Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Add Flavor, Not Calories

One thing that I've struggled with since my second child was born is my weight. I lost all my pregnancy weight and then some very soon after my son was born, and it didn't take a lot of effort. After my daughter was born, I also managed to lose all my pregnancy weight. But I breastfed her a lot longer than my son. And I could eat just about anything while I was breastfeeding her, and never gained a single pound. My unhealthy eating habits carried-over long after I stopped breastfeeding, and the pounds just racked up. And like many women, I'm not happ with my weight or my body. *sigh*

I've had to learn the hard way to watch what I eat. I know the problem foods, but it's so hard to avoid them. Like ice cream! My all-time favorite. I simply can't part with ice cream. And I can't eat just one or two scoops. I'm more of a ziggy piggy. Pile it on, that's my motto.

But enough of what I've done wrong. I'm doing my best to do things right. The exercise? Yeah, that'll have to wait for another day...for now. Today I can focus on eating healthier foods. It amazes me that I can use half the amount of meat that I once cooked with, and we still have leftovers, and our tummies are full, and I have not just two adults but two children who are also eating. That doesn't mean that we don't like our food. Instead, we've cut back on our portion sizes, and I make a point to prepare more fresh side dishes like fruits and veggies. I wasn't always so good about having the fruits & veggies--usually we had at least one side, but not always. Instead, we used to have lots of carbs & starches. Not always such a good thing.

Also, I used to pile on the wrong kind of ingredients with our meat. It was part of our main meal, and I guess I just didn't know any better. Now don't get me wrong, I don't always use the right ingredients to make the healhiest of sauces, but I try to be smart. If a recipe calls for cream of chicken soup, I'll use the reduced sodium/fat version. For canned vegetables, I look for the "no salt added". I also don't use canned vegetables as often, but prefer to reserve them as a short-term food storage item. These are just a couple of ways that I've tried to reign in our unhealthy eating habits.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll highlight different ways to add flavor to your meals, instead of adding calories. These will be, of course, just suggestions. I'm certainly not the expert as I'm learning and still trying to put some ideas in to practice. But hopefully they'll help you in your quest for healthier eating.

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