eating healthy when you’re a picky eater

I’m having a rough time lately. I’m trying to lose a few pounds (er, eight) that I’ve put on since our wedding (four of which I gained in ONE WEEK on our honeymoon… which, even though it’s gross, I’m hilariously kind of proud of… is that weird?) — I just want to feel cute in my summer clothes and proud of my shape again, but I’m not doing such a good job of that. I’m pretty short — 5’3″ — so eight pounds makes a world of difference on me.

You may remember that I have been loosely following Weight Watchers for a little while, but it’s just not clicking this time like it did before the wedding. I constantly feel hungry when I’m working on 18 points a day, so then I go nuts and cheat WAY too much on the weekends and start from zero again on Monday. This week I have been forcing myself to exercise, which is definitely helping already, but I know that I still need to adopt some better eating habits to lose some weight and keep it off.

One of my biggest problems is that I’m a complete carboholic. I LOVE carbs. If it has “potato” in the name, chances are I’ll inhale it. If it has pasta in it, I want it. I also love cheese, and anything greasy. I don’t eat vegetables because I want to — I eat them because I know I have to (and I don’t eat them as much as I should).

My other problem, and definitely THE biggest one, is that I’m terribly picky. I don’t like tomatoes, cucumbers, raw onions, peppers, or mushrooms. I don’t experiment often with new foods (although I’m still much better than I used to be) and I tend to eat a lot of the same thing, so I get bored with my food really easily. This is what usually leads me to go a little nuts when I splurge.

I need to make a more concerted effort to add more variety to my meals while remaining healthy. I eat too many processed foods and then when I try to make up for that by eating a healthy salad, I just feel unsatisfied. This recipe that Lynn posted the other day looks appetizing to me, and she modified it from a Weight Watchers recipe, so it has to be somewhat healthy. I just have a hard time understanding what is healthy and what isn’t (I just think “carbs are bad” and “vegetables are good” but have never really grasped the in-between). I’m never quite sure of what’s “good” fat and what’s “bad” fat. I have never really fully understood what good sources of protein are and what foods are just loaded with bad stuff.

Help me out! What are your favorite somewhat healthy (and easy) recipes that a picky eater like myself might enjoy? What are your go-to snacks when you’re craving something hearty and filling that won’t ruin my diet?


  1. My favorite WW snack is Fiber One Oat and Chocolate bars. They're 2 points and satisfying, unlike a lot of the 100 calorie packs which are also 2 points. They're also tasty…they don't feel like they're full of fiber, which is key for me. We buy them in bulk at Costco, so pretty affordable too.

    One more tip…I recently got the cookbook The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger (she's a Food Network chef). All the nutrition info is listed w/ each recipe so it's easy to calculate points, and she explains why each recipe is healthy, which might be helpful since you said you'd like to learn more about the healthiness of different foods.

  2. Picky eaters, unite!

    Lentils are very good, as they are full of protein and fiber and work well as a side or in a soup. While it's more of a winter than a spring/summer food, they take to flavoring well, and you could add a dollop of Greek yogurt to my husband's recipe for braised lentils (get the French blue/green variety) and you'd have a yummy, substantial veggie dish. I have a recipe if you'd like a link!

  3. I'm so with you on this post! I love vegetables, but even for me, it's difficult to cook with them all the time and make interesting/appetizing meals!

    For a snack – a golden delicious apple, some barney butter (almond butter), put it in one of those 1 oz ziplock thingies.

    Also, I go to my local organic food store and get raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds and raw pumpkin seeds (NO SALT), and mix them together and put in baggies, and have them at my desk at work, in my car and my purse. That way, I can always grab something and I always carry water with me, I have multiple containers that I use!

    I'm going to try and post more healthful recipes on the blog, so keep an eye out! I'll get a snack list on there too with a lot of non-processed options.

  4. When I did WW, I found that it helped by going through the 0-1.5 points list of foods and pick out all the things I actually liked. Then, if I had one of those "I'm starving" moments, I'll go for one of those things. I have to admit, my fav 1.5 pt thing was Cambell's chicken noodle soup because it kept me full.

    I love carbs too. Have you tried maybe making one meal your carb meal and the other your vegetable meal? Maybe that will help you eat healthier without feeling bad for it afterwards. Like do a chicken salad or even a half sandwich and soup for lunch and allow yourself your pasta at night.

  5. I hear you! I am not a veggie eater (my husband says I eat about 5 veggies) and it is hard work to get me to eat those!

    I don't have a solution, but I wanted to let you know I feel your pain! But when I was getting ready for my wedding I just did it and ate them as half of my meals– and afterwards I kinda missed them. I am out of the habit now– and now I crave cupcakes!

  6. You hate tomatoes? Holy moly! I eat those like apples! :) What about trying beans, or nuts and dried fruits as a healthy snack? We eat a lot of homemade hummus here, but pair it with veggies…

  7. I am a HUGE weight watchers devotee and I have a ton of recipes I find incredibly satisfying I've found…. Their five points baked ziti incredible, you can make 5 point burgers and have light rolls with them, chicken pot pie, mexican chicken.
    Some of my go to snacks when I'm craving: English muffins (the ones with 8 grams of fiber are actually better for you then the 100 calorie ones) with some Trader Joe's blueberry jam is two points, Special K Bars are two points, Light Chips 1 point, pineapple, blackberries.
    And I feel you on the small frame little weight = a lot on your frame. I am 5'2 and I just finished a half marathon a month ago. I'm not running as much and I've gained three pounds so I'm back on the band wagon. If you want any of the recipes feel free to e-mail me

  8. You should really read Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel – it empowers you to eat well. Nothing is "Bad" like carbs, (which I was a firm believer of). For years I had a really bad relationship with food, but this book really gives me the courage to not deprive myself and then feel bad later about falling off the wagon. As you know I love to cook – and grilling in the summer is a great way to kick start eating some more vegetables!!

  9. Thanks for all of your feedback! I'm definitely going to take pieces of everyone's advice to keep my meals more interesting while remaining healthy :-)

  10. a couple good resources for things that are healthy but feel like splurges – WW "Take Out Tonight" cookbook and the Hungry Girl cookbooks. I also find 18 points impossible and really that is about 900 calories so it's no surprise – unless you are willing to starve I think you have to spread out the 35 extra points and take 23 a day (still only ~1150 calories!) . . . and then make sure to give yourself the extra points if you work out.

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