What I Eat

March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Warning: This is long and I apologize but it couldn’t be helped.  It’s everything in my refrigerator, cabinet and freezer!!

I’ve had a ton of people e-mail me asking what I eat.  So I thought I’d write a post today all about that.

But I’m going to warn you that what I eat might be quite different from what other people eat for a few reasons. 

I’m only 9 months into this new life and I’m learning as I go.  I don’t consider myself as the person to look to necessarily on the best way to eat.

I just do what works for me and then share it hoping that something I say will be helpful to others on this path.

First, my food plan consists of getting in at least 60 mg of protein a day.  Do I do that? Not always.  But I aim for it.

I also avoid eating anything with over 4 grams of sugar in it.

I learned years before I even had surgery that I am very sensitive to sugar.

If I consume anything with more than 4 grams of sugar in it I can react by having intense cravings and hunger.

There’s a lot of research out there documenting why this happens to a lot of people who consume sugar but I view myself as basically being “allergic” to it.

 I swell up.   As in gaining 50 pounds because I eat everything in sight from the cravings.

I can’t eat the volume I used to be able to eat so even if I were to eat something with a lot of sugar per serving I still wouldn’t be consuming that much of it. But still for me it’s like playing with fire. 

So as a result of that, I just don’t eat things with a lot of sugar.

I also do not eat more than 35 carbs in a day. Or at least that’s what I aim for.  There are days I go over.  But this is my guideline.

I eat low carb because it works for me.  It may not be everyone’s path but it’s what keeps me cravings-free and on the losing end of the scale.

I almost never eat bread, crackers, pasta, bagels or anything in that category.  I avoid most anything with white flour for all the same reasons I listed above.  And I don’t play around with low carb alternatives to bread either.  Bread is bread to my brain.  And once it starts going down that road it wants the real thing.

I’m from up north. We breathe bagels.  So I just can’t go there.

Except I’ll admit I eat corn tortillas occasionally when we go to a local mexican restaurant that serves Asada tacos.  These are also called “street tacos”.  I mean I do live in San Antonio 🙂  But I don’t eat the chips.  And I DO eat the salsa 🙂

To be honest, these tacos are probably one of the more low cal/low carb options a person could choose.  They are actually mini-sized and come as a group of 4 or 5.

They wrap them in 2 corn tortillas of which I remove one.  You could also eat them without the tortilla.  That’s what I should do! But since I eat only one I can’t do too much damage! I just pack up the rest in a to go box and that’s lunch for the next 4 days.

If I ever noticed that one mini asada taco caused me cravings or triggered a desire to go order a giant box of 20 tacos and eat them all by myself then I’d never eat that mini taco again. But so far so good.

I don’t eat greek yogurt straight like most weight loss surgery patients eat.  It has a lot of protein but it also has a lot of sugar.  And I just can’t put that in my body or I know I’ll be craving like crazy for days!  But I do use the plain greek yogurt as a substitute in place of mayo or in some recipes.  A few tablespoons at a time not a whole cup at a time.

I also don’t eat yogurt straight for another reason.  For me it’s too close to ice cream.  I realize it’s NOT ice cream.  But something about my brain views yogurt as a path to ice cream.  Don’t ask me how this happens.  It’s just some kind of trigger for me.  Whenever I start eating flavored yogurt out of a cup it always leads to ice cream.  And I know this. So I just don’t eat it that way.

I’m intentionally not very creative with my food nor do I eat a large variety of things.

There are a lot more people out there who can give you better variety if that’s what you’re looking for.

Like Shelly over at The World According to Eggface

But for me overeating and food became an addiction.

And I just spent way too much time thinking about it.  Daydreaming about it.  Planning it.

LOVING IT

And I made a choice that I no longer wanted to view food as entertainment or comfort.

I just wanted food to be food.  Something I have to consume to live but not anything I want to get too much enjoyment from.  For me that’s a dangerous slippery slope.

This means if there is something I like TOO much….I don’t eat it. 

If it tastes toooo good—I stay away from it.

I keep it VERY simple.  Not too complicated. 

And that works for me.

I don’t have any set menu plan.  I just keep things in the house that I know are my safe foods.

I also hate to cook.   I still cook things for my kids but for me—it’s fairly simple.

