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REDBIRDFLY
Posts: 206
3/26/13 4:40 P

If y'all have Direct TV, they have a show called "Food Hospital" It's very clear to me after watching several of these episodes that eating a Low Glycemic, Anti Inflamitory Diet is the way to go. They're curing Propesia (excessive hair loss) , Cron's disease goes into remission with a specially fortified all liquid diet for 4 weeks and slowly adding low inflamitory foods, in 12 weeks this girl was well! I've seen them clear up psoriasis (severe cases) & a host of other really bad diseases. I don't know if they have a website or not (they're in England) but I'm going to look for it now.

Berries, Veggies, Nuts, 100% Whole grains & Pastas if you eat them, Fruits, Fatty fishes like Salmon, Eggs, Lean poultry, Mono Oils (olive).

I admit I need to clean my diet up more but the more I see about the benefits, especially for our kids the more it makes me want to do it!



GRAPLEIRIS
SparkPoints: (9,363)
Fitness Minutes: (4,031)
Posts: 180
3/26/13 3:23 P

Can you train yourself? Sure! So many people have hit the nail right on the head: ease into it. Don't make changes that make you resentful. Find better for you substitutes.

I grew up eating sugary cereals for breakfast, Chef Boyardee and Kraft dinner for lunch,
and meat, canned veggies...as in corn, peas, or string beans ONLY, and potatoes for supper.

I had never even seen a taco, tofu, or anything with curry.

Even now: my husband brought home kale because his doc told him it was good for him: I had NO idea what to do with it!

my go-to block a craving things are : Brookside dark chocolates over raspberry/pomagranite, soy crisps or rice crisps (salty and processed: but that's where I am right now), peanut butter with fruit, or a small bowl of whole grain cereal. I also mix yogurt into my plain oatmeal. I LOVE spinach based salads with bits of bright colors like red, orange, or yellow peppers, grape tomatoes, dried cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, diced peaches, etc sprinkled with a hint of shredded parmesan and a few chopped nuts.

Part of the process is breaking old habits. Replacing them with new better ones helps! They say you have to remind yourself to do something AT LEAST 7 times before you do it without thinking about it anymore.

GOOD LUCK! There is a world of YUM out there!



DIDS70
Posts: 5,070
3/26/13 1:20 P

Is it possible to reteach yourself how to eat? If so, how can I go about doing this?
Yes, yes and more yes.
I am a prime example. Growing up, I was like you. Fried foods, cookies were always in the house even though Mom stated those were for milk and cookies before bedtime or desserts for school, but we snuck them anyway. We were also into a lot of prepackaged food during the week even though again Mom would have veggies (canned-- yuck yuck and more yuck) with every meal.
When I graduated i continued to eat the canned veggie crap, the canned fruit crap and the processed food crap. i went with convenience over health since health wasn't my number one priority. I ate 5 veggies-- carrots, celery, rutabaga, kohlrabi and peas. I would eat wax beans on occasion. Fruit was mainly grapes, apples and bananas.

about two years ago I had a wake up call like none other. I changed my lifestyle and learned that I really liked a whole lot more on the veggie and fruit palate. So yes, I trained myself to eat healthier. Was it easy-- no. IT WAS NECESSARY. Gone were the convenience foods, gone was the dairy, gone was the wheat and I didn't miss it.

I took it to the extreme. It worked for ME. I will not say that it will work for you. What is important is that you recognize what you are doing and make small changes to the better.



IWILLMAKEIT91
SparkPoints: (2,511)
Fitness Minutes: (685)
Posts: 72
3/26/13 10:14 A

love all the tips and ideas



CLARK971
Posts: 704
3/26/13 6:51 A

I'm with Bunnykicks-focus on the the healthy things you do like. I am super picky-there are a lot of things I won't eat. (wheat bread, turkey bacon, any type of bean, pretzels to name a few)

Gradually try new things and you might find more that you do like. Or try them a different way. My daughter does not like carrot sticks, but will eat some shredded carrots on her salad.



TURQUOISEBIKE
SparkPoints: (1,015)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 55
3/26/13 5:23 A

With Bunnykicks all the way: focus on the healthy, delicious stuff that you like already. Losing weight should improve your quality of life. Making yourself eat stuff you don't like is only worth it if it makes such a massive difference to your quality of life in other areas that you are willing to put up with not enjoying food any more (at least until you have trained yourself to like the new stuff).





BLONDBIKEGIRL
Posts: 34
3/25/13 11:47 P

Baby Steps.

I didn't plan this out, but I now have a house void of foods I never ever thought would go away. Somehow along the way, starting with sugar substitutes, low-fat, fat-free and sugar free versions of the foods I used to eat I managed to land in a world of clean eating and feel amazing. Even my boyfriend has joined in and doesn't eat processed foods any more.

