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The key was in the green beans! - Tales from 100# Down

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

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I learned a new word when I came to Sparkpeople - FREGGIES. FRuits and vEGGIES. I wasn't exactly a FAN in those early days. My idea of a freggie was strawberry ice cream and mashed potatoes. I had a lot to learn.

Now before you close this thread thinking there is nothing here but talk about food you don't want to eat - PLEASE read on. You might be surprised and it MIGHT help you make some progress on this long journey to Health & Fitness.

First let's take a look at the newly revised food guide called "my plate".



Half that plate is fruits and vegetables. There is a BIG reason why. We all know that fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients but better still they are HIGH volume/LOW calorie. They fill up your tummy but not your food calorie budget! This enables you to eat less which helps you lose more!

So how does one move from being a couch potato that lives on junk to someone that has embraced freggies and ENJOYS them. It didn't happen overnight.

I first set down with a list of freggies and circled the ones I liked. That was a short list! White Potatoes, Corn, Bananas, Green Beans. Then I put a check by those that I was willing to try. Of those four the only low calorie one was the green beans. Now I'm a Southern gal (transplanted to the Mid-west through work) but I love a mess of green beans. Of course my family cooked them with bacon or a ham hock so I had to think how to make them healthy. That was my starting point.

I figured out that I could take the canned green beans, rinse them well and cook them in a crock pot with 2 beef bouillon cubes, lots of freshly ground black pepper, a little salt, and a 1/4 of an onion in big pieces for flavor (I discarded them when cooking was finished). I found that I could eat these and began cooking them regularly and eating them to "FILL" at lunch and dinner. I ate a LOT of green beans. It extended my meal and helped me be more satisfied.

I knew I had to grow from that and broccoli was next up. I will tell you I did not LIKE broccoli when I began. I would chase it with bites of more tasty food just trying to get it down. Somewhere in there someone told me to steam it over chicken broth and it started tasting better. Maybe I was just growing to like it. Soon I found I could make a little salad with some floret "crumbs". Those grew over time to where I could use bigger pieces and now I can eat broccoli steamed, raw, in soups, etc.

Carrots were another early friend. I found I could make a crockpot version that was tasty enough my DH gobbled them up and yet the calorie count was low! CINNAMON was the key there. Something was happening. I was learning that freggies were good.

The next breakthrough came with SOUP PUREES. I could eat a variety of vegetables if I roasted them in the oven first, cooked them in fat free chicken broth or vegetable broth with spices then pureed them to make them "creamy". I liked cauliflower, red, orange and yellow peppers, broccoli, and asparagus this way. ME the anti-freggie person.

Fruits were a slower start for me because of pulp and texture issues. I began with unsweetened orange juice and bananas but now enjoy apples (crisp, cold ones like Honey Crisp were my first breakthrough), pineapple, honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, cranberry juice, ruby red grapefruit and a few more.

Now I fill up with freggies and my calorie count is lower because of it. It makes me feel fuller. My plate looks colorful and appetizing and I'm trying all kinds of new recipes. I can't WAIT for the farmer's markets to open late spring.

emoticon So - what's in this for you? Try to grow your list of freggies you eat on a daily basis.

Here are some lists to help you: Which do you like? Which are you willing to try?

VEGETABLES

Bok choy
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Chard
Cilantro
Collard greens
Corn
Cucumber
Endive
Fennel
Garlic
Green beans
Kale
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Okra
Onions
Peas
Peppers
Pumpkin
Radishes
Spinach
Squash
Sweet Potatoes
Turnips
Zucchini


FRUITS

Apple
Apricot
Avocado
Banana
Blackberry
Blueberry
Cantaloupe
Cherry
Clementine
Date
Grape
Grapefruit
Honeydew
Kiwi
Lemon
Lime
Nectarine
Orange
Peach
Pear
Plum
Pineapple
Pomegranate
Raspberry
Strawberry
Tangerine
Tomato
Watermelon

Now is the time to start exploring. The growing season is upon us. The bounty is ahead. YOUR success is too!

P.S. I STILL keep green beans cooked up!

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