Taking the full measure of life

Making Gradual Changes Toward Healthy Eating Habits

January 24th, 2008 · 23 Comments

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It was several years ago that I first began my conversion to a healthier diet. It has been a slow process. In 2002 a typical day of my food might have looked like this:

Breakfast: Slept until 20 minutes before class, skipped it.

Lunch: (I’d probably feel light-headed and ravenous by the time I ate) Cheeseburger (made with factory-farmed meat) with ‘conventional’ (I hate the term ‘conventional’ when it means pesticide-laden and unsustainably grown and was not at all the normal thing until the last 50 years; organic growing is what is truly conventional in historical terms) lettuce, tomato, and onion with ketchup and mayo on white bun, order of fried onion rings dipped in honey mustard dressing or ketchup, 20 oz. Diet Dr. Pepper at the on-campus cafe

Snack: Super-processed cookies or crackers from a snack machine and another diet drink in an afternoon class

Dinner: Very sweet iced tea with George-Foreman grilled large chicken breast in honey mustard marinade with 1.5 cups of couscous and 1/2 c. of (also marinated) squash, zucchini, and onions cooked in lots of olive oil. (I usually cooked dinner for other people as well at my on-campus apartment.)

Dessert: 2 or 3 brownies (from a box mix) with ice cream and a glass of conventional skim milk if someone had made dessert (I would start out with one but always go back for seconds or thirds, even if it was an hour or two later); 3-5 store-bought cookies with milk if someone hadn’t made anything

If I was dieting at the time (South Beach, Sugar Busters, Weight Watchers, low-fat, etc.–take your pick), I would have tried to change my lunch to something less fattening or lower carb (but would have been sorely tempted to eat the burger and onion rings), and I would have tried to avoid the snack and dessert or eat a version made with fake sweetener instead (which sometimes led me to eat 2-3 times as much of that food looking for the satisfaction of real food). And my diet soda consumption would have increased.

(You know your life has changed drastically when you have trouble remembering how you would have eaten six years ago. I’m sitting here going, Did I drink lots of water then yet? Oh, no, I didn’t. Did I not eat much vegetarian food by then? Oh, no, I didn’t. Did I really drink as much Diet Coke as I’m thinking? Yes, and maybe more. Etc.)

The wheels of change started turning after I was diagnosed with cancer:

  • While I was recovering from my first surgery, when nearly all I could do was lie in bed, I began researching what I could eat/drink and refrain from eating/drinking that might help prevent a recurrence of the cancer. I started eating organic food. Later that year, due to upset stomach, I cut out fake sugars. (No more Diet Coke!)
  • Later, due to interstitial cystitis, I cut out acidic foods—which included sugary, carbonated sodas—and many other processed foods. (I was, fortunately, later able to add back some acidic foods in moderation–you don’t really want to give up tomatoes, lemons, and balsamic vinegar forever if you can help it.)
  • At some point, I realized high-fructose corn syrup makes me get a big sugar rush and then crash into ravenous hunger, so I cut HFCS out, too, further reducing my processed food options.
  • I read Fast Food Nation, which grossed me out of eating fast food anymore. A later reading of The Omnivore’s Dilemma confirmed my decision.
  • Videos and articles demonstrating conditions inside horrifying factory farms and animal processing plants further deepened my feelings on the issue; you don’t have to be an animal rights activist to be disgusted by animal abuse and to be horrified by how surrounding communities and the environment are affected by those places. Once I learned the truths about factory farming, buying meat from animals raised and/or killed in those conditions would make me feel like I was complicit in a Michael-Vick-&-friends style abuse of animals. I committed myself to cooking only meat from animals raised in humane conditions (and that information is much easier to ascertain from local, small farms).
  • Then—as I had continued my reading on healthy foods, healthy environment, and other cancer/health/healthy planet factors—my husband and I started eating primarily locally grown, organically grown (though not always certified) foods for health and environmental reasons. At home, we began to eat entirely vegetarian.
  • Then, starting the beginning of last year, I decided to lose weight, and I managed to flip my approach to dieting about 180 degrees. Instead of controlling and punishing myself into weight submission, I started thinking, every hour of every day, how to take care of myself. That has changed more in my life than I ever expected. 2007 was a huge year for personal growth for me.
  • Then I decided if I was going to focus on local, unprocessed foods, I could make my cooking a bit less expensive and my life a little more fulfilling by growing some organic herbs myself in pots on our little apartment fire escape. So I did: I have been growing basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, lavender, rosemary, and sage. (They’re now indoors in the cold; though I’m still a pretty clueless gardener, most will make it through the winter, it seems.)
  • In the summer of 2007 I was diagnosed with first major food allergies and then atypical celiac disease, so I cut out gluten, casein, soy, and eggs (along with other, less common foods, but I’ve been able to add the others back in restricted amounts). With the loss of soy, cow dairy, eggs, and (originally) some nuts, I felt hungry all the time, so we added some locally grown, pastured, organic meats back to our diet.
  • I met with my dietician, Molly Paulson, to have her check my allergen-free food intake to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important. She (and the Gluten-Free Goddess‘s leg-breaking incident) convinced me to take calcium supplements and incorporate some probiotics into my diet.

Whew. That’s a process–and that’s just food, not even exercise! I think I know what’s next, too: reducing my sugarcane intake further, relying more on vegan meals, and learning to grow & preserve more of my own food. But all in due time! If anyone had convinced me to switch instantly from my 2002 diet to my current diet, I would have tried valiantly, but I probably would have been entirely overwhelmed. A gradual process has gotten me to the same point much less painfully.

These days, though I could never have predicted it when I was younger, my taste buds really have changed their expectations. Again, it was not something that happened quickly, but when I stop to think about it, it’s pretty amazing. What started out requiring effort and commitment has become what is natural and fulfilling. I find a meal of good vegetables (not soggy vegetables or unseasoned vegetables, but well-prepared ones) with some grain/starch more satisfying than any other type of meal. I would rather have two or three bites of a really excellent dessert than a whole lot of something artificial or processed, and I would rather have two or three bites of an excellent dessert and stop than eat the whole thing, because I know if I eat the whole thing, I’ll usually ruin it by feeling overly stuffed. (It goes back to taking care of myself; being miserably stuffed is not taking care of myself.) Nearly all fruits and some vegetables taste deliciously sweet to me, now that I have spent over two years away from the sugar/fake sugar overload from sodas and such. If I drink a sweet tea or real lemonade with a meal (a rare occurrence), I’ll only have one glass, and I’ll recognize that I feel fuller earlier in the meal. Any more, and I’ll feel stuffed and possibly get a sugar high/crash later. If I drink a soda–and I only drink cane-sweetened, agave-sweetened, or fruit-juice-sweetened sodas these days, and I have them less frequently than once a month–it tastes like dessert; and when you think about it, a sugary drink like that should only be dessert! (Honestly, I usually don’t finish a soda these days because of how sugary they taste.) These days, I stop eating when I first feel food begin to hit my stomach; that was a feeling I at first had to be very conscientious to notice at each meal, and these days, my body somehow just gives me a mental nudge automatically when I reach that point. My eating habits are not perfect, and I would never mean to imply that they are; nor is this process always easy for me, because it requires a lot of energy and effort to plan healthy meals and to stick to exercising. But it has become part of my nature over time, and that’s very rewarding.

Here’s how my eating often looks now:

Breakfast: I do not skip breakfast, period. I believe eating breakfast helps wake up my metabolism, and I know that eating breakfast helps keep my blood sugar stable over the course of the day. On weekdays, I eat breakfast at work at my desk as I do my early morning work stuff. I usually eat a small, homemade muffin—one that would reach the top of the muffin paper but not be, well, muffin-topping over the edges—or a slice of a quick bread with a piece of fruit about two hours later. If I’m hungry on the drive to work, I will eat my fruit while I drive. The muffins I make from mostly organic, preferably local ingredients once or twice a month in one sitting (or standing, I should say) in the kitchen; I pack them into reusable containers, write the name of what’s inside on the erasable labels we use, and freeze them. I store a batch or two in our freezer at work, replenishing as necessary; and every day when I get to work, I thaw out a single muffin on low power in the microwave.

Because I am still fairly new to allergen-free, gluten-free, casein-free baking, I have not yet developed great skills at making a huge variety of muffins and quick breads. But because I don’t want to develop new food allergies from overconsuming, day after day, the foods I can still have (which is a potential problem for people with multiple allergies), I do try to vary which flours I use. I would like to develop the skills/knowledge to make more varieties of muffins/quick breads with higher-protein flours, less sugar, and more fiber. My favorite gluten-free, allergen-free muffin/quick bread recipes so far come from the cookbook Sophie-Safe Cooking (oat-based muffins and quick breads that I add extra spices to) and the blog/online cookbook Top 8 Free. I’m excited about trying the bread recipes in my new cookbook The Gluten-Free Vegan as well. I drink water with my breakfast and throughout the day. As I have mentioned previously, I tend to eat a weekday breakfast of 250-350 calories. (I don’t generally count my calories, but I do check in on my calorie count of particular foods I am consuming from time to time, because it can be easy to underestimate.)

On days off of work or on the weekends, if I have a few minutes to cook, I usually eat gluten-free oatmeal with toasted nuts, a bit of ghee, a few grains of salt, a dash of vanilla extract, and a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. I used to make the oatmeal with organic skim milk but now make it with hazelnut milk, hemp milk, or rice milk. Or, if we really want a leisurely brunch, my husband or I will make gluten-free, allergen-free pancakes or waffles with fruit topping and nuts. If I want a quick weekend breakfast, I might eat a serving of gluten-free granola or gluten-free cereal in a bowl with a milk alternative poured on it.

If I wake up late—which isn’t terribly common, but does happen if I’m sick or especially exhausted—I still eat breakfast, but if it’s fairly close to a reasonable lunchtime, I’ll only eat a small breakfast, such as 2 T of nuts or a piece of fruit. I know that if I don’t have some breakfast, or if I only have sugary breakfast foods, I’ll spend the whole day with the desire to graze on all the food around me, and I’ll be ravenous at meals. Making sure I eat something with nutritional value for breakfast every day is just one way to take care of myself and keep myself functioning at the highest level I can.

By the way, before I discovered that I could not eat gluten or eggs, and before I learned that I had given myself an allergy to almonds and apples by eating them nearly daily for six months (!), this is the breakfast I ate nearly every morning (credit goes to Bob Greene for the idea): a piece of whole-grain bread, toasted, topped with 1 T natural almond butter or peanut butter, thinly sliced apple, and 1 tsp. of honey drizzled on top. That breakfast, with its abundance of fiber and moderate dose of calories, protein, and fat (and with a little sweetness thrown in) kept me satisfied till lunchtime. Now that I can eat apples and almonds in moderation again, I plan to try the breakfast with the bread omitted when apples are back in season here!


Lunch: To keep my eating on track and to avoid wasting money and food, my husband and I pack up our dinner leftovers into individual reusable containers, which we freeze. Then we take those containers to work to microwave for a ready-portioned, tasty hot lunch. (Because our containers are plastic, I dump my food out of them into ceramic bowls before microwaving.) On the weekends, lunches vary, though I adore salads made from local lettuce. (I need to post about that glorious food some time soon.) If I need to eat out at work for some reason, I try to pick something reasonable off the menu (with allergen-free/gluten-free eating, I usually need to order something very healthy anyway), and then I let myself fully enjoy it. Occasionally I just eat something unhealthy and let myself indulge in it, no guilt allowed. You see, I always used to feel guilty about eating meals that were obviously unhealthy, whether or not I was on a diet. So before and during the meal, I would have an emotional/mental tug of war that would usually be won with some part of me saying, “You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to eat this meal and I’m going to eat the whole damn thing. So there.” Then I’d be uncomfortably stuffed, guilty, and miserable afterwards. Amazingly, since the beginning of 2007, I have found that when I release the guilt and just enjoy the occasional unhealthy meal, I leave space in my mind to be aware when I am satisfied–so I stop eating usually 1/2 to 2/3 of the way into the entree. Allowing myself a reasonable portion of an occasional pure indulgence of, say, a grass-fed bison burger (no bun, of course, due to wheat & eggs) with grilled onions and avocado and a side of house-made fries keeps me from obsessing over missing out on foods due to that dirty d-word.