But like I said, it was baby steps. I don't think I could have gone cold turkey, but as I went my mind changed and my tastes changed and I cared that that nutrasweet probably wasn't good for me. It happened naturally with a great deal of effort on my part to do this and lose this weight, but it happened naturally as I went.

You can do this. And I cannot applaud you enough for wanting to reprogram what your children consider their comfort food. Thank you for that alone!

Stay healthy..



KIWIBIRD6
SparkPoints: (4,628)
Fitness Minutes: (1,589)
Posts: 58
3/25/13 7:15 P

Hi BUNNYKICKS

How true is that. emoticon

emoticon



BUNNYKICKS
Posts: 2,299
3/25/13 7:01 P

I think it is important to make sure that our "healthier" foods are actually THINGS WE ENJOY AND WANT TO EAT.

I've made this mistake in the past - turning to yukky "diet" food because it is "what you need to do" to lose weight. And - dry tuna on low fat cottage cheese with a side of wilted celery sticks? Oh, beyond depressing. I have, in the past, given up in despair "If this is how i have to eat, I'd rather just deal with being overweight!" ... because life is too short to eat bad celery.

Now the thing is - what you are asking is, how can we change our perception of "what tastes good/what we enjoy" - and I think my best recommendation would be to NEVER eat something you DISLIKE "just because it's good for you or your diet." So find things you like or don't mind, that happen to be healthy, and increase the amount of these things. You like apples? Eat one every day sliced up with your breakfast. You hate grapefruit? DON'T EAT IT. You like canned tuna? Good, it's a great base for sandwiches, salads, wraps and casseroles, eat it more often in place of deli meat, ground beef and cheese. You don't like canned salmon? DON'T EAT IT. And so on.

I KNOW i ran into trouble trying to "make" myself learn to love things that I hated. There's time for that process much later down the road. For now, focus on identifying which healthy foods/recipes you DO like, and eat as much of those things as possible.




FIRESTARINFINI
SparkPoints: (27,521)
Fitness Minutes: (44,550)
Posts: 997
3/25/13 6:34 P

Learn how to cook your veggies.
Roast them in the oven with salt and pepper and olive oil.
Wait till they've got a little burn on them (that's the sugars in them caramelizing), this will make them sweet and nutty.
Learn to use garlic, ginger, onion, and other delicious powders.
Rosemary, thyme, all those delicious herbs will make them taste great.

For quickness I just take some broccoli and put it in the microwave for a few minutes till they're nice emerald green and slightly soft, but add some salt and pepper, a little olive oil and it will taste great.

There is no magic trick, learn how to cook!



HEIDI777
SparkPoints: (14,167)
Fitness Minutes: (5,853)
Posts: 173
3/25/13 6:26 P

I agree with the idea of changing slowly. I started my journal (this one) in January and I notice when I now think of eating something ....I think what would be the healthiest choice!! I aslo understand the work involved in preparing vegetables and healthy foods. What I do is on the day I buy the veggies, I wash them, prepare them and have them in the frig cut and ready to grab. Yes it is work..but you know you are now eating fresh veggies and once you have them cut and ready...your week will be a breeze!! Maybe it is easy for me because I do love my veggies... if I only did not like my sweets!!! But I do find that there are healthy dessert choices than the ones I made in the past!



CLARK971
Posts: 704
3/25/13 5:44 P

start small. don't try to change everything overnight. if you aren't a fan of veggies, maybe try having two servings a day. then increase it to three, then four...

think baby steps. emoticon






EEJAYBEE
Posts: 192
3/25/13 5:07 P

I just gradually started eating more veg. I hate preparing veg, and that's why I didn't eat it much. So I started with carrot (you can grate it and eat it raw) and jars of pickled beetroot- two veg, without having to wait for them to cook!
I also bought the Sparkpeople cookbook, which was sooo helpful. Now I eat using Chef Meg's recipes most of the time, and I really notice if I have something really sugary and rich- it makes me feel really ill! (now all I need to do is remember that BEFORE I eat it!)



NURSE4LIFE4
SparkPoints: (157)
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Posts: 1
3/25/13 2:28 P

That is so true. I was just sitting here thinking before I read your comments "why can't I do this when I feel so much better when I eat healthy?" I am concluding that I am going to try to focus on how good I feel when I eat right versus eating any and everything!



DILLONNAN
Posts: 563
3/25/13 12:56 P

I've been forced to give up most carbs due to diabetes. I find fruits and vegetables (peppers and spinach for example) sweeter than I ever remember them. Totally agree that we can change our habits. One day at a time though. Slow and steady wins the race.

emoticon emoticon




82719541
SparkPoints: (43,096)
Fitness Minutes: (56,962)
Posts: 139
3/25/13 12:40 P

Sometimes I read other peoples suggestions or what they have been doing to make there diet work for them, and then I say to myself why didn't I think of that.Thats why I love Sp so many ideas and helpfull hints.



