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.
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
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
"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
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."