Stacy's Place on Earth
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Thursday, August 13, 2009:
Eating healthy, aka I'm reeealllly huuuungry!!!
A few weeks ago, a co-worker, the one who attended the Diana Gabaldon booksigning with me, suffered a mild heart attack. She's in her early 50's, and needless to say, it was a wake-up call. Not just to her, but to others who know her. It sure made me really take a serious look at my eating habits. I've never paid a lot of attention to what I eat. As long as it tastes good and feeds the hunger, it worked. I always thought that hey, I'm young enough, I don't need to worry about what I eat. Eat McDonald's everyday? So what, right?

Well, no, not so much. My family medical history is pretty scary. We've got it all - cancer, heart disease, arthritis, addictions, Parkinson's, emphysema, it's all there. We're pretty doomed. My uncle died of a heart attack at age 51. My dad had quadruple bypass surgery last summer at the age of 65. My mom smoked & drank through all her pregnancies. As Bucky Covington would say, "It Was a Different World". Yet did we turn out alright? I don't know. The last time I had a physical, within the last year, I was good to go on for awhile longer.

But after Karen's mild heart attack, I've done some re-evaluating and for the last 2 weeks, I've been eating really healthy: spinach and tomatoes. Peapods and zucchini and cucumbers. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, honeydew and grapes. Radishes. Peaches. Apples, bananas, pears. Carrots and lettuce. Not that I'm not eating bad stuff too - I still crave bacon and McD's vanilla iced coffees and will indulge a bit - but I'm trying to take better care of myself. And of course, drinking plenty of water.

It's hard. Not impossibly hard, but I'm obsessing over food more than ever. I feel like I'm constantly hungry, so food is what I think about most of the time. Like right this minute. I'm craving something fattening and loaded with cholesterol. Someone said to eat every 3-4 hours. I'd prefer every 3-4 minutes. See my problem here?

So I guess my question today is, what ways do you use to stay healthy? What kinds of foods do you eat and how do you keep it interesting? I admit, I'm not much of a cook - it's the preparation that drives me nuts. So if you do have some simple, throw-it-together recipes, feel free to share. Like a spinach salad with strawberries, walnuts, and peppers. What salad dressings do you swear by? And it doesn't just have to be fruit & veggies. Maybe there are other things you eat that are good for you. For the record I have tried turkey bacon and it's, well, different.

So thanx for whatever helpful tips you can pass along. Though the deck might be stacked against me, I don't want to actively follow in my family's footsteps when it comes to my health. It's never too late to start, right?



  1. good for you for doing something for yourself and your health. It takes little steps and doesn't come overnight, but is totally worth it. Moderation is really the key though. If you totally deprive yourself of anything you love, you're going to crave it and eventually you'll give in and eat way more than is good for you. My advice would first be, have the things you love in moderation but MEASURE everything for a week or so and write it down. It's amazing how our portion sizes can grow without us even knowing it.

    One of my go-to snacks is pretty simple. A couple of dollops of plain fat-free yogurt (I like the tangy flavor without drowning it in sugar, but it is an acquired could also use the FF sweetened stuff). Chop up strawberries (or blueberries or other berries). Toss a 1/4 cup of those fiber/bran twigs on top. Mix all together and eat like dessert. :) The yogurt gets you some dairy, you need fiber and of course, fruit is healthy stuff.

    One of my morning faves (just polished it off actually) is sauteed veggies (mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomatoes) scrambled with egg white. I put it either on a low-fat english muffin or on soft corn tortillas (way better for you than the white flour kind). Add salsa. Yum. :)

    Good luck to you and hang in there. *hugs*

  2. Oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to fill up. You don't need alot and it keeps you feeling full for a while. It's low in fat and healthy.

    And yogurt frequently is good also. And good for the female body! SOmetimes I'll buy the vanilla containers and fresh fruit. But usually just the fat free prepared cups.

    I crave cereal at night, which is actually healthy. I only eat about a serving. It's a heck of alot better than ice cream or some sweet cake :).

    Usually anything that calls for ground meat I buy turkey. Only on occasion do I buy ground beef. And we eat alot of fish and chicken, usually baked, or cooked in the slow cooker. I seldom fry things.

    It's not always easy to eat healthy. I find myself buying frozen chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for dinner becasue it's quick and easy and everyone likes it, but I sit there the whole time thinking, "OMG, there are so many caleries in this one piece of chicken!" My husband knows me so well. He'll shut me up before I even get started, when I start to comment. I'm ussually eating a bowl of cabbage soup or something while he and Devin are eating away those chicken nuggets. Then I feel bad that I fixed them that meal, but they love it, and no way are they eating my cabbage soup! It's enough they had to smell it cook.

  3. Stacy, I feel your pain. High cholesterol runs in my family and I have it. I really have to cut back on red meats now and eat more fruits and veggies. You might try the Hungry Girl website for some great recipes and healthy snack ideas.

    I keep yogurt, natural almonds, and string cheese to snack on at work.

  4. Just like you I am not much of a cook with a fantasy, that is sucked ot one part of my brain LOL Anyway, I grill a lot, try to eat fish at least every other week and I try to cook a lot in a wok.

