. Which is not much.

    I hear you ladies talking about this Fiber cereal and/or bar. I know fiber helps keep you regular, but what is it that makes it part of a healthy diet? Is it that it keeps you full longer? And what is, exactly, lean protein? Is it white meat or do other things count?

    I'm sure there's more, but that's a good start. Thanks.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thirty grams of fiber is recommended per day. It's o.k. to get more but build up to the 30 slowly. It does help keep you regular and full longer. There are two types of fiber-soluble and insoluble I think are the two types. You need the kind from the whole grains and the kind from fruits and veggies.

    I love the Fiber One Bars-they have several flavors-caramel, peanut butter, oats and apple struedel, chocolate (my favorite), and one more I can't remember.

    Lean protein does include white meat but I think there are others as well. I don't know if it counts but I always buy the extra lean beef that is 93% lean.

    I know one thing that makes it easier for me is planning my meals for the week. I'm pretty much a creature of habit so breakfast and lunch are easy-same thing most days. Then I just plan out my meals. It helps because then I'm not in a rush and taking the first easy thing I see.

    Also be sure to be drinking plenty of water-they recommend 48-64 oz a day.
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Sharon did a great job of helping with the definitions but I'm going to go a step further.

    In regards to fiber, there are many recent studies and research that show that a high-fiber diet may help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other ailments. Most of us don't get enough - we average 10-11 grams a day and health experts recommend 20-30 grams a day. Fiber, both soluable and unsoluable are found only in plant foods (nuts, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds). Some fibers are soluble in water and others are insoluble. You need both.

    Recent studies show that folks who eat a high fiber diet have a lower instance of colon cancer. The thinking is that fiber adds bulk to your stool which helps keep the "movements" swift and productive therefore acting like a nice little push broom!! It prevents constipation and keeps the waste quickly on it's way.

    It is also believed that a high fiber diet can help prevent diabetes. Soluable fiber traps carbs and slows their digestion. The therory is that this may prevent those blood sugar swings throughout the day.

    Ok, now here's the big one. Insoluable fiber is indigetible so it passes through the body basically intact, it doesn't provide enough calories (since it is not broken down) to add fat!!!! Since we can only handle so much bulk at a time in our body, high fiber foods are more filling - equals eating less!

    Now you know everything you ever wanted to know about fiber. Bottom line - your body needs it to assist in passing waste, and eating a high fiber diet helps you body perform at it's optimal level!

    How about that lean protein. Want to read more stuff? Basically the lean protein in your diet should come from vegetables (soy, nuts and beans) and lean meat (fish, trimmed chicken, lean cuts of beef and pork - naturally lean meaning little or no fat). Most dieticians believe that lean protein should be the smallest portion of your meal - the fiber part, vegetables, should be the "highlight".

    Heather, hope this wasn't too much information for you. I too was very curious about the nature and benefits of fiber when I began WW. I can tell you that my body, ummmm, well, purges more efficiently with my new high fiber diet.

    As far as the protein goes, it really is a different way of looking at food. You know, there is a really interesting program on Discovery Health called Sam something I think. The host is Sam soemthing or other, and the serious is actually shot in his home kitchen. His goal, eating fast and healthy at home instead of eating garbage fast food out!

    Go onto the Discovery Heatlh website and look for a link to his show. Check out some of his recipes. They are really quick and full of flavor!!

  4. KateM

    KateM Member

    The Sharons have done a great job with their defintions/explanations. I'll just add that switching to whole grain (breads, cereals, pastas) also adds fiber to your diet. Our family has switched to whole wheat pasta and breads. At first, my son balked but now everyone prefers the taste ( nuttier).

    Another health benefit to fiber ( in addition to preventing heart disease and colon cancer) -there is evidence that a high fiber, low fat diet ( rich in calcium) can prevent Alzhiemers. We have both cancer and Alziemers in my family, so I make sure to watch my diet!

    I'll second Sharon that water intake is also so important.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    Oh, my goodness. So much to learn just about fiber. I'll have to start researching.

    I have a lot of sensory issues with food, too. Whole grain bread makes me gag - not from the flavor, but from the texture. Wonder makes a Whole Grain white bread that I use as a compromise.

