What NOT to Eat & the Healthy Alternative

Sometimes it’s easier to avoid the foods that are easily identified as “bad” for us and replace them with something nutritious.  Foods I rarely eat or avoid altogether are:
I never drink soda.  I guess, lucky for me, I never liked it that much.
Example:  I remember hearing Dr. Oz say on Oprah that if a person who regularly drinks soft drinks stopped, in a year they would lose 15 pounds!
Healthy Alternative: I keep my water bottle with me at all times and don’t buy any soda at the store.  If I want a cold caffeinated drink, I drink iced tea and sweeten it with half a Splenda (I know there is a lot of controversy regarding sugar and sweeteners, but I still use Splenda in my tea).

As you know, frying is a cooking method where the food is submerged in fat (oil) at a high temperature and cooked quickly.  Just the thought of that turns me off, but I admit I like french fries, so I will eat those sometimes.  I notice I don’t feel that good after I eat fried food though, so I usually avoid it altogether.
Example:  One fillet of battered or breaded and fried fish contains 210 to 270 calories and about 11 grams of fat. Of those calories, 124 consist of added fat, according to the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Healthy Alternative:  Whatever is on the menu as fried, I will just order it grilled or sautéed (without butter).  If you want to taste something fried, ask someone you’re eating with if you can have one bite of theirs (assuming they ordered something fried and assuming they are happy to share).  
A single fillet of baked fish contains about 140 calories and about 4 grams of fat. 

In college, I loved fast food like Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Burger King.  Now it kinda grosses me out, even though I know many fast food chains now offer salads and such.
Example:  You can go HERE to see a chart that compares the nutrition information for many items of most fast food companies.  The calories, fat, and sodium are so high!
Healthy Alternative:  I prefer to keep a protein bar or bag of nuts in my purse for those emergency hungry times that might entice you into the drive-thru.
A handful of nuts (about 10) has 170 calories; 15 fat grams (2 grams saturated); 50 grams of sodium; and 5 grams of protein.

Go HERE to see the nutritional content of your favorite bar or candy.
Healthy Alternative:  I love chocolate, but opt for a couple of squares of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa is preferred) instead.  Hershey’s Special Dark Nuggets with Almonds (4 pieces):  180 calories; 13 grams fat. 
Dr. Oz has been boasting the benefits of dark chocolate for years.  He says chocolate is good for your heart and your blood vessels. People who eat chocolate experience less heart disease, less heart attacks, and less strokes.  He also cautions not to “overdo it.”
Do you have foods you avoid too?  What’s your alternative?

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. This has become my new favorite blog! I'm starting the Jamie Eason Live Fit program today becuase I can see your results. I've got more weight to lose than you, but I'm excited to see results with this program!

  2. Thank you for posting this. I have been wanting to try to cut out soda for awhile. Hearing what Dr. Oz said is incentive enough to maybe finally kick the habit!

  3. I'm like you– I've never been into drinking soda. I've never liked fast food either… I try to avoid added sugars and sodium! To reduce my sodium intake, I avoid processed foods and use things like onion or garlic or cirus or infused oils to add flavor and spice to my food, rather than salt!

    I love your blog! It's one of my favorites to follow! Your weight loss/fitness after having your baby is inspiring! My baby is 3 months old and while I lost all of the weight by week 6, I'm definitely in nowhere near as good of shape as I want to be especially with my first half marathon coming in January! Thank you for your tips, advice, and real-life example!

  4. Yes! Love all of this. I never like soda either so that makes it easy. I am a huge fan of keeping a bag of dark chocolate chips in the house for when I need a little fix. And I am like you. Loved Taco Bell years ago and now avoid all fast food if I can. Almonds, carrots and humus are my go to snacks.

  5. Hi Megan, just wanted to tell you that I made your risotto on Saturday night — was awesome and I didn't gain any weight. I was worried since it IS rice! Fabulous recipe and I will be making it again soon. THANK YOU!!

  6. I admit I love soda (or pop as we call it in OH), definitely my vice but I love ice cold water too. French fries I love too but stay away from. Fried foods kill my stomach so beyond an occassional french fry I steer clear of them. Chocolate is my other thing, I keep the little Dove dark chocolate or dark chocolate with almonds in my pantry for when I need a little bite of chocolate.

    My husband had a massive heart attack in Nov 2011, so this changed everything, we actually ate good most of the time, but during kids football season we ate out almost every night because we had no time. Really it just made me feel sick all the time then he had the heart attack (he was 39 at this time). Fastfood has stopped almost completely since his heart attack, so has salt. That is one of the biggest things we watch for and products with transfat (big no-no). We have also switched to organic meats completely too, ground beef is now 96% lean. It was so hard at first especially eliminating the salt, but after a few weeks our tastebuds adjusted and everything is now unbearably salty. But the benefits are so worth it. Also thanks Megan we love that you are salt conscience with your recipes, the turkey taco casserole is one of our favorites to make 🙂

  7. I was addicted to Dr. Pepper! I still love it but I told myself I was going to cut back to one each day. I started taking a Yoglates class at the same time & when I got home I didn't want to "waste" the workout I'd just done by drinking calories. It ended up that I was drinking 1 every 1-2 weeks & it's been that way for over a year. Now the fried food is another thing! I live in Louisiana!! I love fried shrimp! BUT I don't overdo it.

    1. There must be something addictive in Dr. Pepper I craved it all the time when pregnant with my daughter and drank it all the time (bad I know) but about at my 5th month of pregnancy my SIL introduced me to unsweetened iced tea. Totally gave me my "fix" when I want something with a little flavor.

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