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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

Workouts pay off!

Pay yourself when you have a good workout…a simple and fun incentive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

A fellow WordPress blogger (Spagate) shared this neat idea to help motivate her to exercise. She created an exercise jar, and paid herself when she engaged in a good workout. Although she had seen the idea elsewhere suggesting putting $1.00 in the jar for each exercise session, she puts in a quarter for each 15 minutes, stating that “not  every workout is worth the same!”

I decided to get a bit creative with mine, making a colorful design on my computer. I’ve thought about subtracting $1.00 for days I don’t exercise when I should, but decided not to go there! Spagate made the suggestion to “save up for something special”, and I like that idea. Now, what will I buy when my jar is full? A new piece of exercise equipment, perhaps?

If you’d like to receive new articles from Slimvictory, you can sign up on my home page to get e-mail updates of newly-published posts. your comments are invited and appreciated.

 

 

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Filed under calorie reduction, creativity, exercise, making changes, physical fitness, priorities

Influencing the next generation

Much to my dismay, neither of my adult kids eat very healthfully. However, my seven-year-old granddaughter seems interested in my dietary habits. So last night, I sat at the table and made out a simple chart of the basic food groups, and how many servings one needs, accounting for variances for my adult status and her kid’s one.

Then, after she hit the hay, I stayed up late doing one on the computer, with lines for each group (ex: for the fruits, I said, two to three servings, and put three lines for writing down what we ate). I had shown her on my filled-out chicken-scratched version what I had eaten yesterday, and that I was short on fruit as I only ate two, and was also short on my grains, as I had one less than normal. Then I said, “I think I’ll have an apple!”, and I wrote that in.

When she gets home today, I’m going to have a list of all my foods I’ve eaten, and work with her to put them on the correct blanks. Then I’ll make sure (with her help, of course), to balance my “chart” at supper or for a planned bedtime snack. 
I think I’ll print off two more copies to let her have one to fill out, and maybe my daughter will join us (hehe)!

Just wondering…do you have success influencing family members? I’d love to hear your methods!

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Filed under balance, calorie reduction, children, creativity, example, healthy eating, meal preparation, Uncategorized

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

Eating at MacGreasy King with friends

 A contributor on Sparkpeople.com mentioned it was hard going to eat out with friends; she either felt intimidated by their comments when she made healthy choices, or she ended up over-indulging. As I mulled over her thoughts, I began to write down these responses one can make. We know our friends and family, so we realize which ones we can get by with, but if said with a smile and a twinkle in the eye, I think they’d be well-accepted!

  •  “I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf, a lettuce leaf.”
  • “I’ve made a plan to only eat fried or fatty food on days of the week that don’t have a ‘Y’ in them.”
  • “As an American citizen, I’ve decided it’s my patriotic duty to do my part to help stave off the burgeoning health-care crisis.”
  • After hearing a comment on your choices, pretend to look around. When others ask what you’re looking for, say, “Oh, I was searching for your Food Police badge; it must have slipped off.”
  • “Well, I recently noticed a tag on my birthday suit; it said: Limit of one per customer, no exchanges permitted, so I thought I’d better engage in some quality control measures.”
  • “My lily-white cellulite has become quite a fright.”
  • And for those who follow biblical principles: “Scripture says that my body is the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’, and as such, I’m choosing to treat it with the respect and care God desires.”

 Do you have any favorite responses?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The crawling swimmer – what an inspiration!

Went with my husband to the YMCA this evening; he hit the pool while I was doing my thing in the gym. When I came to the pool area, showered off my sweat and donned my bathing suit, he was in the whirlpool, but got out to swim again with me.

While catching my breath between laps, I noticed a very overweight middle-aged guy on hands and knees, crawling across the concrete surrounding the pool. Determined not to stare, I swam another lap. As I got back, I noticed he was reaching up and opening a certain door, through which he disappeared.

“Wonder what that was all about?” I asked my husband. He said the man didn’t have good use of his legs. He had seen him crawl out of the room (obviously a specially-equipped dressing area) and laboriously make his way to the end of the pool, where the life guard helped him with a special seat that lowered the man into the water. Once in the pool, he was able to do a form of swimming unassisted.

Chlorinated water was dripping from my wet head, but that wasn’t what burned hot in my eyes at that moment. I realized I was getting a great visual of someone who was going all out – doing whatever it took (no matter how little that may seem to others) – to get as fit as possible. The next time I want to whine (externally or internally) about what’s involved in my fitness routine, I hope this man’s “just do it” determination will quickly come to mind, giving me the needed impetus to follow his powerful example.

Just some thoughts from Slimvictory:)

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Filed under abilities, contentment, decisions, example, mindset, perspective, victory