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SEL Plan

Phase 1 Foods

This first phase should last from 2 to 4 weeks—just long enough that you no longer have cravings for the unhealthy foods. This could vary with individuals. It's okay if you crave healthy foods.


Eat a variety of foods. Calories do count, so eat sensible portions. On purchased foods, the serving sizes are listed on the product packaging.


This list is subject to change as I continue to learn more about eating for good health. See the Controversies About Foods page to help you decide about certain foods for yourself.


Vegetarians, ignore the meat listings and use the rest of the list for protein (soy meat substitutes, cheeses, beans, nuts, eggs). See the page about protein for more information and charts.

Phase 1 Foods to Enjoy


BEEF: lean cuts only, such as eye of round, round tip, bottom round, top round, tenderloin, top loin, sirloin, flank, London broil, lean or extra lean ground beef; jerky only if homemade without sugar


VEAL: lean cuts only (chop, leg cutlet, top round)


POULTRY: chicken breast, turkey breast, Cornish hen, duck (do not eat the skin of any of these)


FISH: fresh or frozen salmon, tuna, tilapia, haddock, trout, orange roughy, whitefish, herring, halibut, cod, grouper, mahi mahi, sea bass, mackerel, sole, scrod, pompano; salmon canned in spring water, tuna canned in spring water; fresh or canned sardines

LAMB: lean cuts only

OTHER MEAT: buffalo (bison), elk, goat


Note: Trim all meats of as much excess fat as possible.


DELI LUNCHMEAT: turkey breast, chicken breast (low fat or fat free); roast beef, beef pastrami (trimmed of fat), turkey pastrami


Choose products with 6 grams of fat or less per serving. Limit serving size to those listed on the package.

Soy bacon, soy burgers, soy chicken patties and nuggets, soy hot dogs, soy veggie sausage, seiten, soy crumbles, tofu (soft low fat, or light varieties), tempeh, yuba


Note: There is some controversy about eating soy. See the Controversies About Foods page.


Any reduced fat varieties (2%, low fat, part-skim):

- American, cheddar, feta, mozzarella, parmesan, provolone

- cottage cheese, ricotta cheese

- string cheese

- cream cheese substitute (nondairy)

- goat's milk and sheep's milk cheese

- Laughing Cow Light


Note: Cheese is counted as a protein, not as dairy.



Low fat:

- Milk

- Buttermilk

- Kefir

- Powdered skim milk

- Canned evaporated milk

- Goat's milk

- Half and half (limited)

- Yogurt, plain and no-added-sugar vanilla only


Look for soy milk or soy yogurt with no added sugars


*Note: No more than 2 cups (16 oz) total per day of dairy (including soy "dairy") in Phase 1. (cheese is not counted as dairy, it counts as protein)



Whole eggs (preferably the high omega-3, less saturated fat kind from vegetarian fed hens): chicken eggs, duck eggs

Egg substitutes, such as Egg Beaters


LEGUMES (Beans and Peas)

- Adzuki Beans

- Black Beans

- Black-eyed peas
- Broad Beans

- Butter Beans
- Garbanzos (Chickpeas)

- Fava Beans
- Green beans and Italian green beans

- Green peas (English peas)
- Kidney
- Lentils
- Lima beans

- Mung
- Pinto
- Pigeon Peas
- Soy Beans (edamame)
- Split Peas
- Wax

- White beans (cannellini, great northern, navy)


Note 1: In Phase 1, eat beans in moderation.


Note 2: All meat, soy meat substitutes, cheeses, beans, and eggs are counted as protein (although not all are complete protein).



Fresh is best, frozen is good, canned is okay for some foods, such as tomatoes.

