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FINDINGMYSELF61 SparkPoints: (1,916)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 59
3/7/14 10:23 A

I believe in everything in moderation. Many Americans simply eat to much, or mainly on a diet of take out, fast foods, frozen dinners and other frozen fast foods to accomadate for time of preparation-tired and hungry after work with a family to feed! Some jobs are 10 hr shifts instead of the traditional 8! Some people working two jobs. Many don't have the time to prepare/ cook/clean up after a healthy meal (s) everyday so quick frozen/takeout is the only option several day a week. Go to foods such as poptarts, cereal bars breakfast cookies,etc are a quick to go breakfast that can be eaten in the car to work/school. Prepackaged/heat and eat lunch items are also quick and easy on the go and take little or no time to prepare. A cup of regular coffee with perhaps a little creamer and one sugar packet and one donut on break turned into a calorie laden Fancy coffee and a handful or two of mini candy kept in a drawer! Hmmm! The focus should be on the type of foods that are making us fat and making convience foods more healthy since this is what more Americans are eating- not focus on One item such as sugar, its so much more that!

Edited by: FINDINGMYSELF61 at: 3/7/2014 (19:07)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
3/7/14 10:12 A

If we say that their is an " American Diet ", what is it?

Some would say it is all this junk we eat.

I am sure that many others would say it is a healthy mix of carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats. Are we talking about a diet that your dietitian would recommend, or what your 23 year old son eats? Huge difference.

NIKKISC2014 Posts: 18
3/6/14 7:04 P

I dont follow the American Diet perse. I eat Clean.

This means whole, real foods - and we avoid processed crap.

I eat a ton of fruit, veggies, chicken, fish, - im currently in a love affair with hummus.
My weight is melting off with ease and I think anyone else that eats clean (it is a lifestyle thats becoming more common, so I have seen others here that abide by it as well) will tell you there are no limits to what you eat. You just have to rethink and get creative.

Check out

TIME2BLOOM4ME SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (84,670)
Posts: 5,104
3/6/14 6:21 P

Try new recipes.

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
3/6/14 5:45 P

I want to reiterate that skipping meals is not a good idea! Please nourish your body - we only get one.

I recently got a Silk Road cookbook (Mediterranean, Middle East, South Asia) that seems like it would fit with how you want to eat - mostly vegetarian dishes, meat only used sparingly if at all, lots of veggies, and interesting flavors that aren't really used in the "American diet" and that may re-excite your palate. I try to pick a new recipe to learn every week to have something new and exciting.

FINDINGMYSELF61 SparkPoints: (1,916)
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Posts: 59
3/6/14 3:16 P

I agree with Russell, no such thing as American food, its a blend of combining different cultures. Most of us eat what we can afford, choose to eat, have the time to prepare and eat, or on a special diet due to medical reasons.

Edited by: FINDINGMYSELF61 at: 3/6/2014 (15:17)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
3/6/14 9:25 A

There is no American diet. We steal dishes from other cultures.

As far as more fruits and veggies, if you saw what a dietitian wants you to be eating, versus, what people actually eat, you would probably be closer to something healthy.

The problem with what they tell us to eat is that it is just general advice. When you read servings of meat, you can eat chicken, or ground beef. With fruit, you can have berries or bananas, or even tomatoes. With vegetables, you can eat potatoes/corn, or green beans. These foods all vary in how they effect your body, but fit within large categories.

So if you decide to eat " Mediterranean ", this can still fit into how dietitians want you to eat, but in the end, you have to decide the individual foods you consume to make up your diet.

A serving of protein and carbs can be a pulled pork sandwich on a white bread bun, OR 4 ozs. of skinless chicken breast, and a side of broccoli, OR a chicken stir fry.

Just because most American eat the most convenient garbage available, doesn't mean it is the American diet. Just eat the healthier foods available, and try to make your own food from scratch as much as possible, and you should see some health improvements.

NOBLEEQUESTRIAN SparkPoints: (5,640)
Fitness Minutes: (10,988)
Posts: 247
3/6/14 7:46 A

You don't have to eat what the average American eats. I know I don't! I haven't been to a fast food restaurant in at least a year or two.