    You know, I can research and learn so much about everything else, but food intimidates me. I guess it's because I've always had issues with it.

    After the heart attack the doctors told me to eat a heart healthy diet - low cholesterol, low saturated fat - and sent me on my way. I had no idea what foods that meant. I'm still learning. I check the labels on everything before I buy, but I'm just looking at numbers and really don't know what they mean. And I don't know what exactly constitutes a low saturated fat diet. Is it 3 grams a day or is it 6 grams a day or what? So, I'm just trying to figure it out as I go.

    Thanks for the info ladies!
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Here are some good websites you might want to check out when you have some time.

    You don't have to share if you don't want to, but I was curious as to why you have such issues with food? Is it the sensory issues?

    Home pride makes a nice soft wheat that is a little tastier than the wonder (and my difficult child can eat it so that is saying something!!!!).

  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    Thank you for those links. They are very helpful. I did buy an American Heart Association cookbook, but to be honest, it's not very realistic. They have things such as swordfish and just stuff I would never eat and stuff I just can't afford to buy on a regular basis.

    For example, if I do eat ground beef it's supposed to be 94% lean. My grocery store doesn't carry it. They do carry 92% lean at a whopping $5.98 a pound while ground sirloin (90% lean) is $3.98/pound. I just drain it well and rinse it. I don't eat much of it, so I figure it's ok. I have to weigh the expense of feeding the family, too.

    And I'm starting small. I will never get away with a complete diet overhaul over night. I'm adding more fruits and veggies, finding healthier versions of products, etc. And trying to learn so that I can go to the grocery store and know what to pick up and not spend 20 minutes over each item I put in the cart. It's a little overwhelming at times. I'm just completely food illiterate.

    As far as to the reasons why...I don't think there is any one reason. To be honest, it's not something I've thought much about. It's always something I looked at as a quirk and didn't dwell on it.

    I've never enjoyed eating as a rule. There are times when something was soo good that I kept eating way past being full just because it was so good. But, food isn't something I think about. My boyfriend after I left Wynter's dad would call me in the evening after the kids were in bed and would often ask me if I ate. I frequently forgot to eat. Fed the kids. But, just didn't think about eating myself.

    I could probably talk about how food was the thing I could control and other various things, but I don't want to rehash that and I think I just need to realize that it's JUST food and certainly it can't outsmart me, right? :tongue: I just need to get over being intimidated by it and try to find a way to enjoy the entire process.

    I'll probably have more questions along the way. Thanks for the help!
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    For me, an overweight woman in her 40's, self reflection is an absolute. I've struggled with my weight since I was in high school. I've had years of good and years of bad. There are self esteem issues to be dealt with, relationship issues in my past that contributed, emotional roadblocks, food as a substitute for a miriad of things, and a laundry list of other reasons, not the least of which is my enjoyment of food.

    I think self examination when making any life change is an important key to moving forward. Our minds have a lot of control. I think we have to deal with what is stored there before truly making a change.

    I've discovered some not-so-pleasant things so far on this journey. But I've learned some good things as well.

    Do you have a sam's club or costco or bj's around you? If you are not a member, I bet one of your friends is and would be happy to take you and let you shop. I did that for a couple years before we joint costco as a business member!

    You can buy larger quantities of meats - great prices on chicken breast (12 breasts and each breast honestly serves two), you can buy large quantities of ground beef as well. Fruit and veggies are a savings. Another idea is your local framer's markets this summer. You and I are in the same region and it won't be long before the stands will be full of fresh produce at good prices. There are also things you can enjoy fresh and freeze (bell peppers is a good example) for when the prices go up.

    I think Heather, it's a matter of taking a day at a time and going in slowly. At least that is what worked for me. A meal at a time, a change at a time. I find myself enjoying eating things I didn't like before. I find myself using spices and interesting oils (little chili oil for example) to add different flavors to the same old, same old (the trap of a mother!!).

    Interesting about the control issue and food. Food for thought..........

    Take care,

  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Sharon -

    I want to thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts to me. It's been rattling around in the back of my mind all day and it's enabled me (forced me, maybe) to reflect upon things that otherwise I probably wouldn't have.

