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Anne Collins - My Eating Habits

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Like most of you, what I eat on a particular day depends on what I am doing. These days I'm mostly in my office, either seeing clients, on my lap-top responding to program-members, or helping out on the forum. My schedule typically runs from 8am to midnight, with breaks for fuel and exercise! Luckily my husband is also involved in the business. Anyway, here's what I eat...

Winter breakfasts are something warm and comforting, like old-fashioned oatmeal with raisins and honey, or scrambled eggs, lean bacon and whole wheat toast and - at least - two cups of coffee.

Summer breakfasts tend to be something quick and light like a banana and raspberry smoothie or fresh orange juice with cold cereal or whole wheat toast with low-fat spread or jelly.

Mid-morning, I grab something quick like a low-fat yogurt and a handful of walnuts or Brazil nuts, or some dried apricots and walnuts. And, of course, coffee. I know, I know, I should cut down and I will, I promise..... On days when I am out and about I keep a little bag of dried fruit and unsalted nuts in my bag to snack on.

Lunch is mostly a rushed affair and - when I'm home - is generally something stuffed into a whole wheat pita - turkey or chicken, tuna (I adore tuna), hummus and lots of salad. Or, I grill some chicken or salmon and eat with salad. To save time, I stock up on already-shredded cabbage and broccoli, slaw mix, bags of pre-washed salad greens, red onions and baby tomatoes. I top these with either some flavored vinegar or a low-fat dressing. If I'm out, I go to a deli-counter where I can get a sandwich made up - without the mayo and other 'fatties'.

Next food stop is 3.30-4 p.m. This is, for me, the 'danger zone' - I do not want to be anywhere near a Dunkin Donuts at this time! You know what I mean? That mid-afternoon slump hits and my body cries out for sugar! If I'm home I normally have a piece (or two) of whole wheat toast with jelly - I find this really hits the spot and keeps me going until dinner. If I know I am going to be out, I take some fruit - something easy to eat that doesn't mess with my lipstick - like a banana and some whole wheat crackers. Some restaurants, if you ask them nicely, will do a toasted English Muffin with jelly. Excellent, with a pot of tea!

Dinner, again, depends on what I'm doing. If I'm giving a lecture in the evening I have something light like a home-made soup with noodles or rice, or a baked potato with shredded cheese or chili, or some pasta with marinara sauce.

If I'm home I eat about 7 p.m. I use the recipes in my diet plans - they have all been tried and tested by me and my family! I adore fish and eat it once or twice a week, I cook something vegetarian at least once a week and on the other days I have some meat or chicken which I often stir-fry with peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, fresh ginger and garlic, soy sauce and lemon juice.

My attitude to meals is - KEEP IT SIMPLE. As long as I have a wide variety of vegetables, tons of fresh garlic, and the odd glass of wine, I'm happy!

I don't really do dessert, except occasionally. Mostly, I have some fresh fruit, or some canned peaches (in juice), or sugar-free jello with a couple of spoons of cream or low-fat ice-cream. Followed, of course, by coffee!

My Weaknesses! Like everyone, I have moments of weakness when I lose it completely. On these occasions, half a cream cake presents no problem, and bags of chocolate-coated peanuts can disappear without trace. Each Christmas I gain at least 4 pounds - not insignificant on my waistline - and I can vouch for the fact that menopause brings a whole new set of weight problems. However, I do try to take at least 60 minutes of hard exercise on most days, which acts as a practical reminder of the need to keep in shape. Also, as you can imagine, being a weight loss consultant means it's more difficult for me to "let things slide."

Food is Wonderful! I worry when I hear people being scared of food, and blaming food for their weight - food is not the problem - junk food is the problem. Trust me on this, I love to eat and, even more, I love the feeling good food gives me. It helps me bounce out of bed every morning and enjoy every minute of my day. Eating this way has helped me maintain my weight at around the same as it was when I was 20. I'm now 53 years young, 5'4" and 112 pounds.

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