IDJ1973
SparkPoints: (8,708)
Fitness Minutes: (3,832)
Posts: 196
3/25/13 12:29 P

I love all the ideas on this message board.. Keep the ideas coming it is helping me a lot. emoticon



IACTA_ALEA_EST
Posts: 2,362
3/25/13 10:24 A

After four years, I woke up this morning and said, what's healthy to my kitchen. Like it was going to tell me to go buy donuts!

It takes a while. I just got back from a four month contract and my house is s disaster, but I wont adde to the chaos with bad food choices.



RICHARJ
SparkPoints: (4,419)
Fitness Minutes: (430)
Posts: 372
3/25/13 9:09 A

To me getting healtier just simply takes time if you really want the changes to stick. changing everything at once puts too puch stress on you. If you start out by switching to wheat then work on the exercise minutes adding them slowly each week, then cutting out sugar then for me that is what works. If I try to do all of these things at once, I'm doomed to fail.



CLAIREGROVER
Posts: 208
3/24/13 9:08 P

Lots of good thoughts. This process of becoming new beings takes time. Choose one little goal and give yourself a day or week to accomplish it. I have spent the last 5 years working my way down from 187 pounds very slowly. But it happened because I made one little goal at a time. This week: Drink my full 8 glasses of water every day.
This week: Eat 2 servings of fruit or veggies at every meal (eat them 1st).
This week: Reserve 300 calories/day for a delectable evening snack so I don't feel deprived - etc.
Slow progress is progress that sticks.
Keep it up - you're on the right track, focusing on fruits and veggies!!!



LOVEMOUSE82
SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/24/13 7:43 P

Yes, your body will retrain itself. One of the reasons is because after awhile you will realize that you feel better when you eat the right foods. And those will be the foods you start to crave. For example, yesterday I was hungry for a snack. Even though there happened to be Hershey's chocolate bars in the bottom of the fridge, I craved the Greek yogurt I have come to love because I know how good and energetic it makes me feel. Most likely if I had had a Hershey bar, I would have had a short lived sugar high and then a crash. It was pretty cool too because even thinking about it, now, I realize that I didn't even consciously go through these thoughts when I was hungry, it was just that my body craved the yogurt instead almost subconsciously because I was so used to the high protein snack making me feel good.



SADDHU1
SparkPoints: (38,696)
Fitness Minutes: (28,044)
Posts: 112
3/24/13 7:13 P

All excellent comments! My biggest challenges are: 1. my sweet tooth. 2. inadequate pre-planning of meals. 3. little time to cook due to a busy work schedule + raising a 1-yr-old. 4. but most of all, I am just eating too much. I need to cut about 300-400 calories per day. Things I do right: 1. workout regularly 2. eat lots of fruits, veggies and other whole foods. 3. track EVERY single thing I put into my mouth every day--- even if it is a 5 calorie half celery stick--- and track my exercise accurately.

So...my strategy will be to look over all of my nutrition trackers for all the days I've logged so far, if they are over on calories I will cut the calories by striking the least healthy foods I ate until I have 1450-1500 calories per day. Then I will use the revised daily menus as my actual menu plans that I will follow for at least half the days. The other half of days I will continue to experiment with novel meal plans of healthy foods. I will be more mindful not to exceed 1500 cal per day in the first place, but if I do, I will repeat the process and revise by subtracting the least healthy foods until I am at 1450-1500 calories.

I hope I can stick to this goal long-term without getting too hungry. I will take a volumetric approach and eat lots of raw vegetables for bulk + a little protein and fat at each meal to feel satiated. I find that exercise curbs my appetite and increases my motivation to be healthier as well.

Edited by: SADDHU1 at: 3/24/2013 (19:15)


SIMONEKP
Posts: 2,481
3/24/13 6:35 P

Practice, practice, practice



82719541
SparkPoints: (43,096)
Fitness Minutes: (56,962)
Posts: 139
3/24/13 1:49 P

I was lucky I married a farmer so his up bringing was different then most city people. They didn't eat out and the kids had to be home to do chores and milk. So all meals were made at home and I was brought up the same way but under different circumstances. All I am saying I am glad because I may be one of the few people around who never ate at McDonalds. Its seems if we do go out I am always disappointed because I thought it should of tasted better. So I am sticking to the SP way of eating it works and if I do slip up (homemade cookies) I know I will get back on track because I enjoy the program it does not seem like a chore to follow.



