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-POOKIE- SparkPoints: (327,680)
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6/9/10 7:59 A

Im glad you are feeling that way!

Nothing like the feeling knowing your yummy three egg ommelette with ham and salad is the best thing you can be eating for youself!!

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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6/9/10 7:26 A

UPDATE: So, I've implemented the higher-protein foods suggested here by you lovely, fellow-Sparkers and, the results are in. I'm pleased to announce I'm getting ample protein now. I'm very full after each meal, I have more energy and stamina and... I just feel better in general. Protein has always been a BIG deal for me - I CRAVE it! Most people crave chocolate/sweets or salty treats. Not me. I have always craved PROTEIN! So, when I started cutting back on fat, getting enough protein became rather tricky, especially when the cravings kicked in.

Anyway... I now have to make a conscious effort to get enough fat grams in my day! This is a positive thing because, for me at least, (good) fats are easy to inject in my meal plans.

Again, many, many thanks to all of you who posted with your advice, hints and tips. My over-all sense of health and energy have improved greatly thanks to you.

HORSIFIED1 Posts: 659
5/30/10 10:12 A


Any type of vegetable...carrots, celery, broccoli. Try eating a piece of fruit, sometimes the sugar in it helps me. Or some kind of protein...protein is suppose to help fill you up. Nuts are a good snack protein, but just watch the fat content.

Edited by: HORSIFIED1 at: 5/30/2010 (10:13)
HORSIFIED1 Posts: 659
5/30/10 10:05 A

Omelets made with egg whites and turky bacon or sausage. You can throw in some vegetables. Good protein. I also agree with cottage cheese and I have seen a low sodium version somewhere. I too watch my sodium, but if I watch the other stuff I eat during the day, I can enjoy my cottage cheese a few times per week. Glad you are finding some other options. I have found that if I don't have some kind of protein every meal, that I will run short at the end of the day. Nuts for a snack are good protein. They are high in fat, but they are a good source of protein so if you can cut down on fat somewhere else, they would be a good protein snack for you.

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/30/10 9:47 A

I just wanted to tell you all that my mornings have been much different the past week, many thanks to you all.

The Greek yogurt (Oikos Vanilla), Kashi Go Lean Crunch and mixed berries is INCREDIBLE! Not only is it quick, easy, pleasing to my palate, but the nutritional values are AWESOME!

I also found a recipe on Spark for 'Egg McMuffins' (ham). It is TO-DIE-FOR!

While at the store, I found some 'peanut butter'. I LOVE, Love, love peanut butter. But, the fat content is horrendous. So, I found Naturally More - it's a peanut-butter-like substance and MUCH healthier than the Jif I'd been eating. The protein to fat ratio (10 to 11 respectively) is MUCH, much more acceptable in my book, especially in comparison to the nutritional values of the name brand peanut butters I'd been raised on. Oh, and it tastes fantastic too!

Edited by: MSTKAY76 at: 5/30/2010 (09:48)
MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/27/10 9:45 P


I've found that drinking water helps curb my appetite in between meals and snacks.

Celery is my other go-to for virtually calorie-free, fat-free, etc. 'grazing'/'filler' food.

I'm sure others will have a lot more recommendations than myself.

Good luck with your journey!

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/27/10 9:42 P


No. It sure wasn't "the dumbest note in the history of the earth". I didn't know until you told me. I will be certain to use them as a quasi-meat-substitute and to season them as I would meat - generously. As a matter of fact, I'll look up some recipes specific to lentils. That should save me some frustration.

Since you mentioned them second in your last post, I figured the red were your least favorite for a good reason. So, when I put them on my grocery list, I put "regular". hehe I'm glad I did and that you told me because, I'm not fond of "mush" in my mouth.

Again, NIRERIN, many, many thanks to you! You've been very helpful and I truly appreciate it.

5/27/10 9:41 P

Can I have some suggestions on foods that I can eat alot of some good choices..I find myself always being hungry. thanks

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/27/10 9:36 P


Thank you for your kind reply.

I bought some cottage cheese last weekend as well. I'd given up on it long ago, after realizing it was sodium-laden. However, I bought some low-fat, low-sodium and got some fruit to cut up in it. That's how I used to eat it all the time - just like a dessert, as you said. But, I have never tried cinnamon and Splenda in it. I will definitely give that a go next time.

Thanks, again!

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/27/10 9:34 P


Thank you for your kind reply.

I actually purchased some Greek yogurt last weekend, many thanks to a kind poster who suggested it. It's WONDERFUL!

