Sometimes when you are trying to "think" of healthy things to eat---your mind goes blank. Therefore I send you this listing of 100 super foods to help. Use these as individual foods or in combination dishes (soups, stews, casseroles, etc)
I agree, it can be difficult finding a balance, and you have to do what's right for you.
When I first started, all I did was track what I was already eating. That's it. For almost 2 weeks I just looked at what I was eating. From there, I started to see where I could cut back a little bit to actually get in to my calorie ranges. So instead of 2 tbsp of mayo in my tuna salad, I would do 1 tbsp of mayo and 1 of mustard, and instead of 3 cups of pasta, I would do 2 and toss it with some veggies that I knew I liked. From there I tried to get more efficient, and started looking at overall nutrients and what worked best for me (usually going higher on protein and fat), and figuring I could do just 1 cup of pasta, a veggie based sauce with a little olive oil, and a slightly bigger helping of salmon. After that I started substituting foods completely, realizing that yogurt and fruit was as sustainable a breakfast for me as a breakfast burrito (sometimes, not always!).
Long story short - this was a very slow evolution, and a year and a half later I'm still evolving and slowly adding a healthy choice. I'm absolutely not "perfect" - I think perfect is a path to insanity! But you don't have to be perfect. You just have to try to make a good choice as often as you can, and sometimes that good choice is the one you WANT. Don't think of it as a mistake, it's just another opportunity to make a choice.
Sarah - it IS a balance, and there is no one right answer. Eating heathy(ier) does take some work---you can't mindlessly wander in the grocery store picking up whatever catches your eye. It's a process---you don't go from being a fast food/boxed mac and cheese person to a salmon and oatmeal person in a day.
I started out by doing a LOT of label reading and research on my own, finding the healthiest version of the foods I like that still taste good to me. Like you, I just don't care for the whole wheat pasta, so the white/fiber kind is my compromise. I started trying healthier cereals and found quite a few that I really like and that give much more nutritional "punch" than what I'd been eating. I worked on learning proper portion sizes and making healthy tweaks to the meals my family enjoys.
As far as being able to afford to eat healthy, that takes work too. There are several very long threads on this board on that topic---if you do a search for "budget", they should come up. There are a LOT of very good ideas in them. You have to be willing to shop the sales, buy what's in season, and probably do more from-scratch cooking (if you don't already). It's been my experience that the less processed my meals are, the healthier they are.
I am having a hard time finding a balance with what I eat. Its not so much what I eat, its being able to buy what's actually healthy, I enjoy and that isn't unrealistically expensive. I make the best choices I can based on my health needs, what I like and what works best for me overall. I don't eat the worst choice foods anymore though not quite the healthiest. Some examples are barilla plus pasta instead of wheat, regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt, and lean meats verse tofu, meat substitutes or cutting meat out.
The biggest challenge is making sure that if one item is higher in salt or sugar for example, that other items I eat don't put me way over or under for the day. I also don't like everything healthy to the maximum for food and meal choices. Greek yogurt I don't mind, if I had to eat that all the time, I wouldn't be happy no matter what the health benefits because of what I feel, not what I taste. I guess in a few ways its a mental block with what I like and finding something that's still healthy and I can afford.
I don't feel like I am on a diet, I enjoy what I eat and what I cook. I have learned that measuring and weighing can be helpful I just don't obsess over anything. Sometimes people make mistakes or just have a bad food day. Its finding ways to keep the feeling while going healthier and trying new things. I may eat certain foods or do a certain workout, if its not a favorite or I feel deprived it has leaded to binges and falling off the wagon for days at a time and longer. Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.