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Maggie's Story: Making Changes for Her Health

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Maggie's story

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The biggest bonus? Her asthma symptoms went away.

"I noticed that I wasn't having problems when I went hiking or exercising," Maggie says. "I wasn't wheezing. I wasn't having any trouble breathing. It's just gotten progressively better. I haven't had any symptoms. I don't need those inhalers anymore."

Making room for "worth-it" foods

Changing the way you eat doesn't always mean you have to give up your favorite foods.

Maggie includes her beloved pizza and the occasional hamburger or filet mignon in her food plan. But she has them only about every 3 months. And she has small portions. "I have what I call my worth-it foods," says Maggie.

She often changes those foods to make them more healthy. No more bacon cheeseburgers at the fast food restaurant. "I eat hamburgers, with lean meat, and I make them at home on the grill."

She loves pizza, but she no longer eats the kind with mounds of cheese and pepperoni.

"The pizza I'm eating now is more European style—thin crust, with a lot of nice seasonings, tomato or a marinara sort of thing, with basil and a little bit of the mozzarella or provolone," she says. "I just love the wood-fired crusts with less cheese. I thought I would hate that. What I've discovered is that I taste flavors so much more now than I did when I ate my high-fat diet."

When she craves something sweet, she will have a small portion of premium ice cream once in a while. But she's more likely to reach for a fat-free fudge bar.

Plan ahead when you eat out

Maggie still eats a little birthday cake now and then. And she doesn't shy away from restaurants, because she loves to eat out. She just makes sure to allow for it in her eating plan.

Maggie says she knows that to deprive herself of any treats or other high-fat foods would just make her want them more.

"To say I would never have cake again would be a very dangerous thing," she says. "The minute I say that to myself, the opposition starts up. 'Oh, yes I am. I'm going to have one.' If I know I'm going to a birthday party and there's going to be cake there, I decide ahead of time if I'm going to have a piece of cake or not. I don't have other (treats) that day. If I get there and it's a kind of cake I don't like, then I don't have it."

If she does eat some cake, "I have half a slice."

When she goes out to restaurants, she often asks the server to bag half the dinner before it's brought to the table, so she can take it home for another meal the next day. She also takes care when ordering. She'll order grilled fish with no oil or butter. "You stay away from the fried foods and heavy sauces."

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 21, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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