Making food modifications

Choosing what we eat each day can sometimes be a huge struggle. Over the course of the last couple of months, I have made some modifications – changes, revisions, improvements – to the foods I eat. Because I am on a mission of making a lifestyle change instead of just “dieting” this time, I am trying to train myself to pay attention to the things that go in my mouth.

I know I said in earlier posts that this time – this attempt at losing weight and keeping it off – was different because of my attitude and my determination, but I forgot to mention one other thing. I only told the half-truth. This time, I AM trying something new, but it’s NOT a quick-fix scheme or a pill or a magic drink or saw-it-on-the-tv gadget. It’s a lifelong program that offers support, tools and education to teach me how to eat healthier, move more and live better – it’s Weight Watchers.

Whew, I feel better for getting that off my chest. Anyway, I promise I will write more about WW, as I like to call it, at a later date.

Right now, I want to focus on how food modifications can really make a difference. One such food is cheese – seriously, one of my all-time favorites. I have had a cheese fetish since I was a little girl and over the years, it’s only gotten worse. I don’t care if it’s cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, feta, colby, parmesan, asiago, muenster, ricotta or even cottage, I just love cheese. But, wow, cheese is sooooooooo unhealthy – if eaten in the quantities I like to eat it.

I always thought that since I don’t get my daily allowance of calcium through drinking milk (I don’t really drink the stuff because it makes my stomach a wee bit nauseous), I could just eat my allowance of calcium through cheese. NOT! So, I have made some modifications. Instead of one whole cup of shredded cheddar on my salad, I use one “stick” of low-fat (okay, it is the WW brand, but gosh is it good) string cheese. Kind of weird, I know, but I just cut it up into little round bits and it works just fine. Honestly, I don’t really notice a difference.

I also love, love, love grilled cheese sandwiches, which if made with regular bread, butter and regular cheese, is not a very healthy lunch. But, I modified my sandwich by using butter-flavored cooking spray, whole-wheat, low-fat bread and low-fat or maybe it’s even fat-free cheese. Wonderful, simple, quick and easy lunch – especially when dunked in ketchup!

I am also in love with fajitas, which are relatively good for you – oh so one would think.
But, once again, with a few modifications, my husband and I have turned them into a great, healthy supper. First off, either chicken or steak can be used as long as the chicken is white meat only with no skin and the steak is a lean cut with all the fat trimmed off. Instead of tossing the peppers and onions in oil and making them goopy, fry them in a pan with cooking spray. Also, use a dry fajita seasoning mix instead of a bottled marinade-type sauce. For the tortillas, try the FlatOut brand. These are AWESOME!!!! Because they are kind of oblong shape, I cut them in half and make two fajitas from one tortilla. It makes me feel like I am eating more than I really am. I also use fat-free sour cream. Some people don’t like it because of the texture, but I actually love it and switched to fat-free sour cream about five years ago.
If you use cheese on your fajita, try a low-fat or no fat kind and use it sparingly.

One other huge change I have made when it comes to modifying my food is to actually measure and weigh it out. Sounds a little ridiculous, right? But it definitely makes you more aware of your portion sizes. Making food modifications can be fun if you let it be and want it to be…in just the same way exercising can be fun, too.

Yeah, right!



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