Whole Foods Lifestyle - Testing the "whole foods" waters

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04-11-2008, 05:50 PM
Hiya, :wave:

Basic background: Lifetime of truly horrid food choices - 99.9% processed, pre-prepared, convenience, or fast foods :o with the standard results.

Original plan was simply to get a handle on my weight once and for all through diet and exercise. I'm still "tweaking" my plan but it seems to be really rapidly evolving into a whole foods lifestyle. Now, I'm not quite sure if it's just because I'm finally really thinking about what I'm putting in my mouth, or if my taste buds are actually waking up, but it sure seems like my tomato, broccoli, and garbanzo bean salads with a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and a little crumbled garlic & herb feta tastes better than any takeout pizza I ever had.

My problem is, my experience with whole foods is embarrassingly limited. Aside from the ingredients I listed for that salad, avocado, and raw nuts I'm a little in the dark (and a little nervous about experimenting with something I might not like). I have successfully made the switch to whole wheat pasta and been able to add some salmon to the menu but I'm looking for some ideas for a little more variety. I also have a DH to consider who does not need to lose any weight but I have just barely been able to wean him off of Hamburger Helper and Tater-tots so I don't want to serve him something that's going to alienate him completely and send him running for Wendy's :D

I've skimmed through a lot of the posts here and see some neat sounding recipes but I was wondering if you guys could point me in the direction of some of them that aren't too exotic, or going to be too much of a shock to my newly resuscitated taste buds?

Appreciate the help :)

04-11-2008, 06:19 PM
Welcome yoyo. Glad to have you on board.

I have been eating this way for years and I can tell you not only does it taste great, it will help you ealthwise with better blood tests and really good doctor visits :)

I never really found places that had recipes I like that were "whole" so I decide to do it myself. It honestly is not that difficult to take a traditional recipe and make it more whole foods friendly.

A few suggestions - there is a forum a bit higher up for the Sonoma and Medieterranean diets on this board. In that forum are several recipes that might be to your liking. Also, in my sig here I have a link to a recipe and review page I have. If you read my reviews of certain recipes, I have comments on how I made more traditional recipes more whole foods friendly. Not all of have been changed that way so you'll have to take a look at them. Once you get the hang of swappign out whole grains for processed, using leaner meats, better fats and adding more veggies, you'll be able to tweak recipes yourself

04-11-2008, 06:51 PM
Welcome Yo-Yo!! I sort of accidentally stumbled into whole food recently. I started do The Flat belly Diet. I found their website not to be active enough for me...so I mosied over to 3FC. I started reading threads and trying different foods. I too am taking my DH along for the ride. he is one of THOSE people....Ya know the freaks of nature who eat whatever they want, when ever they want, as much as they want and NOT put on weight. In fact he even had his doctor tell him to gain 10-15 pounds...and it took him 3 years to do it!!! Like I said...Freak of Nature!!

I bought the Super Foods RX by Dr. Pratt (I think the first name is Steven) I started trying one or two new foods each time I went to the grocery store. I have been doing this for 2 1/2 months and have lost 31 pounds so far. But let me tell...I have NEVER felt this good on a diet before!! I am not much of a recipe person. I stand in the kitchen and start throwing stuff together until it looks like a meal. So I am not much help there.

As far as DH goes....if he gets sick of whole foods he can go to Wendy's alone and clog his arteries. He is an adult free to make his own choices. Mine goes to Dairy Queen about once a week when he needs a calorie, fat, carb fix. But he goes alone.

04-15-2008, 04:52 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome :hug:

Still being kind of blown away by how good some of this stuff actually tastes and playing with herbs and spices on my lunch veggies (which I make the night before) the way I used to play with marinades for my steaks :lol:

Actually bought a yam the other day. A little at a loss since the only way I've ever fixed them in the past involves heavy cream, butter, and marshmallows :D Open to suggestions...........

04-15-2008, 04:59 PM
Roasting ANY veggie is a great way to eat them.. dice the yam up, toss with other veggies it you want, drizzle with olive oil, salt pepper, balsamic vinegar.. etc whatever you want and roast 400-450 until done the way you like it. I have yet to meet a veggie I didn't like roasted!

04-15-2008, 06:46 PM
:drool: sounds like dinner tonight to me :)

04-16-2008, 07:22 PM
I peel, cube and nuke them in a little water. Then I add a little orange juice, salt and pepper and use my immerson blender to mash them. This makes a really satifying comfort food.

I also do them like LindaT suggests.

