Friday, April 30, 2010

It's more about choosing the right foods then avoiding the wrong ones

When people go on a diet, it's easy to villainize foods. Donuts are bad, as is cake, chips or ice cream. When thinking about a diet, you think about all the things you can't have. All the things you should avoid.

But, another way of thinking about it is to look at the foods that you can have and the foods your body needs. This can be done on a big scale, in terms of looking at your overall eating habits, or on a smaller scale, looking at a day, or a meal at a time.

When I've gone off track, I'll sometimes look back at my day and all I see is the things I shouldn't have eaten. If I look closer though, the same days that I eat things that I didn't need are also the days that I lacked the things I do. Usually, I didn't have enough fruit, vegetables, dairy or protein.

When I need a snack, what works for me is to think about my day and think about what is lacking in my diet. If I haven't had many milk products, maybe I need yogurt. Lacking protein? I'll grab a boiled egg and a fruit. Maybe some raw vegetables to fill that gap.

When I focus on eating the foods that I should eat, I feel good. I feel satisfied. And I don't miss the foods that should have only a small place in my eating plan.

In my last post, I mentioned that snacks are often the time of day that I fall off track, so I've decided to institute a week long series where I share one snack I've had that day. Some of them will be my standbys, and for others I'm going to try new combinations.

Today, I was ravenously hungry after a bike ride, and with a quick look in the fridge, I found myself some homemade roasted red pepper and garlic hummus. I ate it with raw celery, carrots, and orange pepper. This was one of those times I was glad I had cut some vegetables up in advance!

Note: I didn't eat all the hummus or all the vegetables. There's certain foods I have to portion out, and others that I feel safe just munching on as I can exercise portion control. For me, this is a fairly safe snack.

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