Help me eat healthy

BathTubbBathTubb Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Like the title says I want to eat healthy, but there is a slight problem. Growing up, and now into my adult life, I do not like many fruits and vegetables. The only vegetables I eat are: potatoes, corn, spinach, and brocoli. Fruits are: banananas, oranges, apples, and peaches. So, how do I incorporate new foods into my diet? Also, how do I start/maintain eating healthy?

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  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Start eating nuts. They're a great snack and they beat out junk food by a mile.
    Also, how do you feel about avocado? They're a great snack too. I often just eat it whole when I'm craving something.

    For vegetables try making a salad and putting in a nice dressing, for example an ginger dressing that's low in calories but very delicious. It'll make you notice all the veggies you don't like a lot less.

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    You could try buying a farmshare with a bunch of people and trying each thing you get at least once to build a longer list of products you know you like.

  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    well i know this is a tough one because its hard for me to do, but you might wanna heavily reduce the amount of potato you eat. Also changing how its prepared will help. no more french fries, get a baked potato if you need a potato side and eat the skin (You might as well get some vitamins from the skin along with all that starch). spinach and broc, im not fond of, but eating as much of those as you can is probably going to help. Lots of good recieipes with those two. Granted much of them involves drowning it in cheese but hey what are you going to do.

    Start making the switch from soda to flavored water or teas. fruit is pretty easy..buy a sack of medallion oranges and have them instead of snacks.

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  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    So, how do I incorporate new foods into my diet? Also, how do I start/maintain eating healthy?

    Don’t buy junk food. Don’t eat at restaurants that don’t serve junk food. Problem solved.

  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Oh, re: potatoes, try sweet potato. Just boil it/bake it and it's delicious and much healthier.
    It's certainly different as compared to regular potato, but not in a bad way.

  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    A blender can do wonders for what you can experiment with. Smoothies are so good when you make them yourself.

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  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    What kinds of vegetables have you been exposed to/tried?
    I ask because I can see getting sick of eating cans/bags of frozen peas/corn/mixed/whatever.

  • DVGDVG Registered User regular
    If you think you want to make a permanent change, you shouuld consider doing a 30-day clean eating program like The Whole 30 the idea being that after 30 days what starts as a challenge will be a habit, and your tastes will have acclimated to enjoy food that makes you healthy. I can attest personally to the whole 30 and the impact it had on my life. I'm sure some folks will just jump on and say it's a low-carb fad (it's not, there are plenty of carbs to be had, just not from grains), but it's really pretty simple: Eat real meat, vegetables and fruit, and nothing else for 30 days, and see how you feel.

    Diablo 3 - DVG#1857
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    When was the last time you tried any other vegetables? Your tastes change as you age...I can remember hating some things growing up because their tastes were too bitter or strong, or I found their textures weird, but now I love them. Have you recently tried any mushrooms, carrots, asparagus, brussels sprouts, bok choy, snap peas, green/string beans, lima beans, peas, broccoli rabe, green/red peppers...etc?

    You don't have to eat these on their own necessarily, either...you can make meals that incorporate veggies, which makes it easier to get them in your diet (rather than having a side of vegetables, it can be part of the meal...like in a soup, or in fajitas, or in a stir-fry, etc).

  • DVGDVG Registered User regular
    Reducing sugar (normal, artificial and everything in between) in your diet is usually the first step in appreciating other foods. In nature, sweetness usually meant the food was more nutritious for you, but modern food preparation involves making every nutritionally devoid piece of crap food loaded with extra sweetness (in the case of artifical sweetners, some of these are hundreds of times sweeter than anything found in nature).

    So eliminating sweet snacks and if you want to go whole hog eliminating sugar altogether for awhile (which is harder than you might thing given the many and varied names sugar goes by on ingredient labels) will help you change your tastes and after a little while (not that long, a week and you'll notice a difference) you'll start to appreciate the wonderful tates of many veggies.

    Diablo 3 - DVG#1857
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    the fruits and vegetables you listed are a fine basis for a more balanced diet

    and don't write off other kinds of fruits

    fruits like tomatoes and grapes come in many varieties and some are way better than others


    the best thing you can do for starters is to replace junk food snacks with fruit whenever possible

    and then work your greens and fibers into your meals.. potatoes and dark greens are especially good

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    My problem with things like the Whole 30, or "just don't buy junk food", is that for most human beings, shit doesn't work that way. A good nutritionist will tell you to replace one thing at a time, never just try and "go healthy" over night, because you won't stick to it unless you have super human will.

