Food Plan

 1.      Exercise.  Fresh air gives one a new perspective on life…time to think deep thoughts as one breathes deeply.  A brisk 20 minute walk boosts metabolism.  (Educated folks call this a “cardio” walk.)  10,000 steps equals 500 calories.  Elizabeth recommends wearing a pedometer every day.

2.      Drink lots of water.  64 ounces every day.  8 eight ounce glasses.  I read recently cold water actually boosts metabolism as well because your body must warm it to body temperature and that burns calories.   Drinking water flushes the body and helps you not retain fluids.

3.      Eat at least 7 ounces of lean protein divided into at least two meals.  Protein boosts metabolism.  Sometimes we prefer carbohydrates and neglect protein. 

Very Lean Meats
A one-ounce serving provides approximately 35 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 0-1 g fat
Three ounces provide approximately 105 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 0-3 g fat 
  • 1 oz white meat of skinless chicken, turkey or cornish hen
  • 1 oz flounder, cod, haddock, halibut, trout oz tuna canned in water
  • 1 oz most shellfish, including clams, crabs, lobster, scallops, shrimp, imitation crabmeat
  • 1 oz nonfat cheese
  • 1 oz nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 oz of luncheon meats or other processed deli meats with
  • 1 g or less fat per serving
  • 2 egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute
  • ¼ cup textured vegetable protein (meatless ground meat substitute)
  • 1 oz vegetable burger patty containing 1 gram or less fat per ounce – add 10-12 g carbohydrate and approximately 20 calories per ounce
Lean Meats
A one-ounce serving provides approximately 55 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 3 g fat
Three ounces provide approximately 165 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 9 g fat
  • 1 oz chicken or turkey with dark meat, no skin oz pork tenderloin, fresh ham, Canadian bacon
  • 1 oz lamb roast, chop or leg
  • 1 oz lean veal chop or roast oz USDA Select or Choice grades of lean beef, including round, sirloin, flank, tenderloin, ground round
  • 1 oz USDA Select or Choice grades of steak including porterhouse, cubed, T-bone
  • 1 oz herring, salmon, catfish, sardines
  • 1 oz canned tuna in oil
  • 1 oz rabbit
  • 1 oz 4.5% fat cottage cheese
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 oz cheeses with 3 grams or less fat per ounce
  • 1 oz processed deli meats with 3 grams or less fat per ounce
  • 4 ounces or ¼ cup light tofu with 3 grams or less fat per ounce
Medium-Fat Meats
A one-ounce serving provides approximately 75 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 5 g fat
Three ounces provide approximately 225 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 15 g fat
  • 1 oz chicken (dark meat, with skin)
  • 1 oz ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 oz fried chicken
  • 1 oz veal cutlet
  • 1 oz ground lamb or lamb roast 1 oz pork top loin, chop, cutlet
  • 1 oz ground beef, meatloaf, short ribs, Prime rib, corned beef
  • 1 oz any fried fish
  • 1 oz cheese with 5 grams or less fat per ounce
  • 1 oz feta
  • 1 oz mozzarella
  • 1 oz ricotta oz or ¼ cup tofu
  • ¼ cup tempeh
  • 1 oz sausage with 5 grams or less fat per ounce
High Fat Meats
A one-ounce serving provides approximately 100 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 8 g fat
Three ounces provide approximately 300 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 24 g fat
  • 1 oz spareribs, ground pork, pork sausage
  • 1 oz most cheeses including cheddar, muenster, Monterey Jack, Swiss
  • 1 oz most processed sandwich meats like salami, bologna, pimento loaf, capicola
  • 1 oz most sausages including Bratwurst, Italian
  • 1 oz hot dog (pork, beef, turkey, chicken)
  • 3 slices bacon


4.  We also need at least one serving of fat to keep the brain functioning properly.

Fats are broken into four categories, each playing a different role in your heart health.  Keep saturated and trans fat lowest and focus on increasing mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Each serving contains approximately 45 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 5 g fat.