    I tend to keep things buried. I don't like to bring it up, rehash it, do the poor me thing. It's just safer, I guess. But, I think, as you said, self-reflection is important in this case because it obviously still has some impact on me. So, maybe it is time to explore the why's in order to get beyond it.

    So, if you don't mind, I'm going to try to get my thoughts in order here. I find writing things down to be a good way for me to be able to really wrap my mind around them. And if you have any thoughts, suggestions or anything, I welcome them. And maybe it will help someone else, too. Who knows.

    By the time I was 13, my depression was coming on pretty hard. By 14, I had my first major episode - not diagnosis'd at the time because there was no one to diagnosis it, but I know from what would be future experiences what it was.

    The pain - for lack of a better word - from severe depression was so....hmmmm...profound, consuming, oppressive and so deep, but I had no way of effectively articulating it. I didn't have the life experience to even be able to understand it myself. I just knew I was miserable and I didn't want to live. I didn't want to breathe. But, I didn't want to not breathe, either. I just wanted it to stop. My mom is one of those 'go for a walk and you'll feel better' people. Totally didn't get it - not until I was in my 30's and I pretty much forced it on her. And it was invisible. There is no tumor or something you can measure on a blood test. And it was so incredibly, devastatingly painful that it needed to have a physical manifestation. So, I quit eating. I remember having a thought along those lines when I was around 15 that maybe if they see that I'm really sick, they'll help me?

    I didn't have one of those strict anorexic diets where you weigh your food and count every calorie, etc. I just didn't eat for days on end. And I got no enjoyment from food when I did eat. It often made me feel sick when I did eat. And when I did eat, it was small a banana for the whole weekend.

    Strangely enough, this was very empowering for me. This was something *I* could control. And I had the willpower to do it. There was also a part of me that was punishing myself because I didn't feel like I deserved to be...whatever it was I felt like I didn't deserve. I still don't have a word for that. But, the fact that I got to have the say in this was very empowering because the depression had taken so much away from me and I felt so powerless against it.

    I bottomed out at 93 pounds at 5'4" and it took me 6 months to gain 2 pounds.

    And then it becomes a habit - learned behavior. And as I got older, I would fall into this old, familiar, comfortable, empowering habit when life became overwhelming. I don't know how much I actually 'forgot' to eat and how much of it I just put out of my mind.

    I did overcome it as the years passed and maintained a healthy weight. Weight control was never something I had to worry about, though. I didn't watch what I ate; I ate whatever I wanted.

    I guess in a sense this issue has resurfaced with me. I'm overweight now, so obviously I'm not starving myself. It's just taken a new form. Food is again the enemy. The difference this time is that the food has the power, not me. Interesting.....

    So, there it is. I'm sure I'll continue to mull this over for a while.

    Thank you again, Sharon, for letting me explore this. :)
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, I had to learn about food from the beginning. As someone who studied science, I did have a bit of a head start. But although I used to shop for my mother, she had to write a fairly thorough list and I really had no idea what I was buying - it was also back in the days when the shopkeeper got it for you when you asked him. I would feel especially intimidated going into a butcher's shop - I had no idea what was what.

    So I've learned the hard way. YOu can always ask the shopkeeper for advice and especially as they get to know you, they will help you. After all, they want your business.

    You've had some really good information so far. And you've also told us some important information about you which helps in understanding what you need to know now.

    With lean meat etc - we have to be a bit more laid-back in Australia, we have less processing (although it's coming in). And I think in general that is a good thing because it forces us to THINK about what we eat.

    How do you know if your meat is lean?
    First, look at it. ANY meat can be lean, it doesn't matter what sort of animal it comes from. Look at the slab of meat. Some cuts of meat have a certain amount of fat left on for good reason - it stops the meat from drying out during cooking. As the meat cooks the fat breaks down and continually flows over the meat, basting it. This is perfectly OK, as long as you don't eat the fat. You can have meat cooked this way, just drain off the fat when it's cooked.
    If you look at a steak, you can see the fat - it's the white bits. Sometimes it's only on the edge of the meat, sometimes it's distributed through which can give the meat a marbled look. A good lean steak is deep red throughout. Some really expensive steaks are also marbled with fat - it's also very tender and highly sought after. Also not terribly healthy to eat.

