by donR 5 16 2015
Our bodies are designed to stay balanced if…
Okay, we all know by now that we should eat a balanced meal. The USDA Choose My Plate movement is based on this idea. But what does the word “balanced” mean? To answer this, think about how a playground teeter totter works. To stay balanced all you need to do is have the same weight on each side. And if you have unequal weights, you simply adjust one or both of them to achieve balance. Our bodies, likewise, are designed to adjust itself to stay in a balanced state but this is not always a simple task. Continue reading
Buffet food: delicious, variety, easy to eat more than necessary.
by donR 15/11/2015
During lunch breaks are you tempted to line up for a buffet-style lunch. I certainly am. Last month I stood in the buffet line at two grocery delis, the hospital and for a casino luncheon. With so many scrumptious food choices, it is easy to eat too much. To make matters worse, it’s almost impossible to resist the “White stuff?” (sugar and bleached flour in the entrees and trans-fats in the desserts). You are left with three choices:
- Splurge and enjoy the moment
- Avoid going to food buffets in the first place
- Adopt some of the following strategies to eat well when going through a buffet line or eating at the family dinner table.
The real issue with buffets or a dinner table loaded with bowls of food is our “see food diet.” With food sitting right in front of our eyes, it’s easy to grab too much. I ate too much food during my last visit to the Casino buffet and made a plan for the next time I go. Here is my plan:
- I’ll walk around to see what is being served.
- The next step is to return to the table with some herb tea or glass of water. Then relax and think about what I really need to eat.
- Now it’s time to hit the salad bar for leafy greens, veggies and a lite dressing like vinaigrette. I’ll add some fruit and oriental salad for a different flavor and texture.
- If there is a light soup available, I’ll go for it along with a small whole wheat bun and butter.
- For entrees, I’ll go back to the salad bar…and get a small plate. Choose roasted or steamed entrees and sides like turkey, white fish, baron of beef, cabbage rolls and veggies along with brown rice if available.
- Now am I too full for the dessert bar? No…I’ll save some room to indulge myself. How about gluten-free cakes & cookies loaded with sweeteners? Cake or pie with ice cream? Sugar- free tart with whipped cream? Maybe, but I’ll probably go back to the salad bar for refreshing coleslaw or cottage cheese & peaches. If I opt for the desserts, I’ll work out an extra 10 minutes…maybe.
You may have a different idea for approaching a buffet line or setting up the dinner table but this is the mental game I’ll play in order to keep from gorging myself.
If you want other ideas visit 10 Tricks and Tips from the USDA Choose My Plate program that may help to discourage over-eating.
I am researching about why we have cravings and tend to overeat. Is it a hormone imbalance, genetics, or caused by emotions? That’s a subject for another post.
Personal pizzas using tortilla shells are simple and easy on the budget.
Okay. Most kids love pizza but should it be served regularly as a meal? We have shared ways to reduce the calories by creating whole wheat crusts with veggie toppings and limiting the cheese. Eliminating some of the cheese certainly cuts back on the saturated fat but we have found that kids like pizza because of the cheese. They also love Mac & Cheese, toasted cheese sandwiches, and string cheese. The real issue then is will they like pizza made with reduced saturated fat and less sugar? We think they will and here’s how. Continue reading
Does your family meal plan include enough vegetables and fruit?
The USDA recommends that 50% of our dinner plate be filled with vegetables and fruit. But can you guess what percentage of the average grocery bill goes towards fruit and veggies? Americans spend only about 14% according to a Huffington Post Article. In this third part of the “Stocking Your Pantry” series, we’ll give you some ideas about what veggies to always have in your pantry (food storage areas). Continue reading
Carry-out pizzas can contain as many as 700 calories per slice.
by donR… for one of my past students who smuggled pizza into class every day.
- Like pizza?
- Like it more with fewer calories?
- Love it with less fat?
Here is an article I found that gives ideas for making your own mouth-watering pizza while avoiding the high fat ingredients. Continue reading
Proteins are chains of molecules that work to maintain body cells like muscles, bones, blood, and other body organs. They also create fluids for regulating the body.
There are 20 different protein chains called amino acids and their arrangement determines what their role is in the body. The important thing to remember is that some foods contain all 20 amino acids while others contain only a few. Therefore we recommend that you consume a variety of colorful foods.
Natural lean beef, poultry and pork provide all of the necessary amino acids . Deep water white fish and wild salmon are also good choices and contain cancer-fighting amino acids. Avoid farmed fish because their diet is usually limited to one food source.
Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils are vegetable proteins. They are among the most nutritious foods available: low in fat, free of cholesterol, and high in essential minerals. They contain beneficial fats and fiber. Combined with rice, legumes provide a complete protein. Use them in salads, soups, and as a meat substitute.
For more information see Genetic Home Reference.
Nutrition 101: Upcoming Series of Posts by donR
Choose My Plate guidelines would have you eat more leafy greens and cut back on simple sugars and saturated fats,
The Family Meals Project embraces the “Choose My Plate” principles as set forth by the US Department of Agriculture. A section of their plan discusses ‘dietary guidelines’, but just mentioning the word “Diet” can send out alarm signals to some people. The word is often associated with food restrictions, expensive interventions, supplements, weight loss programs and medical cures.
The FMP prefers to focus on meal plans that promote general wellness. We think of food as a nourisher and healer. It is not a diet plan, but it is difficult to discuss wellness without including some information about nutrition, inflammation, digestive disorders, and foods that directly affect other body systems. Nutrition 101 will attempt to shed light on foods and activities that promote wellness and at the same time lead you to other articles that explain how some foods can contribute to either sickness or healing.
The series will be posted each Monday. Some of the topics will include:
- Dieting 101: What Are Proteins?
- Dieting 101: Are There Good and Bad Carbohydrates?
- Dieting 101: Exposing Fat Misconceptions.
- Dieting 101: The Role of Vitamins and Minerals.
- Dieting 101: Micro-nutrients– the Disease Fighters.
- Dieting 101: What is ‘macrobiotic’?
- Dieting 101: Inflammatory Foods in 200 words.
- Dieting 101: Food Allergies
- Dieting 101: Dieting 101: What’s all the fuss about gluten.
Which is healthier, This?
Eating Well magazine posted a challenge to its readers,”Which is healthier, popcorn or pretzels?” and several more “This or That questions.” These questions would certainly start some interesting conversations round the family dinner table. Continue reading
The Ferndale Food Bank’s meal of the month featured a chicken veggie skillet meal. It is true that it tasted great! But was it nutritious enough to be labeled “nutritious?” Continue reading
Which of these vegetables are the best nutritionally?
The Simple answer is “Yes!” But to say which ones are better requires that you know why you are eating them in the first place. Now the question becomes very complicated. I’ll try to simplify the answer and tell you which are better for you. Continue reading