One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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Advice for a Vegetable and Fruit Hater Who’s Been out of the Game So Long

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I’ve been reading since the beginning…I found you from spark people years ago when trying to lose after my first child. I lost doing WW (Weigh Watchers) back then using all packaged products. I then had another child and undid all my progress, and also decided to return to school, further distracting me from losing weight. While I’ve followed you the whole time, and saw your transformation to a more healthy lifestyle, I just spectated and was happy for you. Now, I’m finally about to graduate (at 31), so I’ve went back to WW, but the food just doesn’t do it for me, and I hate fruit, and am not a big vegetable person… I guess I’m looking for some motivation and advice, on a way to move to more filling choices. The new points are different, so some of my old high fiber things don’t work like they did, and I know you used to eat like I do. How do I transition? There is just no way to eat these frozen meals and snacks, and stay within points without feeling starved. I know you aren’t messing with the points+, but I’m finding it hard to find things for the old points. This has been rambling, and I apologize, I’m just frustrated. To bottom line, any advice for someone who’s been out of the game so long? I’m hoping to start working in more activity, but I’m not there yet. Any food ideas for a picky eater that won’t kill me in points? In case you’re wondering, I’m not officially in the program…can’t afford it, so doing my own research. Thanks, Jamie

Hi Jaime!

First let me say I’m SO sorry it’s taken me a year to get back to you. I’m shocked how time seems to get away from me. That being said, congrats on your graduation last year! That’s awesome!

I think your question is pretty common for two reasons: 1.) The new Points Plus doesn’t seem as intuitive (at least to me) so folks try to follow the old points plan with little or no support and 2.) lots of people get really dependent on packaged foods never transitioning to more dependent approach.

So I have a few opinions that may help.

Since you aren’t going to WW I’m wondering if a site like MyFitnessPal or Loseit could be a good supplement. They don’t track points but they could help you track calories and stay accountable to daily goals. I’m not associated with either site but I have tried them each out. They are both free and have quite large communities that could also be a great support structure. I tend to use MFP when I do track, I like that they allow users to enter in custom food.

Speaking of…  food! I know it’s hard to start to transition and become more independent with your food choices, especially when you aren’t naturally a fruit or vegetable person. I’d first urge you to constantly keep trying new things. The best thing I ever did was start the produce pick series I launched with The (then) Toddler. I hate to use the word “forced” but that’s basically what I did. I forced myself to regularly try new things expanding my palate. Some things I liked, some I didn’t but the experience was invaluable. It helped make me more adventurous in the kitchen.

Besides trying new things I’d also look at ways to lighten up things that you currently enjoy. Can you skip the cheese? replace mayo with mustard? Order dressings on the side? Reduce your bread intake? Buy leaner cuts of meat? Reduce your portions sizes? etc., etc. etc.

Other ideas: Start meals with “brothy” soups, make sure to drink lots of water to help you feel full, snack on air-popped popcorn, and have “go-tos”  to take the guesswork out of meals, for example….

Breakfast:

Lunch:

  • Big bowl of a broth-based soup and a half of sandwich
  • Large salad (I know you aren’t a veggie lover but maybe?) with some leftover or precooked protein on top, light dressing
  • Quick quesadilla made with leftovers or pantry items like Avocado and Pinto Quasadilla
  • Leftovers from dinner the night before

Dinner:

For dinner I have more of a template than “go-tos.” I focus on a protein source and then pair it with a small carb and then vegetables (I know, I know but they really are important!) If I make chili or stews I bulk them up with things like zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, etc. I even chop kale small and put it in my taco meat, add chopped mushrooms to ground beef recipes, I’ve even put chopped cabbage in meatballs!

Snacks:

  • Yogurt cups
  • Granola bars (less than 200 cals)
  • Beef/turkey jerky
  • Pistachios
  • Air-popped popcorn (spritz with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt — or  make in the microwave!
  • Hot tea! I know it’s not food but at night when I really really want to snack when not hungry it’s a great thing to turn to. SO many fun flavors! Honestly, I’m sipping some RIGHT now.

