PRODUCE: The most important thing to start with is lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. When you first begin the diet, you will find fruit will take care of any excessive cravings. It is important to stock up on lots of fruit the first few weeks so that there is no excuse for eating junky food. Find out what your favorite produce is and purchase it. From the fruits, I buy frozen strawberries, frozen blue berries, and frozen raspberries from Costco. From the local Fred Meyer, I buy all my fresh fruit such as apples, pomegranates, grapefruit, pears, kiwis, whatever is priced right and in season. From the veggies, I find that I use a lot of salad mix, onions, chopped mushrooms, bell peppers, radishes, and potatoes. I have an extra bin in my fridge because the two lower bins are not enough for the amount of fruits and veggies that I buy.
PROTEIN: Its important to eat enough protein each day to maintain proper hair and nail growth as well as muscle growth. I always start off my day with eggs and later on I have some sort of meat. Whichever protein I eat, I choose about 100 calories of it for any meal.
Eggs have 80 calories, and egg whites alone have 16 calories each. I usually make an egg white omelet with 4 egg whites. Once in awhile I will have one whole egg including the egg yolk and 3 additional egg whites. I dont have more egg yolks because they are the source of cholesterol and lots of calories.
These fish fillets have 100 calories per fillet.
Shrimp has 100 calories for 3 oz.
Frozen Chicken Breast: 110 calories for 4oz
Ready Chicken Strips: 100 calories for half package. Great for wraps (but watch the sodium).
The slices are 7.7 calories per slice. There are many other brands of chicken or turkey breast that are about 10 calories or less per slice that work well too. They go great with my eggs in the morning, or in a sandwich (but watch the sodium).
These hotdogs are 40 calories each. I eat two of them for any meal, but even three is ok calorie wise. They are a bit expensive though. One pack was around five dollars. If you are eating two per serving, you will only get a few servings out of one pack.
Tuna has about 100 calories per can.
Beans: most beans are a good source of low calorie protein. This one here is 100 calories per 1/2 cup. They go great as a side dish to any meal, including breakfast eggs.
DAIRY: Dairy is important for calcium and vitamin D. Here are some good low calories sources that I use:
Fat Free Cream Cheese: 30 calories per ounce.
This brand of Almond milk has 40 calories per cup and tastes great. I always have it in my fridge for smoothies or for my oatmeal. It is fortified with calcium and great for people who are lactose intolerant and want another option to soy. Overall, it is the lowest calorie option of milks out there and my favorite one.
These are a life saver if you are having a cheese craving at only 35 calories per slice and really satisfying.
This cheese has 45 calories per 1/4 cup or 22.5 calories per 1/8 cup. I usually use 1/8 cup which seems to be enough for my sprinkling over anything like eggs or hots or salad.
These brands work well for low calorie yogurts. Light Yoplait has about 100 calories per cup and comes in a vast variety of flavors. I was surprised Light and Fit actually tasted good at only 80 calories per large cup. They are great with some crumbled rice crackers, crumbled fiber one cereal, or crumbled pretzel pieces: all of which are lower in calories than granola.
Low fat cottage cheese has 100 calories per 1/2 cup. As the yogurt, its best served with some crumbled pretzel pieces for crunch which are lower in calories than nuts. I also toss in some stevia and chopped fruit to sweeten it up and give it color.
GRAINS: I usually eat about 2-4 servings of grains per day. Here are the products I buy:
I choose wraps that are around 100 calories. These Trader Joes tortillas are my favorite in terms of flavor, texture, and fullness. They are 110 calories each. They go great as a wrap for my eggs or for quesadilla snack.
100 Calorie Flavored Wrap
Egg roll Wraps: 60 calories each
This is the bread that I use quite often. It is 45 calories per slice, but the slices are very small and not satisfying. I am not 100% satisfying with the flavor. Most times I eat two slices for a total of 90 calories.
