Three Food Lists to Consider Starting Today
As I’ve tried to increase my efforts to make healthier food choices, I also find myself making three food lists. You may find you need more lists, or you may find that fewer serves you nicely. In any case, my hope is that reading one person’s strategy will be helpful.
I call my first list Dining Out, although you can, of course, give it any name you like. These are just sample items, but mine might have notes like this:
Hillside Eatery: Chicken marsala is a six-ounce portion.
Each crab cake is 4 ounces, and by default, they broil with no butter.
Theo’s Seafood: Remember to divide the broiled combination; it’s too much for one meal.
Their shrimp scampi was greasy and did not agree with me.
I make notes on things I’ve had at favorite restaurants so I can make wise choices in the future. In a perfect world, I’d just commit everything to memory, but that doesn’t always work as planned.
My next list is one I call Current Foods. At the outset, it sounds like a lot of work, but it saves me time in the long-run. When I buy packaged food from the store, I write down the complete name in my Current Foods List. I could always go back and look it up in Instacart, but then I have to go through each individual item to find the ones I want. Then, if preparation instructions are needed, I can usually either find them via Instacart or DirectionsForMe. Having this information in one place serves a few purposes. I have the brand name, which is helpful if I want to log my food in an app like MyFitnessPal. Of course, I have the directions, so I can make my food right then instead of hunting online when I’m already hungry. Finally, having a Current Foods List lets me know what packaged foods I have. I used to label everything in braille. Now, with the advent of many ways to read barcodes, I do this very infrequently. Sometimes, just remembering what I have on hand helps me identify each item.
If I don’t like the packaged item I’ve purchased, I can delete it from the list altogether. I love trying new things, so I have added and removed quite a few items. If I find I like what I have ordered, and I know I want to order it again, I just copy the information to my Favorite Foods list. This allows me to keep from doing the same work each time, and gives me quick access to the items I use most. If I buy one of these foods, I can just copy and paste it back on to my Current Foods List. If, for example, I got Lean Cuisine Comfort Cravings Chicken with Garlic Spring Rolls, which I do often, I might write “Garlic Spring Rolls” in Frequent Foods, knowing I have the preparation instructions in Favorites.
This last list also can give me inspiration when I am making a shopping list, and nothing sounds good. Of course, I purchase lots of fresh food, but having some healthy convenience foods makes things simpler when time is at a premium.
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