I recently attended a training as part of my new employment. One facet of my job will be food shopping for the clients that I provide care for (in a residential setting). A nutritionist walked me through a big supermarket, comparing many, many items, explaining why one would be a "better/healthier" choice over another. There were a few points she really focused on so I'll pass them along. She is a cancer survivor as well, so her food choices play a big role in her optimal health and a strong immune system. Stay away from white flour and white sugar. We all know this already, right? Same with rice. Always pick the product with "whole wheat" as the first ingredient. Brown rice and whole wheat still contain the fiber that helps slow digestion (and the release of sugars), aids in bowel function, and helps you feel full for a longer period of time. If you can pick between regular and "no salt added", forgo the salt. I know, salt makes everything taste better, but it's really not good for you. Most of us could categorize salt as it's own food group. NO hydrogenated fats/shortning. NO NO NO! This stuff is in everything from cocoa packets to peanut butter. If you read labels you will always find a brand that offers just plain oil. This is a huge one ~ NO high fructose corn syrup. There is reason to believe that because HFCS is made from a starch, our bodies utilize it more like a fat than a sugar. The following article explains it very well. www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A8003-2003Mar10?language=printer One more thing that the presenter talked about was raw foods. She strongly recommended eating fresh raw fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Foods with dark colors, like blueberries and kale and mangoes, etc. Purchase dark green romaine lettuce rather than iceburg, for example. When you make yourself a salad, make a HUGE bowl (enough for a couple days), and along with the romaine, add diced red bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, red onion slices, cukes, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and dress it with some balsamic vinegar. Toss on some raw sunflower seeds or walnuts, or sliced raw almonds. Another thing she talked about was smoothies for breakfast. Get your blender out and leave it right on the counter. I'm telling you this works! Every morning, throw in a banana, a few frozen berries, and a small handful of raw spinach or a few leaves of raw kale. Add about a cup or cup and a half of cold water, and blend til it's like a milkshake. Add some ground flax seed if you have it. For some reason this is a lot more filling than eating a banana and six strawberries just plain. Maybe you're sitting there with a rebuttal for all of the above. "I'm diabetic and can't have that much fruit", or "My husband doesn't like romaine lettuce", or "I can't afford red peppers", or or or. Or maybe you're sitting there saying "I'm 50/100/150 pounds overweight and nothing I try seems to work. I am ready to make some changes". Please see this information in the spirit with which it was intended. Maybe someone will read this and say "Yep, sounds good, I'm going to take this seriously, maybe it will help me lose weight and feel healthier and better about myself!". Remember why you want to lose weight? To feel better! I'm going to post another link that some of you may find interesting. www.rawfoodtalk.com Check out the message board! I find this site *fascinating* and I have learned so much, but I admit it may seem a little radical at first . Just look it over, and try to keep an open mind. I am not suggesting anyone "go raw" but there is some wonderful information there. If anyone wants to chat about this please feel free to PM me. Thanks for reading.