    With me it is the exercise part that lacks and something I need to do more.

  5. Okay, if you really want simple and healthy, you want to go the green smoothie route. I usually don't do this, but I would recommend you go to my husband's blog, who is a healthy eating coach, for tips on healthy eating, and poke around there for smoothie stuff. Basically, what you do is put greens in a strong blender (we have a special one) with fruits and nuts and things like ginger, etc. to make a delicious drink, and it's like a yummy quick salad in a glass that totally fills you up. I have one for lunch almost every day, and it's like this insanely painless way to get like 9000 servings of fruit and veggies. Plus, you can find lots of ongoing tips there. Good luck.


    The smoothie recipe

  7. Hey Stacy, kudos to you for trying to change your eating habits. I am sorry to say that I have no useful advice for you. I just eat what I want, not because I can, but rather because I am too lazy to prepare something that would be healthier. I eat any and everything, but I am trying to change that. I am sure you will get some great advice here.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  8. Good for you! I'm in the same pinch. The only one in my family who doesn't have hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes. Yikes! So we either grill or broil our meat every night, no sauce (except BBQ or occasional A1, and the key to keeping it juicy is don't turn it or take it off with a fork!), and have a salad or veggie and a bread of some sort with it most nights. We indulge on spaghetti night with garlic bread, but I'm saved from eating it all by having 2 teenage boys :)

    Point being, I avoid sauces, casseroles, etc. I don't use mayo or salt.

    For breakfast (when I remember) I like the Orowheat double fiber english muffins w/butter spray on them. Tasty!

    And I try to take a 15 minute walk at lunch each day. Doesn't always happen, though.

  9. Aww gods I've recently come off of the South Beach Diet, which just made me more food obsessed and infatuated with evil carbs.

    I like what I did before. I limited my calorie intake (I use to 1200 and just focused on healthy foods that I enjoy. I planned my meals and if I'm in a jam bought my lunch at the grocery store. Albertsons offers Hot roasted chicken breasts, fresh fruit and salads to go - just stay away from the ranch/creamy dressings and you'll save your calories. On the weekends I would have my frozen yogurt dairy treat and would try and limit any sugar during the week. This worked really well for me, I felt healthy and hardly got sick. I'm a very visual person and I'm also super busy and lazy in the kitchen...I need inspiration so I go online and grab healthy recipes with photos, so I can get in the mood and be inspired. It really works! I've also tried the Vegan lifestyle and for the first two weeks felt awesome, after that too much soy overload and started not to feel well. So I go by my own body's way of telling me what to eat and what not to eat. And I always make sure to buy my groceries at a Trader Joes or organic sections in the grocery stories to eliminate bad processed foods and chemicals. TJ's is cheaper and I also has pre-made quickie meals, hopefully you have one in your area.

    Great post I had to edit myself because I could go on for hours, geesh.

  10. I will agree with moderation on everything. I jsut try to stay brown. Brown rice, brown paste and brown bread. But I am just as bad, because I do not eat a healthy breakfast. And exercise, but that is something that I am lacking in right now... Not very motivated.
    I do the instant brown rice, 10 mins in microwave. I smoother things down too... With extra vigrin olive oil. No "sauces", I just the juice from what I am cooking, broth and water. But if prep time is bothersome... there a lot of web sites out there... I just hate going there, because "realistically" I never have any of that stuff in my house. So, I just wing it!
    Good luck and please let me know how it goes for you.

  11. Oh Stacy, we're walking the same path! In an effort to stop my stomach from eating itself (stree-related) I went to see a nutritionist. No coca cola and a healthy eating plan. And I'm always hungry too!

    I have bran and stewed apple for breakfast - healthy and good for the GIT! It's the lack of coca cola that is driving me insane. It would be like someone giving up coffee! I'm going to stick to the fiet for 3 weeks and see how I feel. I know coke has lots of sugar, but maybe I can stick to 1 can per day...and eat more healthily overall...

    Good luck!

  12. Kudos to you for trying to eat better. I agree with most the comments here, moderation is the key. Wheat bread is a great filler, I eat PB&Js on wheat regularly for lunch, it holds me over until dinner with just a snack in between like a banana or orange. Oh, and trail mixes help stave off the hunger pangs too. I'm big on eating fresh vegetables, love 'em.

    Good luck!!

  13. While quickly browsing through the comments I saw the word "moderation" that's key. Look at the serving sizes on things-- It's really surprising. Some of those big grab chips in the vending machine? 2.5 servings...How many of us eat one serving roll up the bag and put it away for later? I'm guessing very few!!! Look at a box of macaroni a lot of people will eat a whole box. There's like 2 or 3 servings. It's pretty crazy when you actually look a the nutritional info that gives you serving sizes.

    Eat a lot of protein it's supposed to help keep you fuller for longer.

    Weight Watchers is a really good program--even if you're just trying to be healthier and not actually lose weight. They STRESS portion control and having a REASONABLE more active lifestyle. They stress "moving more" not necessarily killing yourself at the gym 5 days a week!

    One of my friends sent me this interesting article:

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