Also you can roast a bunch of winter veggies, eat some as is, add some chicken broth to the rest and puree and you have a nice thick soup.

04-16-2008, 07:54 PM
I like yams and sweet potatoes baked or as oven baked fries (just cut into 8-10 wedges, toss in a bowl with 1t of olive oil, and put on a pan and bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until golden.)

I agree that your DH can go to Wendy's by himself, but there are some whole foods that are easier on the palate. For instance, quinoa in a South American quick cooking grain that tastes more "white" then other whole grains. You can use it as a rice substitute. If you bake white whole wheat flour has a more neutral taste then regular whole wheat.

I like to tweak recipes to be healthier. For example, I love tuna noodle casserole. I use ww noodles instead of egg noodles, I add peas and mushrooms, I make a white sauce instead of using canned soup, and I use ww bread crumbs for the topping.

04-17-2008, 02:28 AM
Sweet potatoes/yams = YUM! I like them roasted, or just peeled, cubed and boiled which is how we had them tonight. :) I agree with whoever said just try making your favorite things "whole" for a starting place. Your salad sounds yummy too. I like to make a "nearly taco" salad, using lettuce and/or spinach, often with shredded cabbage too, then add tomatoes, some avocado and warmed up black beans. I top this with lf sour cream and salsa. The warm beans help thin and spread the sour cream/salsa mix so it coats everything else.

04-17-2008, 10:50 AM
I made this the other day because I had bought quinoa and didn't know what to do with it, and I had some black beans hanging around I wanted to use:

Delicious! Took no time to prepare, and the only substitutions I made was I used olive oil instead of "vegetable oil" in the first step and it doesn't state to heat the beans before you add them, and i was using canned so i made sure to warm them up a bit before i added them because adding cold beans to a hot dish just sounded like lukewarm yuk to me. I also used reduced sodium veg stock and no salt added beans because the sodium content would have been really high otherwise. i didn't count it but i am sure that my version was far far less than the count on the recipie.
It's kind of like.. corn salsa and rice? either way, it was quick, easy, and reheats pretty well (I made half the recipie - I had one serving the day I made it and then split the rest in half to bring with me for lunch at work)
it is more of a bean dish than a quinoa dish but it was a very good way to use it - and very cost effective. the cost of ingredients for the entire meal was about four dollars (I used 1/4 of the quinoa that i had bought in bulk which had cost me about one dollar, 1/4 of a $1 bag of frozen corn, a can of beans that cost around .89, the onion was probably about $1, the most expensive thing was the fresh cilantro, which cost 2.99, and i only used half of it. spices and seasonings are negligible...) and it fed me one meal a day for three days! two full servings is a LOT, only about 300 calories, with almost 15g of fiber and protien!

it's delicious, might be a little too exotic for your hubby, but you can throw a bag of tortilla chips at him and tell him it's a new recipie for salsa, and he might love it (it's what i did with mine, lol, but I also have told him that panko is crushed potato chips and he believed me. whatever it takes to get him eating better lol)

04-17-2008, 11:10 AM
MMMMM! So much yummy stuff. Who knew :D

I ended up cubing my yam and throwing it in a pan with a couple of chicken breasts, a few chopped carrots and onions, drizzling on a little olive oil and just roasting the whole thing together. Even DH was shocked - I offered to nuke him some tater-tots but he said the yam was better :carrot: Could be whole foods is going to end up with 2 converts for the price of one ;)

Still surprised on a daily basis how much I DON'T miss fast food. Sort of keep waiting for some incredible craving for grease to overtake me but so far not even a twitch - actually drove past an In-N-Out the other day and caught a whiff and thought it smelled terrible. Their double/double cheeseburgers and fries (with a shake of course) used to be a real "staple" for us. Hope no one lost their job over the loss of revenue from our house :lol:

04-17-2008, 02:31 PM
I am loving this whole foods way of eating. I agree, the fast food hasn't been calling my name either. A minor miracle, no lets make that a MAJOR miracle. I have only gotten hungry a couple of times since I started about a month ago. Today for instance. I have eaten my afternoon snack already. If I am hungry when snack time comes I'll probably eat again but I am hoping I can skip the afternoon snack. Mostly because tomorrow is official weigh-in day. I was already down when I weighed this morning so I want to make sure I still am down tomorrow.

The following is going to be my weekend cooking recipe for the week. Love Mexican and this a.m. I was thinking I bet a mushroom spinach enchilada would be good. You gotta love google. I added lowfat to my search and I think this looks very good.

