Category Archives: Food

Dieting – I Miss Dessert

What to do? What to do? I miss my sweets.

I thought I’d be well over my need for sweets after trying to watch my diet for a few weeks. But the truth is, even if you stop eating cake and pie and cookies, etc., there’s so much sugar and sucrose and every other kind of sweetener in most of the other foods we eat that it’s impossible to stay away from sugar.

I used to be able to cut out sweets pretty easily. After a week or so, the craving disappears. No more. Sugar has invaded most everything we eat nowadays. This is my new solution.

After I eat dinner, I allow myself to eat a piece of hard candy. Sometimes I sit back and have a coffee flavored one. That’s almost as good as having a cup of coffee and a piece of cake.

Othertimes, I pop in a root beer barrel or some other taste treat I like. So far, it’s working.

A Fabulous Diet Tip–Potato Chips

I love potato chips. However, whenever I pig out on them, I usually go on one of my guilt trips. Here’s a way to avoid some of the calories, and stop beating up on yourself.

Buy a large bag of potato chips. Buy a box of ziploc bags (sandwich size).

Empty the entire bag of chips onto your clean kitchen counter. Now read the potato chip bag. How many servings does the bag hold? My bag had 10 servings and each serving equaled 130 calories.

I wanted to keep my snacking to 100 calories. So, I separated the chips into 12 servings instead of 10 and put each serving into a ziploc bag. You’ll be surprised how many chips are in a 100 calorie serving–certainly enough to fill the salty  pangs of hunger.

Carefully place the small bags of chips back into the large bag. You’re good to go.

Try it.

Late Night Diet Snack

I like to watch TV in the evening and snack. It’s a habit I’m trying to break. But I’m not always successful. That doesn’t mean I’m not watchful.

The trick is to eat something that will fill up the void and the time. One way to accomplish this is to eat something frozen. That way you’re forced to eat it slow or suffer a brain freeze.

This is my favorite–1/2 cup of frozen blueberries with a big dollop of ReddiWip whipped cream. It takes a while to eat the berries because they’re little, bitty pieces of sweet ice.

I’ll tell you my secret. I eat them right out of my measuring cup. And this tasty snack topped with whipped cream equals 55 calories.

If you’re still hungry after that, pop one of those 100 calorie mini bags of popcorn. That ought to do it. Nighty night.

Dieting Is A Snap If You Have A Cell Phone

As I mentioned in a previous post, to stay healthy and, hopefully lose a few pounds, nothing works better for me than counting calories. So, what do I do when I’m at a party–grazing?

I fill my plate with my favorite foods, remembering moderation. Once my plate is full, I take out my cell phone and snap a picture of all my goodies. Later, when I’m trying to recall what I ate at the party, I look at the photo and calculate as closely as possible how many calories I consumed.

Nifty idea, huh?

Ordinarily, I tend to eat a lot of the same foods, i.e. a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, etc. After a while, I know how many calories I’m swallowing without having to look up the calorie content. As time goes by, counting calories become easier and easier, until finally, at the end of the day, I know whether I’ve stayed on track or gone over.

On A Diet? 130 Calorie Breakfast

Okay, I’ve heard it hundreds of time–On or Off a diet, you need to eat a good breakfast. Personally, I’d rather skip it altogether, but all the studies indicate breakfast is the correct way to start the day.

Do you know what that means? Whole wheat toast, a banana and a cup of coffee–or something equally unappealing– is touted as a healthy breakfast. Like that’s really going to fill me up and get me through the morning?

So, here’s a solution. It works for me. And it’s actually filling.

Take a nice, big, juicy bagel. Slice it in half. (Sorry, you can only have half, but on the bright side, it’s not a slice of wheat toast that tastes like cardboard.)

Toast the bagel, if you like.

Spread on 1 tablespoon of “1/3 less fat cream cheese.” This is Neufchatel Cheese. It is prized in France, so don’t feel sorry for yourself. It’s a real delicacy.

I take my breakfast on the run with a cup of black coffee.

If you happen to be thinking, What? Only one tablespoon of the blasted cheese? Pull yourself together. It’s not the end of the world if you absolutely must slather on 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese.

Just keep in mind, 1 tablespoon of Neufchatel Cheese equals 56 calories–2 tablespoons equals 112. Therefore, you trade up from a 130 calorie breakfast to a 186 calorie breakfast. Still not bad.

Save the other half of the bagel for tomorrow’s breakfast.

A Chiclet Will Help You Diet

Chew on a Chiclet–a regular Chiclet–not sugar-free.

[I’m not a fan of any food containing aspartame. For one thing, it does bad, bad things to the inside of my mouth. There’s plenty to read on the web about aspartame, so you can make up your own mind. Aspartame]

But this post is about keeping unnecessary foods out of your mouth. One of the things I suggest–chew on a Chiclet. There are only 4 calories in a single Chiclet. You don’t need to chew on two of them, although at 4 calories, you can go wild!

Normally, one will do me. It keeps my jaws moving for an hour before the darn thing loses its taste. Really! The taste of peppermint Chiclets goes a long way.

One downside. I have trouble finding Chiclets in the stores. The trend is to chew sugar-free gum, so that’s what most stores carry. When I come across a store that carries Chiclets, I load up.

Anyway, this Chiclet trick works. Anything that will get you through an hour without food or thinking about food is worth a shot.

Dieting? Something You Need To Know

I love my carbohydrates! It’s a fact and I admit it.

My favorite lunch is a sandwich, preferably a hoagie or a sub. What to do? What to do?

