I have had a lot of people come to me and ask about what I eat. Cold hard truth, healthy foods. I have been eating what all doctors, dietitians and mentors tell you to eat. Most people know what they should be eating, it’s the self control that is an issue. But for those that are just not into this and don’t know where to start, I am doing this for you. Giving you ideas to work in what you like. As I have said in the past I have tried all diets. The only one I haven’t been on is Jenny Craig (way too expensive). I believed from the moment I started that I needed to eat real food. Not from some factory putting diet suppressants in the food or making it so hard to follow along that all I was doing was carrying a calculator around. Also budget was an issue. We live on one income, therefore if the family couldn’t eat it too, I had to consider if I needed it or not. I shop at Aldi, some prices are here or available on their website. So here goes:
I love cereal. Special K any of them are great, aldi has their own version through FitActive 2.39. With fat-free milk price varies 1.89-2.59 a gallon. When I get sick of the flavor, I wait for the sales on the Special K and stock up. Switch up the choices!
Every morning I have a banana .39lb.
I refuse to give up my coffee. I have a big cup every morning, I also have regular flavored creamers. It hasn’t hurt me yet and I love it!
I am not big on smoothies. But if you are:
fat-free milk, light yogurt (plain or vanilla)1.89 for the big tub, frozen fruit 2.19-2.89 a bag. Sweeten with agave or honey 2.49. I make them for my oldest because he can’t eat in the morning but he will drink this.
2 whole wheat waffles 1.29 (each box has 8), light syrup 1.69 (I think) 2 strips of turkey bacon 2.19 a package
If you don’t like any of these suggestions look on pinterest or buy the breakfast sandwiches in the frozen section. My breakfast for the week is : 19.21 divide by 7 is 2.71 a meal. Affordable? I think so.
Lunch. A lot of people cringe when they hear of my lunches. I am not a picky eater, I enjoy all kinds of food. I do however like to put my own spin on it. So rather than buying something with a whole bunch of stuff in it I would rather it be something I knew what was in it. Again, Aldi foods. Also, my staple for lunch is a sugar free pudding snack. Chocolate of course. Value at 1.00 for 4 cups! Or you can make your own instant for .69 a box and it will make 8! Get this 70 calories each! For chocolate!
Brown Rice and Fish. Brown rice can be made ahead of time and put into containers, 1.49 a box. Cheap! Salmon cooked under the broiler, topped with salt, pepper, honey or agave. I have found at Aldi you can get a bag of salmon freezer packed filets for 3.99! Usually there are 4 filets. Same with talapia, cod and another white fish I can’t remember the name. With the white fish I broil it also, with lemon juice, chili powder, salt, pepper and paprika. I have even put bbq sauce on it!
This is a new one I found on pinterest the other day tried it this week and loved them.
I added ham to mine to give me more protein. You wouldn’t think it would be filling but with the kidney beans, veggies, peas, and ham it was! Aldi is the cheapest around for the canned goods around 59cents a can and frozen veggies 1.00-189 a bag. I think all of the salad fixings cost me around 10.00 total. It made 5 of the big ball jars. Their lunch meat is around 5.00 for 2lbs. Click on the picture for the link.
Another lunch idea regular sandwiches. Whole wheat bread, light mayo, turkey and tomato! Baked chips and of course pudding cup!
If I am eating out (which sometimes happens weekly). Here’s my guide I stick to:
Chick-Fil-A. Tons of choices, best place to get good food. My favorite is the Asian Salad with honey sesame dressing. Cobb salad (watch the dressing on this one though) avacodo lime ranch dressing. Grilled chicken wrap, honey sesame dressing. Grilled chicken nuggets with the fruit cup. I chose one of these items when we go I am safely within!
Wendy’s. Small chili (no cheese!) side salad with vinaigrette dressing. Grilled chicken sandwich, no sauce,no side. Sometimes I will get a full size salad when they bring back the strawberry fields salad, that’s a good one!
I do not eat at McDonalds! Ever.
Taco Bell. Grilled chicken tacos with all dairy products removed (cheese, sour cream etc). Taco Salad (again no dairy). Did you know how many calories are in regular sour cream?! A-lot! This a perfect example of being able to have things you want, but sacrificing some toppings to make it fit in your “diet”.
