Diet makeovers begin with a clean pantry, fridge

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - If you want to make over your body from the inside out, dieticians and doctors agree you might want to start with your pantry.

We spoke with a woman who kept the weight off for three years by making that part of her plan. With her advice, and the help of a dietician, we show you how and talk about some of the newest foods you should try.

Laurie Schneider's life is whole lot different now than it was a few years ago. That's when she decided to take charge of her health; and dropped 50 pounds.

She said joining Healthpoint Fitness and learning to love exercise was only part of her transformation. She needed guidance to give her diet a complete makeover from pantry to fridge.

Registered Dietician Raina Childers said what we saw, isn't what Laurie's pantry used to look like.

Laurie admits it used to look this: bar b que potato chips, white rice and pasta, high-sugar cereal and probably some cookies.

Raina said these choices are far healthier: oats, brown rice, whole grain cereal and low sodium soup. Then there's quinoa, one of those new foods growing in popularity; and Childers said it's not fad food.

Moving on to Schneider's refrigerator; now it's a model of health, but before it looked more like this: high fat milk, cheese and other dairy products, butter and soda where the vegetables should be.

Childers said it seems like the yogurt and milk sections have exploded at stores and most of the choices are great. Schneider likes greek yogurt with more protein and almond milk with fewer calories.

Childers also recommends exploring some greens when you pick out your produce. She said iceberg is great, but throw it out in favor of kale or spinach with more health benefits.

She also commends Schneider in both her fridge and pantry for choosing things like garlic and spices to flavor food instead of sauces with a lot of fat and calories.

Schneider said she made her results last be educating herself, asking for help and building on her knowledge a little bit at a time.

She said finding balance in her body with diet and exercise has allowed her to tip the scales for the better when it comes to her overall happiness and quality of life.

Childers reminds you to fill most of your plate with vegetables or fruit and while you should include lean protein, most people don't realize they're over doing it.

She said making over your diet can be simple if you take one step at a time and always have the right foods on hand. Some healthy foods she recommends include:

  • Olive oil and Canola oil
  • Garlic – chopped, minced and bottled works best
  • Vinegars – balsalmic, white wine, red wine, rice wine
  • Canned meat – tuna, salmon (without bones), chicken breast
  • Canned or bottled tomato products – paste, sauce, and pasta sauces without meat and cheese in them
  • Canned soup with vegetables and beans – low sodium versions
  • Low sodium, low fat cream soups
  • Low sodium, low fat chicken, beef or vegetable broth
  • Canned or dried beans (black, kidney, garbanzo, pinto, etc)
  • Salsa
  • Nuts – eaten in ¼ cup portions
  • Natural nut butters, soy butter or PB2
  • Evaporated skim milk
  • Quick cook brown rice or long grain rice and quinoa
  • Whole wheat pastas
  • Whole wheat tortillas/pita bread
  • Whole grain cereals and oats
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Reduced fat parmesan cheese
  • Refrigerator pastas
  • Pre-cooked, refrigerated or frozen chicken breast
  • Bagged, triple washed spinach or lettuces
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Egg whites
  • Reduced fat dairy products, milk, yogurt and cheeses
  • Dried fruit

You can click here for more information on food groups and portions. For more information on weight loss and nutrition, you can click here.

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