This is Miltons 98% fat free Original Multi-Grain bread. This is my favorite bread in terms of texture, flavor and fullness. Each slice is 110 calories and has a hint of honey.
This mix has 140 calories per 1/3 cup. To go with your pancakes or waffles or french toast: Mrs Butter Worth's sugar free syrup.
These Fat Free No Pudge Fudge brownies are 120 calories per serving. You have the option to make one serving in the microwave instead of the entire box, which prevents you from over eating them.
Oatmeal has about 120 calories per packet. I microwave it with 2/3 cup water, then I add about 1/4 cup almond milk (10 calories), some crumbled pretzel pieces for crunch, and a few chopped dried berries for color.
In general, cereal is not good to eat because it is not satisfying and it increases your appetite. The only cereal I eat is fiber one cereal which I sprinkle on various foods for extra fiber such as on top of a salad or on top of cottage cheese.
These rice crackers have 50 calories each and are great as a snack on their own, or crumbled into yogurt as a substitute for granola. I really like this caramel flavor. The non-flavored variety has only 35 calories.
These are some of my favorite snacks. This popcorn is about 100 calories per bag and already measured out. The Fiber Plus bars are really soft, chocolately, and have lots of fiber at 130 calories per bar.
FLAVORINGS, DRESSING, SYRUPS, SPREADS...There is no reason to eat food bland. In addition to using as many spices and herbs that you want (because they are all calorie free), you can also use the basics you are used to. Here are the products I use to dress up my food:
All spices are calorie free. Things includes flavorings such as vanilla extract. My favorite spices to use with beef are cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. With chicken I use thyme, rosemary, oregano, turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper. With shrimp I use curry powder, sea food flavoring, or simply salt and pepper.
Most mustard has zero calories. This one with horseradish is my favorite. The ketchup above has only 15 calories per tablespoon, and the fat free mayo has 10 calories per tablespoon (as opposed to regular mayo which has 100 calories per tablespoon!)
Daisy light sour cream has only 20 calories per tablespoon.
I have tried a lot of low calorie dressings and was not happy with them. I came across this dressing in the fridge section. It is not listed as low calorie, but it only has 30 calories per tablespoon and tastes really good. Now it is all I use.
This Marie's Yogurt Parmesan Cesear Dressing is really tasty at 50 calories for 2 Tbsp.
Butter: 45 calories per tablespoon
Butter Spray: 0 calories
Syrup: Mrs. Butter Worth's sugar free syrup is the best low calorie syrup out there. I have tried many and some were just really awful. This syrup has 20 calories per 1/4 cup. Its great on pancakes, waffles, or french toast.
These 98% fat free condensed soups are 70 calories for 1/2 cup. Good for pot pie.
This sugar free chocolate syrup is 15 calories for 2 Tbsp.
Pace has 5 calories per tablespoon.
This marinara sauce has 25 calories per 1/4 cup.
This Trader Joes roasted garlic hummus has 25 calories per tablespoon.
Eggplant spread is really tasty and has a tiny kick to it. It has 35 calories per tablespoon and is great on a piece of toast.
This fifty fifty strawberry jam from Fred Meyer's has only 5 calories per tablespoon! It tastes really good.
This is from Trader Joes. It tastes like peanut butter and has 50 calories per tablespoon. I usually mix it with 1-2 Tbsp of light cool whip to get 35-45 calories mixture that works great as a spread over toast or as a dip for some apples or pears.
This marshmallow fluff has 20 calories per tablespoon.
Light whip topping has only 10 calories per tablespoon. Great on coffee of french toast.
Stevia is the only sweetener that I use. It is natural and calorie free. For my coffee, I use non-dairy powdered creamer which has 10 calories per teaspoon.
PICKLED GOODS: There are a lot of pickled foods out there that are really low in calories. The ones that I actually liked include pickles, mushrooms, asparagus, green beans and olives. They are all only 1-7 calories a piece and make a great side dish.