    As Jasconius said, try substituting one thing once, and see what you like. Craving a snack cake? Grab an apple instead. Once that becomes a bit of a habit, replace something else....and never be afraid to fall back on a comfort food provided it's in moderation and not your entire diet. Try and "healthy" up your favorite foods as well. As an anecdote, you will pry pizza from my cold dead fingers...so I've learned to order whole wheat crust, and to order from places that use good whole ingredients (like real cheese, locally cured pepperoni and fresh local vegetables). It doesn't make pizza "healthy", but it's sure a hell of a lot better than a Pizza Hut special.

    Also, the fruits and vegetables you listed are a good start. Nothing says you MUST eat every vegetable ever. I can't stand avocado or spinach, so I don't force myself to eat them. I just go with a nice dark leafy lettuce instead of spinach.

    I think the number one thing that has helped me change my diet over time is not taking things too far. Realizing it was a process, there were just things I was never going to like, and keeping the idea to eat better in the back of my mind, but never to the point of obsession.

    e: Another example of the incremental things you can do: About a year ago I started eating a grilled chicken salad for lunch at work, pretty much every day. It gets a bit boring, but I know work is one of the times/places I have easy access to salad ingredients and the time to actually prepare and eat one, so I do.

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  • DVGDVG Registered User regular
    To be fair, W30 isn't W365. Where Most people struggle is trying to go perfect diet immediately and forever, without really knowing what that is or why, and they falter. W30 is a very specific rule set (albeit strict), with an end in sight so you get an idea for what your body feels like with a clean diet so you can conduct self experimentation to see how not so good food effects you. Personally I learned that my system is sensitive to dairy which I never knew before.

    Diablo 3 - DVG#1857
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    To me, the Whole 30 thing seems much more useful AFTER you've started the transition to a healthier diet, and you're at the point where you want to sort of reboot your system...but I'm no nutritionist.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    I'm not eating vegetables because of how awesome they taste, but because of how good they are for me. Often, I steam a bunch of carrots and brocoli and eat them first. I don't have to chew them as much, I can eat more of them, and it also makes me want to eat less of the bad cards I'm really wanting to eat. You have to get away from the idea that a meal is gratification for your pleasure receptors.

    Even if you have to choke the stuff down, just do it. Once you start adding more balance to your diet, it will become easier.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    I disagree entirely that you can't enjoy food and eat healthy, I think that's poppycock...but whatever people need to do to eat healthy is what they need to do. Like pizza, you'll pry me enjoying the experience of eating from my cold dead fingers. I just had to learn to find things i enjoyed eating that weren't going to kill me at 55.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    Essee
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    I'm not eating vegetables because of how awesome they taste, but because of how good they are for me. Often, I steam a bunch of carrots and brocoli and eat them first. I don't have to chew them as much, I can eat more of them, and it also makes me want to eat less of the bad cards I'm really wanting to eat. You have to get away from the idea that a meal is gratification for your pleasure receptors.

    Even if you have to choke the stuff down, just do it. Once you start adding more balance to your diet, it will become easier.

    I would say you're doing it wrong. I eat vegetables regularly, and enjoy them. Because they're made right, and in good dishes. If you're just cooking carrots and sucking them down because they're healthy, I think you're missing the point. You can easily turn those into a good side, and make them not be a chore to devour.

  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I'm not eating vegetables because of how awesome they taste, but because of how good they are for me. Often, I steam a bunch of carrots and brocoli and eat them first. I don't have to chew them as much, I can eat more of them, and it also makes me want to eat less of the bad cards I'm really wanting to eat. You have to get away from the idea that a meal is gratification for your pleasure receptors.

    Even if you have to choke the stuff down, just do it. Once you start adding more balance to your diet, it will become easier.

    I would say you're doing it wrong. I eat vegetables regularly, and enjoy them. Because they're made right, and in good dishes. If you're just cooking carrots and sucking them down because they're healthy, I think you're missing the point. You can easily turn those into a good side, and make them not be a chore to devour.

    Is there a "right" way to eat fruits and vegetables? Does my eating them have to coincide with enjoyment of them? I would argue my way is working just fine for me.

    I don't particularly care for them, like the OP, but I find ways to get them into my diet and try consume as much of them as I can. A lot of the time by not caring how it tastes, but because I know it's good for me.

