HealthyHabits - Food Tips (2021)

As we turn the calendar to a new year, it seems a good time for resolutions and healthier eating. Let’s share some tips about nutritious foods and meals. We can discuss old standards as well as new favorites.

REF: I also had 2020 threads, but in the new CC format they are clunky for new posts
FATS - HealthyHabits - what Oils & Fats do you use in your kitchen?
CALCIUM - HealthyHabits - Calcium sources (foods & supplements)
FOODS - HealthyHabits - nutritious food recommendations

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Had to laugh last night when we flipped through the channels and saw a “Toast and Roast” of 2020. During that tough year, did you have any happy discoveries of enjoyable foods that helped make your diet healthier?

I’ll start by mentioning RASPBERRIES since they were part of my breakfast today. The food item itself was not a discovery, but last year I started to sometimes put them on morning oatmeal (along with milk and sometimes sliced almonds or chopped walnuts). I like fresh if we have them, but I also keep a bag in the freezer.

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Random healthy food “exchange” -
If you like ice cream (something I eat way too much of), try freezing Noosa yogurt. It’s really good to eat semi-frozen or even all the way frozen.

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@1214mom- Thanks for the “ice cream” Noosa idea. I see that Walmart Grocery actually has 14 flavors to choose from … will have to give it a try.

I’m a food magazine/cookbook junkie. I have two storage bins of recipes organized by food type. Yesterday I went through both bins and pulled out a bunch of healthy recipes. Today I’m going to create a meal plan for the month and clear out my fridge, freezer, and pantry. Tomorrow I’ll shop. My plan is just to eat good whole foods. For the most part, here are the guidelines I plan to follow:

–lots of fruits and veggies (mostly cruciferous, leafy greens, root veggies, squashes, and berries)
–organic, pastured meat, poultry, and eggs, wild fish
–limited dairy, organic and pastured
–limited sugar
–limited alcohol (a nice red wine or low sugar drink like vodka and seltzer, weekends only
–lowish carb (small amounts of quinoa, brown rice, beans)

It’s basically how we try to eat most of the time anyway, but we stray when there are time constraints and/or when the kids are home. So it’s really just a re-commitment to eating well.

Another “ice cream” suggestion, puree frozen banana chunks in a Cuisinart. I usually add a touch of cream or milk. You can mix in things like vanilla, chocolate powder, nut butter, walnuts, or other fruit (though that makes it a little less creamy).

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ok; not a nutrition expert here. you’re mentioning Noosa because . …it has less fat than ice cream? less sugar? I looooovee Noosa . . . .

I really struggle with carbs. I haven’t been thrilled with alternative pastas (like zoodles, chickpea pasta, etc.) so am probably going to have to just eliminate them because I really have a hard time controlling my intake. Breads are not as much of a problem as they were previously, but I was eating a lot of rice and pastas.

I like Noosa as a dessert alternative, and really any type of berry. Thanks for starting this thread. I’d like to be as organized as @taverngirl - hope you’ll share some of your meal planning ideas.

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Noosa has significantly fewer calories than the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream I love. Plus it has a little protein. Just seems “better for you” but I am no expert, that’s for sure.

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It seems a benefit of Noosa would be the small package size. You can splurge (maybe more than once from the container) but not be tempted by the rest of the ice cream container in the freezer.

Has anybody else switched to PLAIN GREEK YOGURT? I prefer the flavored options, but the plain has far less sugar. Usually I mix it with fresh fruit (which also does have sugar, but in my control) or nuts or cereal. Occasionally I’ll splurge on flavored carton as a treat.

I’m not sure that a small package size would stop me from having more if I want more!

I like Noosa. But I prefer whole milk plain yogurt. I’ve always been a a Stonyfield fan and still like it but have largely switched to Greek Gods greek yogurt (the only greek yogurt I’ve really liked). A typical yogurt meal/snack for me is 1/4-1/2 cup whole fat plain, a fruit (currently eating a lot of pomegranates on it) and a sprinkle of home made granola. Sometimes I’ll drizzle a little honey or maple syrup on it.

I’m someone who can more easily control portion size so if I want ice cream I’ll have it - but just make the amount very reasonable.

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I like plain whole fat Greek yogurt. I buy the Stonyfield Farm grass fed plain. I usually eat it with fresh blueberries. So yummy!

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Have you tried roasting spaghetti squash and using it as noodles with your choice of red sauce/bolognese, etc.? I was skeptical but DH, D19 and I all really like it. S21 still gobbles up regular noodles.

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I’m not a fan of the spaghetti squash noodles. My D likes to put bolognese or pasta sauce on top of roasted cauliflower. I’ve tried it and it’s pretty good. I’ve tried the Banza garbanzo bean pasta but I didn’t like the texture.
I switched to plain yogurt many years ago. I like Straus Family Dairy products- the greek and the European style. I did switch to the whole fat versions several years ago when we learned that fat isn’t evil. For a treat I love Eleni’s yogurt out of Seattle. The passion fruit is so good. If I’m in a healthy routine I’ll use plain yogurt in place of sour cream.
I need to make a hard reset starting tomorrow. It’s been a couple of months of sugar, carbs, good pasta and bread. I don’t have regrets but know my body is telling me I need to eat more vegetables. I have my physical on Thursday and I know the scale isn’t going to be where I want it to be.
Thanks @Colorado_mom for the thread. I’m always open to learning new things.

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Love Fage plain Greek yogurt. For a treat I eat it with lemon curd. Only need a very small amount needed but it’s delicious.

Also trying new olive oils and vinegars for salads. Tried a pear vinegar and pomegranate vinegar with unfiltered olive oil.

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Great comments and suggestions above!

Have folks here heard of VEGANANUARY? A friend who is mostly vegetarian does this vegan challenge each January… Free. It’s too extreme for me to do for a month, but there are some good recipe ideas there.

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This time last year I started intermittent fasting. I lost around 20 pounds and have been maintaining this loss through the holidays. I typically don’t eat for 19 hours a day and eat whole, clean food for 5 hours. I think because I have a window of when I eat I am choosing better foods. It has also really helped with mindless eating, late night eating and just reaching in a bag of chips at 11 am because the bag is there…I think when you eat is just as important as what you eat. I love to cook and meal plan so I’m hoping to get some inspiration from this thread!

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My advice is pretty much Michael Pollen’s: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

I’d change it to eat REAL food.

I rarely buy flavored yogurt. I only buy ice cream for celebrations. I occasionally use a processed spaghetti sauce (partial to Paul Newman) or an Indian curry sauce, but usually they go bad in the fridge before I finish a jar.

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I like Pollan’s philosophy as well and try to follow it as much as possible. That said, I’d be curious to know who has tried any of the plant based meat substitutes now on the market. I recently picked up some cans of Gardein’s soup and enjoyed everything about it except for the price which I found high.

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I have tried spaghetti squash - I think it’s a mental/texture thing for me. I just can’t get past the idea of what I think pasta should be like! I even tried those shiritaki noodles. No go.

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