I like to eat food, though I’m picky as hell, and I’ve got some strange eating habits. I’ve been adjusing them as I lose my extra weight, and they’re more or less working for me, or I tweak more. I’m eating less fake meat, more real meat. I’ve been semi-veg most of my life, but I find these days (because I exercise a lot?), if I don’t proactively eat a bit of red meat occasionally, I’ll crave burgers. I do eat a burger maybe once a month, maybe 1/3 of the time with fries, usually with salad. I’m eating more fat, less processed carbs. This means full fat cottage cheese, yogurt, mozzerella, but skip the pretzels, crackers, bread. I use butter, but not in copious amounts. I probably eat more cheese than I should, but I don’t like meat, and don’t usually care for vegan. I also burn through my food quickly, so if I don’t eat moderate fat at least, I have to eat more often, which is more effort, work, thought, etc.
I eat a few slices of bread/week. PB&J on regular ww bread if I go hiking, not often these days, due to rain and price of gas. One of my favorite breakfasts is an omelette. I sautee shiitakes, add spinach or bok choy or micro-greeens, one slice of chopped bacon, a handful of cheese, an egg, all on a slice of 12 grain toast. Very high fiber meal, and though it sounds heavy, consider that I used to go out 2-3 times a week for bacon/eggs, which was usually 2 eggs, 2-4 bacon, home fries, two slice of whole wheat colored toast with that butter flavored liquid that they drip on that, whatever it is (trans-fat?). No fiber or veggies, and 2-3 times the food. An easier and more common breakfast is home-made wild lox, chive and cream cheese schmear, spread on two ww mini-bagels, from TJs, with sprouts of micro-greens on top. Just today I changed to cream cheese from neufchatel, because the low-fat has me hungry again in three hours (I’m lazy and don’t want to have to think about what to eat all the time). Other things that I eat are dry cereal (used to use chocolate soy milk, but now I eat it dry and crunchy like potato chips), fake bacon (going to drop this when supplies run out-maybe), and my new meal, a dollop of greek yogurt with a mini-banana, a few strawberries, and blueberriesif I have them, and triticale flakes. Unlike Dannon or Yoplait, this is not pre-sweetened yogurt, thus all the fruit to make it edible. Those strange grain flakes are also not sweetened, though they look like granola, they taste bland. I also just switched from sugar in my coffee to Splenda, though I think I’m going to switch back, it seems to make me anxious when my stomach is empty. Or else I could just eat some food with coffee, as opposed to an hour or two later, as I’ve been doing.
Lunch and dinner are interchangeable, depending on what I’m doing. If I’m eating a big meal, I try to make it at lunch, and then I can just eat salad for dinner, maybe with an ear of corn or sweet potato (this is decided by hunger levels, not calorie counting). Occasionally I’ll eat a hot dog w/onions on a sprouted whole grain bun, or a veggie burger w/onions and potato chips on a whole wheat bun. I go out and buy the smallest bag of chips I can find, which used to be 1 serving but is now 2.5. I put as many as will fit on the burger, and inhale the rest. (Potato chips are the only thing I think of when people discuss trigger foods) I eat a veggie burrito once a week (used to be a lot more often when I lived in SF), and that will keep me full for at least 8 hours, easy and cheap. I don’t mind this at all, my blood sugar is stable (exercise?) and if I liked being that stuffed, I would eat huge meals more often. Whole wheat tortilla, brown rice, cheese,whole beans, piles of salsa-not so bad, just big. I make pizza sauce from tomato paste and garlic and herbs, and put it on whole wheat pitas, with broccoli and roasted peppers and onions and mushrooms and pepperoni. I shred hot pepper jack cheese and mozzerella once every month or two and store it in the freezer, use it for this and the omelettes. I always have this in the house, but if I want cheese to munch, there is none. The bacon I also make 6-8 pieces at once, store in the freezer, take out one slice at a time. Cooking and the single woman, gotta make shortcuts, ya know?
I also try to keep leftovers. Tomorrow I make macaroni casserole, and I’ve already sauteed maitake mushrooms, roasted zucchini, eggplant, sweet red chilis. Tomorrow I’ll add a can of tomato paste and a large can of crushed tomatoes, maybe some mirin, herbs, make some sauce. I’ll add some cheese mix, also ricotta, and mix it with whole wheat macaroni. It seems most people try to cut pasta out of their lives, and I could see the potential problem with overeating this dish, except for the whole wheat macaroni, which will ensure that I don’t. Also to be made later this week is cauliflower soup, which I have some purple cauliflower, purple potatoes, and I’ll add yogurt and herbs and chicken broth and wild rice and whatever else makes it taste okay. Sugar?
I add sugar to a lot of my food, but I still think I eat less of it than anybody who eats processed food a lot. A lot of food that I eat elsewhere is very sweet to me. I rarely drink soda, usually just ginger ale on an airplane, maybe another time or two per year. I don’t often eat cake, though on rare occasion I’ll split a slice of chocolate cake, or eat one or those mini-cupcakes. I always have dark chocolate almonds in the house, and they often go rancid, even stored in fridge, because I forget them. I eat a LOT of fruit, and lots of veggies, sometimes as salad, sometimes as crudites if I’m feeling lazy. I make dressing from mustard, olive oil, hempseed oil, balsamic and white wine vinegar. I steam kale or collards a few times/week, sprinkle with lemon juice. I was mixing these greens, or broccoli, with some spicy tofu skin from my farmers market, but last time I bought it, it was nasty, so I’m taking a break. Sometimes I make fish, stir-fry, curries, random other stuff.
I think most of my current eating habits are compromises from what I used to eat to what I have decided is healthy and what I need to do to lose/maintain my weight loss. If I try to eat too healthy, I won’t like it, and will toss it and eat something much worse. If I don’t put the bacon and cheese in my egg, I won’t stand the veggies and whole grain bread. If I don’t put the pepperoni on my pizza, I won’t tolerate the veggies. If I don’t put sugar in my pizza sauce/pasta sauce/soup, and it’s bitter, I won’t eat it, thus missing out on all those veggies.
I don’t have a perfect diet, but I consider it far better than the frozen fried chicken, canned soup, grilled cheese, and mozz/tomato sauce on an english muffin that I ate growing up. I never ate with the family, as they always discussed my sister’s athletics, and I hated meat, which is what they usually ate. No garlic, onion, spices, beans, fish, full-fat dairy in my childhood home. We did eat produce, at least. I think I’ve come a long way.
Some of this may seem kind of heavy for a weight losing middle aged woman, but I keep my metabolism somewhat jacked up, between exercise and cigarettes. Plus, only half my genetics are working against me, as my mom is one of those freaks who eats junk food all day and doesn’t gain. Not so my dad. I got big from bingeing, dieting, and general overeating. Even when I wasn’t eating disordered, I still ate too much. Now I can eat anything, and if it’s heavy, I eat less. I’m really liking this intuitive eating stuff, as it makes the food bit comfortable, as opposed to the batshit crazy it’s always been until quite recently. Best of all, I think it’s sustainable, meaning I can do this the rest of my life, not temporarily.