Thursday, November 4, 2010

Finding the time to breathe

This little lady is one tired little bird. I have been going non-stop since I got back from my business trip and trying to recover from some type of viral infection. Between the Start! Eating Healthy media tour and steroids I am taking for sickness,  I am turning into a wound up energizer bunny operating on stimulants.

I actually have to back away from the caffeine for a few more days. Apparently it does not mix with the steroids I am taking very well, and now I am sipping on the water. Not my idea of a good time - but I would prefer being sleepy to my heart exploding from sheer medically-induced excitement!

However, this is about to be one of those "myworkisspillingoverintomypersonallife" posts. But I feel I would be doing a big disservice to my bloggy friends if I did not share some of my insight with you.

Yes, yesterday was Start! Eating Healthy Day with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. And yes, I was super busy and too tired to write anything. I just decided to let the pictures tell the story. What they did not tell you is that the Chef in the pics actually lost over 120 pounds in the past two years eating right and excercising. Now you guys know I am on that quest, and going about it at turtle speed. But the important thing is - I am concious of it and trying to make better selections when I can.

I recently wrote a little piece for our FB fan page (Official Birmingham American Heart Association.. friend it/like it.) I wanted to share the top 31 tips with you and how YOU can start eating healthy. Honestly guys, it is simple and still tastes good!

Tips on how to Start! Eating Healthy:

Millions of people have the wrong idea or wrong information about what is considered healthy. With the lastest diet fad andfinding "supplements" in most stores - it is hard to figure out who has it right. The easy way out is not always the healthiest way. What the American Heart Association wants you to know is that it starts with a few simple steps. Remember 80% of all cardiovascular disease is preventable. Why not get started this week?

Try one of these tips each day this month. By December, healthy eating choices will be a matter of behavior modification. Let's get started!

1. Fruits and vegetables that are deeply colored throughout — such as spinach, carrots, peaches andberries — tend to be higher in vitamins and minerals than others, such as potatoes and corn.Stop by the supermarket or farmer's market and purchase those colorful fruits and veggies and incorporate them into your meal planning each day! The darker the color - the better!

2. In addition to fresh ones, frozen or canned vegetables and fruits are just as good for you. Choose those in water without added sugars, saturated and trans fat, or salt. In a hurry? Or lacking culinary skills? You can choose the pre-packed kind by following these little tips.

3. If you choose milk that contains added flavorings such as vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, look forthe low-fat varieties.

4. Choose soft margarines that contain “0 grams trans fat” instead of buying butter.(These margarines usually come in tubs.)

5. Stick with low-fat (1%) or fat-free dairy products. Don’t buy butter and full-fat cream and ice cream.Save these foods for special treats because they have even more saturated fat than whole milk.

6. Buy and prepare more fish. You should eat one serving of grilled or baked fish at least twice aweek. (A serving is roughly the size of a checkbook.) Good examples of fish to buy include salmon,trout and herring.

7. Choose cuts of red meat and pork labeled “loin” and “round”; they usually have the least fat.

8. Buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef rather than “prime,” and be sure to trim off the fat before cooking.

9. When buying or eating poultry, choose the leaner light meat (breasts) rather than the fattier darkmeat (legs and thighs). Try the skinless version or remove the skin yourself.

10. Pick up nuts and seeds, which are good sources of protein and polyunsaturated and monounsaturatedfats. Remember that they tend to be high in calories, so eat them in moderation (1.5 oz nuts nomore than 4-5 times per week).

11. Choose whole-grain, high-fiber breads, such as those containing whole wheat, oats, oatmeal, whole rye, whole-grain corn and buckwheat. Choose breads and other foods that list whole grains asthe first item in the ingredient list.

12. Remember that most store-baked goods are made with egg yolks, saturated fats and/or trans fats.Check for store-baked goods that are made with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils, skim or reduced-fat milk, and egg whites — or make your own.

13. Stay away from palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter. Even though they are vegetable oils and have no cholesterol, they’re high in saturated fats.

