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Posts Tagged ‘Fiber’

Fish, oats, and Tandoori

Hello all!  It’s been about a week and a half since I have blogged.  I’m sorry about that – life has been hectic with the holidays coming up!  I want to share with you three very delicious meals I have eaten recently while out with my husband.

You know, it often seems next to impossible to eat healthy when you eat out.  Most restaurants load you with calories and carbs – but I have noticed that, if you look hard enough, you can find healthy AND tasty choices when you’re not eating at your own table.

Take this meal for instance.  At this particular restaurant, I was uncertain as to what to order.  They serve burgers, pizza with lots of cheese, and chicken that comes with, like, ten stuff piled on top.  Not what I wanted.  Then I noticed Rainbow Trout on the menu.  It is listed as seasoned and deep fried, but upon closer observation I saw in teeeny tiiiny letters May be served grilled or blackened upon request.  Aha!  Something I can eat!!!  This came served with a reumelade that I barely used.  The side I chose was steamed veggies, which were wonderful – zucchini, squash, carrots, and broccoli, that had been very lightly drizzled with herb infused olive oil.  Le sigh, happiness.

Here’s my breakfast on Sunday morning!  We were up way early since the clocks got set back, and decided to eat breakfast before church.  We ended up at Cracker Barrel.  Again, not known for being health conscious.  I was delighted when I saw they have an oatmeal breakfast!  I’m sure it’s always been on the menu, but I have a long history of ordering their Old Timers’ Breakfast, so I had never seen this.  A heaping serving of oats that I added raisins to, an apple bran muffin, and two turkey sausages.  I was so stuffed I could only eat a fourth of the muffin.  Granted, the muffin was huge, but still.  I was still full at lunchtime.  Yummers!

And finally…

Indian food!!!  I had never eaten real, true Indian, but it’s one of those foods I’ve always wanted to try.  Scott and I are seriously into Bollywood films (you should check them out) so there was a sense of novelty to eating Indian for us as well.  We ordered a dinner for two that had ten items I can’t recall on it, but the tandoori was wonderful!  This was served with a lot of basmati rice, which I think has become my new favorite rice.  Very full flavor, and I like that it’s not sticky.  It’s easier to mix with the other meats and veggies that way.  And Indians love vegetables – we ate a lot of veggies that night.  Scott and I both foresee many more Indian meals in our future.

Next time you’re eating out, look for ways you can eat healthier.  Many restaurants are starting to offer healthy alternatives, but be careful – make sure their healthy is really healthy.  Healthy does not equal fried or loaded in sauce!  In time, you will learn what restaurants serve healthy options and which ones really don’t.  Happy eating!

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Get a wrap. The spicy wrap is 110 calories versus 300 calories for the chargrilled sandwich. It also has 8g of fiber per wrap, versus 3g in the sandwich. That’s MUCH healthier than Mickey D’s! I eat it with their fruit cup.

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SF Pumpkin Pie

Mr. Southern Fiber and I were invited to lunch at our cousin’s home this past Sunday.  Her kitchen has recently been completely remodeled, and she wanted us to come see it.  I walked in the door and the first thing I saw was a brand new stainless steel stove with matching microwave above, and a stainless steel kettle on the stove!  It looks like something out of a Kenmore catalogue.  So chic.  I loved it!

We had salad and lasagna for lunch, and with Scott being the cook, we didn’t want to show up empty handed.  We brought the dessert.  What did we bring?  Pumpkin pie!  Of course, I wanted to enjoy the dessert, too, especially since I love pumpkin pie, like, to death.  We searched and found a recipe that fit the bill for our now persnickety bellies.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 9-inch unbaked pie shells
  • 2 cans pumpkin
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar (remember, this makes two pies, so it’s only 1/2 cup per pie)
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Beat eggs with a whisk, adding other ingredients and continue to beat until smooth.  Pour mixture into two pie shells.  Bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then reduce temperature to 350.  Allow to bake for another 45-60 minutes.  Test to see if it’s done after the first 45 minutes, and every 5 minutes after until toothpick (or skewer, as we used) comes out clean.

    Now, the funny part about all of this is Scott forgot to make the pies.  He laid down for bed and I asked him when he was going to cook the pies… this was 11:45 pm.  So, at midnight, Scott is putting the pies into the oven, and me being the good wife I am stayed up to keep him company.  We watched an episode of Earth 2 while the pies cooked, although I don’t remember much of the episode.  I was zonked.  When the pies were done, he took them out to cool and we went to bed.  Here’s what I saw Sunday morning:

    Mouth watering goodness!!!!  I really wanted to have a slice right there before church, but I resisted knowing I could have some at lunch.  I had fiber cereal instead:

    Not a valid substitute, but it was necessary.  It didn’t taste bad at all, but it wasn’t pumpkin pie.  I did get to enjoy a slice later:

    This tastes sooo good, and I am even more glad we still have some left in the fridge!  And with low sugar and skim milk, this is a good healthy alternative to the usual I-don’t-care-about-my-waistline usual pumpkin pie.  Also, it has about 4g of fiber per serving.  Yay me!