    RocketSauce on
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I think the point we're making is that everyone should be able to find a set of fruits and vegetables, and preparation methods, that mean they aren't having to gulp down carrot slop to get their nutrition.

    Yes, I am sure your way works great, but advising others to just "grin and bear it", rather then suggesting they find fruits, vegetables and techniques they enjoy, seems a bit...odd.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • BathTubbBathTubb Registered User regular
    Thanks for all the replies so far. @NightDragon I have been trying new vegetables, that is how I started to like spinach and broccoli. Do you or anyone have any good stir fty websites? @GnomeTank that is great advice. I tend to do the change overnight and fail a week or two in. Does anyone have tips for cooking for one? I live alone, and some days find it easier to make a frozen pizza or other crap food then to make a real dinner.

    Steam-BathTubb Xbox Live - Bathtubb
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    BathTubb wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies so far. @NightDragon I have been trying new vegetables, that is how I started to like spinach and broccoli. Do you or anyone have any good stir fty websites? @GnomeTank that is great advice. I tend to do the change overnight and fail a week or two in. Does anyone have tips for cooking for one? I live alone, and some days find it easier to make a frozen pizza or other crap food then to make a real dinner.

    Cook for two or four or whatever, and get resealable containers for leftovers. If I cook stir fry for dinner one night, I generally have lunch for two or three days afterwords. Gets you to eat healthy, and saves lunch money!

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    Essee
  • phoophoo Registered User
    edited August 2012
    I found this article on acquiring tastes that you may find helpful. They do give an example of how you might ween yourself onto coffee, which you might be able to extrapolate to vegetables.

    http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?id=1596

    I believe that it is best to learn to like fruits and veggies, though you don't have to like all of them. I know someone who was raised on only foods he thought he might like as a child. If he said "I don't like it" without having tasted it, it was not served to him. As a consequence, 15+ years later his diet consists of largely of processed food. There are a few vegetables he is willing to eat, all with high sugar content. It severely restricts places he can eat at, sharing a diet with a mate or partaking in most of a given potluck. His health can't sustain on this kind of diet.

    I wasn't big into vegetables either until I just started eating them regularly in stir fry. I ate the regular celery, carrots, etc but my taste buds grew. I started like asparagus only when I read about how to properly roast it. Then I thought it was delicious. I wasn't keen on bell peppers either - they tasted a bit bitter to me. Yet recently I tremendously enjoyed eating a whole one raw. Part of that I think may be getting older, but also expanding my taste buds. Green pepper doesn't taste the least bit bitter to me now, but I also enjoy very dark chocolate which is of course bitter.

    Not everything unhealthy is bad for you - IF you use it as an excuse to make the good stuff go down easier. For example, I know someone else who puts some iceberg lettuce (which has the nutritional value of cardboard) in a salad because they like iceberg. Then they add the healthy lettuces, other greens and a can of tuna. It doesn't matter how healthy something is if you won't eat it.

    You might consider classing "things you don't like" into more than one category. Maybe you don't like celery, but maybe it's just the strings that give you the most problem. So destring it before you eat and learn to like the taste. OTOH, you may have a really intense dislike of asparagus. So, don't worry about learning to like it for now. Start with the easier foods to acclimate to. They may help lead you to others and maybe one day you'll be open to asparagus. If you end up liking 90% of vegetables and still won't get near asparagus, the world won't break. In fact, if you get to 90%, you're doing awesome. If you force yourself to eat asparagus right away, you are more likely to reinforce your distaste of vegetables, guaranteeing failure.

    phoo on
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    BathTubb wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies so far. @NightDragon I have been trying new vegetables, that is how I started to like spinach and broccoli. Do you or anyone have any good stir fty websites? @GnomeTank that is great advice. I tend to do the change overnight and fail a week or two in. Does anyone have tips for cooking for one? I live alone, and some days find it easier to make a frozen pizza or other crap food then to make a real dinner.

    Cook for two or four or whatever, and get resealable containers for leftovers. If I cook stir fry for dinner one night, I generally have lunch for two or three days afterwords. Gets you to eat healthy, and saves lunch money!

