i know there is a popular trend going around called “what i ate wednesday”. well, this post has nothing to do with that. plus, i show you what i eat almost every day of the week.. wednesdays included.. so that wednesday wagon isn’t one for me to hop on.
what i AM going to ramble about is what i WOULD eat. let me elaborate.
i get a lot of emails of people asking me how i gave up my old eating habits.
“janetha, HOW can i make myself eat healthy food and not give into cravings and bad eating habits?”
well, unfortunately there is no magic answer to this question. you can’t go to sleep loving deep fried donuts and cheese fries and wake up wanting steamed broccoli and brown rice. it doesn’t work like that. sure, some people have always liked the healthy stuff.. but not me. i wasn’t into to healthy eating until about 3 or 4 years ago. i wasn’t full on dedicated to healthy eating until about 2 1/2 years ago.
i often think back to my younger years when my metabolism was naturally speedy, my education on what calories are was nonexistent and HFCS was an acronym i was not yet familiar with.
i used to eat junk.. and LOTS of it. i survived off the drive through dollar menu, soda, cheap beer and endless bowls of cereal and ice cream.
my, how things have changed. my eating habits changed for a few reasons:
- quantity: i started packing on the pounds and realized i had to scale back the amount of food i was eating. too many calories for a gal my size. portion control became the name of the game.
- quality: i learned about the foods i was (or wasn’t) eating and saw that not all foods are created equal. i learned how to read labels and what to look for when making food choices.
- overall health and happiness: i realized that being overweight and not physically fit was detrimental to both my physical and mental health. i changed my ways and became a happier and healthier person.
just because i replaced my bad habits with good ones doesn’t mean i replaced my old taste buds with new ones. yes, i developed a love for healthy foods and yes, i actually love everything i eat. but, truth be told, i still love all the food that was making me both physically unhealthy and mentally unhappy. let’s face it.. certain foods and drinks are popular for a reason: they just taste good.
so.. just for fun.. i thought i would make a list of the top ten things i would still eat nearly every single day if calories and ingredients weren’t an issue for me.
#10: dr. pepper.
when i was a soda drinker, this was my soda of choice. from the fountain, mind you. no cans or bottles for this girl.. always from the fountain. i love dr. pepper.. especially with mexican food! i never was a fan of diet sodas—blech. but the real deal? YES. love it. i went the whole year of 2010 without drinking a drop of soda, and i have had maybe two dr. peppers since then. i still love it.. but don’t want to develop the soda habit. i prefer not to drink my calories.. especially when they are loaded with sugar and/or HFCS. i never crave a dr. pepper, but once it does hit my lips, i remember how good it really is.
#9: indian food, namely chicken tikka masala.
oh, indian food. i love you. all that butter used in your cooking and all those carbs! potatoes, rice, beans, naan. yum. chicken tikka masala is also known as “butter chicken”, so no wonder it’s my favorite. i will happily eat a whole order to myself every day.. with a pile of white basmati rice and lots and lots and lots of naan. please and thanks.
#8: piping hot chocolate chip cookies & milk.
there is something amazing about cookies hot out of the oven dunked into an icy glass of milk. am i right or am i right? yes, the only option there is that i am right. the only problem with this habit is i can never stop at one or two cookies.. it always ends up being at least 4 or 5. sometimes more. what? my favorite cookie recipe is right here. i also am a big fan of snickerdoodles. oh, and peanut butter cookies. okay, i like all cookies. with 1% milk, please.
#7: fresh peaches with half & half and sugar.
did anyone else grow up eating this trio of amazing? all you do is dice up a nice, ripe peach, pour about a cup of half & half over the peaches and dump a few tablespoons of white table sugar in for good measure. THIS IS SO FLIPPING GOOD. and the peaches make it healthy… right?
#6: chips.. preferably dipped in sour cream.
i was eating some kettle chips the other day and i noticed that there were 150 calories in nine chips. NINE CHIPS?! who eats just nine chips? that’s ridiculous. if calories weren’t in the mix.. i’d eat a bag of chips every day at my desk while at work. one of my favorite things to eat as a kid was lay’s plain potato chips (and none of this “baked” crap) dipped in straight up sour cream. i have many memories of sitting down with my mom, a bag of lay’s and a container of sour cream. we would polish off the whole bag! and if we ran out of sour cream, we used cottage cheese as back up.
#5: french fries dipped in fry sauce.
what is fry sauce, you ask? well, if you live in utah then you already know.. but fry sauce is basically equal parts mayonnaise and ketchup, mixed together. every restaurant in utah that has french fries has fry sauce, but i guess it’s not a nation-wide thing. i like to add a touch of BBQ sauce to my fry sauce. oh, and let’s talk about the fries. my favorite kind is steak cut—i can’t tell you how many endless baskets of steak cut fries i hae eaten from red robin in my day. but really, any cut will do. i love fries! dipping them in a wendy’s frosty is almost as good as fry sauce.
#4: homemade ranch dressing.
i hate bottled ranch. it’s repulsive. but i LOVE homemade ranch. and by homemade i mean 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 packet of hidden valley ranch seasoning—loaded with MSG in all its glory. fun fact: i love ranch so much that one year, my sister marisa gave me a whole year’s supply of ranch dressing! i used to pour ranch dressing over everything. it’s amazing.
i am not talking about the healthy versions of pizza that are made with a tortilla or a pita. i am talking about real deal, cheese loaded pizza overflowing with toppings. i don’t mind if the crust is thick or thin.. just make sure you give me at least 3 slices.. okay, maybe four. oh, and i want a vat of ranch dressing to dip my pizza into. that’s a necessity.
#2: box after box of cereal.. namely honey bunches of oats & fruity pebbles.
why does the cereal box serving size always say something crazy like 2/3 cup? umm.. i can fit my fist in my mouth. pretty sure one bite of cereal is 2/3 cup for me. i grew up eating cereal for my after school snack AND my bedtime snack almost every day. when i lived in london, momma b would mail me honey bunches of oats so i could get my fix. cereal makes the world go round!
#1: ice cream by the gallon.
i have actually eaten a half gallon of vanilla bean ice cream in one sitting before. i can down ice cream like nobody’s business! it is for sure my favorite food. i still eat it.. just not every day. in a calorie free world, i would have a huge peach or oreo shake every night. those are my two favorites.. although i am not picky. when i am on vacation, i eat ice cream every single day!
there you have it. ten things i would eat every day—wednesdays included—if calories and ingredients didn’t matter to me.
you may notice that i still eat or drink all of the items listed above… on occasion. that is the key. i am NEVER going to completely give up these things because that is no way to live. yes, some of the things i enjoy more often than others. for example, i eat ice cream once or twice a week. i do eat chips, but i don’t eat the whole bag. indian food is a staple when we dine out. i drink soda once or twice a year. pick your battles.
hopefully this shed a little light on my habits. i don’t want people thinking i am someone who just loves healthy food and never struggles with it and doesn’t dream up various smorgasbords on a regular basis. in reality, i work at it every single day. it gets easier, yes, but it still takes a lot of self control.
so next time you are wondering how i developed such a love for healthy eating and how you can learn to resist giving into the temptation of unhealthy eating, just know you aren’t alone. i think most people deal with this. you just need to keep your eye on your long term goals so you don’t give into short term temptation.
that’s all for today!
what’s on your list?
xo. janetha g.