- Artichokes

- Arugula
- Asparagus
- Bok Choy

- Broccoli, broccoli rabe, broccoli sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage (green or red)
- Capers
- Cauliflower
- Celery

- Chayote squash

- Chicory

- Chives

- Cilantro
- Collard Greens
- Cucumbers 
- Eggplant

- Endive
- Fennel

- Garlic

- Green beans*
- Hearts of palm

- Italian green beans*
- Jicama
- Kale greens
- Leeks
- Lettuce (all varieties, but iceberg is the least desirable)
- Mushrooms (all varieties)
- Mustard Greens
- Okra
- Onions (all varieties)
- Parsley
- Peppers (all varieties)
- Pickles (dill or others with no sugar)
- Radicchio
- Radishes (all varieties)
- Rhubarb

- Sauerkraut
- Scallions (green onions)
- Sea Vegetables

- Shallots
- Sea Vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori, kombu, hijiki)
- Snow peas

- Spaghetti squash
- Spinach
- Sprouts (bean, alfalfa)
- Snap peas, sugar snap peas
- Swiss chard greens
- Tomatoes
- Turnip greens
- Water Chestnuts

- Watercress

- Wax beans*

- Winter squash

- Yellow squash
- Zucchini squash


*Green beans, Italian beans, and wax beans are considered veggies, rather than legumes, on this diet.



One serving of fruit per day in Phase 1 (increase to 2 servings in Phase 2 and 3 servings in Phase 3).


- Berries






- Cherries

- Citrus






Limit to one serving per day because nuts and seeds are high-calorie foods and can be diet-busters, even though they are healthy foods. Raw is best, as heat destroys enzymes. Next best is dry roasted, unsalted. Serving size is 1 oz (about 1/4 cup for most nuts and 3 tablespoons for seeds).

- Almonds

- Brazil nuts

- Cashews

- Filberts (hazelnuts roasted)

- Flax seeds - 3 TB (1 oz)

- Hazelnuts

- Pecans

- Macadamia nuts

- Mixed nuts

- Peanut butter, natural, and other nut butters - 2 TB

- Peanuts (are legumes, not nuts)

- Pine nuts (Pignolia)

- Pistachios

- Pumpkin seeds

- Sesame seeds

- Soy nuts (roasted)

- Sunflower seeds

- Walnuts



The best oil choices are:

- Olive (extra virgin is best)

- Coconut oil (virgin, unrefined, organic, not hydrogenated)

Other oil choices are:

- Canola oil (from rape seed)*

- Flaxseed

- Grapeseed oil

- Peanut oil (limited)

- Sesame oil (limited)

- Walnut Oil, other nut oils

*Canola oil should be used in moderation until further studies. Recent studies indicate that canola oil might actually be harmful to your health. See the Controversies About Foods page.



Eat these foods in moderation because they are high calorie foods.

- Avocado

- Butter (see note below)*

- Margarines—Choose only those that do not contain hydrogenated oils (trans fatty acids)

- Guacamole

- Mayonnaise (with no added sugars)

- Olives, green and black

*Note: The issue of butter vs. margarine is a controversial one—see Controversies About Foods page. Butter might not be the "bad" food that some advocate. It's recommended as actually being good for you by some doctors and researchers.



Best are those you make yourself with olive oil and vinegar.

When buying prepared dressings, choose those with no added sugars in the ingredient list; especially avoid any with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup; natural sweeteners such as honey are okay as long as there are no more than 2 grams of sugars per serving listed on the nutrition label.



This is a list of choices, NOT recommendations. See Tips About Foods and Controversies About Foods for help in deciding which of these, if any, you want to use.

- Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal)

- Acesulfame K (Sunette, Sweet One, Sweet 'n Safe)

- Fructose (see Tips About Foods) before using fructose

- Saccharin (Sweet N' Low, Sprinkle Sweet, Sugar Twin, Sweet Ten)

- Stevia

- Sucralose (Splenda)

- Whey Low and Whey Low Type D


SUGAR ALCOHOLS (see note below)*

isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol


*Sugar alcohols could have associated side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and gas if consumed in excessive amounts. Experiment and determine what is excessive for you, as it can vary with individuals—some can tolerate more than others, and it could be more or less than the 75 calories as advised by one popular diet.



