By Kelsey on August 22, 2012 33

Recent Food Choices That I’m Proud of (and Some That I’m Not…)


  • We don’t keep pop in the house. (That’s how I grew up, too!) I drink water with most meals, although I love me some lemonade and juice. (Maybe that last part should be things I’m not proud of..)
  • For a few months now I’ve been eating a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. (That’s healthy, right?) One slice of 100% whole grain/whole wheat bread with creamy or crunchy peanut butter. Recently I switched from Jif to Krema. The only ingredient on the label is peanuts! I’m still getting used to the taste. It gets an A from Fooducate, so I feel kind of awesome about that, but my brain wishes I was still eating a PB with added sugar. Bah. Darn sugar addiction.
  • I get at least two servings of fruit at lunch. Lately it’s a combo of oranges, organic strawberries or organic cherry tomatoes. My parents also just brought us an awesome cantaloupe that we’ve been enjoying.
  • My snacks that I bring with me to work are a banana and raw cashews.
  • A friend came over last weekend and helped us make some baby food for Rooney! (Someone asked me for a post about that, so stay tuned.)


  • I am still craving chocolate and sugar a lot during the day. Especially in the afternoon, and my banana does not sound appealing at all. I am really addicted to sugar.
  • I think I need to get more calories in during supper. I am typically very tired when we finally get around to eating supper, and I don’t prepare enough. The other night I made two scrambled eggs and that was it. Less than a half hour later I was ready for a snack, and at that time of day my willpower is gone and I don’t make a healthy choice. Our nightie lunch (or bedtime snack for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about..) has been popcorn for a few weeks now. The good news is that we have an air popper and it doesn’t use any oil. The bad news is that we salt and butter it. BUT! We now use real salt. That counts for something, right?
  • I love fruits, but have a harder time getting vegetables in (mostly because they require cooking, and I’m lazy!)
  • I eat Clif crunchy granola bars for breakfast. These get a C from Fooducate. Still, a small step up from what I was eating (Fiber One chewy bars).


  • I’d love to find a drink other than water that is healthy. Something without a lot of sugar. Ideas?
  • I need a solid, easy breakfast that I can eat on the way to work. For years I have eaten a packaged breakfast. Are there healthy choices?
  • I have chips every day during lunch. I buy them from Whole Foods or the Health Market at Hy-Vee, but I know they aren’t really healthy. Most recently I’ve had organic baked Kettle chips or the “healthy” Cheetos. I am considering vegetable chips next time. Unless you tell me I’m OK on this one. :)
  • I love peas and green beans, and they are always in our freezer and so easy to make. I need to work on this.
  • Next week I am putting in a meat order to Wallace Farms, a really cool local farm, for beef, pork and bacon. It will definitely put a dent in our budget, though, at $177.
  • I really don’t know that much about nutrition. I read a little bit here and there (and a little here, too), but I have so much to learn. I’m really looking to a lot of you to help me out. We’re also going to an Eat Well class tonight at our chiropractor’s office.
  • I think if I knew that I was making great choices during the week (when I have more routine), then I could relax a bit on the weekends. Right?

I mean, really, we have come so far



I love my husband, my kids and the Internet.

  1. this makes me feel bad about all the crap i have been eating … and im making a person. i try and eat healthy and then the next thing i notice, i have been eating hot dogs, chips and an oatmeal cream pie for lunch 3 days in a row. thanks for sharing your choices, the good and the not as much. i am excited to try out some new peanut butter that i dont feel as bad about consuming.

    speaking of pb. my go to breakfast has been a shake that i can drink on the way to work. 2 bananas, peanut butter, organic 2% milk and about 5 ice cubes. so smooth and yummy and pretty darn healthy (esp if i switch up my pb). it keeps me full until lunch, if i get hungry i just eat a hard boiled egg.

    • i ate SO terribly when i was pregnant! my habits were already terrible and then i was eating more on top of it! the nutrition class we went to this week promotes the paleo diet, so i’m trying to learn more about that right now..