Subway. Well, we all know what we can eat a Subway. Pretty much everything. Except here again I cut out the condiments! So loaded with unnecessary stuff. Be careful of bread choices, I always go with the whole wheat.
So on to dinner. A lot of my dinners for myself are centered on portion control and substituting the “regular” ingredients with lower calorie options. Sample of dinners at our house for a week:
Chili-ground turkey, chili packet, beans, tomato sauce. Jiffy corn muffin mix. I have 1 muffin. This is typically an 8.00 dinner. Subbing the turkey for ground beef is so worth it! Easy!
I am always on pinterest looking for meals. I sometimes make a lot of casseroles, which tend to be high calorie but I found if I get the fat free or light options on cream soup, it cuts the calories down. Also, make you’re own soup with the lower sodium broths. You can pick your own veggies and they taste fresh not mushy.
Tacos, faijtas and quesdillas. Load them up with chicken and veggies. Fat free cheese and sour cream. Yum.
Spagetti. I do not like whole wheat noodles. I know they are better for you. I do use the regular noodles I just make sure I stay within portion. I like to mix the meats sometimes I use ground beef (80%) and pork sausage. Other times I use ground beef (80%) and ground turkey. I do half and half to get it more meat but not totally blowing calories out. Most spaghetti sauces are okay as far as calories.
In the summer or warmer weather our grill is used almost every night. Grilled chicken, pork chops, turkey burgers, turkey hotdogs, smoked turkey sausage, and tons of other meats.
I try to incorporate salads and cooked veggies as sides whenever possible.
We plant a garden and get lots of veggies from that for salads. So my grocery bill goes down in the summer.
Snacks: I allow for 2 snacks a day. I like yogurt, apple with peanut butter, cereal bars, light popcorn, fresh fruit, skinny cow treats, pretzels, raisins and almonds.
Here is the link to all of Aldi’s fix active products and prices: https://www.aldi.us/en/grocery-home/aldi-brands/fit-active/. I apologize I didn’t list all of the prices, sometimes it’s hard when there are so many. But I can tell you our grocery bill is around 150.00 weekly for 5 people. If I shopped somewhere else, it is a lot more. There are some things I can’t get at Aldi, but I just pop over to the nearest store and get what I need. I still save a ton.
So in a nut shell, substitute bad with good when possible and watch your portions on the bad and eat more of the good? Got it?
Exercise goes hand in hand with this. You can make all the right decisions on foods, but time in the gym is a absolute must. I was able to do this with just an hour a day in the gym. During that hour, I was sweating, out of breath and determined. I made the most out of my time there because I knew if I didn’t work hard, my time there wasn’t enough. My thing: get in do it get out. I am totally different about it now, I have to have it. My body craves to work hard and my mind wants to feel good about it!
This is not easy. I know first hand, but I wanted this really bad. I was tired of feeling tired. Everything I tried to do was so hard. I never in a million years realized how bad I actually felt compared to how I feel now. You may not be able to change everything about your life but you can make changes you’re happy with. You may not be able to do this everyday, but when you do you’ll be amazed at the change your life will take you. Physically my life is so much easier.
I hope this helps anyone who had questions on where to start. I know you’re probably thinking I make this sound so easy. Subbing food is easy, it’s eating it and liking it that’s hard. Sometimes I have to tell myself today I am eating this because I have to and on cheat day I can have something else. Cheat day? Yes, I have those. One meal per week. I will eat something that sounds good and isn’t something I have eaten during the week. My favorite is pizza! Usually Friday night is pizza night! I look forward to that every week and makes it easier to get my work done for it. If I’ve had a crappy week and know my food or workout wasn’t up to par, I would omit cheat day.
As I have said before patience plays a big role. With food, taking time to think about what you are eating. Excercise, putting that time aside to get in. Sometimes if you do everything right weight doesn’t come off, but that’s when your will needs to be stronger. Again lifestyle change, it is not a temporary change, it’s for life. Am I going to work this hard when I’m in my 70s, probably not. But I won’t be eating like I was either. I had to get myself under control for that reason too. If I didn’t do something now, I wouldn’t be able to get it done later.
Thank you so much for reading! This blog really helps me stay focused and not forget why I am choosing to keep my life this way.
Please use the comment section if you have any questions or share ideas that work for you that I can use 🙂