Dieting is something that I am pretty much an expert at. I’ve been doing it on and off since I was 10. I’ve tried many, many different diets over the years, and I’ve found what works for me. It’s pretty basic: diet and exercise. I don’t “cut” anything out of my diet. I have been through so many trends over the years saying that you need to cut out fats or cut out carbs or cut out grains. I’m sure that in a few years there will be something new. I’ve decided that moderation in all things is what works best for me. I try to eat whole grains, veggies, fruits, and lean proteins; things that are low in fat and/or contain good fats. I count calories; like every single one. I use the My Fitness Pal app to help me keep track. It’s amazing how quickly calories add up when you keep track of them. You also find very quickly that you don’t want to waste your calories on things that aren’t going to fill you up or make you feel good. I’m not even tempted to eat that piece of chocolate cake or French fries when I know that they will cost me 1/3 of my daily calories.
I love food and need to have things that I enjoy eating on hand to make sure that I can stick with my goals. Sometimes I make things that I love that are nutritious and low in calories like Peanut Butter and Honey Balls and Brownie Batter Oatmeal, but sometimes it’s nice to have something that is already made and I can just enjoy it with little or no prep work. I have put together a list of foods I have found that I love to eat and help keep me on track. I love all of these products, and I have not been compensated by anyone to share my views.
Kodak Minute Muffins- These muffins are whole wheat and packed with nutrition. My favorite is the blueberry. They work great as a warm “grab and go” breakfast. I love to have them for breakfast, a snack or a dessert. You just add water and cook in the microwave for one minute.
Cheerios- These aren’t just baby snacks. If you haven’t tried them in a long time, you need to. They are really good. A one cup serving is only 100 calories. This means that I can have 1 1/2 cups with a cup of Cashew milk for 175 calories. That’s music to this cereal girl’s ears.
Unsweetened Cashew Milk- I loves this stuff. It tastes good, it’s thick and creamy and it’s only 25 calories in one cup. Top that off with it having more calcium than dairy milk = winner, winner chicken dinner!
Pre-Packed Salads- I don’t have any particular brand that I like of these. I get them in the produce section of my grocery store, and I love to keep a couple on hand. They come with a salad in the bottom and separated on the top is four things to mix into the salad, and dressing. For example, the Santa Fe comes with chicken, cheese, roasted corn and red peppers, crushed tortilla chips, and a spicy southwest ranch dressing. These are perfect when I want something special (fill in restaurant/fast food) for lunch.
Multi Berry Oatmeal (from Trader Joe’s)-Besides being delicious, this oatmeal is full of nutrition with wheat, rye, chia seeds, flax seeds and barley in addition to the oatmeal. It has a little bit of a nuttier flavor than regular oatmeal (which I love) and has strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. I love that it stays with me for the morning and I don’t feel hungry an hour later.
Casein Protein Powder- Speaking of feeling hungry an hour later, that is the reason that I’ve switched from whey protein powder to casein. Both of them are dairy based protein powder. I have read the difference between the two described this way. Whey protein metabolizes like skim milk and casein like cottage cheese. This means that if you have just finished weight lifting and you want something to begin to repair your muscles, whey is best because it all goes to work right away. You will also be hungry an hour later. The casein, on the other hand, breaks down slowly giving you a full feeling for a longer time. If I have just finished lifting I like to use half a scoop of each to get the benefits of both, but if I’m having a protein shake for dinner, it’s casein all the way.
Kind Bars-These bars are packed with whole nuts and sometimes dried fruit and chocolate. Can’t forget the chocolate. 🙂 There are a number of varieties that you can get. My favorite is the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. I love the crunch of the nuts, the sweetness from the chocolate, and the tart contrast that the dried cherries and cranberries bring.
PB2- If you love peanut butter and are having to watch your fat and/or calorie intake, this is the product for you. I normally use it to add a peanut butter flavor to things. My favorite is to add two tablespoons to my chocolate protein drink, along with 5 cubes of ice, and mix it in the blender to make a chocolate/peanut butter milkshake good enough to help me resist eating that Reese’s calling my name. I do sometimes mix it up as peanut butter (just add water) to put on pancakes or toast with some bananas and lite syrup (I like Mrs. Butterworth’s), but it’s not the real thing, at all. Don’t think that it will be the same as your creamy, thick and full of fat peanut butter because you will be incredibly disappointed. That said, it’s made with real peanuts and brings a completely authentic peanut butter taste to whatever I add it to.
Chobani Flips- These Greek yogurts come with a fun corner of crunchy goodies that you pour into your yogurt just before you eat them. I feel like I’m eating a delightful dessert when I have one. My favorite is Salted Caramel Crunch (caramel flavored yogurt with pretzels and chocolate) and a close second is Key Lime Crumble (lime flavored yogurt with white chocolate and crunchy graham crackers).
Clif Z Bars- These are marketed as being for kids, but adults can eat them too. Along with being all organic and good for your body, they have less calories than a similar product geared toward adults. I like the Chocolate Chip and the Iced Oatmeal best, but the Chocolate Brownies isn’t far behind. At around 130 calories a bar, they’re a perfect snack to keep with you “on the go.”
So that’s it. I hope that you got a new idea (or two) of a new food you can try. If you have something that you love, please tell me about it! I know that I’m always on the lookout for new recommendations of tasty things that I can eat when watching my calories and nutrition.