Category Archives: food

Our First Place 4 Health Celebration Dinner

Foods fit for First Place

Healthy food can be delicious and satisfying!

Recently, we concluded our inaugural session of First Place 4 Health with a Celebration Dinner. The program materials suggest having this special time to give participants the opportunity to bring some healthy dishes they’ve prepared, to be enjoyed as each shares what he or she has gleaned from the previous 11 weeks.

What a wonderful variety was available! Mike brought a massive bowl of fresh fruit pieces, Theresa provided a chef salad with the usual ingredients plus chopped dried and fresh fruits, which she served with a light, sweet dressing. Ruthie made salmon patties and a dish of marinated fresh veggies from First Place recipes she had found. Belinda made a big pot of turkey chili with various types of beans. Sue wowed us with her dessert concoction: an angel food cake split into two layers, which she filled and topped with a yogurt and light cream cheese icing with crushed pineapple stirred in. Anita roasted a variety of veggies, seasoned to perfection. I brought sliced lean ham and whole grain bread, along with another light dessert.

Even as several of those present finished off their plates and went back for seconds, there was no need to feel guilty, as all the dishes were either low-fat, low-sugar, reduced-calorie and/or lean. It was a good lesson for us all, that we can enjoy get-togethers that involve food, be perfectly satisfied, and yet observe a healthy meal.

No deprivation was seen around these tables. Now, if just a few family members would make these kind of changes at holiday or other celebration events, or church members would follow suit at the monthly pot-luck luncheon, perhaps we could change the status-quo, and also the size of our waistlines!

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September 18, 2012 · 7:30 pm

USDA’s My Plate compared to Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate

Note from Slimvictory: I found the following article from Harvard Medical School (www.health.harvard.edu), comparing their “Healthy Eating Plate” to the growing-in-popularity “MyPlate” found at www.choosemyplate.gov. It’s interesting to see how two well-respected authorities can come to different conclusions on basic nutrition guidelines (although they do have areas of agreement).

If I HAD to choose between the two, I’d pick the Harvard version; it gives more info, and  I like their idea of adding a bottle of heart-healthy oil to the dinner table. But I wouldn’t replace the glass of low-fat milk with tea or coffee, as the protein-punch the cow-juice packs can provide extra satiety. Also, since the USDA is trying to educate parents about preparing healthy meals for the entire family, a low-fat dairy item would be a better choice than caffeine-laced beverages included in Harvard’s choices (of course, water’s always good).  And a middle-of-the road option between the Harvard plate’s use of oils without restricting serving sizes, and the USDA plate, which ignores vital oils altogether would be beneficial.

Of course, a simple one-page plate diagram (meant to be a quick guide for making healthy choices) can’t take the place of detailed nutritional data (like serving size guides, how some “vegetables” should be considered as a grain or a protein source, choosing a variety of colors, and such). But by spending time on both these sites, savvy consumers can find more information to help them make informed choices.

What are some of your go-to sources for advice on healthy eating?

And now, here’s the Harvard article intro and link:

Back in June, federal authorities unveiled MyPlate, an icon designed to help Americans follow healthy eating patterns. Its a nice, colorful image that was a welcome successor to the misguided MyPyramid. But it doesnt offer much in the way of useful information.

via Harvard to USDA: Check out the Healthy Eating Plate.

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Filed under decision-making, food, healthy weight loss, making changes, meal preparation, Uncategorized

Choosing your calories wisely

It’s not as necessary to eat less to lose weight as it is to eat better. Consider the decadent and delicious treats available at your local Krispy Kreme shop,  and a healthier meal option.

Suppose you are planning tomorrow’s breakfast. Let’s say you want to have a meal of about 350 calories. Here are two choices:  the first option – one Krispy Kreme Chocolate Iced Custard Filled donut and a half cup of skim milk; option two –  a scrambled egg, slice of whole-wheat toast with a light coating of margarine-type spread and your favorite jelly, a small piece of fruit and a cup of skim milk.

Option one would satisfy your sweet tooth as it sends your blood-sugar level skyrocketing, only to plummet soon after, possibly leaving you fuzzy-headed, cranky, and craving another fix in about an hour. Option two gives you a tasty, healthy, and filling meal with offerings from all the food groups, providing sustainable energy and keeping you satisfied for most or all of the morning.

I consider my daily calorie-quota as a bank of sorts, with the foods I eat as “purchases”. I can “spend” my calories in ways  that’ll nourish me throughout the day, or I can dole them out carelessly, and find, before bedtime, I’ve run out and am hungry. In that case, I’ll have to face the music: try to sleep with a growling tummy, or eat more calories than I wanted to.