    Some meats are naturally paler. The deeper the colour of the meat, the higher the iron content. The colour is also related to how hard the muscle worked (because meat is muscle) when the animal was alive. So for example, we keep chickens at our place. If you buy chicken the meat is generally white. But if we have to kill one of our chickens (we don't any more) we find the meat is quite dark and fairy red. This is because our chickens are very active, they run around a lot, they fly into the lower tree branches and generally have a very busy life. To do this they need more oxygen to get into their muscles, and this requires a higher iron level in their muscles (hence - redder).

    You can buy cheaper, and fattier, cuts of meat but it requires more preparation time. A good option is to buy the meat in a large piece and then cut off the fat yourself (or ask the butcher to). You can also ask the butcher to cut the meat up for you.

    Our butcher loves me - I buy mostly cheapest meat, but I buy a lot of it. By buying in bulk I save a lot of money. I also get some expensive cuts much more cheaply.

    For example, yesterday I bought a whole pork scotch fillet. This is a long round piece of meat, like a cylinder, taken from beside the backbone. Its diameter is like the palm of my hand in size. I will cut this into thin slices which can each be quickly pan-fried. It's very lean. I don't know what % lean it is, but looking at it I would say it has to be in the high 90s. And frankly, that's good enough. There's no need to get over-stressed about 97% vs 94% or whatever - you can generally drain off any extra fat where possible. Also, a lot of people add fat of some sort to the cooking process, so the % goes out the window again.

    If the meat you're looking at is mince, you have to gauge the % fat by looking at the amount of white flecks in it. It's not easy.

    You can also make your own mince (aka ground beef - sorry, forgot you're not an Aussie for a bit) by trimming the fat off some steak and mincing it in a blender or food processor. But a lot of recipes need a little fat in the mix. Again, it comes out during cooking and if you drain it off you're eating a lot less of it.

    I tend to cook a lot of casseroles and stews. These can be left to cool in the fridge and reheated a day or two later - it intensifies the flavours. And it gives you another trick - the fat often rises to the top and sets again, so you can actually pick out the solid fat before you reheat it.

    Cooking a roast - a number of different types of meat can be roasted in one lump. A whole chicken; a leg or shoulder of pork, beef or lamb; other cuts prepared (by the butcher if you prefer) and rolled into one piece (like my pork scotch fillet) and roasted. Here is where an outer layer of fat can keep the meat moist. But you don't want to eat it.
    So I cook roasts on a rack, in a roasting dish, with a small amount of water (about half a glass) underneath the piece of meat. You shove the whole thing in the oven (moderate heat) and leave it until it's done. Any fat drips into the water and the water stops it from burning. You may need to add a little more water during the cooking. At the end of the cooking process you move the meat to a roasting platter and don't touch it for about fifteen minutes at least. WHile you're waiting, you pour off the liquid in the baking dish into a glass jar or jug. The fat will be liquid and will be on the top (it floats on water). You pour off and discard as much of this fat as you can, without losing the watery brown liquid underneath (which makes gravy).

    To make low-fat gravy - there will still be a little bit of fat on top of the juices. Pour that amount (plus a little of the juices) into a small saucepan. It should only be about a tablespoon or so. Add a couple of teaspoons of flour to the small saucepan and mix it to a paste. Because I'm so stingy with the pan juices (to keep it low-fat) it will probably be a bit crumbly. Turn on the heat under the saucepan and cook the flour/juices mix until it darkens a little and you can see the flour darkening. Then add the rest of the meat juices, mix it all in thoroughly. I often use a stick blender here, or you could use egg beaters if you're not fast enough with your hands (I'm not). Cook until it thickens - the cooked flour should make the sauce denser and flow more slowly. To serve - pour over the sliced meat. By the time the gravy is made, the roast should be ready to carve and serve.

