Monday, January 16, 2012

Fine-Tuning My Diet

I’d love your tips and suggestions on one of my 2012 goals. One of the goals I mentioned wanting to work on this year is fine-tuning my diet (diet being the foods I eat daily, not a temporary way of eating that will stop when I reach my goal weight). I’ve done fairly well with my first goal of eating at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal and at least two fruit servings per day. Now I’d like to add on another goal.


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I had the TV on a couple of days ago and saw a Centrum vitamin commercial with a link to a website that would offer personalized nutritional supplement suggestions. It sounded interesting, so I visited the link last night and took the survey. I wish I could have taken it a couple of years ago so I’d have a comparison because I know my eating habits are much better now.

My results indicate that I need to take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement (not surprising). They also indicate that I need to increase the following in my diet:

  • beans
  • whole grains
  • calcium
  • Omega-3

The whole grains weren’t a surprise at all; I mentioned that in my 2012 goals post. The calcium wasn’t terribly surprising either, but I think I could improve that and the Omega-3 with a little planning. The beans were something I hadn’t really given much thought to.

What are your suggestions for adding more whole grains and beans? I usually eat oatmeal or Kashi cereal for breakfast and I eat my pasta bowl with whole grain pasta once or twice a week. That’s about it for my whole grains.

I do enjoy peanut butter on whole grain toast, so I could do a snack of that and a fruit more often. I also enjoy brown rice, but we don’t eat a lot of it – usually just as part of a casserole (or that delicious stuffed cabbage casserole) or under stir-fried veggies. I am definitely going to try a recipe that my cousin mentioned that contains brown rice (well, my modified version will, anyway) – zucchini, black bean and rice skillet.


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As far as beans go, I eat black beans and pinto. I will often eat black beans as a side (love them!), but pinto beans are usually in something, like chili or chicken taco soup. I like white beans fairly well, too. Oh, and we eat our favorite green bean recipe at least once a week. Do you have bean suggestions? Favorite types or favorite recipes?

You know what I would love to have? Some sort of menu-planning checklist where I could check off all the stuff I’d like to include in my diet each day or week as I’m planning my menu for the week. I’ve thought about creating my own, but I haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. Does anyone know if something like that already exists in some sort of meal-planner form?

I mean, I know there’s the food pyramid, but I’m thinking of something where I could fill in the foods that meet the requirement. For example, breakfast might have a space for whole grain, protein, fruit, and calcium. Then, I could write in: oatmeal, boiled egg, orange, and milk…or something like that.

Those are the thoughts that are rumbling around in my head. Any great thoughts or suggestions?

Do or do not. There is no try.



  1. I have followed your blog and weight loss journey for quite some time, although I'm not sure if I've ever commented on your blog. I too have been striving to lose weight, and in my journey to weight loss I've found some interesting stuff. Have you ever heard of the Paleo diet, "The Primal Blueprint", "The Paleo Solution" or even, "Wheat Belly"? I highly recommend you read at the very least "Wheat Belly" by William Davis M.D. (here's the website: I know you are so close to your goal and reading about how you are tweaking your diet this year to include more whole grains really struck a cord with me and I just had to speak up. There is a lot of scientific proof out there that actually speaks to the opposite (no grains) for optimum health and weight loss. I would be remiss not to at least mention it to you, what you do with it is up to you of course.

  2. Thank you for voicing your concerns and mentioning the books, though I doubt I will read either of them. Honestly, I have a horrible time reading non-fiction books. A magazine article on the subject, maybe, but not an entire book. The principals that I am basing many of my current choices on are inspired from a Bible study on nutrition where whole grains do feature prominently, though, perhaps not as prominiently as they are pushed today. I don't desire to add 6-8 servings a day, as is currently recommended because, to me, that would just be purposely eating more bread/carbs than I have a desire to eat, which sounds counterproductive.

  3. Have you heard of Quinoa? It's super easy to make, only takes 15min and is a whole grain loaded with protein. My family is trying a semi-vegetarian diet this year and Quinoa is a major part of our weekly routine. Use it like you would rice with soy sauce or we love it cooked in chicken broth and sauteed onions and mushrooms stirred in. We use it in stuffed peppers or portabellas and my kids all love it!

  4. Yes, it's a favorite around here.

  5. The Weight Watcher planner has a checklist similiar to what you are talking about, maybe not so indepth but it does have a section where you mark off what you need each day of the basics.  It is just a simple check list but I like your idea of having one for each day/meal.  I think it would be fairly simple to create - if I create one I'll share my version :-)

  6. Thanks, Jackie. Definitely let me know if you create one.

  7. How about watching "FatHead" on Netflix?  I'll second Kendra's concern.  Dropping wheat has done me nothing but good.  More grains=more carbs=mor insulin=more weight.  You've done amazing in your weight loss (I hope to see the 130's someday myself), but adding more grains won't help.  There's a great book called "Why We Get Fat and what to do about it" by Gary Taubes, but it's pretty heavy duty non-fiction.  Watch the FatHead movie if you can.


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