I wasn't around yesterday, but I will give you a little advice that will be a bit different from everyone else.
I am a health nut. Not perfect by any means! I have my vices, that's for sure. But I have always been interested in a healthy lifestyle, and have lived my life in that way.
So all I can say is, you are right, it's not a diet you're talking about, and it's not just the food you put in your body, it's your lifestyle.
So I have three words for you: BODY - MIND - SPIRIT.
You cannot succeed at one without considering the other, what you put in your body and how you care for it is all part of the integration of your mind, heart and soul. Not to be too "new age" for ya, but that is how I live and that is what I believe, and it is true.
Liberal use of: Your freezer and zip lock bags helps as others have said.
buy the mini carrots that have already been peeling and cut.
dip in hummus (a staple for me); dip in salsa. or eat plain. ready set go.
green pepper: buy, cut, take out seeds, slice, put in zip lock bag. done (3 minutes tops)
dip in above or eat plain.
celery: buy, take the head and rinse it, pull apart, slice, put in bag. done (5 minutes tops)
dip as in above or eat plain.
greens : buy pre-rinsed, pre-bagged. I have not bought a head of lettuce for years, unless it is for a huge salad.
Buy some decent olive oil!! I'd rather put olive oil on greens than salad dressing, but to get you started, use dressing, that's fine. Try to keep with Italian rather than the heavy type.
Green beans: steam in sauce pan. Takes less than 5 minutes.
OR buy frozen. They are VERY decent and in the winter, a great thing to have on hand. Frozen spinach is fantastic, in my book.
Low fat cream cheese.
Within limits, fine for the veggies, too.
I honestly think you should see a nutritionist. You will get a form to fill out, with all of your information on it, including what you are eating, and it will ask you your overal goals for nutrition.
The nutritionist will assess you from the form ahead of time, so when you go in, you can have a meaningful discussion about your food intake, exercise, and everything else.
It is worth the time!!! I did it (free) at my job, and while I am pretty much on target, the feedback I did get I followed, and it was that I was not eating enough before I worked out. I now eat some trail mix or whole wheat crackers a while before I work out so I don't have those hours and hours before I eat again.
Carbs --- for another message! This is long enough.
Simple carbs: your body breaks them easily, but that is why you are left hungry again, and ... they are often reduced to starch /sugar.
Complex carbs: your body breaks them down slowly, and needs to "work" to process them. That is why they last and make you full and you don't get hungry again.
For me? The more grainy, nubby, raw, natural the grain, the more I like it. I can eat oatmeal raw and love it!
I have to run, but will write one more thing in another message.
Would love to encourage you on your blog. Haven't even touched on exercise yet ... and am a FITNESS NUT.
I am just one of those crazy people who loves to do what is good for her.
hope this makes sense b/c I don't have time to re-read. I am going out in a few minutes!!