I’ve learned it’s best to make my own sandwich, because I can control what goes in it. I don’t use an inch of ham and cheese–no, no. I go easy, but I refuse to give up foods I like. So, the ham and cheese STAYS! (but two slices of each are plenty).

And I use a good amount of lettuce.

Now, here’s the kicker–the one important thing you should be aware of. It’s all about the mayonnaise. Did you know 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise equals 99 calories? What to do? What to do?

I’ll tell  you what to do. Switch to low calorie mayonnaise. It tastes exactly the same as regular mayonnaise, BUT 1 tablespoon equals 36 calories. Can you believe that? If you’re using regular mayonnaise, run as fast as you can to the store and change to low cal immediately. The exercise will do you good, too.

Oh, and if mayonnaise isn’t on your “must have” food list, make your sandwich with mustard. 1 teaspoon of mustard equals 3 calories. Woowee!

Diet By Counting Calories

I’m sorry, but when I’m determined to eat a healthier diet and try to get back in shape, I can’t do it without counting calories. All of these other popular diet plans do nothing for me.

Once I become aware of how many calories I’m putting into my stomach, I begin to adjust and to understand how much I can eat and when I should stop.

A good rule to follow in life is “everything in moderation.” That’s the rule I follow when I decide to take off some pounds. After counting calories for a while, my mind and my body eventually come to a happy understanding and eating right becomes second nature.

In the beginning, though, to get myself on track, I go to my favorite site for help counting calories.

The site has helpful diet hints, but best of all, if you put in your current weight and plug in the amount of pounds you want to lose in a specified time, it calculates the number of calories you can eat in one day in order to reach your goal. Is that somethin’, or what?

Then you list the foods you eat during the day in the Health Tracker. It’s a snap. Sometimes, I even plan my meals for the following day.

Now I’m going in the kitchen to cook some pasta. Pasta? Yep. Because according to my Health Tracker, I’ve only eaten 861 calories today and it’s time for dinner.

I’m not in a huge hurry to lose my weight and I have a lot to lose. However, I’m not a person who is going to starve myself. I’ve given myself two years to lose 80 pounds.

There’s a method to my madness, because in order to do that, I can eat a whopping 1800 calories a day and still take all that weight off. Plus I can easily continue to eat that many calories after the weight melts slowly away. I don’t intend to gain it back!

Just for the record, 1 cup of cooked pasta equals 176 calories. And according to the site’s calculation, I can eat 2 cups without walking away with a busted-up conscience.

Need more laid-back inspiration?    Success or Failure?

Got to go and get that water boiling.

Quick & Easy Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb. ground beef, lean
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 or 2 cans of your favorite vegetable (or leftover veggies)
Instant Mashed Potatoes, you choose the amount of servings
OPTIONALS: Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 can Creamed Corn

Cook beef and onions in skillet until the meat is browned. Spoon into a baking casserole dish.

Prepare instant mashed potatoes. Add Shredded Cheddar, if you like. ** Place the prepared potatoes around the edges of the casserole dish on top of the beef.

Fill the center with vegetables (If using canned veggies, remember to drain beforehand.)

Bake in 425 oven for 15 minutes.   Serves 3 or 4 people.

**FOR A CHANGE OF PACE – Pour the can of creamed corn, straight from the can, over the beef, BEFORE adding the potatoes and veggies. Great!

6 Easy Diet Snacks

I’ve already demonstrated how to cook perfect hard-boiled eggs in my previous post, and they are the first items on my snack list, as well as on Heidi Klum’s.

  1. 2 Hard-boiled Eggs (only 150 calories)
  2. Eat your favorite cereal straight from the box. No milk? More cereal!
  3. Look for The Laughing Cow light cheese spread triangles in the dairy case. 1 triangle = 35 calories. (I can vouch for the Swiss flavor–it doesn’t taste like artificial muck!) 1 triangle easily covers 6 or 7 saltine crackers.
  4. Rice Cake smeared with 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2  sliced banana
  5. Low-fat Cottage Cheese with plenty of fresh blueberries mixed in
  6. Listen up! There are 15 calories in a tablespoon of ReddiWip. Think about that. You can add some really good zippitydoodah to that blah jello. Live a little. Spritz on two whole tablespoons. I’m not talking about that fat free stuff, either. This is the real deal. Jello with fruit with a large dollop of whipped cream. Heaven help us!

Helpful Hints You Probably Already Know:

  • Don’t drink your calories.
  • Stay away from sweets.
  • Eat every morsel of food s-l-o-w-l-y.
  • Be realistic. If you lose one pound in a week, that’s “great.” If you lose 1/2 pound in a week, that’s “very, very good.”
  • Homemade vegetable soup is your friend. It’s easy to make. Empty a large can of chicken broth into a pot. Put every imaginable vegetable you have handy (fresh or frozen) into the broth. Cook over medium heat for at least an hour. Separate into 2-cup containers (or larger, if you want – there’s no limit to the amount you can eat). Then keep the containers handy in the frig and freezer.
  • I’m not even going to mention exercise, because that’s such a pain in the butt. But remember, if you walk down every aisle in the supermarket, or you shop at the mall. Hey, you’re walking–Excellent!
  • Most Important – Don’t beat yourself up. If you hate broiled scallops, but love fried scallops, what the heck. Order them, but fill the rest of your plate with veggies. Also start you meal with a salad. And stick with the cocktail sauce, not the tartar sauce. There you are–no guilty conscience at all.