Snack: If I’m hungry between meals at times I wouldn’t expect myself to be hungry (30 minutes after eating a meal, for example), I stop what I am doing and concentrate on asking myself if food is what I really want or if it is something else. If it’s something else—for example, if I’m maybe thirsty, or if I am just feeling bored—I’ll take care of that issue and see if I am still hungry afterward. For times when I am truly hungry, I keep organic nuts, a chocolate/fruit bar (organic and high-quality, natch), and sometimes organic, flavored popcorn or something similar tucked in my desk. If I feel a bit peckish between meals, I’ll have a tablespoon or two of nuts. If I want something sweet, I’ll have an ounce of chocolate. If I want something with more volume, I’ll have a cup of flavored popcorn. I get out my serving before I eat, and then I put them away and eat the serving. I wait to see if I feel satisfied within 20-30 minutes. If I do, I stop there. If not, I consider whether I want another bit of snack or want to go ahead and get my next meal. One hint that I have noticed about myself is I am probably not actually hungry if I am only desiring one particular food; if I’m truly hungry, popcorn or whatever else is in my desk will sound good to me; if there is something other than hunger I am dealing with, it will often come disguised as a desire for a very particular treat.

I often do eat a small snack some time between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. If I don’t have a snack while I am still at work, I am usually pretty hungry by the time I get home. If we are going to eat dinner within about 45 minutes of my arrival home, then I just wait for dinner. But if we have longer than that before dinner will be ready, then I eat a small snack—something that happens to be between 100 and 200 calories, usually—to keep myself from wanting to wolf down too much dinner when it is ready.

Dinner: If you look through my site, you’ll see the meal planning for the dinners my husband and I typically eat. We eat vegetarian more often than not; I aim for 2/3 of our meals to be vegetables, though I sometimes am closer to half; I make sure that most meals have a good serving of protein; and I try to use moderate portions of fat in our meals–enough to be satisfying, but not enough to load us up with tons of calories. The focus is on sustainably farmed foods, and I limit processed foods as much as possible. I plan our meals week by week, because I find that without a plan, and without groceries in the house, it is far too easy to eat out too often and/or turn to largely unhealthy convenience foods. We eat dinner on salad plates so that we naturally eat more moderate portions than we would on dinner plates, and (usually) unless we have many guests over, we serve food from the kitchen to keep ourselves from taking seconds just because they are sitting there. We drink water with dinner most nights; 2 or 3 times a week, we might have a glass of wine. I’m a strong believer in learning about and using lots of great seasonings to keep healthy foods interesting, so I have worked to do just that. I make one meal for the both of us, always–no special foods for either of us, though I might leave the tomato off a sandwich for him if he’s lucky! (Raw, sliced tomatoes is a very rare food hang-up for him.) Spending the time to make nutritious, delicious meals for us is one way that I show love for him and for myself. (Oh, and he does the dishes since I make the food. . . . And we unfortunately do not have a dishwasher.)

