Below is a list of my "safe" foods (I updated the list on 5/4/09). I eat these foods whenever I'm hungry. I prefer to eat all natural foods with no preservatives. I don't like ingesting fake sugar, food colors, etc.
As you look at my list below the items in GRAY are items that I am taking out of my diet. Like the popsicles... I was eating way too many at night and I woke up with horrible headaches. I swear it's the artificial sugar that causes my headaches. Since I stopped eating them I feel better. But I will leave them on my list because it may be a good option for you.
I keep on hand at all times:
Soup: I eat soup every day, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. I love cream based (mixed with 1% milk) but I also use broth based. I buy cans of 98% fat free soup then I add whatever frozen veggies I'm in the mood for. I also throw in a few frozen ravioli or tortellini... yum! If I feel like having stew I thicken the soup with a bit of cornstarch. For me, soup, sandwich, salad and a smoothie make a perfect meal!
Frozen Dinners: I try to eat one frozen dinner a day now. It's quick, easy and cheap! I do not buy the more expensize Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones or Healthy Choice. Instead I buy the store brand for 95¢ each. I just make sure they are under 500 calories each (most are 350 or less). I have some soup along with the frozen dinner.
I eat sandwiches every day too. Lots of them. The minute I'm
hungry I grab a sandwich or a fat free hot dog... always two at a time.
I use lite bread (40 calories per slice), any kind of cold cut (thinly
sliced is usually only 25 to 30 calories), a slice of fat free cheese (also
about 30 calories) and then lettuce, tomato, or whatever low cal stuff
I feel like piling on. I use either spicy brown mustard for spread
or fat free mayo (mix the two and you have a creamy yet zesty spread!).
Salads: As for salads, well... I think we all know how to make a salad :o) I love salads but only if they are dripping in dressing. So I came up with a dressing I love... maybe you'll like it too. I mix equal parts of fat free sour cream and mild salsa. I add a bit of fat free mayo for flavor. Then I thin it with milk. It ends up being like a french dressing but with tomato chunks. If you don't like the chunks put it in a blender. You can also add some relish or chopped onions and now it's more like Thousand Island. I devour this stuff! It makes a great dip too... for veggies, not chips :o)
Smoothies: If you don't have a blender go out and buy one! I drink smoothies before meals to fill me up. I drink them between meals to keep me satisfied. I drink them after meals for dessert. You can have fun with these! I mix equal amounts of milk and any flavor of diet soda. Then I add a hand full of frozen berries or fruit and I usually add a chunk of frozen banana (peel bananas then freeze them so you always have some on hand for smoothies!). Then I add a few drops of flavored extract (coconut and pineapple are so good!). Blend away! If you want it nice and thick add ice cubes. I make more than half a blender full each time and it fills my Big Gulp cup (it's a lot!).
Omelets: A few eggs really go a long way for the calories. And you can easily make an omelet in the microwave! Just use a glass bowl or casserole dish and mix a few eggs (I tend to use 3 or 4, big appetite!) and add whatever you want (I like pieces of tomato, some chopped broccoli or frozen spinach, mushrooms, onion, peppers... whatever). Mix it all up and put it in the microwave. Watch it and when it starts to rise stir it up a bit. Let it puff up again. You may need to stir a couple times. But in just a few minutes you have a nice omelet. Plop it onto a plate and top with fat free cheese or some shreaded mozzarella. YUM! Have this with a couple slices of toast with jelly, add a slice or two of ham and finish it off with an orange flavored smoothie and you have one giant breakfast!
Pasta: Pasta can be a life saver. And if you do it right, you can make a great meal for little calories. The trick is to use a small amount of pasta and add a bunch of stuff to it. Think of all those "diet" frozen dinners that cost a small fortune. What do they mostly consist of? Pasta! I save the money and make my own meals. I start with a cup of any pasta and then I decide what to do with it. If I want a tomato sauce I use a can of diced tomatoes and add mushrooms, onion, green peppers, etc., and I just simmer it with some seasonings. If I want creamy pasta I use cream of mushroom soup straight from the can (get a low salt version) and add broccoli or green beans and a can of tuna or some shrimp. Pasta is also great in stir fry. And I always, always, add some pasta to my soup!
Potatoes: There is nothing more satisfying then a good old potato. I just pop mine in the microwave for a few mintues then I either eat it as is (topped with fat free blue cheese dressing... yum!) or I cut it up and toss into my soup or I slice it and fry some up with my eggs. Whatever way you eat it (how 'bout mashed and topped with fat free gravy!), a potato is always yummy! Yummy and filling.
Popcorn: A hot air popcorn maker is the best investment you can make! Mine was only about $15 at wal-mart. Run out and get one NOW!!! I eat a huge mixing bowl of popcorn every night... and I mean huge... like the biggest mixing bowl your mother used to have! As the popcorn starts to fall from the popper I spray it with butter flavored cooking spray (like Pam, only I use the store brand). Each time more popcorn falls I give it a quick spray. Then when it's done I top it off with butter flavored sprinkles (I buy Butter Buds) and some salt. You can also get other flavored sprinkles like cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, garlic... I use them all! Sprinkles can be found either near the popcorn or in the spice section. As for the butter flavored spray, even though it says 0 calories for a 3 second spray, there are calories in that can. I called the company and it's about 1,800 for the whole can. But a can goes a long way. I try to make my can last 1 to 2 weeks. It's worth the calories and it gives the sprinkles something to stick to. I sometimes have a big bowl mid day too. Yes, I eat a lot!
Sugar free popsicles: Buy stock in this stuff because I buy enough boxes to make the market go up! I eat 6 to 12 popsicles every night while watching TV (for some reason I like 6 at a time, they stand up nicely in my big cup :o) and I grab them throughout the day too. I search high and low for different brands and different flavors. They don't necessarily have to say "sugar free." Many of the "all natural" or "100% fruit" brands are low in calories. For popsicles I buy anything that is 30 calories or less per pop (some are only 15!) and I eat these in unlimited quantities! For fudgsicles I buy 40 calories a pop but limit myself to two per night. And for specialty pops I will go up to 50 or 60 calories but I'll only have one of those a night. So I have 2 fudgsicles, 1 specialty pop, and a gazillion popsicles! Then I hit the popcorn!
Dessert: I like to finish off my meal with something sweet. And my sweet tooth is totally satisfied with my delicious parfaits! I take two or three flavors of sugar free pudding and layer them in a parfait glass with fat free whipped cream and sugar free jello. Then I top it all off with a glob of sugar free jelly. This is sooooo yummy!!! But here's the secret. I flavor my puddings with extract. I add almond extract to my chocolate pudding. I add pineapple extract to the vanilla (or orange or coconut or sometimes all of them!). Want something totally unique? Try adding rum extract to one box of vanilla and butter extract to another! I also add drops of food color so my parfait can be as colorful as possible. Don't forget to flavor the fat free whipped cream too! Just thaw the tub of cream and add a teaspoon of any extract and mix it up. Then put it in the fridge. The whipped cream comes out smoother and creamier than ever and it is wonderful to have it in any flavor! You can add food coloring to the cream too. Have fun with this!
I stay away from: