HELP! I Have No Idea What to Eat

Ladies, is anyone out there struggling with food, weight, or weight related health issues?  UGH….  I tell you, I have never been a lover of food.  I mean, I enjoy food, but I mostly eat because it’s necessary.  The foods I enjoy most are, of course, the ones that are clearly the worst for me.  Isn’t that usually the case?

Lately, it seems I’ve been hyper sensitive to things like the food I eat and how much I weigh. I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s a side effect or prelude to turning the big 4-0 next year. Truth be told, my eating habits are a FAR cry from the mess they used to be, and I’m thankful for that.  For a person who is really a pretty nice size and who doesn’t even own a scale, I obsess over my weight and swear I can tell when I’ve gained even a fraction of a pound.

Yesterday, I sent a frantic email to a nutritionist on a wellness website offered through my employer (what a WONDERFUL benefit).  It felt good to tell someone of my struggle and begin getting some simple tips I can incorporate to complement the changes I’ve already made in my life to live better and feel better.  Looking better isn’t a bad deal, either, right ladies?!

All day long I thought about sharing my email and the reply with you all.  I have no idea why, other than I know that as women we can really have some struggles in this area.  The reply I received has some quick easy tips that may help you, as well.   Ultimately, I hope this blesses some woman out there and tells you that you are not alone.  We all struggle in some way, shape or form.  I find peace in knowing that I’m responsible for my part, but our Father in heaven is responsible for the whole picture.  Today, I hope that gives you a little peace, as well.  By the way, if you have suggestions after reading my about my health initiatives, PLEASE show the comment box (and me) some love!  I welcome your insight and ideas.  So here goes:

Good morning.  Earlier this year I was told by my PCP [primary care physician] that I am “Pre-Pre-Diabetic”, whatever that means. It had something to do with a range of numbers and where I fell in that range, according to lab work done for my annual physical. Diabetes TERRIFIES me. I’ve watched 2 grandparents succumb to the disease, and I am watching my father’s body slowly break down because of it. For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid “I’d be next”!

I have intense carb craving sometimes; other times I have the self-control to “just say no”.   I’ve cut out most refined sugars.  My doctor advised me to follow a low-carb/low-sugar diet, but I have no idea what the measurement for “low” is.  I eat lots of fruit, but I’m concerned that it may contribute negatively to the sugar and carb end of the spectrum.  Subsequently, I’m near tears most days, worried about what I should eat and feeling like I will never enjoy eating again.

  I have started working out regularly, and for the most part I eat well.  I probably don’t eat ENOUGH food.  I’m not a big meat-eater, although I do enjoy meat.  I’m struggling to find protein alternatives and figure out how to get more protein in my diet.  I’ve started shopping at grocery stores that carry more organic and whole foods, but of course, this is quite expensive.

I used to be a HORRIBLE candy eater. These days, my vices are french fries and frozen yogurt with plain M&M’s or dark chocolate chips (been that way since I was a kid).  I would like to lose a few more pounds, but beyond weight, I just want to eat well. 

I am 39 years old, unmarried with no children yet, so I want to form better habits to pass along when the time comes and stop the spread of this crazy disease throughout my family.  Hypertension, heart disease and diabetes all run in my family.

I will be honest. I am afraid, and I just need to have a place to start with my eating. Any tips you can offer are greatly appreciated.

Message from member dietitian

Date sent 6/23/11 7:56 AM

Re: HELP! I have no idea what to eat

Making lifestyle changes now can certainly help you to avoid diabetes. However, it can certainly be daunting when you don’t know where to start. What raises your blood sugar (and leads to diabetes) is intake of simple carbohydrates. These include sugar and refined grains (white flour, white rice, etc.). Here are some good places to start.

1. Make sure that all your grains are whole grain. You don’t need to buy expensive organic foods, whole grains can be found at any grocery store. Look for “100% whole grain” on the label when buying bread. Avoid things like processed, boxed foods (macaroni and cheese, rice mixes, etc).

2. Incorporate more veggies. Your veggies can be fresh or frozen, just make sure that you don’t weigh them down with heavy sauces. These will help to fill out your meals and help you to feel more full without adding carbohydrates.

3. Make sure you are eating regularly throughout the day. When you skip meals or go for too long without eating, you get peaks and valleys in your blood sugar which is not good. Also, when we go for too long without eating we tend to make choices that are not as good.

4. Make sure that every meal and snack includes some protein. This can be in the form of dairy, meat, eggs, soy or nuts. Adding protein to every meal and snack helps regulate blood sugar and also keeps you feeling fuller between meals.

Try our diabetic meal plan on this site for some good ideas of foods to eat at meals and snacks. Diabetes is scary, but you are doing the right thing by taking steps now to avoid this.

Completely ME,


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The long and winding road to fitness, day 6 « Run4joy59's Blog
  2. run4joy59
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 19:49:56

    Oh my, you have to know that so many people out there share your concerns, fears, and bewilderment…I know a lot about nutrition (even took some classes in college) but still eat poorly..they reason behind that is what I’m working on now. What a wonderful benefit to be able to contact a nutritionist at no cost…I think I may be jealout!! Good luck to you on your quest of eating healthier and feeling better!! Stay strong, you can do it!


    • Monica P. Watkins
      Jun 24, 2011 @ 21:25:17

      Wow! Thank you SO much for your comment! I It’s always great to know that someone else out there gets it! I went to the gym today. Being in the gym on a Friday is a BIG deal for me! Let’s hope the momentum continues. You stay strong, as well!!


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