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Fine-Tuning My Diet

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I’d love your tips and suggestions on one of my 2012 goals. One of my goals is fine-tuning my diet (diet being the foods I eat daily, not a temporary way of eating that will stop when I reach my goal weight). I’ve done fairly well with my first goal of eating at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal and at least two fruit servings per day. Now I’d like to add on another goal.

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photo credit yummy-porky on flickr

I had the TV on a couple of days ago and saw a Centrum vitamin commercial with a link to a website that would offer personalized nutritional supplement suggestions. It sounded interesting, so I visited the link last night and took the survey. I wish I could have taken it a couple of years ago so I’d have a comparison because I know my eating habits are much better now.

My results indicate that I need to take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement (not surprising). They also indicate that I need to increase the following in my diet:

  • beans
  • whole grains
  • calcium
  • Omega-3

The whole grains weren’t a surprise at all; I mentioned that in my 2012 goals post. The calcium wasn’t terribly surprising either, but I think I could improve that and the Omega-3 with a little planning. The beans were something I hadn’t really given much thought to.

What are your suggestions for adding more whole grains and beans? I usually eat oatmeal or Kashi cereal for breakfast and I eat my pasta bowl with whole grain pasta once or twice a week. That’s about it for my whole grains.

I do enjoy peanut butter on whole grain toast, so I could do a snack of that and a fruit more often. I also enjoy brown rice, but we don’t eat a lot of it – usually just as part of a casserole (or that delicious stuffed cabbage casserole) or under stir-fried veggies. I am definitely going to try a recipe that my cousin mentioned that contains brown rice (well, my modified version will, anyway) – zucchini, black bean and rice skillet.

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photo credit cookbookman on flickr

As far as beans go, I eat black beans and pinto. I will often eat black beans as a side (love them!), but pinto beans are usually in something, like chili or chicken taco soup. I like white beans fairly well, too. Oh, and we eat our favorite green bean recipe at least once a week. Do you have bean suggestions? Favorite types or favorite recipes?

You know what I would love to have? Some sort of menu planning checklist where I could check off all the stuff I’d like to include in my diet each day or week as I’m planning my menu for the week. I’ve thought about creating my own, but I haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. Does anyone know if something like that already exists in some sort of meal-planner form?

I mean, I know there’s the food pyramid, but I’m thinking of something where I could fill in the foods that meet the requirement. For example, breakfast might have a space for whole grain, protein, fruit, and calcium. Then, I could write in: oatmeal, boiled egg, orange, and milk…or something like that.

Those are the thoughts that are rumbling around in my head. Any great thoughts or suggestions?

Do or do not. There is no try.

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