So I went around and snapped pics of the things I keep on hand.  Most of them I get either at HEB, Sam’s Club or Costco. 

Hope those of you looking for ideas will find this helpful!

Every day I take these three vitamins/supplements

Every morning, I have my coffee. And I will admit I do LOVE it 🙂

This is probably my main indulgence in life and I am so happy that I did not have to give it up.

Most of the time I drink my coffee black with nothing in it. But occasionally I will use Torani’s sugar free syrup and heavy cream.

Not the flavored creamers you see in the store that may say they are low fat but generally still have lots of sugar. I use actual heavy cream that has fat but no carbs and no sugar. Or I will pour a tiny bit of 2% milk in there.

Some people who have had this surgery say they can’t drink coffee. That was not a problem for me and I started drinking it about 3 months out. And I drink at least 2 cups a day.

But most of the time I drink it black.  Which is why I had no picture of the sugar free syrup to show you.

I choose different flavored coffees so I can get a little bit of flavor without paying for it in calories, sugar and carbs.

The only “donut” item I touch these days! “Donut Shop” is my favorite brand of coffee but I stopped buying it for the first 4 months because it had the word “Donut” in it and I was afraid that the word alone might trigger me to go eat donuts.  I don’t take any chances.  As time has gone one and I detoxed off donuts I’ve found it doesn’t bother me at all.  But if it ever does, I’ll toss them in a heartbeat.

Here are the other things I eat in no particular order

Bacon can be tricky.  I have to make sure it doesn’t have sugar in it or too much sugar in it.  One time years ago I was utterly derailed from a successful streak I was having on a diet when I accidentally ate some bacon with more than 4 grams of sugar in it.  I spent the next several days craving everything in sight.  Then I realized the bacon was to blame.  And I threw it away.

I get this bacon at Sam’s club and it has no sugar plus it’s fully cooked.  And as I mentioned, I hate cooking!

Love eating! Hate cooking!

I don’t like cracking eggs so I just pour it out of here. Works for me!

Maybe one day I’ll stop drinking Crystal Light but not today.  I used to drink a case of Pepsi every 2 days.  So for me this is a major improvement.

I usually buy one of these every week unless I’m feeling especially productive in the kitchen.

I get ham and different flavored cheeses at the deli every week BUT I am very careful about the sugar in it.  Some of the meats have a lot of sugar.  And yes I already know about the sodium.  One step at a time!

I put mustard in the middle and roll these up (no bread).

I also put cream cheese in the middle of a piece of ham along with jalapeno slices.  Roll it up and eat it.  In fact, that is probably one of my more frequent meals.

I don’t eat very much at a time anymore so I buy the chicken tenderloins instead of the chicken breasts.  I bake them in my smart oven usually with some all seasoning on top.

Even though I don’t eat greek yogurt straight, I do use it in some recipes that I got from the Eggface website.  Mainly I make her greek yogurt dipping sauce which I use with the baked chicken and her mini meatloaves.  Click here to get that information.

Here is a picture of our baked chicken tenderloins with the Eggface yogurt dipping sauce

  The kids like them!

We also eat bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed jalapenos that my son makes.  These are totally low carb and not hard to make.  Plus everyone loves them.

cjrecipe

I don’t know how this happened but I’ve really been liking cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese lately.  It happened very soon after surgery. I never liked them before so I don’t know if my surgeon inserted a greek salad chip in my brain or what!  I just know that I love them.  Not loooove in the way I used to loooove Reeses.  Not a destructive love that ends badly.   Just love enough to have them a lot but not so much that I eat them constantly.

I think I like cucumbers so much because they slide down easily.  And my weight loss surgery friends know how important that is. They are crunchy and make a good substitute for bread/crackers. But yet I don’t love them so much that I would ever binge on them. I mean who binges on cucumbers, right?

I put everything on cucumbers. Chicken, olives, feta cheese. And eat them that way.

So on to Lean Cuisines….I tend to keep several of these on hand at all times.  But not the pasta or bread ones.  The meatloaf or turkey ones.  Again these have carbs so I don’t eat them often.  And when I do eat them I usually only eat about half of the entire meal.  But it goes down easy since my new stomach doesn’t like anything that can get “stuck”.  And it’s good when you’re cut short for time but want to avoid the evil golden arches!