I have, however, not heard of Edamame. But, I'll be sure to look into getting some this weekend when I get to the store again.

Thank you, again!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
5/27/10 8:09 A

this might be the dumbest note in the history of earth, but if you've never really had lentils it's good to know they they're not hugely flavorful. they're more like rice or white mushrooms, but a little earthier and more textured. so if you were to just use them on the side like plain brown rice, it might not taste so tasty for your first try [some people like them that way, but for most of the general population...]. spices are going to be your friend here. i know a lot of the more natural veg recipes use it to bulk out tomato sauces for chili or sloppy joes [somewhere where ground beef would traditionally be used]. so basically it takes and holds up to flavors nicely.
and red lentils do turn to mush. they take on flavors like garlic and rosemary and in my opinion make nice sauces, but they're mush once cooked.

AMSCHWEIK Posts: 131
5/26/10 11:25 P

So my sister thinks I am crazy for eating this but it's really low fat and high protein, and kinda tastes like a dessert.

I eat 2% cottage cheese and add splenda and cinnamon. It's really yummy if you can get past the texture.

SASSYSUS Posts: 261
5/26/10 10:48 P

greek yogourt has been a lifesaver for me in the protein department! I love it so much, I often eat it twice a day. Have you tried Edamame? They are full of fibre and protein and are yummy-you can get them fresh, frozen, and dry roasted so you can eat them as you would peanuts. besides the Egg beaters, you can also just by straight egg whites.

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/26/10 10:23 P


I like the way you think. Parameters, numbers... I can definitely get with that program. I rather like numbers - live by them, really. Why I didn't think about breaking down the protein-to-calories ratio before now, is a mystery. But, thank you sooo much!

I will definitely get some lentils on my next trip to the grocery store. I've already programmed it into my grocery list on my phone. THANK YOU! And, it turns out, business lunches may very well be a limited thing from here forward. I just found out about some major changes at work. How they will affect me, I'm unsure until next week. So far, no Applebee's this week though! Depending on how it all works out, I may be able to implement the bagel at lunchtime. Honestly, I'd rather do that than eat Applebee's on a regular basis - every other month (or less) is far more than enough.

I have to tell you, I tried the Subway Orchard Fresh Chicken sub on 9 Grain Honey Oat (the 2nd lowest calorie bread option - Italian Herb is the best of them all). It was FANTASTIC! I had half of the 6" sub (with a piece an apple and some celery on the side - brought from home) and, even though I added lettuce, cucumbers and baby spinach to the sandwich, the nutritional values were unbelievably low for 'fast food' (with exception to the protein - not too bad, really). And, it was way too tasty to have such low carbs, fat, etc.!

Anyway, just thought I'd share that tidbit with you. Thank you again, NIRERIN!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
5/26/10 5:30 P

besides breaking down protein into how much i should have, one thing that helped me was figuring out how many calories i was eating to get a gram of protein [i really like parameters]. what i mean by this it i took the total number of calories i was eating per meal and dividing it by the grams of protein you get. in general under 30 cals per gram of protein is the way you want to go, possibly lower since you need fewer calories. i just use this as a benchmark. it helps identify quickly which of my meals need to be worked on.

as far as foods go, lentils. 1/4 cup [dry measure] has 70 cals, 19g carbs, 9 g fiber, and 8 g protein. red lentils have 165 cals per 1/4 cup [dry again] with 12 g protein. the really great thing about lentils is that they work well hot in soups or stews as well as as a cold base for veggie filled salads [think more like 3 bean, but with lentils bulking out lightly steamed or cooked veggies with a bit of flavorings]. i'm also huge on nuts, but i don't think that would fit well for you without cutting out the applebee's [and that can't happen for you]. i get target whole wheat bagels [210 cals per, 10 g protein] and eat half a one at a go and this would add a bit of a boost to replace your celery with something more proteinful or maybe to add in a half to one of the string cheese eating opportunities.

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/26/10 5:04 A


Thank you for your reply and clarification. I guess I was simply looking for food suggestions rather than a complete nutritional evaluation without all the pertinent information needed to evaluate properly. I apologize for taking offense.

In regard to Applebee's: the options offered with their 'diet' meals are steamed vegetables and new potatoes. I get double the steamed vegetables minus the butter sauce they put on them (or whatever it is) and no potatoes. When I put it in the nutrition tracker, I don't worry about the additional calories or carbs for the standard order. I simply make a notation on that day that I was below the final daily values than what it shows due to substitutions I opted for.

