Have you been thinking about what you eat since reading the last post? If you’re like most normal people, your thought process may have gone something like this…..
Man, I have GOT to stop eating so much crap and pay more attention to my health. I should clean out the fridge and cabinets and go grocery shopping this weekend for healthy foods. I hate to throw food away. I wonder what I should do with it. Well, look here….this chocolate covered granola bar has 3.2 grams of protein. I’m supposed to eat protein so I can probably keep that so it doesn’t get wasted. Oh, gosh here is a barely eaten bag of veggie chips. I supposed to eat more vegetables so I’ll keep these. That will be a healthy snack. Hmmm, light air-popped popcorn, yogurt covered raisins, fat-free pudding cups……You know, I guess I haven’t really been eating that bad now that I am looking through my food. Yeah, I’m already on the right track. I should go find the kids and see if they want to go to Sweet Frog. We’ll make sure to use fruit toppings. You know, for our health.
Ok… Snap out of your self-induced state of denial and jump back up on the turnip truck where the real food is. Remember what we talked about? Protein, Carbs, Fat = meals and snacks.
So this brings me to one of the most common statements I hear in response to eating healthy:
“I don’t know what to eat”
No problem. I’m here to help! Let’s take a look at all the foods you can play with.
Meat(aka protein)(aka delicious)
- Chicken – Any part of it
- Pork – Chops, loin, roast, shoulder, bacon and sausage
- Turkey – Any part of it
- Beef – Ground, steak, roast and tips
- Lamb – Any cut
- Veal – Any cut
- Venison Ground, steak and roast
- Fish –Just about any kind
- Crab – Only real, no imitation
- Eggs – Duck, chicken or goose
TIP: If it used to make a noise or have a face, you can eat it.
TIP: If it’s processed, don’t eat it (spam, hot dogs and other varieties of “meat” that have questionable ingredients and may not actually be an animal product at all)
Fats – It’s what you cook with (and eat with meat)
- Macadamia nut
- Avocado Sesame
- Pine nuts
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
Veggies – Carbs, Fiber and Vitamins
- Green leafy veggies
- Peppers – all varieties
- Onions – all varieties (leeks too)
- Brussel sprouts
- Squash – all varieties
- Celery (gross)
- Sweet potato
TIP: Almost all vegetables are good, but note that some have a higher starch content and should be avoided if the goal is weight loss (butternut/acorn squash, sweet potato)
Fruits – Sweet tooth food
- Berries – all varieties
- Mango Cantaloupe
TIP: Fruits have high levels of fructose, which is better than high-fructose corn syrup but is still sugar. Eat in moderation, especially if the goal is weight loss.
THE DO NOT EAT LIST
- Ice cream
- Cottage cheese
- beans – all varieties
- peas – all varieties
- peanuts and peanut butter
So you’re probably freaking out right now. Calm down. It’s going to be ok. I just tricked you in to reading the Paleo Diet food list. I told you that I would not force Paleo on anyone and I meant it. However, the “Paleo-approved” food list is pretty solid and a good place for anyone to start.
Begin by making a menu and then a shopping list. You do NOT have to give up dairy, grains and legumes if you’re not ready. But now you know to choose from those categories sparingly. If you like black beans, made a taco salad using lean ground beef, spices, red leaf lettuce, diced tomato, chopped cucumber, diced onion and cilantro and a small amount of black beans. If you happen to be the one person on the planet that likes celery and you like peanut butter on it, go for it. There’s your mid-afternoon snack. Remember, grasshopper… Baby steps.