Wow, I got some really good information, advice, insight and book/website recommendations in the comments yesterday! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. It is very helpful to see what others are choosing and why as I make my own decisions about what to eat, and what's healthy for me. I have narrowed down a few things (like still having beef no more than once a week, usually local and grass fed, and including dairy *for now* and perhaps trying cutting it back or out at some point in the future. Also wanting to get off all types of sweeteners except moderate occasional use of local honey and maybe Stevia.) Simpler is better for me. I have to calm my mind enough to ear my body when I am making these choices.
But then there's the convenience factor. I admit it, I like convenience. In fact that is why I used to get up in the morning and grab cold pizza for breakfast even though a spinach omelet sounded better. It's just easier and faster to grab cold pizza rather than getting out the pan, prepping veggies, cooking, and then cleaning up. This is actually a bigger factor for me than I thought. There's two reasons: one, I am busy (sometimes). And two, I am lazy (sometimes). After a long day or even in the middle of a busy day I do not like having to go through a process of
1. looking at what food is available
2. deciding what to eat and how much
3. prepping and cooking the food
4. sitting down to eat
5. cleaning up the mess
THAT is why fast food, Lean Cuisines, and prepackaged foods are so popular! Just grab and eat! Simple and fast. But I am trying to get away from that kind of thing and back to a more basic (meat, veg, fruit, nuts, etc) diet.
I have honestly struggled with this all my life. I grew up eating convenience foods where the most cooking my mother usually did, if at all, was to boil some hot dogs or make a box of macaroni & cheese. When I went off to college I ate a whole lot of Ramen noodles. I learned to cook when I got married, and I liked it, but now I am busier and less patient and frequently my kids are not even home for dinner (some work, some have other things going on). Even when they are, they tend to like the foods they grew up eating: home cooking like beef stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs, sloppy joes, bacon cheeseburgers, pot roast and mashed taters, stuff like that. Which is fine, and I adapt. But in general I do not want to be consuming noodles and casseroles and higher fat meats and mashed potatoes. I can figure out the dinner part, if I work at it. The kids will eat baked salmon and a side of brown rice and veggies. They will eat roasted chicken. But then I am still stuck trying to figure out breakfast and lunch.
I need easy and convenient. A pre-made salad goes icky after a couple days. So does cooked chicken breast or fish. I have tried making a ton of extras and freezing them in individual portions. But I dunno, maybe I am just rebelling here because I seem to be making it a bigger deal than it IS.
It's just that I need to form new habits. I need to expect to take a little time in the morning to make something healthier, even if it's just a smoothie. So I am trying now to factor in the convenience factor so I don't end up just grabbing what's easiest. Like this morning, I saw the "easy stuff" in the fridge, which we do have on hand for my working/college attending kids who needs something to grab and go, and I just told myself NO, and made some eggs scrambled with spinach. And you know what else I had? Half an apple. And you know what? I realized that I have not had an apple in OVER A YEAR. And as I ate that apple, I thought, it is time to make some changes.
I am heading out to my ultrasound and doctor appointment in a couple hours. I am very nervous. Think good thoughts for me please. I hope they will just tell me it's nothing, or to monitor it... not biopsy, not surgery... but I will just have to deal with whatever comes.