Use these instead of refined sugars or artificial sweeteners *IF* you are not trying to lose weight, because they are high in calories. See Phase 3 Food List.



- Chocolate/cocoa powder for recipes (such as Hershey's, Ghiradelli, and store brands)

- Chocolate sauce/syrup, sugar free

- Hot chocolate mixes, sugar free and with no hydrogenated oils (trans fat free)

- Syrups, sugar free



- Broths (nonfat or very low fat chicken, turkey, vegetarian)

- Coffee and espresso powder (instant type)

- Cream Cheese, fat-free or light, limit to 2 tablespoons daily

- Extracts (pure vanilla, almond, or others)

- Herbs and spices, fresh and dried (such as basil, oregano, parsley, cumin, curry, red pepper, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, dill, mint, rosemary, and others).

- Horseradish sauce

- Hot sauce

- Condiments (such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, etc., as long as they are sugar free)

- Marinades (any without added sugars)

- Mayonnaise (with no added sugars)

- Mustard (except honey mustard)

- Pepper (black, cayenne, red, white)

- Salsa (with no added sugars and preferably no oil)

- Sour cream, low fat, limit to 2 tablespoons daily

- I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! (spray only, not the tubs or sticks because they have trans fats)

- Lemon, lime, and grapefruit juices

- Soy sauce and Tamari sauce (limit to 1/2 tablespoon daily)

- Spices mixes (if you're totally avoiding sugar, read the labels)

- Steak sauce, limit to 1/2 tablespoon daily

- Worcestershire sauce, limit to 1 tablespoon daily

*Note: Always read labels, and only buy those that contain no added sugars (especially corn syrups) and no hydrogenated oils (trans fats), or other ingredients that should be avoided.



Club sodas and seltzers

Beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea, sodas) are limited to 2 cups (16 oz) per day

Coffee, decaf, unlimited

Tea, decaf, unlimited

Herb teas

Sodas (diet, decaf, and sugar-free), in moderation, but preferably none

Flavored waters without sweeteners

Tomato juice and mixed vegetable juices (such as V8)


Phase 1 Foods to Avoid



Avoid brisket, jerky, liver, rib steaks, prime rib and other fatty cuts, hot dogs, sausage



Avoid all pork products (including chops, roasts, ham, bacon, Canadian bacon, sausage, hot dogs, etc.)

See Tips About Foods page for more information.




- Chicken wings and legs;

- Dark meat chicken and turkey (including wings and thighs);

Avoid or use sparingly:

- Processed poultry products (including hot dogs, chicken or turkey bacon, turkey salami, chicken or turkey sausage

- Goose



- Avoid all fried, breaded fish

- Avoid all shellfish* (including crab, clams, oyster, mussels, lobster, shrimp, scallops, crawfish)

- Avoid catfish, shark, eel, squid 

See Tips About Foods page for more information.



- Avoid corned beef, ham, hot dogs

- Avoid any meat cured with honey or sugar

- Avoid those processed with nitrates/nitrites



- Avoid all full fat cheeses

- Avoid cheeses that contain added sugars, such as Velveeta Light



- Avoid all full-fat dairy, including ice cream, milk, and yogurt, if trying to lose weight

- Avoid fat free half and half because it has corn syrup and other unnecessary ingredients


Avoid those with higher sugar content (high GI), such as:

- Corn (corn is actually a grain)

- Pumpkin

- Root vegetables: beet,  carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, sweet potatoes, yams, white potatoes

- Tomatoes, canned stewed (these have added sugars)



Avoid all grains and starchy foods, including:

- Anything made with flour, such as all types of bread, crackers, waffles, pasta, pastries, cakes, cookies, etc.