    Roast vegetables - I do these in a second baking dish. I cut the vegetables into pieces about two bites big, put them into a plastic bag with no holes, add some oil to the bag (a couple of tablespoonsful roughly) and shake it around to make sure each veg piece is oiled. I then pour the bagful into the baking tray and bake the vegetables on a different shelf to the roast, for the entire cooking time.

    A roast is an easy way to feed a large family so they think they're being spoiled but you haven't really had to do much. Roast vegetables can be drained on paper towel after cooking, but generally the amount of oil used is no big deal, not when spread over a large family.

    Oil and fat - you only get cholesterol-containing food when it comes from an animal. labels can be misleading, but NO vegetable-based oil contains cholesterol. So when you see vegetable oils in the supermarket with labels such as "100% cholesterol-free" and the vegetable oil next to it doesn't have a "low-cholesterol" label, don't think one is better than the other - they're not. Cheese is animal in origin, but it has calcium in it too which is good for your bones.

    The melting point of grease is directly related to how saturated it is. "Saturated" just means that all the hydrogen bonds are occupied' there are no double bonds. It's a chemistry thing. But health comes into it because "mono-saturated oil" has been found to be good for you to use instead of saturated, or even poly-unsaturated oil.

    If you are buying a table spread and it says it's full of good oils, ask yourself - is it solid? If it is, then it has been saturated. Taking a good oil such as olive oil, and then saturating that healthy double-bond, turns it into unhealthy. Sometimes they mix the healthy stuff into the unhealthy stuff to make it not so bad for you.

    Best of all is to not eat any at all. It's not medicine, it won't undo damage. It just does LESS damage than eating the full-fat stuff (like butter, or standard margarine). Eating NONE is healthiest. Spread bread with low-fat cream cheese instead, or a small amount of salad cream.

    Healthiest of all to eat, and the least hassle - fresh vegetables, eaten raw. Salads, in other words. If you grow your own, so much better. You know how fresh it is, you know where it has come from. Growing your own tomatoes, for example, is wonderful - biting into a really ripe home-grown tomato is sheer bliss. We buy a lot of salad vegetables. The kids, especially difficult child 3 and BF2, eat a lot of raw carrots. Our house can go through a kilo a day (that's over 2 pounds).

    Eating fresh fruit - also very tasty, not quite as good for you if you eat all fruit and no vegetables. But you should be eating 1-2 pieces of fresh fruit a day.

    Fruit and vegetables have natural fibre, a lot of it soluble (so you don't notice it much when you bite into it).

    Meat has no fibre. Neither does oil.

    So to get your fibre naturally, eat plant products whole.

    You can get a food pyramid which shows what you should have in a healthy diet - getting one of those and sticking it inside your pantry may be helpful. Avoiding processed food (if you can) is also often better for your health. Eating fresh food (raw where possible) is often least hassle and also healthiest.

    If this isn't possible (for many reasons) you aim for as close to it as you can get it. Eating wholegrain bread is best for you, but if it makes you gag then clearly, it's not going to work for you. So either eat white bread with hidden soluble fibre, or just limit yourself on bread in general.

    You will learn what works for you. But in the meantime to cut weight and also eat healthy, a good beginning is to stop adding any sugar to your food and to not eat anything with added sugar. Next step - ease back on things like white bread, potatoes, white rice, pasta. Have some if you want, but limit it. We eat far more carbohydrate than is really good for us. When we try to cut out fat, we tend to eat more carbs to compensate. Fast food in general is loaded with both carbs and fat - not good. If you must have carbs, try to eat it earlier in the day and less later on.

    Cut out as much fat as you can but don't get obsessive about it.

    Allow yourself in small quantities anything which makes the food taste better. That does not include sugar. I mean herbs, spices, sauces etc.

    If in doubt, talk to a dietician. Another trick - when wandering the supermarket, taste whatever samples are being offered, especially when it's fresh food. Aussie greengrocers often offer free tastes of new fruit in season. I hope the US ones do as well. Mandarins are in season for us - there are often mandarin segments out for us to try, to see if we want to buy some.

    You're in midsummer at the moment - salads, raw food - all very available, very suitable for summer. Very healthy, too.

    I hope this helps.