High Monounsaturated Fats (choose most often)
  • 1/8 avocado
  • 1 tsp olive, canola, peanut oils
  • 8 large black or green olives, stuffed
  • ½ oz most nuts
    4 pecan halves
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
High Polyunsaturated Fats (choose more often)
  • 1 tsp stick or tub margarine
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat, light or nonfat margarine
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 4 English walnut halves
  • 1 tsp corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp salad dressing
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat salad dressing
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds
High Saturated Fats (choose least often, if at all)
  • 1 tsp stick butter
  • 2 tsp whipped butter
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat butter
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1 tsp bacon grease
  • 2 Tbsp boiled chitterlings
  • 2 Tbsp coconut, sweetened or shredded
  • 2 Tbsp half and half
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 1 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp palm, palm kernel, coconut oils
High Trans Fats (choose rarely if ever)
No specific serving sizes provided – limit total quantity of the following foods:
  • Fried foods
  • Commercially baked goods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (e.g. shortening, partially hydrogenated soybean oil)
  • Any foods containing the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated

        Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

5.  We need three servings of fruit a day.  One day a week two of those servings can be substituted for a couple of glasses of wine.  (Four ounces each.  You’re cheating if you go for the big pour!)

Each serving contains approximately 60 calories, 15 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 0 g fat
  • 1 small apple (4 oz)
  • ½ cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 medium (4”) banana
  • ¾ cup blueberries
  • 1 ¼ cup whole strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries or boysenberries
  • 1 cup cubed canteloupe or honeydew
  • ¼ cup cubed watermelon
  • 1 medium peach
  • ½ medium grapefruit
  • 1 kiwifruit (3 ½ oz)
  • ½ cup fruit cocktail, extra light syrup or own juice
  • 12-15 grapes
  • 12 cherries
  • 2 small plums
  • 3 dried prunes (also called “dried plums”)
  • 2 Tbsp raisins or other dried fruit
  • 1 medium orange
  • 4-6 oz most 100% fruit juices

6.  Plus we need three servings of vegetables.

Each serving contains approximately 25 calories, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 0 g fat
  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables (e.g. kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, bibb lettuce, iceburg lettuce, watercress)
  • 1 cup raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, broccoli, asparagus, leeks, onions, beets, green beans, cauliflower, peppers, celery, cucumber, water chestnuts, zucchini)
  • ½ cup cooked vegetable (e.g. see above for raw)
  • 6 ounces most vegetable juices

7.  Add 2 servings of a starch.  (Whole grains are always best.)  Go easy on potatoes, rice, pasta, and white bread.  (My experience says they are the enemy.)
Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta

Each serving contains approximately 80 calories, 15 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 1-3 g fat
  • 1 slice whole wheat, rye, white, pumpernickel bread
  • 2 slices reduced calorie bread
  • ½ hot dog or hamburger bun
  • ½ English muffin
  • ½ bagel (1 ounce)
  • 1 small roll (1 ounce)
  • ½ 6” diameter pita bread or lawash bread
  • 1 6” diameter corn or flour tortilla
Cereals and Grains:
  • 1 oz most cold cereals (1/4 – 1 cup)
  • 1 ½ cup puffed cereals (e.g. puffed rice)
  • ½ cup cooked cereal (e.g. oatmeal, oat bran, cream of wheat)
  • ½ cup cooked brown or white rice
  • ½ cup cooked enriched or whole-wheat pasta or Soba noodles
  • 3 Tbsp wheat germ
Snack Foods:
  • 8 animal crackers (unfrosted)
  • 2 graham crackers
  • ¾ matzoh cracker
  • 4 slices melba toast
  • 3 cups popped light popcorn
  • 2-6 baked whole-wheat crackers 6 saltine crackers
  • 2, 4” diameter rice or corn cakes
  • ¾ oz pretzels
Starchy Vegetables:
  • ½ cup cooked corn or 1 medium ear of corn
  • ½ cup cooked peas
  • ½ cup cooked mixed vegetables
  • 1 small, 3-oz baked potato
  • ½ cup cooked mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup winter, acorn or butternut squash
  • ½ cup yam or sweet potato