    I encourage you to try out this recipe this holiday season.  I think it’ll be a hit.

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    Southern Fiber

    I wore white after Labor Day!!! Yes, I did.  White pants, and capris at that.  They’re a size 12, and with my weight loss, I’m afraid they won’t fit after Easter next year, so I decided to wear them yesterday.  Granted, it’s just a week after Labor Day, but it’s still “after.”  They felt great, and I’m kind of sad because they have served me well and I really like them.  I’ll have to get a new pair next year – yay for shopping!

    On a side note, Noah tried the organic crunchy peanut butter and loves it.  He also has been eating my fiber and nutrition bars!  I will need to continue getting large stashes at the grocery store relay so that Noah and I will have a continual good supply of nutrition bars.  I’m glad he’s taking initiative and making his own decisions about the healthy things he wants to eat.  As far as the nutrition bars go, he likes them so much that Scott and I have to remind him not to eat two or he won’t eat any dinner.  This has actually made him sad.  I don’t think I ever thought that we would get to a point where we would have to limit his eating of healthy foods, or that he would get sad about having to watch how much of it he eats!  Noah is making great progress!!!

    Thinking about my blog’s namesake, I would like to share with you some great high fiber meals I have had recently.  Enjoy!

    Yes, this is what it looks like.  This is Chick Fil A.  I had a chargrilled chicken sandwich, which comes on a whole grain bun with lettuce and tomato.  I had it with no butter or pickles, and I added light canola mayo.  As a side, I had the yogurt parfait with harvest granola.  According their nutrition information, this meal is 590 calories with 5g of fiber.  Not bad for fast food, and having worked there for two years, I know none of it is processed.

    This is (du-du-DUUUH) The Beacon!!!  About as southern and heart-attack-on-a-plate as you can get, but I fared okay with this meal.  I sang in the choir at Overbrook Baptist Church on Sunday in celebration of its 60th anniversary.  Lunch was catered by the Beacon.  I had a plate of pulled pork, which I don’t eat often, one squeeze of barbecue sauce, and a mountain of baked beans and coleslaw, both of which have fiber.  With the number of beans I ate, and how much coleslaw I had, too, this dinner ran me to about 15 grams of fiber, and they held the grease, thank you.  Sunday night we had a picnic with our own church (I didn’t take my phone) and I had grilled chicken with a lot of raw veggies, so my calorie count for lunch didn’t make me feel guilty since I consumed so few calories the rest of the day.  I still hit about 1800, I’m guessing.

    I made chicken salad from leftovers, again.  We had chicken left over from the picnic, so I chopped that up and mixed it with a whole apple that I diced, light canola mayo, and salt and pepper.  Then, I got fiber happy, and got to thinking about bulgur wheat I had in the pantry, and added 1/4 cup of bulgur wheat.  Not cooked, just dry.  I wanted crunch.  It gave the chicken salad a nice crunch, and a very nice nutty flavor.

    I put this on Arnolds sandwich thins, and had it alongside 1/2 cup black beans and a heaping spoonfull of 0% Chobani plain yogurt.  Dinnertime fiber = 29 grams.  It was very tasty, indeed!

    On the menu tonight is spaghetti with whole grain pasta.  Grains, grains, grains, and beans, beans, beans.  Both are excellent sources of fiber (beans = soluble fiber!) and you can get very creative with both of them.  I’m still going strong with my high fiber diet, and I’m so glad.  I feel wonderful.  Thank you all for your support and encouragement!

    What are your favorite ways to eat beans or grains?

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    I’ve been approached by several friends and family members who all mentioned that I need to put a before and after post on my blog.  I am excited to do so, especially since I have already lost ten pounds!  I am still getting into serious exercising – old habits die hard, and my body, after years of being sedentary, is slowly getting used to exercise.  I still have a long way to go, but I am happy to report that I have already come a long way since my visit to the doctor and my switch to healthy living.

    Here I am in 2007.  You can’t tell my weight here, but that is because I have discreetly hidden my belly and legs from view by cunningly “showing off” my cute pocketbook.  I was not happy with my size here.

    Honestly, I wasn’t happy with my size here, either.  This picture was taken in April this year on a trip to Vegas with my wonderful husband.  I added inches and pounds after we got married and chalked it up to “happy marriage weight”, which I’m pretty sure is true.  I am still extremely happy, and now that I am in a happy and solid marriage relationship, my self image isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be.  That doesn’t mean I liked having a belly.  Can you see me still trying to hide it?

