Sunday, December 02, 2012

How I eat

I've kept off a 40 pound plus weight loss for more than 4 years now, and a big part of how I've learned to eat  is by using decadent ingredients in small quantities.  I've also had to follow a low salt diet at times (harder than losing weight!), which introduced additional highly flavored  ingredients.  Here are my favorites.

Sweet Ones:

Callebaut Chocolate Chips (60% Cocoa Mass)
Valhrona Cocoa Powder
Frozen Cherries (no pits!)
No sugar added apricot jelly
Peanut Butter (in moderation)
Molasses (in moderation)
Brown Sugar (in moderation)
Pumpkin pie spice
Chocolate Syrup (Hershey's Special Dark)

Savory Ones:

Bacon Salt
Truffle Oil
Truffle Salt
Balsamic Vinegar
Ponzo Sauce (citrusy and soy together, yum!)
Eggs with runny yolks
Bacon bits
Chicken Sausage
Parmesan cheese
Pesto (find different types/flavors)
Roasted nuts (I find these hard to moderate, though)
Cultured Whey Chipotle Yogurt Cheese (low sodium, lactose free, reduced fat & hard to find)
Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime
Lemon & Lime Juice
Fresh and roasted garlic
Bolthouse Farms Dressings
Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
cherry tomatoes (plain, roasted or sauteed)
sliced mushrooms (adds unami)
garlic gold garlic nuggets
smoked salt
smoked meats & cheeses
real butter (in moderation, and only where you notice it -- like on toast)
goat cheese (lower in fat than other cheese, and very flavorful)
curry paste
light coconut milk
avocado (in moderation)
artichoke hearts
heart of palm
frank's read hot
feta cheese (fat free or reduced fat)
muir glen fire roasted tomatoes

Healthy Base Ingredients:

These aren't super exciting by themselves, but they generally have a low calorie density and when combined with some of the ingredients below make for a good meal or snack.
Pumpkin (use as a substitute for fat in baking goods, also good as a flavoring)
Chickpeas (there are a lot of surprising recipes using pureed beans to get a good goey texture in both sweet and savory dishes)
Frozen Overripe Bananas
Steel Cut Oats (The other kinds don't keep me full)
MultiGrain Bread (La Brea or something similar) (in moderation)
plain popcorn
polenta/grits (easy in the microwave)
Egg Substitute
 lean proteins:  shrimp, shellfish, tofu, poultry, 96% lean ground beef, etc.
Nonfat Greek Yogurt
Skim Milk

Examples of how I use these:

Tonight's dinner (fend for yourself, so I wasn't pleasing anyone else) was a broccoli bowl.  Steamed broccoli (2-3 servings), an egg over easy dumped on top, truffle oil, truffle salt, and parmesan.  Yum.

Tomorrow's breakfast (for me and both kids):  Breakfast Quinoa.  I just made a batch of quinoa (thank you microwave rice button).  Tomorrow I'll reheat single servings and top with chocolate chips and defrosted cherries.

One of my default breakfasts is an egg scramble -- mushrooms and tomatoes, sauteed, scrambled with half a cup of egg substitute, topped with half an ounce of chipotle cheese.

Frozen fruits, microwaved to create a "sauce", topped with greek yogurt and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Most of my household loves savory oatmeal -- overnight steel cut oats (in the microwave), topped with bacon bits, some sort of cheese, and (for me, at least) sauteed onions/garlic/tomatoes/mushrooms.

A quick soup for a work-from-home day -- chicken broth, curry paste, shrimp, light coconut milk.

Greek yogurt with sauteed fruit & brown sugar, or sauteed tomatoes, or canned pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice.

Banana "ice cream" with peanut butter and cocoa powder.

Celery or apples with peanut butter.

Baked oatmeal (with banana for sweetness and consistency, and chocolate chips for decadence).

Tall-nonfat-no whip mocha.  :)

Shrimp & garlic sauteed in half butter half olive oil, served over polenta.

Is this a perfect way to eat?  No...  but it's better than a lot of the alternatives, and keeps my weight consistent and my family well fed. 

p.s.  I'd be happy to share specific recipes if anyone is interested.