Days 28 & 29 -- Kali-Tested, Kali-Approved!

So it's been brought to my attention (uh hmmm... thanks Kali) that apparently some of my food choices have not been so great lately.

Now if you're wondering, like me "What's so bad about Yoplait Yogurt?" I have the answer for you, and it all comes down to four little words: high fructose corn syrup.  Sugar makes you crave more sugar.  Yay!!!  And while I thought I was putting something halfway decent into my body, I was, in all actuality, just ramping up my metabolism and blood sugar to crave more crappy food. 

But have no fear, Kali is here!  Kali (my nutritionist extraordinaire, for those of you newbies out there) wasted no time at all in correcting me.  (Yes, I was bummed I couldn't get away with my Ritz Cracker Chips and Yoplaits for just another few weeks.)

I met with Kali last Wednesday, at which time she made a very good point: Why the hell do I have a nutrtionist if I'm just going to block out everything she says?  For example: while calories, fat content, and carbs matter, what's actually going into your body matters, too!  Nine months later and you'd think I'd get it by now!  But nope, I've been bad.  And I haven't been reading the ingredients of products I'm considering purchasing.  I'd like to say that it was unintentional, but we all know it wasn't.  I mean, c'mon... what you don't know can't hurt you, right?  And if I wasn't reading the label, then I could damn well claim ignorance. 

Yea, well lots of thanks to Kali for tugging me out of the clouds and back to healthy living reality. :-\  But, I do have a nutrtionist for a reason -- mostly because I need to re-learn how to eat.  And what to eat.  Unfortunately, I hate just about every veggie there is (thank you meat and potato Portuguese upbringing) and am reluctant to try new things.  (I'm a creature of habit, as I tell Kali.)  When I find something I like, or that works, I stick with it.  But I am trying to be more open and less against eating different types of food.

That said, Kali had a few suggestions on how I can tweak what I'm currently eating.  And naturally, I felt the need to share them with all of you.  I figured that some of you might be struggling with the same issues and could use a few snack ideas.  So, please do not mock me, or let what I'm about to write hold too much weight, but please indulge me as I attempt to play nutritionist now...  The following is a brief synopsis of what I like to call Kali-tested, Kali-approved foods:

OK... first thing to go?  Buh-bye Yoplait Yogurt!  A while back, as in last August, Kali tried to get me to eat plain greek yogurt.  That did not go over so well, since I had to still had to add Agave Nectar and cinnamon to it each time.  My biggest thing?  Convenience.  I need something that's fast and easy and I can just throw in a bag in the morning and just whip it out later while at work.  Hence the Yoplait yumminess.  But, alas, Kali wanted to see that come to an end.  And fast.  Re-enter Chobani Greek Yogurt -- but FLAVORED!!!  So tasty!  Tried the strawberry banana flavor today and it was fantastic!  And the best thing about it?  No crappy ingredients and lots of protein!  If you're not a fan of strawberry banana, check out some of their other flavors like honey, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry, or pomegranante.  Get full product info here:

In an attempt to get some more veggies into my daily intake, I started bringing soup for lunch.  And then I totally negated that attempt by adding a bunch of Ritz Cracker Chips to the bowl.  Not so good.  Solution?  Snyder's Original Mini Pretzels!  I needed a crunch in my soup, so Kali suggested counting out one serving size (which is 20, in case you were wondering), and adding them in for that extra texture.  She also suggested Campbell's Select Harvest Soups, instead of Progresso, which have about ten fewer calories per serving.  The whole can is about 100 calories, and there are like a million veggies and beans I'd never ordinarily eat! Today's lunch included Italian-style Vegetable (zucchini, tomato, chickpeas, kidney beans, celery, carrots, cabage, green beans, and spinach) with 20 mini pretzels and definitely hit the spot!  Find a soup you might like at

Kali also had a good suggestion for a snack.  If I wanted something crunchy, how about rice cakes?  Now, if you're like me, you're thinking "Mmmmm.... white cheddar," or licking your lips at the thought of caramel-flavored goodness.  But nope, sorry... none of that.  *Sidenote: 7 caramel mini cakes are 60! calories and contain... you guessed it, high fructose corn syrup! *

Instead, try the plain rice cakes.  But don't eat them dry - yes, I agree, they have a remarkable resemblance to cardboard when eaten alone.  Pair them with some Tedy's Natural Peanut Butter, or some Laughing Cow Spreadable French Onion (or Garlic and Herb) cheese, though and... voila!  Quick, easy, fulfilling snack.  One rice cake and a wedge of the Laughing Cow cheese is just 75 calories!  Talk about low-cal snack!