-SHOREIDO-
SparkPoints: (31,886)
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Posts: 1,015
3/24/13 11:43 A

You are soooooo right! With a capitol "R" !!!! If everyone in America would stop with the meal in a box way of thinking we could wipe out 1/2 the obesity problem.
It's not our fault because we've been spoon fed this way of thinking by all the companies who make them and advertise them on every TV station.
Great point made here. Thank You for sharing!! emoticon



-SHOREIDO-
SparkPoints: (31,886)
Fitness Minutes: (33,941)
Posts: 1,015
3/24/13 11:35 A

Training yourself!! Now thats a challenge!! Right now I'm using "Post-its" to help me out. Fridge shelves,door.pantry and cabinets. I call them my "Memory joggers" (did you have that book) Well its kind of on the same theme.
Mindful eating and a little self love go hand in hand for me because me,myself & I have a great relationship!!
Try it!!! I was thinking maybe I'll tape one to my back telling everyone if they catch me near the cupcake & Twinkie section @ the local deli to smack me upside the head( Oh, forget the twinkie thing they shut them down).
ginny emoticon



82719541
SparkPoints: (43,096)
Fitness Minutes: (56,962)
Posts: 139
3/24/13 10:58 A

It is strange how things become a habit. When I bake at least 1/3 of the flour is whole wheat flour in whatever I am making, I never would have done this 6 months ago. I always loved fruits and veggys but now I cut back on the fruit and add more veggies. My carbs seemed like they were going up but I was eating more fruit and bread products. So thats my next step in losing weight is to balance my carbs, fat and protein but this one will be a little more difficult. But, I know I can always count on SP to help me along this journy. Have a great Sunday everyone.



AUBREY_25_99
SparkPoints: (13,056)
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Posts: 35
3/24/13 10:53 A

For me, personally, a lot of cravings happen when I get hungry and start to think about what I might like to eat. The best way I have found to make myself stop eating sweets and fried foods and start craving fruits and veggies is to reform my thought patterns when it comes to food. When I start to get hungry, in stead of visualizing all the 'treats' and 'bad-for-you' things that I have become accustomed to thinking about when hunger strikes, I try to think about healthy foods like strawberries, celery with light cream cheese, and lean proteins (to name a few). After a while, my thought patterns started to change and hunger meant an entirely different thing for me.

It also helps to stock up on, or prepare, a good amount of healthy, ready-to-eat foods. If you don't have them on hand, you can't eat them when you feel hungry! DON'T stock the bad stuff you know you'll crave.

I have also found that the longer I eat a healthy diet, the less I crave sugar and fried/breaded things. It helps me immensely to do some advance menu planning. The more time I put into my healthy plans, the less I want to break them!

Best of luck to you in your journey to good health!

Edited by: AUBREY_25_99 at: 3/24/2013 (10:57)


TURQUOISEBIKE
SparkPoints: (1,015)
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Posts: 55
3/23/13 7:06 P

I admire people who have trained themselves to like things that are good for them - I have only trained myself to make things that are good for me which I like. More generally, I admire people who are able to control their weight effectively because they are able to manage their emotions.

So far, I have lost weight by focusing on the things that don't involve any pitched battles with my emotions:

- doing a weekly shop that always includes a selection of fresh and frozen fruit and veg
- keeping my kitchen tidy and organized
-getting creative with all that fruit and veg before it spoils and keeping the freezer topped-up with my homemade "ready meals"
- eating 3 solid meals a day (breakfast is a big deal)
- mindful ( = less mindless, but not rationed) snacking/treats

I haven't forced myself to eat anything I didn't want to, or denied myself anything I really did want. I've just pushed the boundaries back in both directions, ever so gradually.

When I make a really delicious healthy meal with vegetables I haven't made before, my enjoyment of it gets stored in my food memory and re-emerges as a craving. I'll find myself jogging through the woods before lunch, hungry, and suddenly - bang - I'm thinking that I'd love fennel for lunch. Over time, my food memory has expanded to the point where that kind of thing seems to be happening all the time and I have lots of "healthy" cravings.

With fruit and veg, seasoning and condiments and cooking methods make a big difference. The craving wasn't for pure, raw fennel - it was for fennel with a little bit of butter. Olive oil is great with most veg, but I keep a little butter in the freezer for when I need it to make fennel taste good. Roast root veg are great with pomegranate molasses and lime juice, or with reduced balsamic vinegar. Hummus and tahini make veggies more more interesting. Ketchup makes vegetables interesting - if I want fries, baked kohlrabi fries with ketchup hit the spot. If I really don't like something, I don't force myself to eat it, but if I find a vegetable boring but basically OK, I work out how to make it interesting. I find cucumbers boring - but a cucumber and watermelon salad with a zingy miso paste, peanut butter, fresh ginger and lemon juice dressing - yum!

I have a diet book (by Judith Beck) which is based on cognitive behavioural therapy. It's basically a step-by-step guide to developing dieter's willpower. The approach seems sound, but it looks like REALLY hard work. A year and a half ago, I was sure that I would have to do all that hard emotional work if I wanted to lose weight, but now I still haven't done it, and my BMI has gone from 39 down to 26.3. I'm still losing "lazily" now, without "flexing my resistance muscle" and so far it's working. The advantage of this softly-softly approach is that it's less work, of course, but I also think that if I do set a goal in the future that requires willpower and then have a relapse, at least it will "only" be a relapse to the easy, no-willpower 75% healthy lifestyle I have now.

