As many of you know, I’ve worked hard since last September to pare things down and return to my normal weight, which I’ve for the most part achieved. The key for me has been focusing even more than I already was on staying away from processed foods and really, really basing my diet on a balanced mix of whole, simply prepared foods (a la the recipes I post here), heavy on fresh vegetables and fruits, thank you very much. (And oh, serious portion control, only eating when I’m truly hungry and stopping before I’m full, eating mostly at home and much less often in restaurants, limiting wine or beer to once/week or less, drinking lots of water, and exercising my butt off, ha.) The moderation part! But I do think it’s easier and more satisfying to get by on less calories if they’re comprised of the freshest, closest to whole foods as possible, I’ve proven it to myself over and over again.
Given that, there are a few technically processed foods, however, that I think are terrific, and nutritious, relatively low calorie (if eaten in moderation), and definitely worth incorporating into a healthy eating plan. Here they are:
Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread (available in the freezer section): especially the cinnamon raisin, toasted for breakfast and topped with cottage cheese and sliced strawberries – yum. Low-glycemic load, good fiber, good protein, and delicious.
Morningstar Farms Black Bean and Mushroom Lovers Burgers: again, both are low-glycemic, have good fiber, good protein, and are delicious, especially loaded up with tomatoes, avocado, pickles, mustard. I eat mine in 1/2 of a whole grain pita; you’d think I’d died and gone to heaven. Available in the freezer section.
French Meadow Bakery’s 100% Flourless Live Grain Sprouted Fat Flush Tortillas: the Fat Flush part of the name (and the packaging photo) is dumb and off-putting, but the tortillas RAWK. They’re not low-carb sandpaper tortillas, they’re real food – chewy and delicious. Toast one with some cheese for breakfast and you’ll be glad. Available in the dairy section with other refrigerated tortillas.
Kashi Go Lean Cereal: not the Go Lean Crunch, which is loaded with cane sugar, but the original Go Lean. Very high fiber and high protein, plus tasty with fresh fruit and skim milk.
Wasabi Peas: I love these little buggers. At about 1 calorie each, they pack a whollop of flavor which curbs my appetite and appeases the need to crunch on something salty. I buy them in the Asian section at the grocery store.
Barilla Plus Pasta: a multi-grain-but-you-wouldn’t-know-it winner, this pasta tastes just like “regular” pasta – I swear! – but packs fiber, protein, and whole-grain goodness into each serving. Absolutely delicious.
Helios Raspberry Kefir: a yogurt-like cultured drink, kefir is loaded with pro-biotics and this strawberry version is creamy and delicious, like a decadent strawberry smoothie. I cut it with skim milk (half kefir, half skim) to lighten it up (it is sweetened) and enjoy it in small amounts as a treat. Nathan loves this product, and so does Cooper! Available in the organic dairy section.
Hey, don’t worry, I’m not going off into processed food hell – I’m still all about whole, fresh foods. But sometimes a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast is nice with breakfast, and finding interesting ways to get calcium – like kefir – mixes things up a bit. In moderation, of course. Hope you enjoy!