Dessert: I try to incorporate small desserts into our meal plans 1-2 times a week; that way, as I think about my week’s meals, I don’t feel that sense of deprivation that dieting used to bring. Dessert may be nothing healthier than it used to be; for example, two nights ago, we had small glasses of sherry with chocolate-orange-walnut cookies. I’ve had to divorce my expectations for how much I eat from my husband’s (which took conscious effort); he can go through 8 cookies in a sitting and be fine, but if I eat that way, I’ll feel sick and then gain a pound. I admittedly ate some cookie dough while I made this batch of cookies, but then I only had one cookie when they were done. (I put the rest in a labeled container in the deep freezer.) I try to incorporate in-season fruit into desserts more often than I used to as one method of making desserts healthier. I also serve dessert to us in smaller containers than I used to use: a small plate for cookies, or a small mug instead of a bowl for ice cream. But I don’t stress myself out over my dessert consumption too much anymore, because I’ve learned that the first 2-3 bites of dessert are the most delicious, and after that, it’s more rote consumption than anything. Nine times out of ten, I’ll stop at the second or third bite these days; so that’s usually all I serve myself these days.

And there you go–those are (some elements of!) the changes in my eating habits over the last few years. None of us can avoid food, and for most of us, food will always have meaning and purpose culturally, emotionally, and socially. Food is very important to me and always will be, and I embrace that whole-heartedly. I used to wonder if I could develop a healthy relationship with food where I could enjoy (even adore) it without overindulging in it regularly. Now I know it is possible.

Tags: fruits of my labor · gratitude · meal planning

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kristen // Jan 24, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    it sounds like you are headed in a good direction for you personally. even though i don’t have any food allergies, my husband is allergic to cow milk and gluten, so i like hearing about the different recipes you try.

    we try to eat as organically as possible, too, and enjoy the local produce during the spring and summer.

  • 2 sally // Jan 24, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Kristen, I am glad that you find the recipes useful.

    Dan and I are definitely fortunate to live in a part of the country where we can get local, organic produce year-round. When you can’t, shopping for organic food from afar is definitely the next best thing–and that’s what we do when we can’t get something locally. Especially with me having food restrictions that limit my options with certain things, I certainly can’t claim to have an entirely local diet, though I do think it’d be an awesome thing to manage.

    As far as weight loss goes, there are certainly far too many people with a variety of backgrounds, beliefs, personalities, abilities, etc., who have had success with a number of paths to weight loss and/or happier relationships to food for me to think a path like mine is the only way, so I never mean to imply that my way is THE way. 🙂

    However, I do wish I had known earlier that it was okay to take a gradual approach toward winding my way toward healthier eating instead of jumping into everything, all at once, headfirst, like I used to try to do.

  • 3 Elastic Waist // Jan 24, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    These sound like such healthy changes, ones that you are totally the better for making. It’s so refreshing to hear that someone can adore food and also be at peace with it.

  • 4 Karina // Jan 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Sally! Wow- this was an inspiring post. You have done a fabulous job of mapping out your personal journey toward healthier eating. And I couldn’t agree more about “change”.

    Change is a process, and if we become a part of the process- rather than working so hard to force ourselves into changes- our body has a better chance to adapt, to flourish. Kinda, go with the flow… If that makes sense?

    Thanks for the mention- I’m a little worried about calcium supplementation now, with the new study that just came out. But it concerns post-menopausal women (like me). You may want to discuss the issue with your dietitian.

    Be well!


  • 5 Ricki // Jan 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm


    As usual, a great and inspiring post. I’m much older than you, but I aspire to be like you when I grow up!

    I can soooo relate to your 2002-era diet. Before I got sick and saw a naturopath, I was living on my own and had the most horrendous diet (read: sweets for breakfast, lunch and dinner). I’d buy the 2-litre (approx 2 quarts) size of Diet Pepsi and end up drinking the whole thing (that’s a lot of Diet Pepsi) in a day. Then when I studied holistic nutrition and found out about what aspartame does to you, I was horrified and stopped THAT DAY. I haven’t had soda (pop) since then, diet or otherwise. What I do if I really crave a carbonated drink is use bubbly mineral water or even club soda; I add a splash of unsweetened, 100% cranberry juice, and that satisfies me.

    Your current diet also sounds terrific–so healthy, and your attitude is great. I’m not there yet re: dessert, but I’m working on it (I also try to add healthier ingredients to baked goods to improve their nutritional value).