I hate it when diet books are marketed with messages like "lose xy pounds without going on a diet" because the books inevitably ARE selling a diet with rules I would find tough - eat this, don't eat this, portion-control that, no carbs for dinner, use your resistance muscle, battle your cravings.

I don't really ration anything - I'm trying to transition to a healthier lifestyle so slowly that feelings of deprivation don't have to be "overcome" because they just don't arise. I am much better now than I used to be at having one or two treats and not inhaling the rest of the packet. I eat a proper meal before I reach for sweet treats, and I keep them in a special drawer and measure out portions. If I have some chocolate, and then want some more, I might have it - but I'd have to get up and go back to the drawer and mindfully ask myself if I really wanted it before taking out another square.

Same goes for meals - in theory, I eat three, but if I feel like more, I'll have more and then eat a few of my more "volumetric" favourite dinners later in the week.



FORESTGHOUL
Posts: 543
3/23/13 3:11 P

GRACEMCC45 - That's my strategy exactly. Now it feels strange if I don't have a fruit or veggie with everything.

I agree with not worrying about the fruits and veggies you don't like. Just keep adding more and more of the ones you do love. Eventually that may turn into inspiration. I've always loved vegetables but it was limited. Carrots, peas, corn, broccoli, onions and green peppers (those 2 took me until my teenage years), green beans sometimes, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, apples, oranges, kiwi etc. But as i started adding more of it to my daily diet (soups, sandwiches or just snacking on instead of chips occasionally), I got sick of the same ones over and over. But by then i had worked the habit into my routine so i started looking for new ones instead of giving up entirely. It turned into brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, spinach, mushrooms(i know - "fungus"), edamame, asparagus, snap peas, Raw green beans, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, turnips, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, artichoke hearts, bamboo shoots, plantains, pineapple, different melons, guava, papaya, persimmons, apricots, plums, pluots, pears, grapefruit, mango, pomegranates, etc, etc. you get the idea. I have still found a few that i don't really care for but all a person can do is try different cooking and preparation methods until you find what works for you.

i've also found that even with the more exotic things that may be harder to find ( i'm in upper midwest Wisconsin), are more expensive, I'm willing to splurge my grocery budget on any kind of produce when I can actually find something unique instead of that package of Oreos that I can always find any time i want them.
Also researching - reading the ingredient labels is of course obvious. But I've discovered that I enjoy learning about where those ingredients come from. One of my favorite hobbies (and my husband's) is to take road trips to pretty much any city or town we haven't been to and find the quaint little shops that sell the locally made cheese, sausage, ice cream, fudge, breads, etc. I support local producers and enjoy learning about where the stuff comes from. There are dairies and small natural farms tucked all over the less traveled areas. Even the larger companies (ex - Links Bros - yes that wonderful jerky - the headquarters is a 3hour drive or so from us and we make at least 1 trip a year up there) I like to research where they started and where they are currently located, how many factories they have, if any are a weekend trip away we may take a tour if offered or see if there is an outlet store, etc.
Just knowing where your food comes from and how it's made can make a difference.



PSCHIAVONE2
SparkPoints: (16,943)
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Posts: 502
3/23/13 2:46 P

I used to crave sweets all the time and I got to a point where cheese cake did nothing for me. I was not getting the satisfaction of having a treat anymore with sweet foods. Then I just stopped adding sugar to my foods. Steel cut oatmeal with a little salt and pepper, black coffee, green tea with no sugar. No more white flour. Once I switched from sugar to fruits and vegetables I found the joy of eating again. Carrots became sweet, the taste of fresh berries came back to life for me. I am at the point that plain greek yogurt has a great taste for me. I still will eat a piece of cake, but now it is only about once per month. Everything tastes better once I started eating whole foods and got away from processed foods.



GRACEMCC45
Posts: 1,134
3/23/13 1:33 P

I started by making sure that every time I ate anything - even if it was a treat night of chips and pop, that a veggie went in my mouth first. Want to eat an entire pizza? Fine - eat a carrot first. Sometimes taking that first healthy step will curb unhealthy eating habits.



ZERO2HERO
SparkPoints: (18,060)
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Posts: 640
3/23/13 9:28 A

Belleuosus, I started with a treat every other night like a 100 calorie milk chocolate bar, one serving of m&Ms, or chocolate covered gluten free pretzels and ate it slowly while winding down. It made the idea of "depriving " myself less severe and eventually didn't need the sweet so routinely.

Also, and this might sound silly, but if you can recognize the difference between hungry and having a snack from just wanting a snack, I found brushing my teeth to be nice deterrent. There's something about a clean mouth that says I'm done eating.

Btw - Fuji apples are super sweet this time of year. I highly recommend them!



GETULLY
SparkPoints: (53,579)
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Posts: 1,481
3/23/13 8:39 A

Everyone has great messages. The trick is to start small and give your body time to get used to the changes. Trying to change everything at once is a recipe for disaster. Change one thing at a time and soon you will have "trained" yourself.