And as for my breakfast (Multigrain Cheerios with 1% milk), well that just wasn't making the cut.  One of the most important lessons Kali has strived to teach me is that every meal/snack should have a smart carb and a protein, together.  So Cheerios are fine, so long as I have a quarter of a cup of almonds with it.  Or a low-fat cheese stick.  But if you can't seem to fathom the idea of eating a cheese stick with your cup o' Joe in the morning, try this alternative: Kashi (or Van's, but I prefer Kashi's) Waffles with a little bit of peanut butter spread over the top of it.  Now, I know it might be hard for some of you to even think about waffles without loading them with butter and syrup.  But honestly, this is a really easy and fast breakfast.  And it fills you up!  I definitely notice a difference in my eating habits when I start the day off with a protein and carb.  If I don't, I'm usually hungry sooner and find myself muching throughout the day at my desk.  Breakfasts like the waffle and PB, though, really help to keep me fuller, longer.  If you're not a waffle person, try some eggs and a slice of 100% whole wheat toast.  There are lots of healthy carbs and proteins out there guys!  Go experiment!

Lastly, I don't know if any of you have noticed, but I think I've finally managed to kick my ice cream habit.  It's funny really, that week without it proved to be a good challenge for me.  I realized during that time that I wasn't actually craving the ice cream itself, just the comfort that came with it.  I enjoyed the release I associated with eating it, and the mug-full each night had become my routine.  I didn't necessarily need, or want, for that matter, the Ben & Jerry's.  I had just become so used to it, because that's what I did every night!  Well, no more!

Instead, I've been trying to cut up some strawberries after dinner, if I'm craving something sweet.  I was using Fat Free Cool Whip to dip the strawberries in.  However, as Kali pointed out, it's loaded with HFCS.  Soo.... instead, she suggested I used Redi-Whip (the red can in the cheese/yogurt section), which is mostly cream.  However, I can't go nuts with the portion size, since it is mostly cream. 

For nights where I do need something extra sweet, like chocolate, I've been trying to have a piece or two of dark chocolate.  Like tonight -- I knew I didn't want to sabotage my healthy eating today with a big cup of ice cream.  So instead, I broke off one piece of the Lindt Dark Chocolate infused with Mint that I bought at Shaws on Sunday.  It was in the fridge, so it was nice and cold, and for a brief moment, it actually tasted like Mint Chip Ice Cream.  And that was all I needed!  Just enough! 

I hope these ideas help you all out a little!  I promise you, I wouldn't suggest them if they didn't taste good.  Kali can vouche for that.  But seriously, try some of them!  I challenge all of you this week to swap out one of your favorite snack foods with a healthier version (Ted, that means you, too, sweetie ;-).  No swiss cake rolls!)  Try to switch out one a week, and before you know it, you'll have made drastic changes in your eating habits!  And you won't even notice!  I'm going to continue to try new things and work on swapping out bad food choices with their healthier counterparts, too.  So you definitely won't be alone!  Oh, and feel free to leave a comment and let me, and everyone else, know of a healthy alternative that you use as a go-to snack!  We could all use more staples!!!

PS -- Tried the asparagus last night.  Definitely not one of my favorites, but I didn't hate it, either.  Then again, who knows if I was cooking it correctly.  :-\  World's Greatest Cook -- yea, not me.  Well, onto the next poor, unsuspecting vegie!

Nicole's Daily Menu
2 Van's Waffles with peanut butter (Kali, don't yell.  I know I'm only supposed to have 1, but I was super hungry!)
Chobani Strawberry & Banana Yogurt
2 Fig NewtonCookies
Campbell's Select Harvest Italian-style Vegetable Soup
20 mini Snyder's Pretzels
Diced Peaches
1 Plain rice cake with Laughing Cow Spreadable French Onion cheese
Stir fry with beef and green peppers, red peppers, onions, and zucchini
1 piece of Italian bread
1 square of Lindt Dark Mint Chocolate


Anonymous said...

I love chobani yogurt! i make a parfait out of it with some bluberries or strawberries and a little bit of natural granola! Mmmmm

<3 Lauren

Anonymous said...

my kids LOVE CHOBANI!!!! By the way, how many calories were in your daily meal. Based on my calculations the above daily menu should have been around 1700-1900 calories. Your current weight/height/age calculates that you need aroudn 2500 cals to maintain. So this is a 600 cal deficit. By shaving off 300-600 cal's per day, you should lose 1 lb per week. Make sure you drink at least 8 - 8 oz cups of water per day. It is simple math, I know because I am down a bunch from Jan. 1st.

If you gain we will gain, so our future rests in YOUR hands.

Azure said...

Hi Nicole! Thanks for the tips on your blog. I love the plain chobani yogurt with strawberries and a little stevia for sweetness.

I wanted to tell you about my new favorite sweet treat, that's REALLY good for you and tastes delicious. Especially since ice cream is out. :)

We have a magic bullet at home, which makes it really easy for us to make. However, a blender will work just the same.

* 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
* 1-1.25 cups of OJ/water mixed (I use about half and half)
...and then you blend (or magic bullet) it until smooth and frozen drink consistency.
110 calories, and it tastes awesome!

It reminds me of Italian ice almost, but with all the fiber, sweetness, and antioxidant goodness that comes with berries. It's my new favorite breakfast or after-dinner treat!

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