When you hear the word ‘diet’ what comes to mind?
Nutrition Matters! We all know nutrition matters, but how many of us really take the time to plan and manage for quality, nutritious foods – EVERYDAY!
In our “look good at any cost” society, many are starving from the lack of vital nutrients. Lose that extra winter weight at any cost, its the same. Or, in our hectic, over-charged lifestyles, drive through the fast food line everyday—for sure the wrong type of calories.
Our lifestyle becomes part of a self-fulfilling prophecy. “I just can’t keep the weight off…” “It doesn’t matter what I eat, I never lose any weight…” Before you know it, we come to the conclusion we are “just fat” in our desire to eat like a “regular person”.
The problem? A “regular person” in our society eats the wrong things. Without any real thought or intention, we are just eating a sludge of preprocessed foods filled with sugar, salt and fats – all designed to get us to eat them!
There are so many incredible foods that taste good AND don’t have a ton of calories. There are so many recipes that offer fantastic nutritional choices, BUT don’t require lots of salt and sugar to taste good.
Take this quick, fun test:
1. How often do you go to the grocery store? 2x per week, 1x per week, 1x every two weeks, less than that
2. How often do you eat out? 2x per day, 1x per day, 4x per week, 2x per week…
Now, divvy up the cart from your last grocery store run.
3. What percentage of food was from the fresh fruit and vegetable isle? <10%, 10-20%, 20-50%, More than 50%
4. From the fresh meat counter?
5. From the frozen dinner isle?
6. From the sugar and carbs isle (colas and other drinks)?
This work requires a fearless inventory of your habits. Don’t sell yourself short. If you don’t cook, or don’t have time to cook, take the time to seek healthy alternatives. There are plenty of options out there.
And please don’t forget that food is a pleasure. Ease up on some of your crazy restrictions and balance them out with alternative ways to enjoy your life. A nice fruit smoothie for dessert as opposed to that pint of Hagen Daz…(I know….I know) You can still have the ice cream….just save it for a special occasion.
Enjoy your life!!
I love roasting vegetables. Of course, there are always beets and carrots in the pan, but I also love to roast peppers and onions and, oh my word, have you tried roasting Brussels Sprouts in coconut oil yet? Delicious!
So, I cut up my veggies and turn the oven on to 425.
I put all of the vegetables that I am going to roast in a big bowl, throw some healthy glugs of any good oil such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, or even walnut or sesame oil for flavor. I play with different herbs and spices. Fresh, chopped dill is very nice on the beets, and Italian herbs and spices are wonderful on the peppers and onions.
That’s it. Roast until a bit caramelized. You can eat it immediately or store in the refrigerator for great roasted veggie bits for salads and sides throughout the week. This is a great way to get some color on your plate by the way.
A lot of people shy away from anything with anchovies in it, but I promise, you can’t even tell they are there. This is one my favorite ways to make Chard… especially in this Gotham Steel Ceramic and Titanium Nonstick Pot:
Chard and Beans
- 1 can White Cannelli Beans drained
- 3 pieces Canned Anchovies
- 2 large Garlic Cloves
- 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme minced
- 1/2 Lemon
- 2 bunches Fresh Chard ribs removed, washed and chopped into medium pieces
- 1 little glug Olive Oil
First, put a glug of olive oil in a deep pan and heat it up….put the chard in the pan and cook until just wilted. Remove and set aside.
Next, add garlic, anchovies and fresh Thyme to the pan and cook until fragrant and the anchovies have disappeared….just a few minutes.
Then, add beans and gently stir into the anchovy, Thyme garlic.
Add 1 Tablespoon of water so the beans do not get dry.
When all is fragrant and mixed, add your chard and continue to cook and gently toss until all is mixed well together.
Remove from heat and squeeze half of a lemon into the mix. Serve immediately…….so good.
Are family dinners a thing of the past?
When I was little, every evening at dinner time, my family would gather around the dining table. My mother put dinner on — no tv, no cell phones — just my family chatting, laughing and sharing the day.
The concern for what we ate was irrelevant. We ate whatever my mother made! We didn’t count carbs, fats, or even calories, but we did eat healthy foods. We also had lots of exercise, though. We were active kids, always in sports.
Fast forward to today. Do families still have dinner together? Without distraction? Does your family eat the same thing or does everyone eat something different? Are we too busy with evening activities, so we just grab “something to go?” Do we get enough exercise that we can ignore carbs, fats and calories?
I think the answers to these questions vary. However, there are more distractions and evening events that get in the way. There is not as much time or concern for what we are eating — our obese children tell the story.
Maybe its time for simple, again. Get back to everyone participating in dinner — as a family. A great way to encourage healthy cooking and eating is to cook and eat together!
With diabetes and obesity being such a huge issue for families, a few simple ideas for improving your family’s diet.
- Make Sunday meal planning time. What does everyone want to eat for the week?
- Look for recipes together. There are great apps out there!
- Get your kids involved in helping to prepare a healthy grocery list.
- Shop as a family, and talk about preparation time.
- Read food labels. What does all of it mean?
Even small changes can make a huge difference, and motivate the family to find time to eat together.