The sherbet I eat is approximately 220 calories per cup. So, it would make sense that you were critical of it when the sherbet you eat is nearly the same value for half the food. However, I'm sure the sherbet you purchase does not have the increased carb and sugar levels mine does (26 and 20 respectively). With that said, it's not something I do often but, it's a nice treat especially when I need to increase my levels that day. Because, believe it or not, there are days I struggle (about once a week) to get enough calories, fat and carbs. And, of course, my protein levels are next to nothing on those days.

When I'm talking about two cups of salad, I don't mean dipping a measuring cup into the salad canister or bag twice and that being two cups worth. If it were densely packed (really smooshed in there tight with no air) into two measuring cups, what I eat would be two cups worth. My two cups of salad overflows the standard salad bowl and equals about 1.5 standard salad bowls - I actually bought big plastic bowls for my two-cups-of-salad-a-night habit. If it wasn't densely packed in a measuring cup, it's more likely to measure about five cups. With that said, to me, two tablespoons of (reduced fat, reduced sodium) salad dressing (about 70 cal, 5 fat) is really not too bad and, it's rather dry so I can still taste the yumminess of the greens.

Your suitcase analogy made perfect sense as does your theory about powdered and pill-form nutrients. Although I have known for some time that the body does not absorb vitamins via pill-form very well, I had never considered that, likewise, the body may not absorb powdered forms of nutrients. Thankfully, after a couple trips to the grocery store over the weekend to purchase some of the suggestions provided, I've been able to plan my meals with foods to get the appropriate nutritional values for the day without having to rely on replacement supplements.

If you have any specific food recommendations to share for increased protein, I would be very grateful as, I'm sure, I will grow tired of the same things day-in-and-day-out.

Thanks, again, for your reply.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
5/23/10 12:24 P

i am sorry if you interpreted what i wrote in that way. what you think i meant isn't really where i was going at all.

i asked about your ranges because, based on the info that you provided you shouldn't have been anywhere near your fat ranges, unless your doc changed them, which he did, so when the cal ranges change downward, so do the fat ranges. so i was basically trying to figure out what parameters you were working in.

i stated that i didn't like applesbees and wasn't familiar with their menus because i wasn't sure if everything was right about 450 cal, 20g fat, etc [essentially all roughly the same] or if by picking the baked chicken and broccoli over the steak and potatoes that you could save on some of the things you were trying to. if the first were the case, then it doesn't matter what you pick. but if there is some variation, either switching between them or switching to something you like a little bit less could put you where you needed to be. i wasn't sure if there is that wiggle room, but since you go there often, investigating a bit more might find you more or better fitting options. sometimes even picking an appetizer and sides can get you closer to where you want to be.

my apparently ill made point withe the dressing is that many people use too much. personally i think 2T is too much for 2 cups of greens. and since the dressing looks to be one of the bigger numbers on the two macros you were trying to get down, it makes sense to cut back a little bit, at least while you're trying to lose. cutting back to 4 or 5 teaspoons is going to give you more room to get in protein. which brings me to calories.

you said you were pretty much at the limits for fat and carbs, and over on calories [based on your doctor's tweaks not sparkranges]. but, at the same time, you still need to increase your protein. which means that in order to make room for the protein, you need to slightly reduce the items you are high on, which frees up calories for protein. now, hopefully i won't offend you as much as i did with my hyperbole of people eating too much dressing. your calories are like clothes you're trying to fit in a suitcase for vacation. your fat is dresses, your carbs are shirts, and your pants are protein. you only have so much space in the suitcase you're packing in. so if you need to fit more pants in, you have to have less dresses and shirts in the suitcase.