    Even more so I find that planning out your meals and spreading out the preparation helps a ton. Like I try to plan out what meal I will have every night of the week when I go to the grocery store to buy stuff. And often times there are things I will need to do in the morning or the night before (like start defrosting meat, or set up a marinade). If I know what I am going to make, and I've already got stuff started I am much more likely to finish then if I roll home in the evening with no idea what I even have in my fridge at the moment.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I will admit to being bad at that part. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants a bit, but it works for me. You're approach is the one I would recommend to someone if they asked me.

    e: I also go to the grocery store quite often. I'm a walker/public transitter, so it makes logistical sense for me to make small short trips where I pick up what I need for a couple of days.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    BathTubb wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies so far. @NightDragon I have been trying new vegetables, that is how I started to like spinach and broccoli. Do you or anyone have any good stir fty websites?

    If you just look up "stir fry recipe" on Google you will easily find hundreds (you can also say "chicken stir fry" or "broccoli stir fry" or something if you're looking for a particular kind). Stir-fry is actually pretty easy, and can be switched up depending on what vegetables you want to use. The only thing you really need to be concerned about is the individual cooking times of each vegetable (in other words, don't throw two things into the wok/pan at the same time if one of them takes a lot longer to cook). Broccoli and baby corn are already two things you like, and are very tasty in stir-fries!

    NightDragon on
  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    A blender can do wonders for what you can experiment with. Smoothies are so good when you make them yourself.

    This is how I make myself eat healthily (it helps that it's been hot out). You can put in anything you want, my current fave is

    3-4 ice cubes
    5-6 frozen strawberries (you can get a pound at Whole Foods for less than $2)
    1 frozen banana (just keep regular bananas around until they get brown spots, then peel and wrap individually in plastic wrap, stash in the freezer. Break into chunks)
    1 big blob of fat free yogurt (or one of those fruit on the bottom yogurt cups)
    1 small handful of baby spinach
    splash of milk and OJ (how much depends on how thick you like it, and your blender)
    protein powder (if you're into that)

    Other tasty things to put in include pineapple chunks, pretty much any frozen fruit you can think of, sherbert, oatmeal.

  • superhappypandasuperhappypanda Zug Island Sport Fishing SeattleRegistered User regular
    I grew up in Detroit and had an aversion to veggies due to poor Polish cooking. Over the last two years, I've rediscovered fruits and veggies and I love love love them now. I still have an occasional burger or pizza but I find myself opting for healthier variations (usually) because now my body tells me that's what it wants.

    Try baking your veggies, a little olive oil, salt and pepper go a long way. I've got a recipe for baked broccoli that's gotten rave reviews from everyone I ever made it for.

    Broccoli
    Olive Oil 2-3 TBS (enough to toss the broccoli florets and get a thin coat for the S&P to stick a little)
    Salt
    Pepper
    Minced Garlic
    Lemon Juice
    Pine Nuts
    Shredded Parmesan Cheese

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and set the oven rack to the top shelf.
    Toss the Broccoli with 1/2 Tsp Salt and 1/2 Tsp Pepper and the minced Garlic (adjust S&P and Garlic to taste).
    Put some tinfoil over a baking sheet to keep things from sticking and spread the Broccoli over the sheet so it's spread evenly.
    Place Broccoli in oven on top rack and bake for about 8 minutes.
    Toast pine nuts in a pan on the stove until golden, remove and set aside.
    Remove broccoli, and spread pine nuts over it, sprinkle some parmesan cheese (not the powdered stuff) over it and sprinkle some lemon juice on.
    Place Broccoli back in the oven for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted.
    Serve and enjoy.

    Brussel sprouts prepared with olive oil, S&P in the oven for about 10 minutes is amazing as well. Just about everything is.

    As for fruits, just start incorporating more into your diet. I've started eating a ton of blueberries lately and used to hate them, now I'd fight a hobo over a flat of them.

    I usually buy a flat, rinse them in a collander, dry them very well, and spread evenly on a large baking sheet with parchment paper under them and freeze them overnight then bag them when they're in season. Otherwise frozen blueberries work too.

    I'll microwave a cup of blueberries until thawed and toss em in a bowl of cereal with low fat milk.
    I'll microwave a couple of blueberries to thaw, toast one flax/healthy waffle (Kashi makes some good ones), spread 1 TBS of Almond butter on the waffle and sprinkle on the blueberries, fold and eat with 1 cup of milk for breakfast or a snake (about 400 cals total).
    I'll defrost blueberries or fresh strawberries/apples/pears/mandarin oranges and throw em in a salad with some sweeter vinaigrette dressing and some nuts and a little Blue or Gorgonzola cheese.