PATTISWIMMER
Posts: 4,763
3/22/13 6:32 P

I really thought I used to eat healthy... now that I stopped eating grains and gluten... mostly to avoid glucose and carbohydrates I eat about 10 fruit and vegetables a day and still get lots of carbs from them... enough that now I am switching from pineaple , oranges and grapefruits to raspberries, blueberries and strawberries... less carbohydrates..I eat a lot of greens... swiss chard, kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and cruiferous vegetables... cauliflower, cabbages etc.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,818
3/22/13 6:25 P

as far as fruits replacing sweets? that depends on where you are. when i finally admitted that the six teaspoons of sugar i was putting in my tea [or on my frosted cereals] should actually just be measured as 2 Tablespoons i couldn't fathom fruit replacing candy. but i spent the next year cutting that added sugar out [bit by bit. i cut out half a teaspoon, then a full teaspoon and so forth working my way down until i was having my tea and my cereal without adding any extra sugar]. and where i used to be able to eat a pound bag of skittles in a sitting, i now start getting sickened by the sweet taste about halfway through one of the 4 oz packs. which means i can actually taste the sweetness in fruit. which does make it a viable option now, but at the time i started i was adding so much more sugar that i simply couldn't taste any sort of sweet in fruits.

so i would say it's certainly possible to change, but it's not the sort of thing you can put on a timeline, especially if you're doing more than one thing. focus on one small easy change until it becomes habit, then move on to another. baking instead of frying foods is a great first step and don't feel bad if you still fry fairly regularly for the first six months to a year. you don't want to be comparing where you are now to where you would ideally like to be, but you should compare where you are this week with where you were last week and celebrate that you fried two less times this week than you did last week.
write down five of your favorite meal staples today. use sparkrecipes.com to figure out the nutrition info for those items. then mark your calendar two months from now. make it your goal to make those five recipes 5-10% better in their iffiest category. in other words if you love your family mac and cheese recipe, you make it all the time and it has 500 cals per cup your goal might be to cut 25-50 cals out a serving over those two months. you could add a half cup less cheese to the whole recipe, use a Tablespoon or two less butter, use a little less pasta, perhaps replace some pasta with a lower cal veg [cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, squash, onions, peppers, etc] or top it with less crumbs. again, the idea isn't to get your mac down to 100 cals a cup in eight weeks, just make it a little better than it was before. after those eight weeks are up you can work on it a little more or move on to tweak something with a little less desirable nutrition information. if you keep doing this as a process where you are slowly working things in a better direction you will eventually get there.
once you get some of the fried cut down and out, you can expand. in other words if you love fried mushrooms, try stuffed mushrooms. if you can get yourself used to the stuffed, move on to lightly sauteed with herbs or spices. again, these changes aren't quick changes and adjustments, they're long term and slow changes. when you change everything all at once, you tend to fall off the wagon pretty quickly because you're literally trying to change every habit you have. and it can take six weeks to change one little habit. whereas when you take the slow and steady approach you're actually taking the time to change your habits, let your tastebuds adjust and either find ways to make the things you love better for you or finding new things you love. so you really have to give it time.



BUNNYKICKS
Posts: 2,299
3/22/13 6:12 P

It IS possible to change what you crave - I had this experience recently, myself. After being extremely conscious of my food choices for almost 3 months (NO fast food and NO deep-fried anything since the beginning of the year), I had to do some weekend travelling that left me at the mercy of fast food restaurants for a day or two.

I ate the fast food, expecting it to be a "treat" - but to fit into my calorie range, the portions were SO small, and they had no staying power either - I found myself VERY hungry between meals, for the first time in weeks. And to top it off - the food wasn't even much of a treat, after all - it was NOT as good as I remember. The mayo tasted almost repulsive; the burger bun tasted SWEET. It was "fine" but wow, certainly nothing worth craving!

Even after I found a couple alternative food spots that served options that more closely resembled "food," my 3-day weekend was extremely veggie-deprived. When i got home, honestly all I wanted was a big bowl of salad! Which I proceeded to gorge on. My gosh, how could SALAD taste so good?

Now, don't get me wrong, I haven't turned my life around in a matter of weeks - cravings for "treats" come on strong at times... but things are changing... there is hope!!!!



SOCAL_LEE
SparkPoints: (32,454)
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Posts: 246
3/22/13 5:42 P

I think your desire to change your eating habits gets you 80% of the way there! And you've already gotten great advice in the comments. Just to echo what Heather said at the end of her comment, think about ways to prepare the fruits and veggies that will make them more appetizing to you. That doesn't have to mean smothering your broccoli in cheese sauce but could be as simple as roasting your cauliflower instead of boiling it. If you don't like a particular vegetable one way, maybe you'll like it another way. I didn't think I liked brussels sprouts until my partner threw them on the grill pan with garlic and olive oil. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Cutting up fruit and presenting it as fruit salad makes it more fun and appetizing. Also, if the fruit is already cut up and waiting for you in the fridge, you'll be more likely to go for that instead of the bag of chips; the same goes for vegetables.