  2. you guys are doing great with all the healthy switches! I think forming new eating habits is such a process, you just need to try new things to see what works and what doesn’t, and it takes time :)

    For breakfast ideas, try googling Overnight Oats (if you like oatmeal). It’s quick to make the night before and requires almost no prep in the morning. I personally like the vegan versions on, but there are a lot of variations. It’s also really filling.

  3. For breakfast try overnight oatmeal. The night before combine 1/2 cup of old fashioned oatmeal and 1/2 cup of water or milk. (optional: add a tablespoon of chia seeds to make it even thicker) Stir and put in refrigerater. In the morning add Greek yogurt (I get the Chobani or Dannon 5oz cups, they come in a ton of flavors. Plus you dont have to measure how much.) and whatever add ins you’d like (nuts, banana slices, nut butter etc.) Fast and easy! If you’re craving chocolate then I add plain Greek Yogurt and 1-2 tablespoons of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa. :)

  4. Yogurt with granola is always an easy breakfast option. I also saw a post on pinterest about making your own instant oatmeal, so that could be a budget friendly option.

    As far as other healthy drinks, I love tea – iced or hot. You can drink it plain or, if you’re really craving something sweet, you can sweeten it with a little bit of honey or agave. The health benefits of tea are through the roof.

  5. For veggies, I love raw spinach. It works in salads, wraps, on sandwiches and smoothies. Instant green power!

    Steamed broccoli is super easy, too. Throw some florets into a microwave safe tupperware, rinse and drain with water, cover lightly and steam for a couple minutes.

  6. I guess there are a lot of oatmeal fans out there already but here’s one more recipe/idea. I don’t love oatmeal but we are also trying to make better food choices in the morning. I made this Baked Oatmeal on Sunday and have been packing it for my breakfast at work.

    Quiche cups are also a quick and easy take to work item and they freeze/re-heat well.

  7. In regards to your PB sandwich, try putting a little honey on it to sweeten it up. I’m not a fan of PB but my husband and son love it. We also made the switch recently to all natural/no sugar.

    I think you mentioned something in a previous post about possibly buying the baby food magic bullet. We already had the regular magic bullet so we never invested in the baby one but that, along with ziploc steam bags, revolutionized making homemade baby food for us. It also saved us a TON of money. I was buying the organic jars of food before that cost around 80 cents a piece. 80 cents for 2 oz of food! That’s crazy!

    In doing the math, I found that I could recreate a jar of something like organic spinach and carrots for around 30 cents (1lb carrots at $1.50 + 10 oz frozen spinach at $2 + 25 cent ziploc steam bag = $3.75 for 26 oz). That savings really ads up when you have a baby eating 5-6 jars a day.

    Making baby food takes time and patience but I found that if I carved out a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon, I could make enough food for my son for the entire week. Not only did it save us money, but it gave us the flexibility to combine foods that our son liked. I also learned to throw spinach in everything for extra nutrition!

  8. One thing that will help with your cravings is to eat 6 times a day with a little bit of protein at each meal. Breakfast ideas: whole wheat toast with pb, a whole wheat english muffin toasted with cheese and turkey sausage (you can make the night before and just microwave on the way out the door), or granola with fruit. Try to have about 4 oz of protein at dinner with vege and maybe a little bit of brown rice. Its’ always a good idea to have a snack at night between dinner and bed, try a rice cake (even flavored one) with pb and a small piece of fruit. Maybe you could also try wheat thins and cheese for your afternoon snack with fruit.

  9. These are some amazing choices you should be very, very proud of! :) I remember reading some of your earlier posts and thinking, “how can they eat all this stuff and stay looking so good?!” LOL Partly jealous, partly dumbfounded. I think it was a picture of cheese balls, cheeseburger, and a shake all for one meal! I think I gained 2lbs just looking at it. ;) I was so happy you posted about watching all the food documentaries because the same thing happened for me. I’m not much of a TV watcher but I got hooked on those food documentaries and didn’t move from the TV for a straight week! I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Anyways, if you email me your mailing address I’d love to send you some samples of what we have for breakfast almost every morning at our house that’s quick, easy, and full of nutrition and an amazing sugar free, great tasting drink called Spark that keeps me focused and full of energy throughout the day. I don’t go a day without either so thought I was share.