    Spinach is great, I'll get a bag of baby spinach, throw 2 or 3 handfuls in a bowl, heat up a Lean Cuisine and pour it over the spinach. Bam, instant and delicious dinner that actually fills you up. If not, I'll have an apple to finish the job.

    Either way man, there are tons and tons of options. Find a veggie you like an Google recipes for it. You might have to tweak the recipe if it's ok but you should be able to find plenty of options out there.

    Also, if you don't hate or never tried Middle Eastern food, there's a TON of veggie related options out there. I highly recommend checking out some of the recipes (fava beans, eggplant, chickpeas, sesame, garlic, etc etc etc). This site is a good starting point: http://www.dedemed.com/

  • superhappypandasuperhappypanda Zug Island Sport Fishing SeattleRegistered User regular
    I'm just going to reiterate Mediterranean cuisine because I pulled up Dede's site and am drooling already. I could eat that stuff every day.

  • DCastDCast Registered User
    Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. :) Don't overdo it though. I would recommend Brussel sprouts, blueberries, spinach, lean meat and lots of fish - salmon, sardines, tuna, cod and halibut. Lots of Omega-3 fats will keep you healthy.

  • SubhumanSubhuman Overlord BaltimoreRegistered User
    I eat pretty good weekly, but I never neglect cheese steaks, craft brew, wings, nachos, pizza, or anything else that tastes good on the weekends. What works for me is interval running, playing sports, cycling, and sex. Burn those calories. Really all you need to do. Diets fail often. Lifestyle changes work better and are more permanent. I recommend cycling really.. low impact, fun, and you can max out all your credit cards on fancy awesome road bikes and fit into elitist cyclin' groups.

    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence"- Napoleon Bonaparte
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I'm just going to reiterate Mediterranean cuisine because I pulled up Dede's site and am drooling already. I could eat that stuff every day.

    I will say, even shitty Mediterranean cooking compared to some fine quality Polish cooking is like an eating orgasm.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    I used to be a crazy picky eater and didn't know how to cook either. Things I credit for learning how to eat and cook healthier:
    -- hanging out with friends and roommates who eat and cook healthier and watching them and trying a little of their food
    -- the book "how to cook everything" is great for holding your hand and showing you different cooking techniques assuming you know nothing and that you don't have a lot of fancy ingredients or kitchen equipment. Every recipe has a ton of variations to adjust to your own likes and dislikes, which helps encourage you to experiment and try new things based on what you already know you like.
    -- learning how to make food different than what you grew up with. My parents were into low-fat everything when I was growing up, and I hated most vegetables because they were boiled or steamed and mushy. Now my default for any veggie is roast in oven with olive oil and kosher salt, which is a compromise but still way healthier than the junk foods I would eat otherwise.

  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    Eating things that are in season is a good way to make produce more palatable. I don't know where you live, but in the U.S., it's the end of summer but peaches, eggplant, zucchini and cherries are still pretty good (and usually on sale). In the autumn you're looking at better tasting apples, and then winter squash (pumpkins, butternut squash etc) later in the year.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    Your tastes can change, but sometimes you have to do something you don't like in order to get there.

    If you want to eat healthy, you're going to have to take a dive and eat some stuff you may not find as appealing. Put some veggies on your plate every night and eat them. Give it at least a few weeks before you decide you absolute do not like whatever it is.

    For example, I had to make a conscious effort to enjoy tomatoes. I used to really dislike them, but now I don't. I'm not always in the mood for them but I like them a lot more than I used to.

    JKKaAGp.png
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    I find vegetables most tolerable when in sandwich form.

    Some whole grains, little mustard, lean turkey/tuna makes 'em bearable.

  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    Your tastes can change, but sometimes you have to do something you don't like in order to get there.

    If you want to eat healthy, you're going to have to take a dive and eat some stuff you may not find as appealing. Put some veggies on your plate every night and eat them. Give it at least a few weeks before you decide you absolute do not like whatever it is.

    For example, I had to make a conscious effort to enjoy tomatoes. I used to really dislike them, but now I don't. I'm not always in the mood for them but I like them a lot more than I used to.

    Same - i used to hate everything about the taste of green tea. Now I'm a fan (though I still need a bit of sugar). It was a bit of a slog getting to that point, but even without the health benefits it's nice to have the option of another hot or cold beverage I don't have to feel guilty about.

  • MogsMogs Registered User regular
    A great place to start is with examining your current food intake. What does an average day look like for you as far as food goes? Maybe if you posted a sample menu here, we could give some more specific advice.

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