14. Avoid using prepackaged seasoning mixes because they often contain a lot of sodium. Use fresh herbs whenever possible. Grind herbs with a mortar and pestle for the freshest and fullest flavor.

15. Use vinegar or citrus juice as wonderful flavor enhancers — but add them at the last moment. Vinegar is great on vegetables, such as greens; and citrus works well on fruits, such as melons.
 16. Try to avoid restaurants that offer all-you-can-eat buffets or specials, because you’re more likely toeat more food (and more calories) than you need.

17. If you’re familiar with a restaurant’s menu, decide what you’re going to order before you go. That will help you avoid the temptation of ordering meals high in fat.

18. Remember that foods served fried, au gratin, crispy, scalloped, pan-fried, sautéed, buttered,creamed or stuffed are high in fat and calories. Instead, look for steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, poached or roasted foods.

19. Avoid ordering before-the-meal “extras” like cocktails, appetizers, bread and butter because these are often sources of extra fat, sodium and calories.

20. Find out the nutritional content of fast-food items by visiting the chain’s Web site to help identify the healthiest choices. Some restaurants post this information near the counter or provide it in pamphlet form, too.

21. Decline the “value-size” options that provide you with greater portions of food for a slightly greater price. “Super-sizing” a food item inevitably increases the amount of fat, added sugars, sodium and calories you consume.

22. When a recipe calls for sour cream, use low-fat unsalted cottage cheese plus low-fat or fat-free yogurt — or just use fat-free sour cream, which is also available.

23. Limit your total fat to no more than 56–78 grams a day — including no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of trans fat, and less than 300 mg cholesterol (for a 2,000-calorie diet).

24. As a general rule: as you think about the amount of calories in a food per serving, remember that for a 2,000-calorie diet:– 40 calories per serving is considered low;– 100 calories per serving is considered moderate; and– 400 calories or more per serving is considered high.

25. When eating out, ask whether the restaurant can prepare your food to order — for example, by leaving off or going very light on dressings, butter, cheese or othe rhigh-fat items. Ask the chef to prepare the food with very little butter or polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oil, or none at all.

26. Ask if smaller portions are available or whether you can share entrées with a companion.If smaller portions aren’t available, ask for a to-go box when you order and place half the entrée in the box to eat later.

27. To add a little more “bite” to your dishes, add some fresh hot peppers. Remove the membrane and seeds first if you want to reduce the spiciness, then finely chop them up. A small amount goes a long way.

28. Some vegetables and fruits — such as mushrooms, tomatoes, chili peppers, cherries, cranberries and currants — have a more intense flavor when dried than when fresh. Add them when you want a burst of flavor.

29. Use a wok to stir-fry vegetables, poultry or seafood in vegetable stock, wine or a small amount of oil. Avoid high-sodium (salt) seasonings like teriyaki and soy sauce.

30. When roasting, use a rack in the pan so the meat or poultry doesn’t sit in its own fat drippings. Instead of basting with pan drippings, use fat-free liquids like wine, tomato juice or lemon juice.When making gravy from the drippings, chill first, then use a gravy strainer or skim ladle to remove the fat.
 31. Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too. Your body definitely needs fat — but not as much fat as most people eat.

It's that simple!


Augmented Gem said...

Thanks for sharing all these great tips.

Cheeseboy said...

Interesting facts, some I did not know. I really need to start following some of these, I am eating myself to death.

Jen G-son said...

Oh that's all one has to do? ;) I changed how I eat over a year ago and it's been great. I had McDonalds yesterday for the first time in months, because I was in a pinch, but I feel like it's excusable because I can logically say, "I'm putting some more formaldahyde in my body, along with some butane for preservation". Doesn't that excuse the poor example of a meal?

Either way, I felt icky for doing it. My system actually cannot handle greasy foods anymore, or fast food. I prefer to cook everything myself and if I go out to eat, I bring my calorie and fat content guide. :)


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