Hi Glam girl, We are about the same weight and have similar weight goals, though our approach to food is very different.
Its all bullshit about pasta and bread. What's bad is white bread. What's also bad is what we put on it half the time. There is nothing at all wrong or unhealthy about a baked bean or salad sandwich made with wholegrain bread. its a good healthy meal and about the right amount of calories for a lunch.
The carbs that are the problem are cakes, and sweets of any sort when we tend to not be able to eat them in moderation.
As i'm primarily a vegetarian i have to rely on carbs to get enough calories to get me through a diet day. I eat rice, and beans and mostly pasta and bread of course. I just don't eat large amounts of these foods. All foods in the wrong amounts addd up to high calories.
Of course some food digests more slowly and is more satisfying eg wholegrain bread rather than white bread which has such a low satisfaction rating. Its about the protein content of the flour that's used. Pasta flour is also fine. Its just highly processed foods that are the problem and that we need to keep to a minimum.
If you put on weight when you eat pasta and bread its because you are eating too much food or too much calories.
One of my current pasta evening meals is 100g of pasta, 3 tbsps of pasta sauce from a jar (not the carbonara type but the tomato type only) and about 50g chunk of parmesan cheese grated. If i'm hungry after that i will eat fruit but you could add other fresh vegies and salad to a meal like this and not worry about anything. I like pasta because its filling. Bread is also satisfying so i tend to have it at lunch time.
When i'm on a diet and eating bread, i don't have butter. I might have cheese, or baked beans, or salad vegies.
You just can't sustain yourself on chicken everyday.
A nice salad dressing should be made with olive oil and red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. You can add crushed garlic for a strong flavour. A yummy salad dressing as opposed to those awful things you buy in the supermarket can make a salad fabulous. You can add herbs, a pinch of salt. Someimtes a bit of dijon mustard. French and italian salad dressings tend to the be nicest so read up on those in a book.
Sorry for so much advice. I've probably over done it. I do get so tired of people mistakenly bagging pasta and bread. Carbohydrates are important for energy. They are more important than protein for energy. Protein is important for buildnig and repairing muscles and other things but its carbohydrates we need for energy. Vegetables and fruit are primarily carbohydrate also. Milk is largely carbohydrate. The body uses carbs more efficiently than protein. Protein is good but your diet should be about 55% -65% or more in carbs daily. Fat should be about 10-15% and the rest should be protein.
Nuts are primarily about fat and you dno't need them as a source of protein when you are eating meat. They do have good minerals supply though but eat in extreme moderation. Fat has four times more calories than carbs than proteins per gram of food. Its the fat you have to watch out for and the nutritional value of foods.
Sorry rant over and good luck