    Mother’s Day 2010.  I was sooo happy on this day that i honestly didn’t think about hiding my belly, or any other part of me that showed I am overweight, which at least means I was beginning to accept me for me, however I look.  You can notice my belly in this shot, though.  I have had people come up and ask me when I’m due, which, as any woman knows, is embarrassing and hurtful.  Please, don’t ever ask a woman when they’re due unless you’ve heard it from them that they are pregnant.

    Here I am today!!!!!!!  I’ve already accepted that my face is probably always going to be pudgy, since I have the face build of my Daddy’s side of the family.  But – my arms, and my belly!!  I am so proud!!!  The ten pounds I have lost so far have obviously been lost from my belly, and I am not complaining.  Now people everywhere are asking if I have lost weight (still not the best thing to say, but better than “when are you due”) or mentioning how good I look.  It’s invigorating!!!  I’m glad it’s not just me that notices – that helps make all of this more real.

    A close up shot of my belly today.  Sigh, happiness…. I am so very proud of me!  I am staying strong on my high fiber, low fat diet.  Today, for lunch, I had a bean burrito in a flour tortilla, grapes, and Chobani greek yogurt.  MMMMy!

    1/2 cup of black beans, which equals 22g of fiber.  I’m still full.

    Thanks again for all of your love and support.  And remember – I love to hear from you! I enjoy hearing how my progress is helping others have the courage to switch to healthy living as well.  It’s also great to have the support and guidance of others who have made the switch.  You can also sign up for the RSS feed  from my blog, or subscribe by email, on the right hand side of this page.

    When were you finally honest with yourself that you weren’t living healthy?

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    First, please allow me to apologoze.  I have been a busy bee this holiday weekend and I haven’t posted since Thursday!  Second, I don’t know how long it will take me to write this post since I am in the middle of eating my lunch:

    Leftover day, with leftover Thai veggie fried brown rice and leftover lime chicken with peppers that I made into a salad and put on sandwich thins.  My belly is doing a happy dance right now.

    So, having finished the rice, I am now between bites of the sandwich, updating my blog.  I have had a great weekend so far!  Scott took Friday off, so Noah and I spent the afternoon with him before we dropped Noah off at his mom’s.  Fun game night with friends Friday night!  They even popped kettle corn for me so that I wouldn’t be left out of the snacks.  We left around ten thirty so that Natasha and I could get ready for the grocery store relay!

    Da da-da daaaa!!!! The whole point of this post.  I had a blast yet again, and even more friends joined in this time.  The gang from my first Saturday was there, minus one due to a migraine, plus two other lovely ladies from church and a great friend of mine from growing up.  Word is getting out about this thing, and if there ends up being too many people at the relay, I’m afraid they will all blame me.  Never fear – I will continue to tell you of my great finds at the grocery store relay!

    I rode with Natasha and we got there a little before eight.  I cased the joint with her sister to find the box I wanted to grab.  They had a box full of organic preserves, several boxes of almond and rice milk, box after box of cereal, and then I saw it:

    The row on the right, third box up from the bottom… a box full of protein and fiber heaven.  All this box had in it was healthy snack bars!  I love these for snacks, meals on the go (if they have enough fiber), and Scott has gotten into the habit of eating them, too.  I didn’t want to be stingy with them, though, so when I grabbed this box, I went back to my group and told everyone to take some bars for them, too, and I would take the rest home with me.

    I still had almost an entire box left over.  This should last us for months.  I also found three more (3!!) jars of Maranatha nut butters!  Two organic peanut butter, and one of the crunchy and roasted almond butter like I found before.  My mom asked me, “how much peanut butter are you eating?!”.  I assured her that we’re stockpiling since the sell by dates on them are a long way off from now.  We have a good stock of nut butter now, and that’s a good thing, since there’s now two of us that are eating them regularly.

    There were several organic salad dressings to choose from as well, and I got some Caesar, some honey mustard vinaigrette, and some sweet and sour dressing.  I got a box of bulgar wheat, some more oat bran, granola, whole wheat pastry flour, and black beans.  This is some mondo pantry building on the cheap.  Seriously cheap.  Here is my kitchen table with all of my finds:

    The two boxes in the back are free salad dressing cases they were giving out.  These aren’t fat free, so we plan on donating them to our local soup kitchen.  Saturday afternoon, I went to lunch and a movie with my mom and sister!  Lunch, for me, included seasoned broiled tilapia with cauliflower and snow peas.  It was yummy!  After, we went to see Eat Pray Love.  It was a wonderful afternoon with my two favorite women of all time before my sister leaves for Spain!

