Tag Archives: menu planning

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!

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

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

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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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

Good-for-you oatmeal pancakes

This magazine recipe caught my eye. With only 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, I wasn’t sure it’d be tasty, but, with its oatmeal base,  it certainly looked healthy. With a touch of cinnamon and just one tablespoon of sugar divided among eight pancakes, it’s a winner in my book. Next time, I’m going to double the recipe to have some to freeze.

Oatmeal Pancakes

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats*
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk 
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil

Mix oats and buttermilk together; refrigerate overnight (*I used old-fashioned oats and they did fine). Stir in remaining ingredients and blend well, adding more milk or water if needed for proper consistency. Spoon by ¼-cupfuls onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles begin to break, flip and cook until golden brown. Makes about 8 pancakes. (For food-journaling purposes, I’d say three of these pancakes would count as two breads and 1/2 milk).

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Filed under breakfast, calorie reduction, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, meal preparation, recipes