- Cereals (hot and cold)

- Corn, grits, rice, barley, kasha, and any other grains

- Popcorn



Avoid all fruits except those listed on the Foods to Enjoy list. This includes:

- all canned fruit

- all dried fruits

- all fruit juices

- apples

- apricots

- bananas

- canned fruit

- dried fruit

- grapes

- melons

- oranges

- peaches

- pears

- pineapple

Some of these are added back in Phase 2.



- Any partially hydrogenated oil

- Margarines with partially hydrogenated oil (trans fats)

- Lard

- Shortening

- Corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil

See Controversies About Foods page for more information.

Note: Corn oil and soybean oil are primarily Omega-6 fatty acids, which aggravate inflammation




- sugar

- honey

- molasses

- syrups (except for sugar free)




- All-fruit spreads (100% fruit)

- Jams and jellies with sugars

- Salad dressings with added sugars

- Sweet pickles and sweet relishes

- Whipped toppings such as Cool Whip (it's basically nothing but hydrogenated oils and sugars in the form of corn syrup)



Avoid any that have added sugars such as sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey



Alcohol drinks of any kind

Fruit juices

Any drinks containing added sugars



Top of Page Main Diet Page

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This new foods list page on-line June 8, 2005


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Recipe Pages—All Phases (1, 2, and 3)

Phase 1 List of Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid

    Phase 1 Breakfasts Phase 1 Lunches 

 Phase 1 Main Dishes—Beef Phase 1 Main Dishes—Chicken Phase 1 Main Dishes—Fish 

 Phase 1 Main Dishes—Turkey Phase 1 Main Dishes—Meatless 

 Phase 1 Vegetables Phase 1 Legumes

Phase 1 Soups with Meat Phase 1 Soups—Meatless

Phase 1 Salads—Main Phase 1 Salads—Side Phase 1 Salad Dressings

 Phase 1 Desserts Phase 1 Snacks


Recipe Pages—Phases 2 and 3

Phase 2 List of Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid

Phase 2 Breakfasts Phase 2 Lunches 

 Phase 2 Main Dishes—Beef Phase 2 Main Dishes—Chicken Phase 2 Main Dishes—Fish 

 Phase 2 Main Dishes—Turkey Phase 2 Main Dishes—Meatless 

 Phase 2 Main Dishes—Pasta ~  Phase 2 Legumes & Grains

Phase 2 Vegetables Phase 2 Soups-Meat ~ Phase 2 Soups-Meatless

  Phase 2 Salads—Main Phase 2 Salads—Side Phase 2 Salad Dressings

Phase 2 Desserts ~  Phase 2 Snacks Phase 2 Breads & Bread Products


Recipe Pages—Phase 3

Phase 3 List of Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid

Phase 3 Breakfasts 

Phase 3 Main Dishes—Beef Phase 3 Main Dishes—Fish ~  Phase 3 Main Dishes—Turkey  

 Phase 3 Vegetables ~  Phase 3 Salads—Side Phase 3 Salads—Main Phase 3 Salad Dressings

 Phase 3 Desserts Phase 3 Snacks Phase 3 Breads & Bread Products


Miscellaneous Recipe Categories

(Phase listed under recipe title)

Bean Salads Crock Pot Deviled Eggs and Egg Salads   Drinks, Shakes, Smoothies

Eggnog ~  Guacamole Salsa Hummus and other Bean Dips and Spreads

Marinades, Mixes, Sauces, Seasonings

Potlucks, Parties, Holidays, Appetizers  ~  Sandwiches


Tips, Links, Menu Planning Chart, & Miscellaneous Pages

Tips for Beginners General Tips for Everyone ~  Tips About Specific Foods

Tips on Reading Nutrition Labels ~  Tips about Exercise

Food Combining ~ 2005 Government Guidelines for Diet and Exercise

  Links to other diet and health Web sites Download 7-Day Menu Planner

Low Carb Products Protein in our Diets Top Antioxidant Food Charts

Controversies About Foods Weight Loss Cartoons

Main Diet Page

MizFrog's Pad Home Page MizFrog's Pad Site Index



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