  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    You've already received a wealth of excellent information about how to eat healthy and prepare healthy foods. The others have done a great job!!!

    I'm concerned about you and glad that you're finally exploring why you have issues with food. Reading your description of how depressed you were makes it easier to understand why food didn't provide any enjoyment for you. And, it also makes it easier to understand why not eating became a way to have some control over your environment. Your story is so sad...

    You've come along way from where you were then. Just the fact that you're here speaks volumes!!! I agree with you - Making small changes is the way to go. If you try to change everything at once, in my humble opinion, you'll be setting yourself up for failure. I like the idea of adding more fruits and veggies to your diet as a first step. And, if money is tight, I know it's already been said somewhere in this forum, frozen fruits and veggies are nutritious too. Just make sure you buy products without added sugar.

    It is actually easier than you think to eat plenty of fruit and veggie servings every day. If you like yogurt, buy the plain unsweetened kind. Then mix in any type of fresh or frozen fruit you're in the mood for. Unfortunately, I have a sweet tooth. I add a packet of SPLENDA to plain unsweetened yogurt, mix it in, and then add the fruit. Anyway, I always have this with breakfast.

    If you like eggs, you can make omelettes (sp?) and add cut up veggies to add to them. Ok, you might find this disguisting, but I really like a bit of cheddar cheese and diced apples in an omelette (sp?)

    Salads made with baby spinach (or any type of lettuce you want), cut up fruit, and cut up chicken are delicious! I especially enjoy these with raspberry viniagrette dressing. And, it's an easy and quick way to use up leftovers. Salads made with fruit, veggies, and some protein are a quick and easy lunch or dinner. And, the nice thing about salads is that you can get very creative with the ingredients.

    In general, try to eat either fruit or veggies, or both with every meal. When you want a snack, or feel an emotional eating attack coming on, try eating a piece of fruit first. I find a crisp, crunchy apple helps me the most when this happens. (Of course, at this time of year, I can't find any decent apples!) By the time I'm done with the piece of fruit, I either consciously leave the kitchen or, if I'm still craving something, I usually eat less of it than I would have if I didn't eat the fruit first.

    Well, let us know how things are going. And, feel free to vent here anytime. Learning to live a healthy lifestyle is lots of hard work!!! I know YOU CAN DO THIS!!! We're all here to help you. Hugs, WFEN
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Heather~ husband has some health issues we are dealing with and I have been looking into this book and this Doctor. His "Diet" "Lifestyle" Is supposed to be easy and pretty easy to maintain.
    [ame=""] Diet for a Pain-Free Life: A Revolutionary Plan to Lose Weight, Stop Pain, Sleep Better and Feel Great in 21 Days, ADA...sound nutritional, delicious..a godsend to pain sufferers.: Harris H. McIlwain, Debra Fulghum Bruce: Books[/ame]
    He is a Rheumatologist and and expert in inflammatory issues...
    husband has severe, chronic Gout and Osteo-Arthritis... back, feet, knees getting worse has had it since his early 20's.
    We are going to mix up this guy's diet for husband's issues and try a casein free diet for all of us and maybe lead into a gluten free as well.
    Slowly and go with each one if any thing shows improvement. We will go with this guy's no matter what though, because it has proven to help with inflammation and weight loss...
    I thought you might be interested.

    He recommends NO red meat.
    NO processed foods at all, high in saturated fat and/or trans-fatty acids

    He claims most people who eliminate these foods notice a significant reduction in arthritis pain within 3 weeks.

    Eat more plant foods. (Only 6% of vegetarians have arthritis)
    More legumes, beans, lentils etc. 2-3 servings a day.
    Dark berries- blueberries, cranberries, cherries, blackberries
    Red grapes-glass of wine!!!
    Fish, nuts, peanut butter
    Green or black tea
    Ginger, garlic...

    He has a lot of other things but this is the basics.
    It is just a thought!!!
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A quick suggestion - to save money AND eat more healthily (and maybe to get more interested in your food) - I make a lot of my own specialist gourmet ingredients.