Cottage Cheese–I don’t like these very much so I would never overeat them.  But as I mentioned before I make a point to eat things that I ‘sorta’ like but not that much! It’s so I don’t get sucked into the vortex again of overeating. I don’t put fruit or any kind of flavor on them because as I previously mentioned I’m just trying to get some fuel down!  They are a good source of protein and have enough consistency that I feel satisfied.

This goes on my baked chicken or inside deli meat/cheese that I roll up and eat (minus bread).  Also I use it to make chicken salad/tuna fish.

 Cream cheese (regular for me because the fat free has more carbs in it ironically.  And for me the problem is the carbs not the fat)

The cream cheese and jalapenos go inside a piece of deli ham rolled up.  I don’t know how I came up with this but it’s good.  Trust me!

Plain greek yogurt instead of mayo with some horseradish mustard and some sugar free pickles/relish makes an easy chicken salad/tuna fish.  Here is my daughter Charlotte’s recipe for that!  And naturally I put it on cucumbers!
chicken breast

Quest Protein Bars–I order these from Amazon as they are very hard to find in stores. These are the ONLY bars I will eat and I don’t eat them often.  I can’t eat most any protein bar because of the “candy bar” trigger.  If it tastes too good it will lead to the real thing.  Also most protein bars are NOT anywhere close to low carb.

These  protein bars are literally the only ones I know of that can be truly be considered in the ballpark of low carb.  They still have them but just not as bad as the others.

The big deal is they contain more fiber than any others and virtually NO sugar.

And they don’t taste quite as good as the others.

I know this isn’t much of an advertisement but as I stated before I don’t eat things I really love.  And protein bars (for me) are already potentially dangerous due to the candy bar trigger.  These, however, work fine for me.

I always keep a few boxes in the house.  But never the chocolate because I heard those are the best tasting and I’m not risking it!  No chocolate bars for me! I used to eat snickers by the bag so I am not even going to stray down that path!

I don’t eat a ton of soup because of the carbs but these are easy and I don’t eat the noodles.

I eat lots of shrimp but with melted butter and garlic.  NEVER cocktail sauce.  I LOVE cocktail sauce.  Probably because it is loaded with sugar. And since I love it I don’t ever buy it.  But butter is fine.  It doesn’t have sugar and carbs.  And again that is where the problem lies for me.

I eat these fully cooked hamburgers a lot.  I put mayonnaise or the Eggface Yogurt dip and horseradish mustard on top with a melted piece of cheese and of course NO bread.  I just eat them with a fork.

And now we come to the real deal.

My Atkins Caramel Cafe Shakes.

 I drink these by the cartons.  I have them on auto subscribe.  They comprise at least 50% of what I consume on any given day.

And if there is ever a time when I feel like I’m starting to get hungry more often or wanting to eat more than I should…I go right back to full liquids and nothing else for about 3 days.

This has been KEY to my success.  It’s like putting myself in a “time-out” if I catch myself slowly starting to work my way back into overeating.

That puts my mind right back where it needs to be.  Focused OFF the food.

Well I know this trip through my kitchen was long but now you know all the things I’ve been eating for the past 9 months.

Hope it helps!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah March 24, 2012 at 3:24 am

You are so focused and determined. I am in awe. Well done you. xx

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LuckyEight16 March 24, 2012 at 4:39 am

I completely understand what you mean about bagels. I absolutely love them. And WW, while I enjoy their meals, bread, and even their cream cheese, their bagels are no bueno. I want the real like from the bagel shop bagels and I could probably live off those (and Dunkin Donuts coffee!). It's interesting to see what other people eat, most people eat better than I do. I am admittedly not a big fruit/veggie person. Never have been. Also, not a fan of seafood (Fridays during Lent are seriously ALL carb). You need to do what works for you though, and I think you're doing great!

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Frickin' Fabulous at 40 March 24, 2012 at 5:04 am

Mostly everything you eat looks delicious, but I have to tell you, I hate cottage cheese!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh March 24, 2012 at 5:53 am

I love seeing what other people eat. Gives me some good ideas! Your son is quite the chef! Love to see kids getting an early start on the culinary arts! 🙂

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greenie March 24, 2012 at 6:21 am

Thanks for sharing. I love to see what people eat. I'm definitely gonna check out some of these things.

