There are a great many different ideas about what one should eat to be healthy. Long before I found Spark People I had been studying food and nutrition to help in managing my diabetes and had adopted many new "healthier" foods into my everyday eating plan. Trying foods out to see how they affect my blood sugar has always been important to achieving some level of control--thus my login name--hlthyeter--was a fairly easy choice and also a bit of a statement of faith that I could put some of this knowledge to work in pursuit of my goals.
My food plan is my own and I make no apologies for it--but understand some may not agree with my food choices--and I remain open to further modifying the foods that I eat. I try to strike a balance between what is reasonable, cost-effective, readily available and good for me. I balance glycemic load with finding foods that taste good without being excessively high in sugar or fat or salt.
A recent message board asked what are our "must have" staples. I have pondered this and periodically add something new to my list, but here is what I have come up with so far--
Low or no sodium canned goods including tomatoes and beans.
Meats, including grass-fed beef, boneless chicken breasts, ground buffalo, frozen salmon, whole chickens and canned tuna and salmon and chicken.
Organic whole-grain oatmeal.
Organic whole-wheat sprouted bread.
Seasonings including garlic powder, black pepper, tabasco, red curry paste, coconut milk, chili powder, "No" salt, and cinnamon.
Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar.
A variety of salad greens, tomatoes, and seasonal fresh fruits and veggies.
Organic/natural peanut butter and almond butter.
Fruit spreads with no added sugar.
Unsalted butter, cream, cheese without added hormones, spray margarine.
Free range/organic eggs.
Low-sodium salsa and pasta sauce.
Whole wheat pasta. Instant brown rice.
Low sodium chicken broth.
Unsalted almonds and walnuts.
Green tea (loose leaf) and Peppermint tea.
I am sure I will think of others as time goes on but those are a good start. I try to come up with creative modifications of favorite recipes and incorporate SP recipes as often as possible. Some of my favorites are low sodium spaghetti sauce made with ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef or buffalo and low-sodium pasta sauce (served over whole-wheat pasta). Similarly low fat, low sodium chili with beans is a favorite, and Thai vegetable stir-fries with bite size pieces of chicken breast, seasoned with coconut milk and red curry paste. These are all in the SP database for recipes if you would like to try them out. Another favorite is a buffalo roast cooked overnight in a slow cooker with carrots and potatoes.
I was recently thinking of ways to use some seasonal vegetables that I purchased at the farmer's market (pictured above) and concocted a complete meal by adding Eden organic no sodium, no salt navy beans. My basic ingredients for this quick stir-fry meal were yellow squash, zucchini squash, purple onion, red bell pepper, celery, carrots, canned low-sodium tomatoes and the beans with some garlic powder, a pinch of red pepper and a little "no" salt (powdered potassium.) Here is a picture to help you visualize this.
I thought it was rather tasty and with the beans made a complete vegetarian meal.
All this discussion of food is making me hungry, so I think I will go heat up some leftover chili for lunch. Bon appetit as Julia Child used to say!