Instead of following a program try living according to your standards. If you want more fruits and veggies and less red meats, than try it!

Instead of shopping for unhealthy fatty foods, go to a nice health food store or visit a farmers market.

IMDADOGGIE SparkPoints: (42,022)
Fitness Minutes: (11,767)
Posts: 3,128
3/6/14 1:28 A

There are many diets that have fruits and vegetables that are tasty. I actually get the idea of being sick of it because I too have been trying to eat different and I find that when I eat the typical American diet which consists primarily of starch, bread and high fat meals I no longer enjoy it. I know Mediterranean and Greek have a great variety of fruits and veggies, even Indian food. There is a lot of variety out there and I am sure you will find the one that works best for you.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
3/6/14 12:21 A

Read the nutrition articles on Sparkpeople.
Plan meals in advance.

There are a lot of web sites and books with great tasting and healthy chicken, fish or vegetarian recipes. I would only try 1 new recipe per week.
If time spent cooking is an issue, you can cook extra and use leftovers for another meal.

As others have mentioned, try some different ethnic cuisine. Indian food has a lot of vegetarian, chicken or fish dishes.

Not all packaged foods are bad, especially if the alternative is skipping meals.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,338)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,812
3/5/14 5:13 P

I would try to simply choose what I need and split it up. Example: 120g+ protein, 10 servings veggies, 4 servings low sugar fruit, 5 servings healthy fats.

B: green smoothie
snack: turkey rollup
L: grilled chicken salad (w olive oil and/or a lot of cheese)
snack: almonds
D: fish, double serving veggies with olive oil, dinner salad
snack: raw veggies with greek yogurt

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,838
3/5/14 12:28 P

Eatingwell has their own meal "plan" and most of their recipes use very little if any processed foods. Tons of recipes on Spark, Skinnytaste and elsewhere may also work for you. I don't use a meal plan. I just try to get 75-100g of protein, meet my Spark ranges and eat 5+ freggies per day. That gives me a lot of flexibility for planning meals and snacks.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/5/14 10:27 A

Lol..I forgot about Thai and Vietnamese!!!

If someone really wanted to - all they had to do was pull up a world map, close their eyes, point...then google X cuisine!!!

3/5/14 10:21 A

Just reading the words Thai, Vietnamese, and Moroccan in the context of food makes my mouth water.

Traditional American food can be a little dull. I found an old Betty Crocker soups & stews cookbook from the 70's and there were plenty of nutritious ingredients (surprisingly not much canned cream of mushroom soup), but the recipes all looked like they'd taste basically the same. There was no spice, no yogurt, no chiles, no fresh limes, etc.

As Americans we are blessed with big grocery stores and endless variety. Watch some cooking shows or You Tube videos or take a cooking class with a friend. There is plenty out there to please your palate.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/5/14 9:55 A


"I am doing the best I can not to eat anything in a can or out of a bag."

You are doing "clean eating".

Maybe what you mean by "American Diet" is stuff like fast food, frozen dinners, chips, packaged cookies, boxed mac and cheese?

I don't eat that stuff either. Dinner could be salmon with greenbeans (fresh, not canned). Chicken breast with steamed carrots and cauliflower (fresh).

Snack is an apple, or roasted cauliflower (google recipe), carrot sticks with home made hummus (google recipe).

"I want to find a program with lots of veggies and some fruits."

Then eat a lot of veggies and fruits. Make them your side to meals, and snacks. Nothing is holding you back from that. Go to the store and check out the produce isle - stock up on apples, oranges, mangos, grapes, honeydews - whatever floats your boat.

You need to look at recipes online. If you want more fresh veggie side items, google vegetable side dish recipes. If you want to eat vegetarian, google vegetarian recipes (or even vegan recipes).

You could explore different food cultures. There is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered. Google is your friend.