also, if your goal is to improve your carbs on the short term but protein as the current thing you're working on, beans and toast or using yogurt and berries or berries and tofu are going to be more goal oriented [if not as tasty] options that would get you to where you want to be.
the sherbet i like is about 200 cals per half cup. so when i read 1 cup i see that if you were to have only half of it, it would free up 200 cals, which would either give you plenty more room for protein, or get you closer to your doc's recs.
again i am sorry if asking for clarifications on where you needed to be bothered you. and yes, i do use extreme examples to make points. i try to not use things that may be a big step for people at the beginning of a journey [a big good step for them, but relatively far off from where they need to be] as an example. i try to go out farther than most people are [my favorite example of a calorie dense food is a deep fried monster thickburger] to both not point fingers and to have a clearer example. cutting out a teaspoon of dressing isn't going to make the difference that cutting out one ounce out of four is, but the idea is the same. taking little bits out of where you are [7/8 cup instead of a whole, 2 teaspoons instead of a Tablespoon] allows you to shave off some calories without making a huge impact on what you are eating. again, this is because you are already where you want to be except with regards to protein, and you have wiggle room downward in everything else. so you cut from what you have enough of to make the room for what you aren't getting.
i am in the camp that doesn't quite trust things like protein powder. sure you can get protein for very few calories and no fat and carbs, but based on how well we can process vitamins and minerals [we don't get nearly what we get from pills as we do from real foods] i am of the opinion that my body isn't going to get quite what it could get from actual food. so until science catches up, i don't consider it an adequate replacement. which means that in order to at least maintain where you are and get more protein, you need to eat less of the other foods.

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/23/10 4:01 A

Marinashu!!! Many, many thanks. You've been incredibly helpful and positive, which I truly appreciate.

So, I guess I'm heading to the grocery store, a place a I really would rather only visit once a month - hehe, again, tomorrow. This is my third trip in seven days. I found several really incredible-sounding recipes I cannot wait to try. And, I'm sure the added trips to the grocery store will have been worth it when I see those protein levels increase, I have more energy and begin feeling stronger.

A lack of energy, stamina and strength can really affect your workouts and, while I started gung-ho, I've really hesitated with workouts (both ST and aerobic) the past two weeks because I'm exhausted and drained all the time. I suspect this has a lot to do with work - it's been rather crazy the past month with lots of changes. But, low protein intake is not helping matters at all, I'm sure. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of affects more protein in my diet will have on, not only, my workouts and ST but, also, my workday.

Again, many thanks to you.

MARINASHU SparkPoints: (24,138)
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5/23/10 1:33 A

Learning how to use new foods has definitely been the most difficult part of learning to eat healthy for me! But it's also been one of the most rewarding. :) I love finding new meals that are healthy and also super tasty.

Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans. They are very mild tasting. You can buy dried ones and cook them, or just buy them already cooked in a can. I like to put them on salads, or even eat them plain. They're what hummus is made out of, if you've eaten that!

Lentils can be very yummy if they're spiced right--plain, they taste a lot like dirt. ;) They're also very high in fiber, which make them very filling. I buy them dried, and boil them or put them in the crockpot. I put them in soups and stews cause they thicken them up really nicely, or season them with soy sauce and honey and a little lemon juice.

You can do a lot of things with tofu. I use the "extra firm" kind for most cooking. If you crumble it up, you can certainly use it like you would hamburger meat. I like soaking it in marinade overnight, then slicing it, baking it and putting it on sandwiches or salads. It's pretty tasteless on its own, so you definitely want to season it whatever you do. You can also giving it a little more texture by freezing it before you use it.
EDIT: I forgot to say you can also put soft tofu in smoothies. Like I said, it's tasteless, so it just thickens a fruit smoothie and adds more protein.

I highly recommend digging through the recipe section! There's a lot of really fantastic, tasty recipes here, and you can search by ingredient if you want to learn how to make something new. I like to try maybe one new ingredient a week, so I don't overwhelm myself.

Best of luck! Have fun with it. :)

Edited by: MARINASHU at: 5/23/2010 (01:38)
MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/23/10 1:00 A


Many thanks for your thoughtful reply.

You mentioned several foods I've not tried and a few I've never heard of. One of them I have heard repeated a few times is chickpeas. What are they like? I've never had lentils, that I know of, either. What are they like? In addition, how do you use tofu? It comes in a brick and I'm unsure what you do with it... Do you treat it like you would hamburger meat or ... ?

I guess a lot of my hesitation with new foods is not knowing what to do with them, how to prepare them, what to pair with them, etc. With that said, I'm going to dig into the recipe section of Spark. I need to educate myself.

Thanks, again, Marinashu!

MARINASHU SparkPoints: (24,138)
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5/22/10 11:15 P

Some good protein sources are lean meats (beef, chicken, turkey), fish (salmon, canned tuna, and tilapia are some of my favorites), eggs, lowfat or nonfat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese), soy products (soy milk, tofu, tempeh), beans (black beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc), nuts (watch the fat content! it's good fat, but adds up pretty quick), quinoa (a grain), and whole grains.

Protein is the hardest nutrient for me to make sure I get enough of, so I try to get some in every meal and snack.