  10. I feel like I’m addicted to sugar, too. I limit my sweets to strictly the afternoon. Every afternoon (usually, just during the week at work), I let myself eat one sweet treat. It can’t be too big or anything like that. Probably the biggest thing I would eat (and rarely, at that) would be a Snickers bar. But, most of the time it might be one cookie .. you know, something like that. And, some days I don’t crave sweets at all. On those days, I don’t eat a sweet treat in the afternoon. I think it’s normal to crave sweets, but moderation is important.

  11. Don’t let cooking stop you from eating vegetables! Raw peppers, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, and celery all go great with hummus or even peanut butter. You can even cut the veggies ahead of time and store them in the fridge that way, so it’s easier to make a healthy choice when your stomach is rumbling.

  12. Hey
    I’ve been learning a bit more about this stuff too, so I’ll just share some of what I’ve been reading.

    Check out the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon-can get it on amazon. Lots of good info about what our bodies need and what foods we can find it in along with TONS of recipes. Also includes info on ‘child bearing years’. Don’t mind the strange cover art. :)

    I also have on my to-read list: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.

    As for websites/blogs:
    Food Renegade
    Nourishing Days-written by a chemist I think
    100 Days of Real Food
    Deliciously Organic
    Heavenly Homemakers-see their “Our Healthy Eating Journey” pages
    Weston A. Price has some interesting things.
    Milk Cure-interesting read at

    Check out info. on phytic acid

    Hope this helps. Thanks for sharing your info. It’s all good to be reading as I’m learning this stuff too!

  13. This blog has some great, sugar free breakfast recipes:

  14. if you like them, try hard-boiling a bunch of eggs once a week. peel the shell off of all of them at once and store in a tupperware in the fridge – you can just grab one out to eat on the way out the door. good punch of protein in the morning and if you make a bunch at once it creates less work during busy mornings. i also love keeping a can of almonds at my desk to snack on.

  15. There is salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe right now from a farm in Indiana. Hopefully the one your parents brought you is local or home grown.

    I have a hard time only drinking water. It gets soo boring. I don’t like lemons or limes in my water, but cucumber or strawberries help shake up the flavor.

    I have never heard of Fooducate. I’m going to have to check out that site.

    • I read that, too, about the cantaloupes. It is a local-grown one, and our grocery stores in Iowa have also issued that they don’t get their cantaloupes from Indiana.

      Fooducate has a great free app that we use sometimes when we’re in the store to grade our food choices. It helps us decide between two things if we don’t have a preference on taste.

  16. Fruits are better than other sugars, but they still have a lot of sugar. I find eating less fruit, like maybe one a day, helps me have less sugar cravings since I’m not eating sugar all day in the fruit. Just a thought

  17. Kelsey, it sounds like you have made some great changes! This really is a process, so be sure to give yourself some grace. :)

    Morning foods: I LOVE Larabars. The PeanutButter Cookies are my fav. All natural. Target seems to be the cheapest place to purchase from what I’ve found. I also like to cut up Granny Smith apples. Easy for snacking. And sometimes having peanut butter or almond butter on the side.

    Other foods I love: Nut Thins — kinda feels like you’re eating crackers or a chips! (On sale at Hyvee through the end of the month, by the way) Beanitos — black bean chips. Love both of these with Tribe Hummus. Raw almonds. Organic blueberries and strawberries.

    I’ve read that it takes about 2 weeks to get sugar out of the system once you cut it. So, you will crave it, but once it’s gone…you really don’t crave it all that much. It’s amazing home much your tastebuds really do change over time.

    Try drinking tea. Kind of a fun alternative to water, esp heading into the fall. Good Earth has some fabulous teas!

    And, someone mentioned that it’s important to get protein in…I would agree with that.

