Do All Whole-Wheat Pastas Taste Like Paste? No, Try Barilla Plus

I enjoyed it so much, I ate five ounces (dry weight, it grows to about 20 ounces cooked), or 515 calories of it for dinner one night. That meal was rare on my new diet, it actually made me feel full when I was done rather than still hungry.

Pasta, for me as an Italian-American, is something I treasure more than milk (indeed I’m lactose intolerant, so I’ve never liked milk.

But pasta is forbidden on my new no salt, no sugar, no fat, low-carb diet. The nutritionist I consulted after my angioplasty in August did give me one out of that horrible situation, whole-wheat pasta. I’ve tried some in the past but always found them pasty or chalky tasting, in sharp taste conflict with a rich tomato sauce.

But the nutritionist, who basically has put me on a bread and water diet without the bread since my angioplasty, suggested trying Barilla Plus which labels itself a multigrain pasta. Barilla Plus won my home taste test.

Barilla Plus won my home taste test.
Barilla Plus won my home taste test.
Continue reading “Do All Whole-Wheat Pastas Taste Like Paste? No, Try Barilla Plus”

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What Can You Eat on a No Salt, No Sugar, No Fat Diet?

You can hunt down decent foods, it’s a job but it can be done.

In recent months, I’ve slowly been building new menus to reflect my new restricted diet, trying to avoid salt, fats and sugar. My wife has been great in shopping with me, reading every label and finding the hidden sugar and salt bombs in most processed foods that I simply can’t eat any longer

A low salt product we found on a recent shopping trip.
A low salt product we found on a recent shopping trip.

[March 1, 2014: check out our expanded recipe page. We’ve added 10 new low salt, low sugar, low fat recipes, some with illustrated step-by-step guides to making them.]
Continue reading “What Can You Eat on a No Salt, No Sugar, No Fat Diet?”

Do You Have a Binge Eating Problem?

Call a friend for help is one piece of her advice. Another is to decorate your refrigerator with images that motivate you not to eat. Another is to find substitute treats that don’t involve eating.

Do you have a problem with binge eating? Do you rush for bags of junk food to munch on mindlessly when you feel the world closing in on you? Do you open that ice cream in your freezer to protect you from what the world has been throwing at you?

Answer yes to the above and you’re a binge eater. I know first-hand the seduction of binge eating, the feeling that you’re somehow in a protected cocoon of food where the troubles that had been hounding you can’t touch you.

Cooking, and eating, trays of Italian favorites like this are out for me now that I'm on a restricted diet. If you're binge eating, seek help as I'm doing.
Cooking, and eating, trays of Italian favorites like this are out for me now that I’m on a restricted diet. If you’re binge eating, seek help as I’m doing.

But when you’re thinking clearer, you know binge eating is only hurting you. How do you stop? It’s extremely difficult. I’m trying again now to leave it behind after having angioplasty in August, with the stakes considerably higher because of that surgery. The stress of it all have made my cravings stronger than ever yet I have avoided my former junk food favorites and as a result lost 23 pounds in four months. Continue reading “Do You Have a Binge Eating Problem?”

Can You Eat At Restaurants When on a Restricted Diet?

That AHA page is a good one for anyone on a restricted diet, not just heart patients, to bookmark.

I like to frequent restaurants and fast food outlets. I grew up in an era when eating out was a special treat so being able to do it whenever I want gives me a sense of having reached a secure financial state.

But given my recent artery and heart problems, I have cut back dramatically on my eating out. Where once it was common for my wife and I to have three meals out each weekend, we now seldom eat out more than once a weekend, cooking most of our own food to be sure we are getting low to no salt, sugar and fat in our dishes.

If you’re wondering what to order when you find yourself eating out, check out the American Heart Association website page called Tips By Cuisine which tackles the issue of eating out for people with heart problems and coronary disease.

A recent steakhouse order for me, no sauces, no butter and no sour cream but a great little filet mignon, a lean cut of meat.
A recent steakhouse order for me, no sauces, no butter and no sour cream but a great little filet mignon, a lean cut of meat.

A caveat, however, I think some of the language on the page is a bit PR-ish. Continue reading “Can You Eat At Restaurants When on a Restricted Diet?”

How Will Having Angioplasty Change What I Eat?

In short, being on a restricted diet has changed virtually all aspects of my life. By starting this blog, I hope some of my experiences can help you handle this type of massive eating change. I am slowly building an entirely new menu of dishes to cook and to eat, so stay tuned for recipes you might enjoy too.

Having angioplasty August 13, 2012, has completely changed what I eat. It has made me a man on a restricted diet, cutting out fat, salt and sugar whenever possible. And it also has greatly changed me. In the four months since the surgery, I’ve lost 23 pounds and now weigh roughly 193 pounds.

In recent years, I’ve cut out or cut back on many of my favorite foods. Pizza and Chinese food, for example, which I once ate weekly, are now a rarity for me. The same can be said for one-pound T-bone steaks and many cheese-filled Italian dishes which I’ve reserved for only holidays. Potato chips and french fries, once daily items for me, also are mostly gone from my diet.

Days of eating giant meatball subs like this one are over for me.
Days of eating giant meatball subs like this one are over for me.
Continue reading “How Will Having Angioplasty Change What I Eat?”

Some good advice, although I wouldn’t eat some of the healthy snacks recommended.

No Bones Toned

One of the most controversial things in the dieting world is differenciating a healthy snack to a not-so-healthy snack. Everything is labelled and advertized to sell, so they brag: LOW FAT! ONLY 100 CALORIES! NO ADDED SUGAR! But do they tell you that that fat was replaced with sodium and sugar, that you’re just consuming 100 EMPTY calories or that it’s actually loaded with FAKE sugars instead? Still don’t believe me? Here’s a great example: “light” yogurts. They claim that they’re low fat, but having 1% yogurt is OK too; they claim as low as 30 CALORIES but did you know that most aren’t even yogurt, just skim milk with no active cultures? So much for probiotics and extra protein to keep you full! And no added sugars? Pfft! Light yogurts are loaded with fake sugar, which is much sweeter and … different tasting. Like, I swear, back when I thought…

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10 Tips to Cut Salt

You have to click on the link in here but eventually will get to a list of 10 tips for cutting salt. I’ll be writing about many of these as well, stay tuned for future posts.

Katie Jones MS, RD

Trying to follow a low sodium diet but not sure where to start?  Don’t have time to cook everything by stratch?  Don’t know which products to choose?  Check out my recent blog post with tips to cut out hidden sodium in your diet: http://www.foodcalc.com/blog/2012/10/13/10-tips-to-cut-sodium/

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