So, here is the second half of what is working for me. Please remember I am *not* an expert. Some of the food choices I post here may not be the healthiest (best) choice for everyone. This is still a new lifestyle for me, so I may not have all the kinks worked out just yet.
However, that being said, I have never felt better than I am feeling these days. I have plenty of energy, my body hardly ever aches, and I feel satisfied (not hungry) all day long.
As you may or may not know (depending on how long you have been reading my blog), I was advised by a doctor to avoid enriched flours. So, I have been scouring grocery stores for breads and pastas that are completely whole wheat/grain. This task proved a little more challenging than I initially thought it would. I hope that I can save someone else a little time when searching for healthy foods in a primarily unhealthy grocery industry.
Nature’s Pride – This line has a variety of breads including 100% Whole Wheat (my preferred bread) and Double Fiber (this had a peculiar taste to me, not bad, just strange). Also, NP Country White bread does not list *enriched* flour in the ingredients, so if you absolutely cannot do wheat or grain bread, this is probably a better option than “regular” white bread.
Nature’s Own – This brand has really delicious “sandwich rounds” for those who do not like a lot of bread with a sandwich. They have 100% whole wheat rounds that have only 100 calories each (and 20g of whole grain per serving).
Flat Out – For those who prefer wraps to sandwiches, these are *amazing* in every way. They taste delicious, they are the softest “tortillas” I have ever found in any grocery store, they are awesome. I have found two varieties: Healthy Grain (100 calories, 8g fiber, 12g whole grain) and Light Italian (90 calories, 9g fiber, 8 g whole grain).
Thomas’ – Thomas’ now has 100% whole wheat bagels. I, personally, love bagels. I do not eat them often, but I really do love them. I was excited to see a whole wheat version in Bigg’s the other night, so I grabbed them. Honestly, the bagels (just as with most other bagels today) are a little on the big size, so I would probably opt to have half at one point during the day, and half some other time. One bagel has 240 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 saturated), 10 g protein, and 48 g whole wheat.
Ronzoni – This brand has a complete line of “Healthy Harvest” pastas, all of which are whole grain. A serving size on the rotini box I have here is 2 ounces. Each serving contains 180 calories, 1 g fat (0 saturated), 7 g protein, and 30 g of whole grain.
Barilla – Most of the pasta we consume now is Ronzoni brand, but they do not have lasagna noodles in their “Healthy Harvest” line. So, that is where Barilla comes in. The great thing about Barilla? Their pastas (at least all the ones I read) do not have enriched flour, really. The box of lasagna noodles I have here is primarily made of semolina (wheat), and durum flour. Of course, I have no idea what durum flour is, but I don’t *think* it is the same as enriched flour. Either way, when we “need” lasagna, Barilla is my brand.
Rice-A-Roni – Rice-A-Roni now has a line of “Whole Grain Blends.” The box I have sitting in front of me is Chicken & Herb Classico, and the picture looks fabulous. I have yet to try it, but when I do I will certainly let you know.
Near East – This brand boasts “100% Natural” right on the front of the box. I have two boxes here, one is couscous (broccoli & cheese) and the other is long grain & wild rice (roasted vegetable & chicken).
Snacks and Dessert
Triscuit – As far as I can tell this is the *only* brand that manufactures 100% whole grain/wheat crackers. Wheat Thins even contains enriched flour (boo!). When I first bit into a Triscuit it reminded me of shredded wheat (you know, the cereal), but without the sweetness. Honestly, it skeeved me out a little, but I got over it. I actually like Triscuits now, and I often eat a few with a reduced fat cheese stick.
Reko – Even though I have not been *craving* anything sweet I still enjoy a little something every now and then. Reko allows me to have something sweet without wrecking my whole day (or week). Pizzelles. They are Italian style cookies, and they are delightful. One cookie is about the size of my hand, but only has 23 calories. One serving is 6 cookies (I usually only eat one or two). Each serving has 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 saturated), 3 g protein. These cookies taste like fortune cookies…or a waffle cone for ice cream (in my opinion anyway). Yummy.
Snyder – Tortilla chips. I love them. Snyder tortilla chips are the best (in my opinion). The ingredient list could not possibly be shorter, and the taste could not possibly be better. They are still not the healthiest choice, but if you are going to have tortilla chips anyway…you might as well get the best option.
Outside of all this processed food…I make sure to have fresh fruits and veggies on hand *always*. We typically have at least five different kinds of fruit in the house on any given day. Right now we have bananas, apples, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi. When I want/need a snack, I would much rather grab an orange than whatever else I used to grab (which believe me was *much* worse than an orange). One change I made when I started taking care of myself is purchasing *smaller* fruit (bananas, apples, oranges). Once upon a time I would pick out the biggest bananas on the display. Today, I choose bananas that are about 6 inches in length. This makes it *much* easier to control portion sizes.
As I discover new products along my journey I will be sure to share them with you all. If you have any comments or recommendations please feel free to share with me. I certainly hope this will help someone.