This is just one comparison. Favorite fast-food restaurant meals can easily pack 1,000 calories or more, and often the fat and sodium content are through the roof!  We can definitely benefit by reading the nutritional info of our favorite less-than-healthy foods, and consider better trade-offs. For me, it’s a fun challenge to see how much bang I can get for my calorie buck, and to feed my body with fuel that’s good for it as well!

If you’d like to receive articles from Slimvictory when they post, you can sign up on my home page. Comments are welcome and appreciated! 

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Filed under breakfast, calorie reduction, counting calories, decision-making, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, label-reading, meal preparation, mindset

Resources for healthful eating

This tiny book contains a wealth of helpful hints for weight control.

 As I’ve journeyed through the struggles of weight loss and am hanging tenaciously to maintenance, I’ve picked up some of my favorite reads to peruse again for support and encouragement.

Found in a local thrift story, “Dieting in Real Life: 101 Tips and Inspiration for a Healthier You”, by Ellen Sanna, quickly came one of my prime resources. I kept it by my bed, so I could read one or two of the author’s 101 tips daily. The book, about the size of my hand, contains much wisdom and knowledge (both spiritual and secular) condensed into quick-to-read topics. It is divided into five sections: Changing our attitudes, Changing our eating habits, Curbing our desires, Spending more calories, Dieting and our emotions.

Related quotes add emphasis and clarity, and data from pertinent studies and accepted nutritional data help readers make appropriate lifestyle modifications. She introduces each tip with a sentence overview, and then adds a paragraph or two of details. Here are a few of her intros:

  • “Keep your hunger from becoming overwhelming by eating small meals and snacks evenly distributed throughout the day.”
  • “Stop focusing only on your weight; focus on the rest of what life has to offer.”
  • “See your body as a valuable tool God has entrusted to you.”
  • “Only eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you’re full.”
  • “Don’t cut breakfast.”
  • “Keep a journal of what you eat.”
  • “Pray before you eat.”
  • “Don’t clean your plate.”
  • “The next time you are tempted to binge, imagine that someone you respect is watching you.”
  • Exercise when you get the urge to eat.”
  • “Don’t waste time feeling guilty.”

If you are interested in purchasing this book, which was written in 2003, you’ll probably have to check some place like eBay or Amazon. However, it’ll be well worth the effort to track down!

If you want to receives updates from Slimvictory, you can subscribe at the top of my page. Your comments are encouraged and appreciated!

 

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Filed under calorie reduction, decision-making, empowerment, food, healthy weight loss, making changes, menu planning, physical fitness, priorities

Visuals help!

Are you a visual learner? Sometimes, what we see has more of an impact that what we read. Case in point: After almost two months of not eating as well as I should and not exercising as much as I had been, my weight has incrementally crept up a few pounds above my goal. After working so hard to reach my goal, I’m back on track…the walking track, among other calorie-burning workouts! Another track I plan to implement again is the food-tracker. Knowing if it goes in my mouth, it goes on my chart makes me better able to say “no” to less-than-the-best choices.

Now, back to the visuals: For Christmas, I bought myself a pair of five-pound weights. They are pretty diminutive to look at, but when I pick them up, I have to brace my arms and shoulders for the extra stress. And just that ten pounds puts extra pressure on my legs as well. But another visual today really hit home. Our local store had ground chuck on sale, and as I looked at the “family packs”, most of which were three pounds or more, I saw a lumpy glop of meat about the size of what I’ve regained. Visualizing that on my backside has helped steel my resolve.

If you’re carrying excess weight, it may help to get some visuals in your mind; not only what you need or want to lose, but of smaller weights as well. Next time you’re shopping, pick up a five-pound roast or a ten-pound sack of sugar. Feel the weight in your hands. Then set a short-term goal to lose that five or ten pounds. Later, as you handle the comparable object again, you will be excited and encouraged that,  just as you can put down that bag of sugar, you’ve put off that much weight!

I hope you’ll join me in looking  forward to (and planning for)  a new year of becoming healthier, not only physically, but mentally, spiritually and emotionally. More to come on these thoughts in upcoming days!

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Filed under calorie reduction, commitment, counting calories, exercise, food, making changes, physical fitness, right perspective

Planning a healthier Easter basket

Great news…you can assist the Easter Bunny this year! Just a little creative planning  can change a traditionally sugar-charged holiday into a healthier one.  Check my blog (written for my Sparkpeople.com page) below for some ideas, and then add your own.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=JUSFOLK.

Smiles from Slimvictory:)

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Filed under food, healthy eating, making changes, menu planning, nutrition data, physical fitness

Eye-foolery

Simple tricks can help us eat less. Here’s a blog I published about the topic on my Sparkpeople.com page. If you’ve never checked out Sparkpeople, I highly recommend it – the nutrition/weight-loss/healthy-lifestyle tools are incredible!

Smiles from Slimvictory!

http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=JUSFOLK.

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, meal preparation, menu planning