I think its so smart and wise to totally stay away from things you like too much. That's what I plan to.do. I just don't want to care about food much. I've been obsessed with it all my life. Like you, I just want to have a.few.things I eat, and stick to those and.not have to think too much about it.

I'm the same way about sugar. I consider myself a.sugar addict – like an alcoholic. It's.just best if I give it up completely (from a sweets stand point). I did it for 18 months a.couple of years.ago and it just.took ONE weak moment to send me spiraling back into bindging on sweets. I gave it up again last July when I started.this.process, but relapsed with Valentine day candy. I vow not to fall down that.path again. It literally only takes one bite for me.

It's.said that.the whole "low fat" craze is what.made us one of.the fastest nations, bc all that fat was.replaced with sugar. I always.choose more fat over sugar, like you.

Sorry for all the periods, I fat.finger it on my phone 😉

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Linda Sherwood March 24, 2012 at 6:50 am

I always have a hard time figuring my calories/carbs when I eat something and leave something out (like you eating the soup and not the noodles).

I keep a stock of Atkins shakes on hand too, but I haven't tried that flavor. I will have to do try it.

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spunkysuzi March 24, 2012 at 7:49 am

As I read this post I just kept nodding to myself thinking "I never thought of that"! Honestly it never occurred to me to eat things I don't love because then they wouldn't start cravings!!
Honestly you just gave me the biggest WOW moment.
While I haven't had cravings lately that is what usually is my downfall and now I've got a different way to deal with them.
Sincerely, thank you.

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Lap Band Gal March 24, 2012 at 7:57 am

WOW! So many great ideas!!!

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If Only She Were Thinner March 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

Carbs do to me what sugar does to you. I have to keep mine under 30 a day or else I would just crave them all day…and night. The fact that we recognize our triggers is a huge step in this life long SUCCESSFUL journey. Keep up the AWESOME work.

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Nanette March 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

First time reader here… Your progress is amazing! You look so great! You have a lot of great food listed here. I love that the kids are involved. I have to fight sodium more than sugar… I love me some salty goodness. So cheeses, feta, goat cheese, mozz sticks, Are SO difficult to have in my home. Trying my dairy free week next week.

But I love the tour of your pantry… I've got some new products to look for! Love the new ideas.

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RockBand Barbie March 24, 2012 at 9:49 am

I love to see what other people eat. I do the chicken breast tenderloins a lot too…I have said I eat so much chicken and turkey that I swear I'm going to start growing feathers 🙂 I also occasionally eat that exact same Lean Cusine for lunch.

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~Sandi @ This one time at 'band' camp... March 24, 2012 at 10:47 am

Thanks for sharing Holly, it's always nice to see what others eat and get idea's from.

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Michelle Jackson March 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

You are so focused and on top of what does and doesn't work for you! I've just been cleared for real foods, so I will keep all of this in mind and watch for triggers. Thanks for sharing all of this and I will have to try some of these things.

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Anonymous March 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I do love your posts

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me March 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

What resonates from the for me is that feeling of losing weight equalling concentrating on FOOD all day! That's why I cannot do the six meals a day thing. It left me ALWAYS in the kitchen planning and preparing FOOD~my very problem! LOL! You're doing sooo well, and I like that you share it's what works for you. I really don't think there is any ONE right way to lose weight!!!!

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Lauryn March 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

thanks so much for this! i am a new reader that Staci sent over here and i love your blog!! i just tried your ham and cream cheese and jalepenos and they are so good!!!!

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Carrie March 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Girl, I'm the SAME way about bread. I could live in a fresh, loaf of bread.

I just started on coffee about 6 months ago and I still say, "I'm not a coffee drinker." To hell I'm not. I gotta have it everyday now.

Seriously thought about one of those fancy makers…I'm sure in time, it'll happen.

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disneytikifan March 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Great post. I am trying to work on my health and you have some great ideas.

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stephanee March 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Great post! Thanks for all of the awesome ideas 🙂

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DB March 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Wow this was so great! I have been looking at the atkins shakes/modified diet (I'm a vegetarian) and am glad to hear they are worth it. I think I may also want to look at being "allergic" to sugar as a lot of what you said sounded very familiar. Thanks for sharing another great post 🙂

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Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking March 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Wow!! I am new to your blog and am so glad that I found it! I have been reading over your posts and want to say Congratulations on your weight loss!! That is so awesome.