For an entertaining read, try Jeffrey Steingarten's opening chapter in "The Man Who Ate Everything". It's about how he overcame his food aversions when he became the food critic for Vogue.

Good luck and have fun!



MIZZKINS
Posts: 120
3/22/13 5:18 P

For me its been about changing my attitude, creating small goals, planning my meals, and getting support from this sight.

My biggest eye opener has been working just as hard on wanting to be happy as I work on eating right. Both take hard work. You can't just go through the motions, you have to change a lifetime of habit. It starts with loving yourself and wanting it. And forgiving yourself when things don't go well, then getting right back up and trying again.





BUBBLEJ1
SparkPoints: (21,988)
Fitness Minutes: (20,943)
Posts: 2,801
3/22/13 3:17 P

After a while you will crave the good stuff. I have been at this a year and when I have a 'free' day for whatever reason I just want healthy stuff anyways



GEEDYUP
SparkPoints: (385)
Fitness Minutes: (330)
Posts: 9
3/22/13 2:01 P

I think, maybe, don't worry that there are veggies you don't care for. Enjoy the yummy ones! If you eat something regularly, and enjoy it, you will end up craving it! I hate when we run out of apples. Crispy, juicy, empire apples.

I like to have my kids try new vegetables and "rate the recipe." They've never refused to try. Result: We kind of compete for the last of the roasted brussels sprouts. Yum.



SWEDIEPIE
Posts: 338
3/22/13 1:47 P

I agree that tastebuds and likes/dislikes can change over time. I was a very unhealthy eater until recent years when I started paying more attention to clean eating, not only for myself, but for my family. I think the only way to crave healthy foods is to have them as a regular part of your diet, and to entirely eliminate the unhealthy ones- that's what has worked for me, and it's only my opinion.

Instead of craving a roast beef sub like I used to, now I crave beans and sardines. That sounds nasty, but that's what I want. Today I gave in and had a bed of spinach with black beans, topped with some feta cheese, oil and vinegar dressing and a side of sardines.

Years ago I tried "everything in moderation" and that did not work for me. I decided there are just things that I will not put in my body, and I've stuck to that for a long time.

I don't eat sweets besides fruit, so I don't crave candy or chocolate. This took time. For me, it took several weeks/months to completely eliminate the thought of certain foods, and I did not give in. After awhile, I just forgot about them.

So yes, it's certainly possible, and it takes plenty of planning. I plan a few days ahead and typically do not sway from my plan.



BELLEUOSUS
SparkPoints: (3,519)
Fitness Minutes: (1,650)
Posts: 18
3/22/13 1:40 P

Thanks guys! I am reading all of the advice and taking notes.

My reasons for wanting to reteach myself are:
1 - to lose weight by having a healthy eating lifestyle
2 - ensure my future children have a healthier diet than I had growing up. I want to be able to lead by example. Can't teach them to snack on fruit if I'm scarfing chocolate candy myself.

I do hope as time goes on the cravings diminish. I cook a lot, but I still enjoy junk food more than I should. I swear I am addicted to Chick fil a's spicy chicken sandwiches right now...

I will start adding healthy foods to my daily intake. At first I will allow myself an unhealthy treat in the evenings... or every other day? Replace it with something healthy one day, unhealthy the next? What is suggested?





ZERO2HERO
SparkPoints: (18,060)
Fitness Minutes: (14,465)
Posts: 640
3/22/13 1:15 P

I don't know if "training" is a fair mentality to the cause, but coming from preferences like mozzarella sticks and potato skins, it is certainly possible to diminish those cravings. I started by including one fruit in breakfast everyday, carrots as a late afternoon snack, and a minimum of two veggies at dinner (cooked in chicken broth, coconut oil, or olive oil). The veggies were always naturally sweet like red and orange peppers, sweet potatoes, or spaghetti squash. I also made sure I had room for "the craving" at the beginning, which is usually coconut flavored M&Ms. I kept the portion appropriate and allowed space in my nutrition tracker every other day - it kept the initial cravings at bay.

It eventually paid off (2.5 months later) and I don't crave artificial foods at all. It's also fun to fill my veggie tracker completely everyday.



BLUEANNIEDOG
Posts: 321
3/22/13 1:01 P

Only keep healthy foods in the house and commit to cooking.



DAINALYNN
Posts: 277
3/22/13 12:42 P

I think that over time, your taste buds might get accustomed to healthier or more natural substitutions of the foods you eat today.

Your body might be craving processed foods because it's nutritionally undernourished. Once fresh fruits/veggies, whole grains, nuts/seeds/legumes start to make up a bigger portion of your daily food intake, you might find your cravings for "calorie dense" unhealthy foods to fade away.