    The raspberry vinaigrette that WFEN recommended, for example - to make a very nice raspberry vinegar, you begin with a good cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar). Crush a couple of raspberries into a small bottle, pour over the wine/cider vinegar and let it steep, sealed.

    I make my own tarragon vinegar in summer, when my tarragon is rich and lush. I cut branches of it and steep it in 2 litre bottles of cider vinegar. It also makes a delicious salad vinegar as well as a vital ingredient in bearnaise sauce (not good for diets if you over-indulge, but OK in moderation).

    To make a vinaigrette dressing you can either add a small splash of just the flavoured vinegar, or shake up a vinegar and olive oil mix. For a delicately flavoured salad vinegar I would avoid olive oil and use something like macadamia oil instead. It is just as good for you but not so strongly flavoured. And remember, oil is a fat so use it sparingly. A good amount to add to a single serve salad would be 2 parts oil, one part vinegar, shaken up and then maybe 1-2 tablespoons on the salad right before serving (because ANY oily dressing makes the leafy greens go soft and soggy).

    Adjust the oil/vinegar balance according to your own taste.

    Macadamia oil and olive oil are both monosaturates, which are like Drano for the blood vessels. If you can substitute bad fats for good fats, your health also improves. Same amount of calories, though, in good fats & bad fats.

    If you can gently discover preparing your own meals (things you like) then you will find you enjoy food more because you know it has been made for you with love. I like making good food with love for other people, too. Seeing someone enjoy what I prepared is all the thanks I need. It's a bonding experience.

  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I have kind of stayed away from this thread because I was feeling embarrassed by how much I revealed. Self-conscious, I guess.

    Thank you so much for the information. That is exactly what I needed. The basics. This whole thing is so intimidating to me. Kinda like difficult child and math. As soon as she hears the word, she shuts down. That's how I am with this whole topic.

    I really appreciate the time you all took to help me with this and all the information you have provided.

  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, you haven't revealed anything that many of us haven't already experienced at some time or other.

    What you do from here, is go out and play. Go play with your food, find out what works for you and what doesn't. Maybe do what I do and try to grow your own herbs (and salad vegetables?) in a big pot, because when it is really fresh it gives it a gourmet taste for minimal cost. Start small with things that are easy and that you know you like. Remember that most plants have a limited life span and don't take it personally when, say, the dill or the cilantro (coriander) karks it after a couple of weeks - those plants do that, they don't play fair. But a pot of oregano, thyme or basil (for summer - it dies back in winter) can give you a few leaves that can make a wonderful touch to your cooking. A lot of up-market people grow herbs purely for the look of it, as part of the decor. But herbs need to be used, or they die back faster (or look untidy).

    Any info you want on either growing herbs, or using them in cooking - just ask.

    Or again, play with them and have fun! It's good for the kids, too, to teach them where food comes from and how you can work with the garden to make food taste even better.

  16. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Awww Heather, please don't feel bad or embarrassed about revealing too much. My intention, when starting this board, was for us to feel comfortable sharing our struggle with each other. I think it's important to have a place where we can share things that we may not feel comfortable sharing anywhere else.

    I've shared some stuff here that I've not discussed at WW meetings or such. It's personal things that are a little embarrassing to admit, but important on this journey.

    Don't you stay away.

  17. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Please don't be a stranger around here!!! I think Marg is right - I'm sure all of us can relate to what you told us about yourself on some level. It's ok!!! Please don't feel embarrassed to post here. We really want to help you!!!

    I have to confess that when I first posted about my "emotional eating" habits, I was a bit embarrassed too. However, I realized that if I didn't "talk" about it somewhere, I probably wouldn't gain the strength and support of others that I really needed to make healthy changes.

    It's ok if you haven't made much progress yet. Leading a healthy lifestyle takes lots of hard work and dedication. And, we all slip up every now and then... However, the important thing is that with the support of others, we manage to get back on track.

    Please let us know how you are doing. Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give to yourself and to those who love you. WFEN
  18. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    I just wanted to point out that it's not uncommon for eating disorders to develop in those people with mood disorders. I think healthy eating is something you train yourself to do, maybe looking at it as a necessary fuel will help you? I'd also recommend talking to a dietitian about effective and realistic meal planning.