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Staci's Slimdown March 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm

You may remember I have posted about trying to stop saying I "love" food. So let me say, I deeply care for olives! LOL And why do I never considering eating my lunch meat with cheese in the middle and rolling it up instead of having it with bread. Duh. That would be a good WW points saver for me some days! I have ordered the Quest bars. They really do NOT taste as good as other protein bars, but they have lots of protein and help keep me full. 🙂 I understand what you mean about trigger foods. Good job learning what those are for you and staying away from anything that takes you there!

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Staci's Slimdown March 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm

And why do I *always* make stupid grammatical typos when I reply on your blog??? Sheesh. LOL

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Caron March 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I drink black coffee too and love it. I have to stay away from the sweet, carby treats to avoid cravings too. Once I give myself permission to have them, it takes me far too long to stop and get back to my plain, healthy food. You are doing great!

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Karen Butler Ogle March 25, 2012 at 6:14 am

Thanks so much for sharing this. You are so right about knowing your trigger foods and avoiding them. I have misplaced that lesson and have had some regain. This post has been a good reminder to me to get back to basics and also a good listing of the food I should be eating. I'm glad a friends pointed me to your blog.

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speck March 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Thanks for sharing. I always like to get ideas from others.

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Czesia March 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm

This was very interesting! I really enjoyed reading about your triggers and how food made you feel when eating and or binging. I don't know if you knew I am going to school to become a registered dietitian but it's important for me to be able to understand people's food stories other than my own. By the way, I LOVE HORSERADISH MUSTARD! lol!

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MandaPanda March 26, 2012 at 6:32 am

Thanks for posting this. I find it so interesting to see what everyone is eating. I also do the deli meat (sodium…bah!) rolled with cheese or cream cheese. For some reason, I really dig it. Also, since my own WLS, I love spicy things…Jalapeno poppers (I know, I know…fried…ugh, spicy cheese and salsa. I also love refried beans now..not sure why…HATED beans before. Odd how our tastes change. I think it's wonderful that you're so self aware of what foods trigger bad behavior for you and are able to avoid them. 🙂

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Andrea March 26, 2012 at 10:40 am

Great suggestions! Thanks for posting this!

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Betsy April 15, 2012 at 7:10 am

I completely understand were you r coming from. I could live on bread and pepsi. I gave up pepsi in october before surgery. I have also given up bread and tortillas. i live in so-cal and there is a local tortilla shop that still uses lard. i used to eat them by the dozen with a pepsi. and johnny carinos bread is the bomb. I have not had any of it since january and thankfully with this surgery not wanted it. If I can continue to keep my head focused on the protien/veggie dynamic I hope to be successful. of course i am only 1 month post op and today is my first with any meat product. I have successfully managed some tuna. You are an inspiraion and will contiue to follow you.

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Liza Glick December 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

This was a really interesting post for me. Let me ask you a question. When you look at a food label for how much sugar or carbs it has in it, how many are you looking for? Like “less than X”? I have never really looked at sugar or carb content but I might try it and I would like a guideline to use. Thanks!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down December 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Hi Liza!!

I am glad you asked me this question b/c I should update this blog post to include that information. I do look at sugar grams. I don’t eat anything with more than 4 grams of sugar per serving. I do also monitor my carbs. I eat no more than 30-40 carbs a day. However, my biggest issue is sugar and I’m very strict about it. I try to eat things with no sugar at all and I’m super careful about it. Things that say “no sugar added” still have sugar. Sometimes when I would see that, I would think it was sugar free. Once I clued in that sugar is almost everywhere, I became a lot more diligent. The less sugar I ingest, the less hungry I am. When I’m not on sugar, I am in control. The only shakes that I drink are the Atkins ones b/c they have only 1 gram of sugar, 2g of carbs and 15 g of protein. The protein helps you to stay filled and satisfied. I don’t eat any bars, though, because even the ‘good’ ones generally have more sugar/carbs than I’m willing to take in. Once you get used to what it feels like to be in control of yourself and off sugar, it will make you even more careful what you eat b/c you will never want to go back!

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Liza Glick December 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Thank you, this is very helpful!

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Ana September 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Very happy for you.

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