Good luck - it's not necessarily easy to make these changes at first, but it *does* get easier over time!




RENATARUNS
SparkPoints: (3,680)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,150
3/22/13 11:57 A

Just eating more of what you want to like and less of what you currently like can go a long way if you keep up with it. Certain things like sugar -- well I don't want to get over-dramatic but they really do have an element of addiction to their appeal. I had a huge sweet tooth (still do, in my head), but after more than three months of eating sweets only on special occasions or in very small quantities, I've found that my taste for it has actually altered. There are things I used to love that now taste overbearingly, cloyingly sweet. That doesn't mean my head stops telling me I want to eat it, but it sure makes it easier to reach for something else in the grocery store, or to stop at that very small portion. [Edit: I just noticed something similar the other day with salt, too, and I haven't even consciously tried to reduce that it my diet.]

On the other end of the scale I've developed a huge craving for nuts and seeds in my salads and on my yogurt and so on -- really healthy stuff (that I don't personally have portion control issues with) that I never bothered to eat before.

It's possible, you just have to stick with it long enough.

Edited by: RENATARUNS at: 3/22/2013 (12:00)


DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,434)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,588
3/22/13 10:50 A

Yes, it's absolutely possible, and I'm living proof. Before I came here, through a link on a MYpoints email, I was a fried-food eating, pasta-sucking carb junkie with a sedentary lifestyle and on a fast train to a heart attack.

It starts with small, sustainable changes made over time.

You start by adding healthy things to unhealthy things! My first step was to mix whole wheat pasta half and half with my regular pasta.

When you're craving sweet, reach for strawberries, and dip them in cool whip. It's sweet as hell, and that cool whip is unhealthy, but it's a far better choice than half a bag of cookies!

The trick isn't to go at this all-or-nothing and change your entire pantry. First start by managing portions. If you want a cookie, reach for a cookie! But TRACK it before you eat it, and read that bag. Most serving sizes are 2-3 cookies. Get out that serving, and put the rest up. On of my favorites is a peanut butter oreo cookie, but TWO cookies are 150 calories. So I eat my two, put the bag away, and more often than not, choose something else for a snack because two cookies doesn't cut it.

Learn neat ways to enjoy the things you love. Make them better, not perfect. Love fried mozzarella sticks? I sure do. I used Cheg Meg's mozzarella sticks recipe, and it's got the gooey melty cheese I love, the breaded crust, even the seasoning... but it's half the calories, and I've gotten to where I like the taste better.

Focus on healthy choices... not perfect ones. Love going to mcdonald's? Skip the fries, and ask for apple slices instead with your big mac. Opt for water instead of a 32 ounce coke.

It's not about avoidance, or never having chocolate again, or avoiding fries.

It takes time, effort, and most importantly: Forethought.

Knowledge is power, and soon you'll find yourself going, "Man, I want a snack, but that treat is 500 calories... I think I'd rather have something else."

The other thing is to shelve that whole "I don't like it attitude" and start exploring things you haven't liked in the past. Try preparing them in a new way. If you're like a lot of people, your only real experience with some veggies involves a can and a pot with water in it, of course you don't like it!

A new way of cooking something, or seasoning it, can go a long way. A lot of times, we're conditioned to dislike something very early and we never revisit it, only to find that when we try again, it's not so bad.

It's also about learning to reintroduce yourself to things. When I Started, I HATED that whole wheat pasta. I couldn't take the texture. But by mixing it, it wasn't so bad. Over time, I reduced the amount of regular, and now I love whole wheat pasta.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 3/22/2013 (10:51)


LOTUS737
Posts: 2,004
3/22/13 10:49 A

start making healthier versions of the foods you like- baked 'fried' foods [a metal cooling rack is your best friend in making things crispy in the oven], cut down on fat and sugar in sweets [use applesauce in place of 1/2 of the fat, cut the sugar down by 1/3-1/2]. make other smart replacements like nonfat greek yogurt for mayo/sour cream, etc.

start incorporating more healthy foods- keep trying new veggies and fruit to find things you like- make your own frozen fruit pops/smoothie pops and have those as a sweet treat.

some people respond well to a drastic shift- they go cold turkey. that doesn't work for me- you have to figure out what does! you can retrain yourself- just keep trying new things and work on making old favorites healthier- you can get there!



BELLEUOSUS
SparkPoints: (3,519)
Fitness Minutes: (1,650)
Posts: 18
3/22/13 9:31 A

I grew up in a household of fried foods and sweets, so of course I still like to eat that way to this day.

I want to train myself to crave healthier foods (fruits and veggies) instead of unhealthy things (fried foods and chocolate).

I do eat some fruits and veggies, but there are a lot of them I dislike, and I'd like to crave that as a sweet treat instead of candy.

Is it possible to reteach yourself how to eat? If so, how can I go about doing this?



 
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