    It’s also great to read about how much better you’re feeling and how positive you are about it all. Thanks for this!

  • 6 michelle // Jan 24, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    wow. this is really, really impressive. you’ve managed to make so many changes in the way you eat, and even view, food that is an incredible inspiration. thanks for sharing your story with us. i’m going to share it with my dad, who was diagnosed with cancer about a year and a half ago and has made many of the same changes you have (from alakaline foods, to organic foods, etc.). your positive attitude really stands out too, and i can’t wait to see all of the wonderful food you’ll share with us in the future. thanks for commenting on my blog so that i was able to find you!!

  • 7 Katie // Jan 24, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Congratulations on choosing a healthier way of life! I can’t imagine having to eliminate so much from my diet….(I only have to eat GF) You are definitely an inspiration 🙂

  • 8 Amanda // Jan 24, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    wow. you are awesome. i think i’ve always been afraid of modifying my diet because i LOVE food and i HATE feeling deprived. the fact that you did and are happier and not deprived makes me more willing to try (most of the time, at least).

    i’m so glad to be able to count you in my group of friends. (ok, no more cheesy stuff–but it IS true!)

  • 9 Krissie // Jan 24, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    wow. I want to eat like you!

    And take pictures of my food that look like yours!

    I think we are making baby steps in my little family. But I definitely have eating local as a goal.

    You have shown me that it can be done! Thanks!

  • 10 Jenn // Jan 24, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I think most long-term diet changes come in these small steps that you describe. Dan and I have found it to be the same way for us. We were just commenting the other day on how we can’t believe how far we’ve come! But it’s all been very gradual–it’s almost taken me by surprise. It makes me hopeful that we will continue to progress on the path of healthier and healthier eating habits.

  • 11 HotThickChick // Jan 25, 2008 at 7:54 am

    What a journey SPA!! Thank you for sharing!

    I’m not quite where you are… but I’m headed there (minus the food allergies)! We eat very few processed foods, no artifical sweeteners (which used to be my dieting crutch), no HFCS, etc… However, you’re INCREDIBLY knowledable about nutrients and I’m definitely NOT there yet… Nor do we focus enough on local produce, in my opinion. (I think the Cub would argue that one 😉

    Finally, I’ve not yet reached the peace you have with food. I still eat when I’m not hungry on occasion, due to stress or whatever, and I’ll still clean my plate when dessert is involved, which is probably too often. It’s inspiring to hear that you’ve conquered this stuff and I truly hope to get there one day myself.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • 12 HotThickChick // Jan 25, 2008 at 7:55 am

    What a journey SPA!! Thank you for sharing!

    I’m not quite where you are… but I’m headed there (minus the food allergies)! We eat very few processed foods, no artifical sweeteners (which used to be my dieting crutch), no HFCS, etc… However, you’re INCREDIBLY knowledable about nutrients and I’m definitely NOT there yet… Nor do we focus enough on local produce, in my opinion. (I think the Cub would argue that one 😉

    Finally, I’ve not yet reached the peace you have with food. I still eat when I’m not hungry on occasion, due to stress or whatever, and I’ll still clean my plate when dessert is involved, which is probably too often. It’s inspiring to hear that you’ve conquered this stuff and I truly hope to get there one day myself.

    Thank you for sharing!
    PS: the Bob Greene breakfast looks DIVINE!!

  • 13 Krista // Jan 25, 2008 at 9:14 am

    What a wonderful post. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out. I wanted to suggest a great fat-free (whole grains and natural sugar) cookbook. “Secrets of Fat-Free baking” by Sandra Woodruff, RD. I have made many of the muffin recipes and they are easy and delicious! Your journey is really inspiring.

  • 14 Lizzie // Jan 25, 2008 at 10:11 am

    What a great post! Thank you for putting into words what your journey has been like. It was truly insightful and really made me open my eyes to the mindless eating I often do.

    Great stuff. I think I’ll refer to it next time I find myself hungy (when I know I’m really not).

