Good Food, Bad Food

Last week, I had both of these delicious bread-based dishes as meals. Depending on your  food point-of-view, either one might be labeled good food or bad food.

The first, my own very-low-calorie version of French toast, is made using a variety of processed foods, with only one completely natural “whole” food. It is so low in calories (150 calories) that I could have it every day of the week, if I so chose. If your goal is to eat very low calorie food which is also delicious and satisfying, this might be considered a good food. If your goal is to eat only whole unprocessed foods, or foods with the highest nutritional value for the calories consumed, this might be considered a bad food.

Here are the specific products I use to make this French toast:

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And here is the finished product:

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Yumm. I consider this a good food.

The second is a version of the classic toasted cheese sandwich. I don’t know who originally told me about this particular combo, but it used to be a staple in my summer meal rotation (before weight loss.) Then I avoided it for years, and probably the last time I had this sandwich was two years ago. But with a bumper crop of late summer tomatoes, I started thinking about this sandwich, and decided I wanted to make it again. It only has four ingredients: mozzarella cheese, garden fresh tomatoes, butter, and King’s Hawaiian bread. Three out of the four could be considered “natural” foods. People who want to eat delicious food and don’t care about calorie counting would consider this a good food. People who like to eat less processed food would also consider this a good food. People who are calorie counting might consider this a bad food. (Being conservative–cutting the bread thinner than usual, weighing out the cheese, and using only 2 tsp of butter–this sandwich still comes in at over 600 calories.)

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I also consider this a good food.

The French toast is a good food I can eat frequently (although I don’t have it that often.) The toasted cheese sandwich is a good food that I can have once or twice a year. And that is enough.

I am still working on repairing my relationship with food–trying to not label food “good”or “bad” just based on its calorie count. I can choose to eat either meal, with the knowledge and understanding of the nutritional value of each, and how it will affect my day, knowing that my choices will have a direct effect on whether or not I will maintain my weight, or gain or lose weight.

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8 thoughts on “Good Food, Bad Food

  1. My guess would be that the cheese sandwich would hold you a good while and you’d naturally eat less the rest of the day.

    I say yes, yes, YES! to repairing food relationships and not seeing food as good or bad but rather as fuel for your hardworking body!!

  2. Excellent reminder and my favorite part is that their is no condemnation for anyone else’s choices or way of interpreting “good” or “bad.” I’ve never felt the “my way is the only way” philosophy from you and have always appreciated that.

  3. I know you told me about that grilled cheese, but I kind of put it out of my mind…until now. That picture, combined with the rain outside, has me wishing for your sandwich along with some tomato soup (YES, canned Campbell’s…some comfort food cravings go away, HFCS or not). And the French toast – yum. We were making that for dinner the nights before our long run on Saturday mornings…trying more of a protein-heavy dinner this year, but dang. I’m thinking we need to do French toast for an after-long-run dinner!!!

    Oh and I LOVED your sentence about repairing food relationships. I suspect that is a necessity with everyone who has ever dieted long-term.

  4. Good perspective. Relationships are challenging and can be so unhealthy.. Mine was past repair so I dumped it and am working on finding a new one. I am talking about food, not men. My goal is to eat healthiER food which also is lower in calories and delicious and satisfying, so I’ll have to check out the French toast recipe, thanks!

    • Jeannie– you made me LOL with your relationship talk. I’m pretty sure you’re from another part of the country, otherwise I’d ask if we could meet up at PIQF this week!

      • Well you know I would have loved that! I’m in Mich., but I was a CA resident for 18 yrs. For some reason I think you might not be TOOOO far from my BF in Clovis? I want to visit her and Yosemite in 2015 or 2016. Meaning I want it to be 2015 but probably 2016 is more reasonable. Anyway I’d love to arrange a meet.

  5. I don’t really view too many foods as good or bad. I do have a few remaining food relationship issues that I decided to work through – namely bringing foods into the house that I have been afraid to because I might binge on them. So, I am bringing them in, not all at the same time, but it has been an interesting experiment. Paul Newman’s Ginger-Os are the current thing in the house. 😀

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