Food Friday – Change your food choices

Food. For many, it wasn’t a problem when we were younger. Why’s that? I think it is related to metabolism, but that’s me and I’m not a scientist, don’t even play one on T.V.! Depending on your age, think back to the foods you ate – how much food was prepackaged when you were younger? Aha! We are eating more prepackaged food now. Which means we need to be reading those nutrition labels.

Big no-no’s are too much sugar and little or no fiber. Remember the food pyramid from when you were younger? It is still valid! And at the top reads “Fats, Oils and Sweets” Use Sparingly. Nope, they haven’t moved that box down to the 6 to 8 servings a day, sorry.

So what to do?

  • Fresh vegetables – eat pretty much all you want!
  • Fresh fruit – very healthy snack choice. Natural sugar, so limit the size and number of the servings.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables are a planned purchase – go to the grocery store twice a week and cater to your health!
  • Consider a small serving of cheese, cottage cheese or nuts for a mid day snack (protein instead of an empty carbohydrate)
  • Try the whole grain pasta’s now available
  • Dreamfields pasta tastes like white pasta – and has an awesome nutrition label
  • Read that nutrition label on the side of whatever you are eating

      • for crackers and bread, make sure there are at least 2 grams of fiber in each serving
      • for bread, make sure the first ingredient is whole wheat flour
      • check out the whole wheat flour white breads that are available!
      • cereal – small sugar count, 3 to 5 grams of fiber, and whole grain listed near the top

I talked with a friend about this the other day and she said “So I can still have macaroni and cheese with dinner, but as a side. Add a lean grilled meat. And either a large green salad, a vegetable or a small serving of fruit. It’s just the way I think about the meal. Small mac & cheese, big salad. Got it.” Glad to help someone!

This year, in my attempt to get a bit more fit . . . I have a chart for myself. It tells me what I’m allowed to eat. After I eat the item, I check off the little box to the left. Freaky huh? But so far, it’s working. I plan what I am going to eat ahead of time (part of my problem is I enter the kitchen without a plan). On the chart for every day is a line item that states CHEAT. I allow myself one cheat a day. And not a big one! Yesterday my cheat was white pasta with dinner. The day before I had 5 yummy Doritos. The day before I had three Hershey kisses. That little box reminds me to think before I eat an empty snack. It also allows me to feel a sense of splurging daily.

What works for you? I’m a firm believer of exercise AND food choices. Let’s face it–if you go on a diet you’ll lose weight. But, once you go off the diet you will gain it right back unless you’ve learned how to chose your food differently. Leave a comment and tell me what works best for you!

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