Edited by: MARINASHU at: 5/22/2010 (23:16)
MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/22/10 9:39 P


Many thanks for your thoughtful reply. I purchased some Greek yogurt today and I cannot wait to try it in the morning!

And, thank you for the Egg Beaters tips. I had no idea. I've been boiling eggs and removing the yolks (feeding them to my dogs - they LOVE them) and eating the whites only (most usually, that is - if I don't eat the yolk, I have two large. Otherwise, I just have one whole large egg hard boiled). But, I will definitely look into the Egg Beaters!

Many thanks, again! And, my best to you in your journey.

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/22/10 9:35 P


Spark recommends 1200-1700 calories per day for me. My doctor tweaked it to 1050-1550. So, when I get the 1675, I really above my range per the doc and within the Spark recommendation. I do my best to keep everything within the areas where Spark and my doc both thought was good - 1200-1550. But, obviously, I'm doing about 125 more calories per day than that average - however, I'm still losing about 1.5 to 1.75 pounds per week.

I already said I realized I needed to do something with my breakfast and, as was suggested earlier in this post by a thoughtful poster, I purchased some low-sodium cottage cheese and fruits (pineapples, peaches and lots of berries) as well as some Greek yogurt and some honey, whole grain cereal and nuts to go in it for my breakfast meal plans.

NIRERIN, I would venture to guess that, because you don't like Applebee's, you are unfamiliar with their 'diet' meals. They are low fat and low calorie but, as I stated in my original post, very high in sodium. It is the best option for business lunches in my remote area.

When I say 2 tablespoons, that's what I mean. That is all I use. And, the 4 liquid ounces of dressing that comes with your salads is a half a cup - WAY MORE than 2 tablespoons, as is even half that amount at 2 ounces. Surely, you misread what I posted. 2 cups of mixed salad greens and a tablespoon of dressing for each cup is what I eat with my dinner. I don't have "liquid salads". GROSS!

Where did I say I was worried about caloric intake? I believe I said I was concerned about fat content and carbs versus increasing my protein.

Do I sound a little defensive? Well, I am at this point. I asked for suggestions to provide more protein while not completely blowing my fat and carb levels out of the water and I get one person saying I don't eat enough and another accusing me of drowning my salads in dressing and eating too much sherbet. Seriously?!? And, for the record, I only eat the sherbet when I need to increase my carbs and caloric intake for the day.

I thought this was supposed to be a positive place where people provided assistance, support and encouragement. I'm afraid, in my book, assistance is not a fellow 'journeyman' shredding your Spark-recommended-Doc-tweaked-and-approved nutritional levels apart. I believe I'll stick with what my doctor and Spark agree on over what others here may recommend because, let's face it, if we all knew what we needed to, we wouldn't be here. I'm sure you'd do the same (stick with Doc and Spark) if the roles were reversed.

I'm truly beside myself at this moment.

Edited by: MSTKAY76 at: 5/23/2010 (01:03)
WEIGHTLOSS4GOOD SparkPoints: (17,360)
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5/22/10 6:57 P

hard boiled egg whites instead of the entire hard boiled egg: 17 cals vs 70 cals (lg egg). The protein is in the white not the yolk. Egg beaters are a great way to increase protein while reducing fat. Chobani non-fat Vanilla greek yogurt: 120 cals 16 g protein

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
5/22/10 1:15 P

have you edited your ranges at all? because 2 T of dressing and the rest of what you're eating doesn't look like it should be anywhere close to the bottom of your fat range, much less the top. if you do have special ranges from your doc, let us know.

it's great that you're weaning off pepsi and working on that.
but you need more for breakfast. would you be open to making some sort of banana muffin? like a banana oat muffin? that way you could nibble on it through the morning if you wanted and still be getting fruit but with something that has a bit more substance.

i dislike applebees, so i don't know very much about their menu. but would it be possible to find a slightly better option that has less fat? or to use less dressing? so many people overuse the stuff [locally here the small salad containers are about 22oz or 7" round foil containers and they come with four ounces of dressing] and less really is more.
and i see 2 T for two cups of greens. work this down. if you must have a more liquid salad, make your own dressing, go very light on the fat and very heavy on the acid [like lemon juice or balsamic or apple cider vinegar]. you'll get a lot of taste with probably fewer carbs and fat if you make the mix right.

and honestly, cut back on the sherbet. stick to a half cup and that should save you some calories. bananas are also a higher calorie fruit, so swapping those for some berries could help you out.

something like yogurt and granola would be a good earlier in the day meal or snack. lentils could also add a little boost of protein with your steamed veggies. or heck, mix them together with the lentils and some spices for a little curry to mix it up. also you can make your own hummus and go heavy on the chickpeas to give your afternoon snack some extra bit of protein.

