10 New Go To Foods
I haven’t been writing a lot about my food choices lately, and I think it is probably the single most important element in a weight loss program. I heard someone say once that it is really hard to work off 500 calories, but it is exceptionally easy to eat 500 calories. I have been making a conscious effort over the last few months to make better food choices, so here is a list of some of my new go to foods.
1. Plain Greek yogurt.
I use this for breakfast most days of the week. I top it with frozen fruit, granola, sunflower seeds, real maple syrup, you name it. It’s also a great item to have in the fridge for soups and a sour cream replacement. I never used to like plain yogurt but now I realize how versatile it is, and it’s so much healthier for me to dress it up than a bunch of chemicals.
2. Homemade whole wheat pancakes.
I used to always buy packaged pancake mix, but I’ve started to wean my kids off of them and moved towards the better, homemade kind that have five or six real ingredients instead of 30 fake ones. The great thing about these is that you can freeze them, pop two in the toaster in the mornings and boom: breakfast. You can top them with the above mentioned yogurt, fruit or real maple syrup.
3. Egg whites.
I always shied away from egg whites because I never felt full from them. But now I combine them with one whole egg to get the protein and bulk. You can buy packages of just egg whites, which is handy; I hate to waste.
4. Bags of spinach/arugula blend
I never noticed these until recently. I love the versatility of these. Spinach alone feels kind of bland but mixed with arugula makes it tastier. You can make a great salad with this, or use it in wraps, or cook it in omelets, soups, whatever. I find myself tossing in a handful here and there in lots of different htings.
5. Homemade pizza dough.
This could not be easier to make with a breadmaker. You throw in water, salt, honey, flour and yeast and a few hours later, you have dough. I keep a container of yeast in my fridge (the little envelopes get expensive if you use yeast a lot) and always have the ingredients for pizza. It’s a great go to meal when you don’t have any other plan for dinner. The last one I made had turkey bacon and carmelized onions and it was to die for.
I eat a lot of nuts for snacks, maybe too much. I love a salty snack, and I find myself craving them. I need to work on portion control with them, but I know they’re still a better snack than say, pretzels.
These are in season right now and couldn’t be easier to grab and go. I keep a bowl on the counter. When I want something sweet, I try to go for one of these first to see if that will take care of the craving. They’re full of fiber and vitamin C.
8. Diet Tonic Water
In my quest to reduce the booze, I still want a drink at night. Diet tonic fills the need and gives me some hydration. I choose this over seltzer or sparkling water, even though I know those are likely better choices, but it’s a start for me. I love a gin or vodka and tonic, and it’s really the tonic flavor I like. A diet version seems like a win/win.
9. Spaghetti Squash/Roasted Squash
I discovered how easy it was to roast squash this fall. Now I often will roast a spaghetti squash on the weekend and have it in the fridge for most of the week. You can use the spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti. It’s also super as a filler in soups to give them more bulk. Any squash can be roasted this way: cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, brush the flesh with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast face down at 400 for 30-45 minutes depending on size. Butternut squashes, pumpkins, spaghetti squashes all work wonderfully this way.
All summer long when I went to the farmers’ market I would get a big bunch of kale. I would make kale chips out of it then, but now that it’s winter it’s great for soups. I know some people eat it raw in salads, but I’m not a huge salad fan, and I think the flavor of kale is a bit strong raw. But I love it as a filler in soups or sauteed like spinach with some garlic. It’s great in pasta dishes as well.
So there you have it. There are ten new go to foods that I’ve embraced in this journey to get healthier. Did I leave one of your favorites off of the list?