Scandinavian cuisine
Russian cuisine
Japanese cuisine
Mexican cuisine
Italian cuisine
Ethiopian cuisine
Indian cuisine
Moroccan cuisine
Greek cuisine
Lebanese cuisine
French cuisine

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,314
3/5/14 8:58 A

I'd agree with the pp's. Plus you can find all kinds of ideas just by googling things. Mediteranean diet, clean eating, real food, vegetarian (and then sub in fish or chicken if the menu calls for something like tofu or TVP or whatever, that you don't want to eat). The DASH diet is low sodium and is rather "plain" style eating in their basic menus-- 3 oz. meat, 1/2 plate of vegetable, 1/4 plate whole grains, etc. Your eating style can be anything you want, and you can skip eating anything you want. The Nutrtition Tracker would be really helpful for you to keep tabs on whether you're getting enough nutrients. You could set the Tracker to "vegetarian" for a while and sub in the fish or chicken here and there. Just to get some ideas on what a daily plan would look like. Spark has a ton of recipes. And the internet in general is chock full of what must be a bazillion recipes.

MARTHA324 Posts: 6,272
3/5/14 8:52 A

Read Michael Pollan's book called Food Rules. I pretty much follow his advice to "eat food, more plants, less of it."
I make big salads for lunch and many days they are vegetarian. I'll have plenty of greens, tomatoes, carrots, onions, beans, maybe cheese or an egg, seeds.....wide variety. I've gotten away from bottled salad dressings and have found some great olive oils and infused vinegars. Delicious!

If you don't have a slow cooker those are great. You can make healthy soups and stews that will be ready when you get home and you'll have plenty of leftovers.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
3/5/14 8:45 A

I'm pretty sure the OP is saying that they have given up a lot of processed foods and red meat (seeing them as part of the poor American diet) and now is at a loss as to what to eat in their place.

For the medium to long term, I'd suggest googling "paleo recipe", "primal recipe", "vegetarian recipe", "vegan recipe" and maybe looking into cookbooks of all those styles as well. Though those various ways of eating differ dramatically in some ways, they all have in common (or tend to) a greater emphasis on whole foods. So if you grab recipes for your meat from the first two types of sites, recipes for grains from the last two, vegetables from everywhere, and so on, you'll surely find a lot that looks interesting.

In the meantime, though, don't skip meals! This is for your health, remember? If what it takes until you can get it all figured out is to eat 75% of your calories the way you'd like to and have peanut butter sandwiches for the rest (to just give one absurd example), that is still better than skipping meals. You could also poke through this message board a little, since "what do I eat for breakfast/lunch/snacks" comes up frequently, and those tend to be the real stumpers when you've cut out things like processed cereals or breads. People always have lots of ideas.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,327
3/5/14 7:02 A

i shall second the suggestion to get thee to a library. check out some vegan or vegetarian cookbooks as a starting place and see what looks good. if you find you like inidan food, then start searching out more indian food and cookbooks.

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
Posts: 1,169
3/5/14 3:21 A

I don't know what you mean by the "American Diet". I would wager that if you put 10 Americans in a room none of them would eat the same way.

If you mean that you are bored with what you are eating on a regular basis, why don't you go to the library and check out a couple of cookbooks from different cultures, or go to Pintrest and look up "healthy recipes" or something similar. Most cultures have a mix of healthy and not so healthy foods; you have to sort out which ones work for you.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,846)
Fitness Minutes: (41,586)
Posts: 27,293
3/5/14 2:23 A

Can I ask what foods you have eliminated, and why? Is it because of medical reasons? The reason I ask is that a lot of people eliminate food groups THINKING they are doing the right thing, but without any need medically. By doing that it can cause problems with getting the amount of nutrients that are required to be healthy, and it also reduces enjoyment of food, which in itself can lead to eating issues.

What I suggest is that you eat 'internationally'..... By that I mean, why not eat some Moroccan style; some Mexican; some Italian; some Greek; some Thai; some Vietnamese; some French, etc. etc. Pick the healthier versions and just enjoy?

Good luck,

KARYN03 Posts: 77
3/5/14 1:29 A

I am so sick of the American diet. I want to find a program with lots of veggies and some fruits. I do not like red meat and only eat fish and chicken occasionally. I am doing the best I can not to eat anything in a can or out of a bag. My problem right now is I have eliminated alot of food options so I find myself skipping meals which I know doesnt work. Any suggestions?

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