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/22/10 11:42 A

PALEAN!!! Many, many thanks to you.

I'd never heard of "Greek yogurt" so, I began researching it. Needless to say, I'm going to the grocery store shortly! This one stone just might take care of two birds I've been struggling with; protein and my currently-horrible breakfast meal plan. I even found an decadent-sounding recipe (
* Favorite Yogurt Brand: Chobani ‘Fruit on the Bottom’ Blueberry Greek 0% Yogurt
* Favorite things to Add to it: ½ cup of KashiGoLean Cereal, cinnamon and 1 tsp of ground flax
* Favorite Time to Use It: Breakfast (a healthier version of a yogurt parfait)

Cottage cheese is something I'd given up on several years ago as the sodium content was increasing my issues with chronic edema (due to the neurological condition that causes the physical condition). The increase in edema makes walking, alone, so painful, exercise seems well-beyond cruel and unusual (it's more like something I'd imagine is done to prisoners of war as torture) and you end up paying for it for days, sometimes weeks, later. No one can really afford to be in that much pain while increasing their activity/output. So, I gave up on cottage cheese. I've not seen low-sodium options but, have not looked recently either. You can bet I will be looking when I am the store today because I love cottage cheese and pineapple chunks or peaches!

I looked up the protein shake you mentioned... many thanks. I think I'll work that into the breakfast meal plan rotation to keep it varied.

You've been very helpful, PALEAN. Again, many thanks.

PALEAN Posts: 3,224
5/22/10 7:55 A

I struggled and occasionally do struggle with protein intake. I have switched to Greek yogurt at times as the carb/protein ratio is better. I have also done Spirutein protein shakes for another protein supplement which helps me. I have been told cottage cheese has a low carb/high protein ratio but maybe opt for low-sodium as I think it is high in sodium for the most part. I haven't had the cottage cheese, but know you can get fat-free low sodium and still get the protein needed...I hope that helps even a little!

MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
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5/22/10 3:14 A

Hi there, Uni. Thanks for taking time to read my post and reply.

I think you would be surprised at the calories. I'm averaging about 1675/day per the tracker which is on the low ***(EDIT - should say HIGH side)*** side of my range but, still within it. It wouldn't seem like it though, eh? That peanut butter and the salad dressing (just 2 TBSP) can really pack on the calories and fat grams.

Before I go much further, I should probably explain that I'm not as active as you are - I peeked at your profile. And, that's something that should be taken into consideration when you compare your meals to mine. I'm physically disabled to a degree. So, my aerobic activity, ST and daily activity (walk to the bathroom, walk to the mailbox - daily stuff) doesn't really add up to most people's daily activity. In fact, with so little activity, or output, and nearly 1700 calories a day input, I'm surprised I've lost any weight at all, to be sincere.

As far as Acai juice... I'm not real concerned about it helping lose weight. I read it was good for your brain (my physical condition stems from a neurological condition), found some organic juice on sale and... it tastes SO GOOD and the values aren't awful.

I guess I didn't make my post very easy to read. And, for that I apologize. Under "Lunch" there should be "OR" and "Tuna 1c" listed. If there isn't, it was meant to be there. I love some tuna fish! So, between Applebee's meals and a cup of tuna every other day or so, I am getting protein during lunch at least 3 times/week (during the workweek which is when I struggle most with getting my counts right - the weekends are easy). But, there are days, to be completely honest, that I'm just not hungry and simply do not have time to eat much or there's not enough room on my desk for several items or a lack of time to put my lunch 'together' even though it's in the fridge behind my desk... I often work through my 'lunch hours'. I imagine this is likely a really bad habit I'm going to have to break in order to help get my lunchtime nutritional values on track. *sigh*

Apparently my hand was a little low on the 10-key and I didn't proofread real well. The carrots/snack should have been 6-7 (approximately a cup) not, 3-4. Sorry about that. I need to edit that so the next person who reads it gets a more accurate picture.

