In my healthy diet plan, we eat “regular” food, focusing on foods we CAN eat. We are very careful of ingesting obesogens, which are hormone disrupters that keep people from losing weight and staying healthy, even if they have a healthy diet.
Even though I made it part of my regular shopping routine, I have found I like reading nutrition labels as much as I like waxing my car.
To make matters worse, the marketing blurbs written on food packaging are confusing. The outer wrapper reads “A healthy natural choice for your family with 0 grams of trans fat per serving!” The nutrition label indicates the product has partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup.
There were days when I almost gave up on my attempts to consume healthy foods because it seemed so complicated.
To Simplify Your Healthy Diet Plan,
Eat “Regular Food”
I chose to no longer purchase foods that are low fat, no fat, less fat, reduced fat, or fat free.
My only exception is with dairy products. I drink low-fat milk and eat low-fat sour cream, yogurt, and cream cheese. There is no such thing as fat free in my healthy diet plan because I believe my body needs fat to feel full and stay healthy.
I admit my family is lucky to have healthy cholesterol levels. I realize that fat free dairy products can be an important part of a low cholesterol diet and some people may need to make this part of their own healthy diet plan.
Be careful! Many items labeled “reduced fat” must replace that fat with something. That something might be more sugar, which increased the total number of calories I was eating and subsequently made me feel even hungrier. The problem was that when I ate or drank the less fat option, I didn’t feel satisfied.
After eating a fat free rice cake, I had a piece of chocolate cake because I was still hungry. After all, they both had the word “cake” in their title, and the rice cake should have worked in the first place. Right?
Counting fat grams for either good fats or bad fats is not something that I realistically can do on a daily basis. I’m too busy counting kids, lunchboxes, and pairs of socks to record the fat content of my lunch.
I concentrated on choosing good foods, and eating a reasonable portion of those foods. What I learned is that every calorie of food I ate nourished my body. When I had proper nutrition, my body did not need or want junk food, just a healthy diet plan.
Foods You Want to Eat
When my kids became old enough to chant the battle cry of, “Mom, What’s for Dinner?” I had to focus on good food choices for my family, not on what I thought was an unhealthy option. I was not ready to engage my oldest daughter in significant negotiations over why she couldn’t eat coffee cake for dinner.
I learned to deliver meal and snack choices with great enthusiasm. If I was excited about the food options, perhaps my children would not notice there were no candy bars or onion rings on the menu. For this, I focused on the right foods to enjoy, and eventually forgot about what was not good for me.
Once I understood which food choices worked for me, I had to decide how often to eat them on a daily basis. I had a difficult enough time remembering where I left my house keys, never mind counting how many servings of each food group I had consumed every day. Since I was unwilling to perform this basic math function, I decided to put the foods into categories like this:
|Breakfast||A.M. Snack||Lunch||P.M. Snack||Dinner|
|Grain/Cereal, Dairy, Fruit, Protein (optional if you have dairy)||Protein||Protein, Vegetable, Dairy, Grain||Protein and Fruit or Vegetable||Protein, Vegetable, Fruit, Grain(optional), Dairy|
I had all the food components in my kitchen. I could combine them anyway I wanted and still be confident I was providing a health day’s worth of food to my family.
Below is a short list of food choices that I include in my daily healthy diet plan. I am mentioning these specific foods because I buy them instead of alternatives that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup.
I have also included items that provide a better balance of sugar and fiber and do not contain caffeine. A longer list of great food choices is shown in the shopping list section. Or check for a short list of foods in the best healthy foods to eat.
1. Olive Oil
2. Healthy dairy products including milk, yogurt, and cheese
3. Lean protein including chicken, seafood, and steak
4. Fruit, fresh and frozen with no sugar added. Orange juice 2 times a week. Watch for obesogens in your fruits and vegetables.
5. Colorful vegetables. Watch for the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.
6. Healthy breakfast cereal with less than 6 grams of sugar.
7. Whole grain products
8. Pasta, preferably whole grain pasta
9. Regularly scheduled healthy snacks including nuts and power bars
10. Drink plain or sparkling water to lose weight and stay healthy
11. Decaffeinated tea and coffee