  • 15 Eva // Jan 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    hi!!! you’re the V.P.?? i’ve been checking your old blog constantlty! i see you’ve been a busy bee! i’ll have a lot of reading to make up for my veggie void…btw, these meals look great.

  • 16 amanda // Jan 25, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I really appreciate your love of food. Years of dieting have robbed me of that pleasure but I am trying to gain it back slowly. I agree, deprivation only leads to binging, something I can atest to. But I believe that a healthy body and mind are key and your post reflects this balance that I am seeking…. I am interested in trying to avoid all HFCS as possible and am eager to learn more about this chemical that is everywhere. Do you have any good resources I can check out?

    Amanda: Both Fast Food Nation and Omnivore’s Dilemma would be great reads for you concerning HFCS. You can also get an overview here: http://www.westonaprice.org/motherlinda/cornsyrup.html –SJPA

  • 17 Helen // Jan 25, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Love all this…I do lots of similar…the thing that shines out most to me is that you love and enjoy food…and I truly think it’s possible to do that while eating and being healthy. And THAT is what I want to do. It’s great to see your enthusiasm!! 🙂 P.S. If you haven’t already, check out Moosewood’s Low Fat Favorites cookbook…I think you’d like it.

  • 18 Kara // Jan 26, 2008 at 5:26 am

    Wow. You’ve been on quite a food journey. You know, I was shocked how much better I felt (and how much weight I lost) when I started including a morning and afternoon snack in my diet. Being hungry is for the birds. I echo Helen’s recommendation for the Moosewood Low Fat Favs. The Moosewood Daily Special is also great for soups–not all are low fat, but most can be easily prepared so that they’re lower in fat. About bentos…bento lunches are great for making healthier lunches. Just Bento, in fact, has a post about making bentos, even though she works from home, so that she eats better. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  • 19 Natalie // Jan 26, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I learned a lot from this article. I must eat breakfast too..actually, if I don’t eat every couple hours my mood is dramatically altered (for the worse). I have read this is pretty common with celiacs- have you also heard this? Anyway because of this I struggle with healthy gluten free snack choices. I really enjoy reading your blog. I am glad you found me or did I find you? haha

  • 20 Lea // Jan 26, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    This was wonderful reading. You have such a wonderful outlook on your diet. I admire that. I’m glad I am not the only one that eats my breakfast at work. I am famous for oversleeping in the morning or just not wanting to get out of bed. But also my stomach cannot handle food first thing in the morning. I tend to have a couple rice cakes with peanut butter or a yogurt for breakfast and that keeps me satisfied most of the day actually.

    Thanks for posting this.

  • 21 KL // Jan 27, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Wow! You’re inspiring, but I think you know that already. I’m so glad that other people with food allergies have such an awesome friend in blogland.

  • 22 Deborah // Feb 4, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Thank you so much for writing this post. It was so helpful to have to write out the meal-to-meal details. I can’t wait to explore your blog further.

    We have been moving toward a Nourishing Traditions way-of-eating (baby steps!!) for a few years, and a few months back I discovered I need to be gluten-free (no doctor diagnosis, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Once giving up gluten, I improved sooooooooo much that this was enough diagnosis for me, for now). Now I am deciding that I REALLY need to lose weight and be healthier.

    So, your blog REALLY hits the spot for me! Now to find the time to sit and read and take notes!! 🙂

    Many, many blessings to you and your husband.


  • 23 K Renee // Feb 4, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Sally, I really needed to read this today! I’m trying AGAIN to give up artificial sweeteners. I bought two new teas that should be great with a bit of agave, and I bought some 100 percent cranberry-grape juice. I’m like you, I don’t want to over-do the sugar, but at the same time I know that one small glass of juice with dinner or lunch will be better than a Coke Zero. I’m also trying to transition to eating mostly vegetarian, though since my DH loves meat this may be a bit more difficult. I should save this blog you wrote and refer to it frequently throughout my journey to eating well!

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