Smarter Than Pancakes

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What does your grocery list look like when you’re eating healthy?

Filed under: Healthy Junk Food,Meal Plans,Menu Planning,Opinions,WW Points — shaye3 @ 10:12 am

I’m on Weight Watchers again, and I’m working on my grocery list.  I was talking to a couple of Facebook friends earlier about the types of healthy foods we try to keep on hand when trying to eat healthy.  I shared a few things that I’ve come up with, but I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions!

Here are some of mine:

I hate to admit it, because I seriously do try to avoid processed foods when I can, but it’s a lot harder when you’re dieting or doing Weight Watchers.  I tend to keep a few Lean Cuisines or Lean Pockets in the freezer for emergencies or when I’m just feeling extremely lazy–they’re easy and don’t have a lot of points.  I also tend to keep a can of milk chocolate Slimfast powder in the cupboard for the same reason.  While I’m doing true confessions, I also use butter sprinkles or butter spray when I’m doing Weight Watchers.  Yes I know it’s like one molecule away from being plastic, but I still do it.  (There, I admitted it.)

Other than those seriously processed things…

I try to buy a lot of produce, then wash and chop it the next day so it’s easy to grab at a moment’s notice.  (Grocery shopping can be exhausting, so I usually never do it right when I get home from the store.)

I buy romaine & other lettuces, spinach, radishes, carrots, sprouts, and any other salad-bar things that would be low or no points.  I also get some slightly higher cal/higher protein items  like sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, olives,  and 2% cheese–but I try to make sure to weigh those things before putting on my salad because they can rack up points quickly.  I keep all of it–chopped, washed and ready to eat–in small containers in the fridge.  (My own little instant salad bar!) I also keep low cal salad dressing, which I also try to remember to measure when I use it when I’m counting points.  I try to make my own salad dressings because it’s hard to find dressings that don’t have HFCS.  The Annie’s dressings don’t, but I’m just not crazy about bottled dressings to begin with.

I also try to get stuff like zucchini, summer squash, fresh mushrooms, onions, eggplant, red peppers, and other similar veggies that I’ll chop up and saute in a small amount of olive oil while I’m prepping all my produce. (I usually saute them one at a time, then throw it all in together.  I just keep a big container of cooked veggies in the fridge so I can warm some in the microwave to go into my Egg Beaters omlet in the morning with a couple of Tbs. of 2% cheese.  It’s a fast, healthy, and fairly quick breakfast.

The other day, I figured out that I can peel and chop up an apple, throw it together with a little sweetener, pinch of salt, butter spray, cinnamon and nutmeg; and then nuke it until it’s soft.  It’s awesome on a toasted whole grain English Muffin when I’m craving a pastry.

When I buy any bread product, I check the label to make sure there’s no HFCS, then I check to make sure it says “Whole Wheat” or “Whole Grain”.  After that, I check the nutrition label to figure out which one has the most fiber and the fewest calories.  If there’s more than one that fits that criteria, I get the one that feels softer. 😉

In the summer, we love frozen grapes.  I’ll buy a bunch of grapes, wash them really well and cut the stems so that when you grab them you’ll get a proper serving size.  Then I just throw them in the freezer.  They work really well when you want something cold and sweet like a Popsicle.  (They don’t satisfy a chocolate craving though.  I’ve been known to keep the fat free Fudgesicles on hand for that purpose.  Only one point each!)

My doctor suggested another one to me.  He’s completely against all sweeteners.  (He prefers sugar or honey to HFCS, but would prefer we avoid all of them with the history of diabetes in our family.) He suggested that a calorie free, yet refreshing drink is flavored water.  He told me to take a pitcher of water and put in sliced lemons, limes, even cucumber.  Throw it in the fridge overnight, and it makes a really good drink.  I’ve tried cucumber water at a spa, but I keep meaning to do this at home.  I love to put water in the fridge anyway.  It’s handy to have cold water, and I swear it tastes better after the chlorine has had a chance to evaporate away.

We also love to make 5-minute tomato soup.  I’m pretty sure I’ve posted it on here before, but all you do is put a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan, warm it a little and then throw in a little fresh garlic.  (Roasted garlic is even better!) Then you let that sizzle for less than a minute before you add a can of crushed tomatoes and a little dried basil.  You let that simmer for about 5 minutes, then either take a stick blender to it, throw it in your regular blender, or leave it slightly chunky.  We love it, and it’s almost point free!

Ok, there are a few of my healthy food tricks.  Now it’s your turn to comment and share some of yours!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Old Food

Filed under: Meal Plans — shaye3 @ 8:52 am
Tags: ,

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a total slacker when it comes to meal planning and preparation this past week. To make up for it, I pulled out several cookbooks yesterday to peruse for inspiration. While I was at it, I ran across a book I inherited called Mother’s Encyclopedia, put out by Parents’ Institute in 1965.

It is full of all kinds of hilarious information about rearing children, I thought I’d share this sample menu for a 10 year old.

A Sample Day’s Meals For A 10-Year-Old

Tomato Juice (3/4 cup). Hot whole-wheat cereal (2/3 cup) with milk (1/2 cup).
Toast (2 slices) with butter or fortified margarine (2 teaspoonfuls). Milk (1/2 pint).

(If served at school or at home)
Creamed eggs (3/4 cup). Green beans (1/2 cup) with butter or fortified margarine (1 teaspoonful).
Oatmeal muffins (2) with butter or fortified margarine (2 teaspoonfuls). Milk (1/2 pint).
(If brought from home)
Sandwich–peanut butter and raw carrot on buttered whole-grain or enriched bread.
Sandwich–chopped dried fruit on buttered whole-grain or enriched bread.
Supplemented at school by–
Orange. Milk soup (1 cup) or cocoa (1 cup).

Meat loaf (1 serving). Scalloped potatoes (2/3 cup). Cole slaw with red and green peppers (1/2 cup). Whole-wheat bread or enriched bread (2 slices) with butter or fortified margarine (2 teaspoonfuls). Applesauce (1/2 cup). Molasses cookies (2 thin). Milk (1/2 pint).

First of all, you can just forget about my child willingly consuming tomato juice, creamed eggs, or meatloaf. He’s a pretty good eater, but there are some things even I won’t make him eat. Creamed eggs? Yuck!

Next, the sheer amount of enriched bread (a.k.a. Wonder bread) and fortified margarine was boggling! How enriched and fortified did they thing that stuff was???

Finally, I notice the complete lack of green leafy vegetables, and a serious shortage of produce in general.

It’s no wonder people are so unhealthy in our country today if that’s what was being taught was a healthy menu forty years ago.

We’ve come a long way, baby!

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