Getting Started: Eating Right - MetroFamily Magazine
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Getting Started: Eating Right

by Mari Farthing

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

The first days are the hardest. I spent hours trying to figure out food: what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat. I pored over online resources and reached out to friends (and strangers). I referred to books and magazines and websites. I learned more about carbs than I ever wanted to know. I began to keep a very detailed food diary and started to strictly portion my food.

I spent an afternoon at the grocery store, looking at all of the things I normally buy, and comparing the nutritional content. I looked for hidden sugars and fillers (and found plenty) and completely revised my diet. I found a list of 10 “super foods” on www.diabetes.org and have resolved to add these to my daily diet:

  • Beans. Low-fat source of protein—very important when going on a low carb diet to increase your protein and keep your energy up!
  • Dark leafy greens. Spinach can be easily added to all 3 meals in my day. I buy the bunches and keep it washed and ready in the fridge.
  • Citrus fruits. Grapefruit for breakfast. Oranges for a snack. Lime juice in place of dressings. Lemon juice in my water.
  • Sweet Potatoes. Still working on this one. I’m not big on the orange vegetables.
  • Berries. Great news! I bought the all-natural frozen berries and have them every morning with my yogurt, or sprinkle berries onto my salad at lunch.
  • Tomatoes. Another bonus. I love tomatoes and like to buy the cherry tomatoes, which are easy to snack on.
  • Fish. Especially that high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon. Like sweet potatoes, I’m working on this one.
  • Whole grains. Replace breads and pastas with whole grains; also barley, quinoa and oatmeal.
  • Nuts. Raw almonds are a go-to snack for when I’m on the go and start to get hungry.
  • Fat-free milk and yogurt. Well, I can’t go all the way fat-free, but I’ve gone low fat. I have switched from flavored yogurts to non-fat Greek yogurt that has one ingredient: milk. I feel much better about that over the kind I used to buy, with a list of ten or more ingredients that just didn’t seem to fit. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but one that I’m willing to make.

This is a learning process, for sure. After the first few weeks of my obsessive food journal, I’m able to make choices a little more loosely, and I know better about the portion sizes that I should be selecting. If I know I want to have a big dinner, I’ll be sure to have a lighter lunch.

Ironically, I’m thinking a lot more about food, but not obsessing about the food that I can’t or don’t want to eat anymore, but rather about the new kinds of foods that I can explore. I’m trying to look at it as an adventure; so far, so good.

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