    I hope the workshop at your chiro is helpful! I’ve learned a ton from my chiro friends about good nutrition the past few years and it’s had a huge impact on my life. A long way to go yet, but certainly making better choices than I was a few years ago. :)

  18. I am VERY proud of your choices & just simply the fact that you have a desire to eat better & learn how to eat better! I care more then I used to and here are a few tips to help:
    Crock pot recipes, helps get lots of veg in. Like chili, load it with bell peppers, zucchini, canned tomato, etc. Soups.. etc
    Cauliflower rice! I make it A LOT. just cut up cauliflower & pop it into your food processor till its rice like consistency & sautee it with fresh garlic & olive oil.

    Frozen veggies for eggs etc. I cut up lots of colors of bell peppers Andy onions & freeze them. That way its easy to throw them in the frying pan with eggs or meat for a protien rich meal.


    Try it out – naturally sweet, wonderful energy. I am not a coffee person – so this is perfect for me. I like it cold in the summer.

  20. Just a couple thoughts that you might want to consider. :)
    ~ Drink water, but make it fun – add raspberries or lemon wedges or strawberries or mint to it, with ice cubes, and chill it overnight. You can find some great recipes digging around on pinterest! yum – and still healthy and just water with a hint of flava!
    ~ a personal trainer friend of mine said that one of the best breakfasts you can have is oatmeal. Try finding a good recipe for baked oatmeal – or homemade oatmeal bars – and you can make a batch and package it for you to have all week long!
    ~ as far as the sugar addiction… this is gross, so I’m sorry about this, but it might help you. I have spent the last few years consulting with a naturopath (not a nutritionist, but she has nutrition training as well) and among the plethora of amazing things she does, she is able to identify causes for cravings. Sadly, this is the gross part, a constant sugar craving may indicate parasites. Don’t worry – the truth is, most people have parasites. A naturopath can help you detox, and can make specific nutrition suggestions that are what YOUR body needs, which can help you overcome unnecessary sugar cravings! Even if my gross suggestion is wrong, a naturopath can figure out why you crave it so much, and can help you tweak diet and natural supplements that will help you overcome! If you have never met with a naturopath, I STRONGLY recommend considering it. If you’re interested, please shoot me an email and I will give you more details about my experience. Having one in my corner has completely changed my life.

  21. If you cut out sugar for about two weeks, you will crave it less. In college, I studied abroad in Ireland. The whole time I was craving Lucky Charms because they didn’t have it over there – interestingly, they don’t actually have anything more sugary than frosted flakes for breakfast cereal in Europe. Anyway, when I got back and had some Lucky Charms I couldn’t even finish the bowl because it was way too sweet…I think all of that time eating less sugar re-set my taste.

    As far as eating better, less processed foods and more vegetables are always better. The more vegetables you eat the more you will want to eat them because of how awesome you will feel. When I say processed, keep in mind that things like bread are processed. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t eat bread, just a reference point for how to evaluate food choices. Any book Michael Pollan has written are wonderful resources (specifically, the Eater’s Manifesto is very short and has concrete tips on eating better). :)

  22. One of THE best recipes for homemade breakfast bars is Averie’s peanut butter protein bars! Let’s see … here it is:

    The good thing is that (1) you don’t have to bake it but can throw it together in like 5minutes flat, (2) she has kind of a kitchen sink mentality, so a lot of the ingredients are not necessary and (3) you can put them in the freezer and store them for over a month so you can make a big batch and just grab and go in the morning!

    If you don’t have protein powder, you can use some flour instead (something dry).

    A lot of people also swear by Anne’s 5-Minute-Granola bars:

    I also love to use frozen peas and beans for my veggies at night – the easiest: throw them in a pan with some onions until defrosted, then add eggs and some carbs (I like brown rice or leftover potatoes or throw the egg over some bread), top with some avocado .. dinner! :-)

    More veggies: I often buy baby tomatoes (easy to take to work with me) and I swear by a bit of sunday night prep! On a sunday night, while making dinner, I hardboil some eggs, make a batch of brown rice and chop up some veggies (and sometimes also make breakfast bars or a fruit crumble for the week).

