Monday, August 3, 2009

In the last few years, I have acquired a lot of "book learnin" about nutrition, exercise and certainly weight loss. Even so, I read tons of nutrition news every week and found 7 Keys to Weight Loos by Johns Hopkins pretty useful. None of these tips were news to me but I find being reminded about what I know can often motivate me and help me stay on track.

#7 is a good one: "Emphasize What You Can Eat, Not What You Can’t." Earlier this year, I had an epiphany. I've spent actual years thinking "I can't eat this," "I can't eat that." Yet, I love food; I love cooking it and eating it. I love watching others eat it. What if I tuned in on foods that are the most supportive of me and ate those? Perhaps more importantly, what if I shifted my focus to the foods I choose to eat rather than focusing on the "shouldn'ts?"

I made a list of foods I want to eat every day or every week, and those I will still eat, but occasionally or rarely. Then I ran the whole list through Nutrition Data to see if I could stay within my calorie range an
d get reasonably good nutritional balance. Guess what? I can. And do. These are my foods. I love them. And when my diet is comprised of my personal "super foods," I don't often miss the stuff on the "occasional" or "rarely" lists. I think this is partly because I'm full and also because I really like what I'm eating.

There is a downside. My
family does get tired of these foods; they're not as naturally amenable to "food ruts" as I am. So I quite often cook them "regular" food but serve myself from the list. And slowly but surely, they are falling in love with these foods too. Pumpkin, bell peppers, blueberries, avocados, yogurt and chickpeas (in the form of hummus) are getting pretty tough to keep around.

In case you want to try it yourself, here are my top ten foods that I eat daily or several times a week:

Sweet Potatoes or pumpkin and red bell peppers
Lean meats (especially chicken, tuna and fish) and eggs
Healthy oils, including olive oil and avocados
Blueberries (as well as bananas and apples)
Leafy greens (now mostly spinach and "field greens; but in the spring lots of collard greens)
Brown rice
Walnuts (or almonds)
Beans, particularly black beans, split peas and chick peas
Lowfat/Nonfat yogurt or milk

Let me know how it goes for you!

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