I was just going to add Hubig's Pies, too! When I wasn't living here, they were one thing I always took home when I visited NOLA. And they keep forever!
I haven't noticed much of a difference b/w the brands that are available at your normal grocery.
All of Bill Hunt's suggestions are fabulous! My personal favorite for eggs and grits is to use Boursin cheese. It's heaven!!!
Instant grits? No way! Watch "My Cousin Vinny" for a good show of how Southerners feel about instant grits! LOL!
My everyday rules to maintain are to :
Avoid processed foods (frozen, mixes, fast food, mass produced cookies, chips, margarin, etc)
Keep pointless sugar to a minimum. I love a sweetened iced coffee, but don't take any sugar in my hot coffee or tea, no soda. When I want something sweet, I get something really wonderful and worth the splurge.
Lots of whole wheat pasta, brown rice and wheat bread.
Low fat protiens.
Lots of fruit and veggies.
Tons of water. 100% juice mixed with Perrier.
As long as I'm eating well on a regular basis, when I want something fried, fattening, bad for me, whatever, it's not a big deal ~ but eating that way is not a way of life. It's all about balance and eating good food. Great cheese and cured meats aren't splurges, but I always have them with lots of fruit.
When I need to drop a few pounds, I do yogurt, Grape Nuts and berries every morning, fruit, veggies, chicken and brown rice and nothing but water (other than my morning coffee with no sugar) and it always works.