And, yes, dinnertime is the only time during the day that I actually have time to prepare a meal, sit down, relax and enjoy it. I absolutely love vegetables and I save most of them for dinnertime so I can actually enjoy them. Plus, that's how I was brought up: 1 meat, 2 veggies (at least), a salad and a bread item for dinnertime. The rest of the day's meals, I eat for sustenance and convenience (easy to eat at a desk) only. Sounds odd, I know. Dinnertime is also when I prepare and pack my lunch and afternoon snack for the following day. If I weren't adverse to eating the same meal two days in a row (virtually two meals in a row considering my Pepsi/Acai/fruit breakfast on-the-go) I'd just make a little extra dinner for the next day's lunch.

After reading several posts on the message boards, I realize I really must do something better for my breakfast. It's such a difficult time of day for me and always has been... food makes me kind of nauseous in the morning. So, I'm going to have to work on that, I guess. Oatmeal? It's carb-laden but, the protein is pretty high at 11 grams/serving.

And, to answer your question... my husband eats the other 3/4 of the banana on his three cups of raspberry sherbet. It's the perfect ratio (taste and texture-wise); 1/4 banana per cup of raspberry sherbet.

I hope that helps clear it up some. And, thanks again, Unident! If you have more suggestions, please feel free to share. I'm open. In fact, do you know a good meal replacement drink/shake? I'd like to do that in the mornings in place of my current breakfast or oatmeal, I think.

Edited by: MSTKAY76 at: 5/22/2010 (21:41)
MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
Fitness Minutes: (14,123)
Posts: 231
5/22/10 2:28 A

Hi, Rena. Thanks for your reply!

I do eat cheese, at minimum, once per day. If I don't get a serving of cheese in (I'm secretly a cheese addict) I have a cup of milk (2% because I'm 'bad' like that. hehe). But, my cheese is the low-fat string cheese and, it's delicious! So, I rarely miss a serving. :)

I did have the SparkMenus on for a few weeks in the beginning, but so much of the stuff that was recommended was foreign to me. So, I mimicked the nutritional ratios with my own foods. The meal plans above are just an idea - not set in stone and and certainly not what I eat EVERYday - there is definitely some variation. I'd get so bored with the same thing everyday, I'd never make it past the first week. lol But, the variations... that's where I get in trouble with fat grams even if it is a healthy variation.

I like what you said, and I believe I'm going to implement it: "some healthy foods have more calories and should not be removed because they keep traditions and food exciting without falling off the wagon eating like a rabit all the time.."

I'm going to forgive those extra fat grams so long as I get a little more protein in. Thank you sooooo much, Rena!

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
5/22/10 1:49 A

OMG, that's all you eat? How do you do that? What is the total calories on that, because it's so little food!

I'd simply starve on that.

No wonder you are having trouble meeting a range. I'm surprised if you meet the calorie range on that.

Breakfast - a drink, another drink, and ONE piece of fruit. Try to get some protein. A healthy wholegrain cereal with milk will give you some protein and much better carbs. You could include yoghurt, or a glass of milk instead of the juice (acai juice does NOT help with weight loss).

Lunch - I'm sorry but really? An egg, one piece of fruit, and a bit of string cheese? Oh my goodness! I could eat your breakfast and lunch for my breakfast and be starving by 11.00. Try some salads, sandwiches, pre-prepared meals, even a meal replacement shake. The egg is great as far as your protein goes, but that's just not enough volume of food. If you're going for salads or sammies, make sure you include lean chicken or tuna or something to increase that protein. :)

Eggs are great protein, but so are lean meat sources, and they usually have less fat than an egg (I think). So that is one way to reduce your protein:fat ratio.

Your snacks are good food, but very little of it. How about a whole "serving" of carrots instead of 3-4 baby carrots, which can't be a lot of volume? (A serving of raw carrots is one cup). Or 2 stalks of celery with PB? Throw some more cheese in here - string cheese or cheese on wholegrain crackers.

Dinner's pretty great. You really eat four cups of vegies with every dinner meal? Maybe if you spaced those out throughout the day, your day would be a little more balanced. Your lunch could do with some vegies.

Ignore the concept of "light" dressings. If you're not flooding the salad with it anyway, any dressing is fine. You really don't have to have "diet food" to lose weight. Just sensible portions of normal food. :)

What do you do with the other 3/4 of the banana when you have dessert? There's nothing at all wrong with your dessert, but I'm curious what you do with the rest when you eat 1/4 of one.

RENA1965 Posts: 17,878
5/22/10 12:10 A

I don't see any milk or cheese products- these two items are vital to avoid weak bones later in life..
Go for low fat products the calcuim is still great even if the fat content is low..