DIY Network

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URL: http://www.diynet.com/diy/lc_dips_sauces/article/0,2041,DIY_14001_2274757,00.html
Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas in Red Chili Sauce
From "Paul James' Home Grown Cooking"
episode DHGC-333 -- More Projects »

Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas in Red Chili Sauce

Recipe courtesy Beth Ginsberg.

Ingredients for Red Chili Sauce:

One 28 oz. can no-sodium tomato puree
2 cups no-sodium vegetable stock (or low sodium)
1/4 cup chili powder
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Preparation for Red Chili Sauce:

Whisk a 28 ounce can of no-sodium tomato puree, 2 cups no-sodium vegetable stock, 1/4 cup chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano in large saucepan until smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes. Set aside.

Ingredients for Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas:

1-3/4 lb. fresh spinach, stemmed and washed, or 20 oz. frozen spinach, thawed
No-stick cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
2 oz. low-fat soft tofu (silken if you can find it)
1 lb. button mushrooms, trimmed, washed and sliced
2 oz. fat-free jack-style soy cheese, grated by hand
16 no added fat corn tortillas (low sodium if you can find it)

Preparation for Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using fresh spinach, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Plunge spinach into water and cook several seconds. Drain, squeeze out excess water and chop. Place in a bowl. (If using frozen spinach, simply squeeze out the excess water and place in a bowl.)

Spray a large saute pan once with cooking spray and set over low heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 pound trimmed, washed and sliced mushrooms and cook 5 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and pour off excess liquid. Stir together 2 ounces of low-fat tofu and the spinach/mushroom mixture until blended. Stir in 2 ounces of hand grated fat-free jack-style soy cheese.

Spread 1/2 cup of the Red Chili Sauce in a large baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce into a shallow bowl. Dip a tortilla in sauce, place on a plate and spoon 3 tablespoons of filling onto center. Roll up and place in baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Pour any remaining sauce over enchiladas. Cover top with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees until sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Serves: 8

Chef's Note: Roasting jalapeno, serrano and other small fresh chilies softens their flesh and mellows their fire, while adding a warm roasted flavor. To roast, heat a small skillet over high heat. Add the whole peppers and cook, shaking the pan, until the skins are soft and begin to char in places. Transfer peppers to a bowl to cool. When cool enough to handle, slice open and, with a small knife, scrape the flesh away from the skin. On average, 1 jalapeno peppers yields about 1 tablespoon chopped.

04-17-2008, 04:32 PM
Hi! I am also just getting started on the Whole Foods way. I have ordered Dr Pratt's "Superfoods Rx" and should be getting it tonight or tomorrow. I am very excited to read it, because from what I've been reading on 3FC, it seems to make a lot of sense.
A few years ago, I would never have given another thought to it. I find that now I seem to be more willing to try new and different foods, food that I would NEVER have tried 2 years ago. I don't know if your taste buds change over time, but mine seem to be on quite a roll! lol....
I can't wait to try the recipes listed above, they sound delicious! Thanks for the ideas! :D

04-17-2008, 04:41 PM
I just wanted to comment on fast food. After over a year of only eat fast food in emergencies (traveling mostly) I have a hard time eating it. Another strange thing though is that when I walk or drive by a fast food restaurant the smell turns me off. It smells so fake and chemical laden. I wonder how I could have ever thought that smell was a good one.

04-23-2008, 03:25 PM
Tried both and trust me, he won't miss the "real" thing - I got them from a Weight Watchers site:

Hamburger Helper
1 lb. ground beef
1 med onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3.5 cups of beef broth
8 oz. whole wheat pasta
3/4 c. ff sour cream
3/4 t. mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the beef along with the onion and garlic. Drain any fat. Add the beef broth and the pasta, cover, bring to a boil, and simmer at a med. boil for 15 min (or until pasta is cooked). Turn the heat down to low, and stir in sour cream and mustard.

Beef Stroganoff

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 lb fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
4 bouillon cubes
2 cups boiling water
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups ff sour cream
3 TBS Whole Wheat Flour
1 12 oz package whole wheat extra wide noodles, cooked

In large skillet cook meat, mushrooms, onion, till meat is cooked and veggies are tender. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water then add to meat mixture, along with dill, and pepper. Cook uncovered at a slow boil till liquid is reduced to half. .Stir together sour cream and flour then stir into meat mixture. Heat till thickened, but do not boil. Toss and mix with cooked noodles,. serve.