    Speaking of my sister and Spain, Scott and I are going to dinner at my parent’s house tonight for her going away party/engagement party/everyone’s labor day party.  I am eating high fiber today (I had about 15g at breakfast, and more for a snack) so that I may enjoy dinner with my family tonight without feeling guilty about how much fiber is in the meal.  I informed them that no menu changes needed to take place tonight just for me.  There will be eighteen there, and I am one, so I will enjoy myself.

    And drink extra water.

    Happy Labor Day, everyone!

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    What exactly am I doing?

    I have been asked this question by several people.  Am I following a program?  Am I on a diet?  Did I get a book?  Am I on Weight Watchers?  The answer to all these is no, I am not.  In case you have not yet read, my first post documents why I have changed how I eat.  In short, I must eat 30 to 40 grams of fiber a day, and consume 80 ounces of water.  I also must eat low fat, fat free, lean, and healthy foods instead of unhealthy foods from now on.

    No program, just those orders from my doctor, and to be honest, he’s right.  I had gained fifteen pounds since March because of the foods I had been eating.  I know they weren’t healthy, but I ate them anyway.  Knowing that I had to start eating healthy foods, I needed to learn what foods were good for me and why.  I also had no clue which foods had the most fiber.

    I’ve always been aware that diet plans and fad diets often make you limit certain foods.  It is true that many foods have additives, preservatives, imitation sweeteners, man-made sweeteners, and extra sodium that your body doesn’t need.  There are also certain things found in healthy foods that your body does need.  The truth is that everyone needs protein, fats (good ones), carbs, sugars, fiber, and vitamins.  The key is to learn about those daily recommended percentages so that you can know what your body needs.    As an example, our body even needs calories!

    Calories are not bad for you if you allow them to do their job.  Calories help give us energy and they help enforce good cellular function, if the right amount is consumed each day.  If you consume too many calories, the calories you have left over turn into fat.  The amount of calories a person needs to consume varies depending on your lifestyle’s activity level.  A marathon runner would need more calories than a person who only mildly works out for thirty minutes a few times a week.

    Most diets and fad diets mention something about cutting calories.  If a person consumes too much calories, then yes, they need to cut back on calories.  Trying to eliminate too many calories, however, can cause serious problems and send your body into starvation mode.

    Above is just an example of one reason why I am not on a diet plan or following a program.  Knowing the suggestions from my doctor, I have a lot of foods that I can eat.  I just have to learn what they are and what I can do with them.  This involves some serious research, creativity, and trial and error.

    One of the greatest resources for me is other healthy living blogs.  These people have tons of recipes, and they have great food tips on what’s good or bad for you.  Another good item of note about healthy living bloggers is most of them have at one point been unhealthy eaters just like me.  They offer good advice for people starting to live healthy, and if they have perfected some of their own recipes, you can try them out knowing that there’s already someone else who has gone through the trial and error process.  Also, if they’re listed, they are usually really good!

    Another great resource is simply learning about healthy foods.  The Mayo Clinic states that the average person needs between 25 and 40 grams of fiber daily.  Most people don’t consume the daily recommended amount.  My amount is higher because I have digestive problems.  There are several websites that list fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains, and the amounts of fiber in these foods.  Here is a good one.  Meats are good for you, too!  We choose to eat 93% lean ground beef in our house if we eat red meat.  We also eat a lot of chicken.  Baking, broiling, and sauteing are great and tasty options if you’re looking to go healthy.

    One of the best pieces of advice I can give you personally is to read labels.  Labels, labels, labels.  Food companies can’t lie on them.  You will see what ingredients are in the food item as well as nutrition information.  If it has way too much sodium, your best bet is it’s not healthy.  If it’s high fiber, go for it!  You get my drift.  Labels are a great way for you to find foods that are good for you.

    When you have your stash of healthy foods, then it’s time to experiment!  Here is one of ours from last night:

    Brown rice, boneless skinless chicken breasts, and red and yellow sweet peppers.  Scott put a little bit of fat free chicken broth in with the rice, chopped the chicken into big chunks, and sliced the peppers.  He used a little bit of olive oil and Lawry’s to sautee the chicken and peppers.  Then he put them together:

    This had awesome flavor and reminded me of stir fry.  Here is how I had the leftovers for lunch – in a whole grain tortilla with blueberries (+leftover cereal from my ride to work – I got full) and pomegranate Greek yogurt:

    There you have it.  I wish I could say I’m doing something as “simple” as a program, but I’m not.  I’m learning as I go, and I think it’s great.  I’m not limited by the kinds of food I can eat since I’m not eating what my body doesn’t need.  Putting it in that perspective has helped me a lot.  There are tons, and I mean tons, of food that is good for your body and nutritious, and there are even more ways than that to prepare and enjoy them.  If you would like to know more about the resources I have found, please visit the “contact me” tab at the top of this page.

    Thanks to all of my readers – let me know you’re reading!  I would love to hear from you!

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