Photo-on-3-18-14-at-10

My advice to get back in the game…. Start doing what you can when you can! Every little step you take matters. Every vegetable you try, every meal you lighten, every small change you make gets you one step closer to your goal. It’s not going to happen overnight. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow a vegetable lover with unlimited motivation but you can optimistically tackle the day, making the best choices you can where you are right now while slowly making choices that will lead toward big changes later. That I can say with confidence because tubs of Greek yogurt and bags of kale don’t lie. 



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Discussion

There are 11 comments so far.

    Georgia Reed

    March 19, 2014

    I used wycwyc the other day with my husband and to motivate myself! And… i should go get some hot tea right now…

    Kitty

    March 19, 2014

    I am a WW member and I never loved fruits or vegetables. I also loved the convenience of the packaged foods and am not big at cooking (I want to eat when I want to eat, not after making a meal). Some things I’ve done to help:

    1. I really limit the amount of packaged foods and unhealthy snacks I let in the house. I’ve found some berries that I like so I snack on that a lot. I eat an ounce of pistachios almost every day. That kind of thing.

    2. When I do sometimes eat frozen dinners I try to find those that use whole grains and I add frozen vegetables to them. That bulks them up some.

    3. I’ve found some healthier recipes for things that I can make quickly (20 minutes tops, but often something I can make in advance and then eat for several days). That gives me more of the convenience I want but in a healthier package.

      RoniNoone

      March 19, 2014

      Thanks for adding your tips!!

    Carrie

    March 19, 2014

    My best advice regarding vegetables is ROAST them!! Every veg tastes tons better roasted with a smidge of olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe a little garlic.

    I also don’t care for most fruits, but it’s because of the texture, not the taste, so I look for ways to get them into my diet: smoothies are a big one.

    Speaking of smoothies – no one is lying to you when they say you cannot taste the green stuff if you add it to smoothies.

    Finally, I found out it wasn’t that I didn’t so much not like certain foods, but I didn’t like them the way I grew up with them. (Canned!) I grew up eating carrots, peas, corn and green beans exclusively because everything else looked and smelled horrible out of a can. Now my favorite thing is Brussels sprouts sauteed with a tablespoon of bacon bits and a little soy. YUM.

      RoniNoone

      March 19, 2014

      Great points!! Green smoothies are a great way to add in some veggies and make great breakfasts on the run! And you are right, roasted rocks! Even my kids will eat most veggies roasted. I can’t even do asparagus out of a can or frozen Brussels sprouts but roasted… they are amazing!

      JenS

      March 19, 2014

      I second on the roasting of vegetables! I have found that I am able to get my family to eat more veggies by doing this…my teenager actually asks me to make roasted green beans!

    HeyBeckyJ

    March 19, 2014

    I would like to second Carrie’s advice – instead of trying new vegetables, try new ways to prepare them. Growing up, veggies came from cans and were heated in a microwave – blah! Now I’ve discovered how much better fresh veggies (or even frozen) taste. And roasting veggies is totally worth the extra few minutes. This approach can even extend to fruits. I’m not crazy about eating fruits raw or plain. But toss a diced up apple in my oatmeal – yum!

    stephkdesign

    March 19, 2014

    I love this! I have a really hard time with veggies. They either make me gag (like a 3 year old, I know. SO mature.), upset my stomach, or make my mouth itch like crazy. But making green smoothies with spinach or kale has been my LIFESAVER. I also eat a lot of carrots… not crappy baby carrots either. Real carrots taste so different. I eat mine with peanut butter. Recently I switched from lettuce (that was going bad too quickly and started to be a texture I hated) to prepackaged shredded cabbage like you might buy to make coleslaw. A little bit of that goes a long way.

    nancyabc

    March 19, 2014

    I love fruits and veggies but got out of the habit of eating them for the past 4 months. But I agree that roasting the vegetables is really good.

    Indiri

    March 19, 2014

    Thank you, Ronnie! I’m okay with veggies but lately the night time snacking is killing me and the last 10 pounds are SO stubborn. But I forgot about tea! It really does help with my cravings so maybe I can cut out those crackers (and the extra glass of wine). Thanks for the reminder.

    http://simpler-weight-loss.com

    April 7, 2014

    Nice Blog you have here! Really provides a nice motivation to lose weight.