      10.  Ladies, let’s not forget our calcium.  We need one serving of Dairy a day.   
             Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese

Each serving contains approximately 80-110 calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 0-3 g fat
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) nonfat or 1% milk, lowfat or 1% fat chocolate milk
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) nonfat or lowfat buttermilk
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) calcium-fortified light or reduced fat soymilk
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) nonfat or 1% plain or fruited yogurt made with sugar substitute (Try Yoplait thick and creamy 100 calorie lime.  It's great!)  Tastes   like key lime pie.
  • ½ cup nonfat frozen yogurt

 Leave off artificial sweeteners as much as possible because it actually triggers sugar hunger.

Go easy on the salt because it makes you retain water. 

You MUST EAT ALL THE FOOD YOU ARE ALLOWED.  Weird, but it actually works!  The thing we are most inclined to do is quit eating.  Then those of us who God blessed to survive the famine have our bodies economize on the calories.  So we starve ourselves of nutrients and our super efficient body saves us calories!  So, it is important to eat a balanced diet.  What it amounts to is common sense...moderation.  This diet is disciplining ourselves to right portions and right choices.

When you BREAK THESE DOWN INTO FIVE SMALL MEALS you actually continually stoke that furnace and make it burn more efficiently.

NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST.  You have to fire the furnace!  2 cups of coffee are okay and this is where you can use some artificial sweetener.  I also use a couple of dashes of Lite creamer.

There are okay products to use to liven up the diet such as...Lean cuisine ( less than 300 calories with 7 grams of fat or less.  And I have discovered a delicious salad at Wendy's with chicken and balsalmic vinaigrette dressing.  There are great salads at Applebees and TGI Fridays.  Also, I am told that Chicken Marsala at the Bonefish Grill is okay for our diet.  I have bought a new onesie teacup and pot for herbal tea throughout the day with a twist of lemon.  Hot tea does help quell hunger and make you feel a bit elegant.

Quick and easy household measurements to use as portion control guides

  1. 3 ounces of meat is about the size and thickness of a deck of playing cards.
  2. A medium sized piece of fruit is the size of a tennis ball.
  3. 1 ounce of cheese is about the size of four stacked dice. 4. ½ cup of ice cream is the size of a tennis ball.
  4. 1 cup of mashed potatoes is the size of your fist (depending on your size; commonly the size of a female fist).
  5. 1 ounce of nuts should fit into the small of your hand.
  6. 1 teaspoon of margarine or butter is about the size of the tip of your thumb. 

It goes without saying that we use Pam to cook with.  We use Olive Oil whenever possible. (I recommend Fleishman's Olive Oil soft butter, also.  It tastes just like butter, but it is olive oil!

My Sister 9a cardiologist) recommends a Centrum vitamin (good multi-vitamin), 2 capsules of fish oil (for the heart and cholesterol)

If you discover dishes that "fit" our diet, let me know!  I refuse to give up going out to eat or eating with my friends.  Being with friends and family make life worth living! 

Also, Grandmothers whose grandchildren love to bake you have a suggestion as to a healthy substitute that kids enjoy doing?  I want to be a good grandmother and not deny my grandchild those "cooking" experiences...what do you suggest?

Remember, there are so many things that can interfere with your weight loss:  antibiotics, cortisone, etc.  Don't get discouraged.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  I know that I can go in five months from a tight fourteen to a tight ten.  Been there done it.  Wore the t-shirt.  The tight ten was lots more fun.  Whatever you have to lose take it one step at a time.  One five pound bag of sugar at a time. 

Create your own chart with your own goals.  If you join me...let me know how you are doing!


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Okay, that's all I know.  Let's give it a go!  God bless you.

Some good diet recipes from sister-in-law Pat Ramsey

The food list comes from the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center website.