    If you want something sweet at night (and you like crumble): have some frozen berries in your freezer and microwave those, put some almond flour/oats/shredded coconut and some chocolate chips (and cinnamon) on top – easy-peasy healthy dessert!

    Healthy drinks: I often add some lemon juice to my water or put some cucumber slicees in. Or you make fruit juice ice cubes.

    Hope the tips help!

  23. Have you heard of Kombucha? It’s a great replacement for soda and it’s loaded with probiotics. It can be found in the refrigerated drink section of health stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Be sure it says “raw” otherwise it’s not worth it. It’s a bubbly sweet drink with no sugar. BUT, it’s definitely not soda. The taste is kind of something you have to get accustomed too. Since they’re expensive I only get them as a treat, but you can even ferment/brew your own if you’re really wanting to save money.

    A snack I love is roasted cauliflower. It’s better fresh out of the oven, but I think you could still take it to work for snacks.

    A breakfast I am just starting to try out is overnight oats. You basically mix oats (I use steel cut because they are whole grain) and milk. Let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then instant breakfast in the morning! I’m still working on finding the right ratio of milk and oats. But from there, you can add yogurt, fruit, dried fruit, spices, applesauce, honey. It’s very versatile and cheaper than cereal (and much more filling)!

    Finally, Food Renegade is a great resource on eating healthy, whole foods. I could spend hours and hours reading her archives.

  24. Sounds like you have been making some really great choices! I have been working on this myself, and here are some things I am enjoying:
    Breakfast: Fruit Smoothie
    1/2 cup berries
    1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt
    1 banana
    1/2 cup V8 fusion
    You can also throw in a couple handfuls of raw spinach – you won’t taste it and it’ll give you an extra fruit/veggie serving!
    All in all, this should give you between 3 and 4 of your servings for the day!

    Veggies: I have really been working hard on new ways to incorporate veggies into our meals. Just this week, I made pasta “noodles” out of zucchini – the recipe is up on my blog – – if you’d like to check it out. Super super easy and amazingly yummy!

    As someone else mentioned, raw veggies such as cucumbers, carrots, peppers, and so on are really great with hummus – and I don’t care for too many raw veggies myself!

    Drinks – propel zero is a good option – still water, but with just a little flavor; tea/coffee without added sugar/milk is fine, but in moderation depending especially on how you handle caffeine.

    Getting protein at each of your meals – even a small amount – is definitely a step in the right direction. Increasing fruit and veggie intake is another. You’re doing really well! And don’t feel like you have to completely give up your sweet tooth – everything in moderation!

  25. If you want to make water more exciting and dont have time to chop fruit into it, try making a pitcher of unsweetened iced tea – there are plenty of teas out there that are naturally sweet. Try Paradise Tropical Tea (Trader Joe’s sells it, I think). It’s so delicious and tastes almost like a combination of tea and juice, but has no added sugar, etc, so it’s less than 1 calorie per serving. Just add a splash of it to water so you’re not doing too much teeth stain-age :)

  26. Try making overnight oats Also you’re doing great. Keep it up and don’t feel bad about having some sugar and other unhealthy foods on weekend.

  27. Kelsey, I really like the tips from Beyond Diet. They will they you plain and simple what is good and what is not good for your body. I found out, for example that whole wheat bread is not as good as whole grain bread; that it’s better to drink coconut or almond milk than the regular 2% or 1% milk, due to hormones in cows; that whole egss are fine, as long as they are organic, etc. They even have a quiz on Fat loss knowledgement: Try it out!

  28. Oh! And here is Beyond Diet’s video about CHEAT DAYS:

  29. Hey Kelsey! These are some great changes! Breakfasts can be pretty simple if you know your options. Steel cut oats are easy to make up on Sunday and eat through the week. I like adding dried cherries and walnuts. Also, protein breakfast smoothies are an easy choice. Just blend juice, milk or water with frozen fruit, protein powder, and yogurt. I like to add chia seeds and flax seeds for an extra boost.

  30. Healthy and super-easy beverage: squeeze fresh lemons into your water.

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