Turn on sparks menus and get your ratios by mimicing the STRUCTURE of their meals.. Also a huge variety of food rotation is needed so the stomach keeps working.. Try to move past your prefered food like zone and adding slightly less popular choices you directly don't hate but avoid because you have your prefered in the house all the time..

If your nutrition is over the minimum level and you feel satisified don't worry so much about being short.. It has taken me 6 years to get anywhere near perfect and some days I can be hitting it accurately and others it is impossible some healthy foods have more calories and should not be removed because they keep traditions and food exciting without falling off the wagon eating like a rabit all the time..

Edited by: RENA1965 at: 5/22/2010 (00:12)
MSTKAY76 SparkPoints: (15,832)
Fitness Minutes: (14,123)
Posts: 231
5/21/10 11:15 P

Hello, fellow SparkPeople! I need your help, please.

I'm having a very difficult time getting enough protein in my diet. I've looked through several other posts on the subject but, none seemed to address my additional concerns when it comes to protein intake; fat and carb levels.

My standard daily meal plan goes something like this:
Pepsi 12 oz
Acai Berry Juice Organic 2 oz
Pear OR Apple OR Banana (medium sized and only one)

Hard Boiled Egg 1 Large
Best Choice String Cheese 1 Serving
Pear OR Apple OR Banana (medium sized and only one)
Tuna in Water 1c
Hard Boiled Egg 1 Large
Pear OR Apple OR Banana (medium sized and only one)
*About once or twice a week this meal is replaced with one from the Applebee's Under 550 Calories or Weight Watchers meals for business lunches (which, be warned, are incredibly high in sodium!)

Afternoon Snack-
3-4 times/week
Fresh Baby Carrots 3-5 Medium
(***EDIT - this should say "Fresh Baby Carrots 6-8 Medium" - my hand was too low on the 10-key***)
1-2 times/week
Celery 1 12" Stalk
Peanut Butter 2 TBSP

Any Lean Meat 3-4 oz
Any Fresh or Steamed Vegetable 1c
Any Fresh or Steamed Vegetable 1c
Salad Greens 2c
Dressing 2 TBSP ("light" dressings only)
Bread, of some sort, is usually part of this meal - whether croutons or a small dinner roll - but, in small portions, of course.

Evening Snack/Dessert (1-2 times/week)-
Raspberry Sherbet 1c
Fresh Banana .25 of 7"

Here is the dilemma...
Each day, with a couple variations of the above here and there, I'm reaching my mid-range on calories, about 75% of my carb limit and am usually hitting close to the max on the fat allowance. But, I'm not getting enough protein. Rarely ever do I get enough. When I do, I always go over on fat and, sometimes, carbs too. I've searched the internet repeatedly for "high protein, low-fat, low-carb foods". The query results are always hundreds of advertisements for weight loss and diet juices, pills, etc.

I was hoping you lovely people might be able to help me tweak my diet a bit to increase my protein intake while not dramatically increasing my fat and carb levels. Most of my fat intake comes from my salad dressing, eating lunch at Applebee's for business and, about 1-2 times/week I have peanut butter on celery (that stuff is LOADED with fat but, I LOVE and CRAVE it! lol)

I realize my 'breakfast' is not beneficial to my carb-intake (41 grams per can of Pepsi). But, I'm slowly weaning off of it. In four weeks I'm down from a six-pack/day to one/day. And, if that's my only vice, so long as I keep it to a minimum (1/day), I'm good with that because I don't drink coffee nor hot tea. I don't do hot liquids real well at all - temperature-sensitive mouth. And, yes, I know how awful the HFCS is. Perhaps, someday, I'll be completely free of the Pepsi-spell. I'm also getting a fair amount of carbs each day from my baby carrots and apples.

I'm open to food suggestions. If there isn't much more in the way of food, is there a decent meal replacement shake I could try in the mornings that's low-fat, low-carbs and high-protein?

Thank you for reading to the end (I thought it best to be thorough) and, thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.

***EDIT - I believe I should mention that I had my doctor look at the Spark recommendations when I first began this journey (8 weeks ago this time). He tweaked the Spark nutritional recommendations but, they are very close to one another anyway and I'm losing about 1.5 to 1.75 pounds per week.

To be clear, my meal plans above are not what I do daily - I'd get very bored without variety just like anyone else. It's just an idea of what I eat any given day. I'm not looking for a critique of what I eat but, rather, tips on foods high in protein that are also lower in fat and carbs that I can add to my routine.***

Edited by: MSTKAY76 at: 5/22/2010 (21:53)
Page: 1 of (1)  

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