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My healthy eating plan

April 21st, 2007 at 05:25 pm

I've been reading up on nutrition lately, and am working on improving my family's eating habits. This post is my attempt to get a plan down in writing.

Here are a couple of the books I've read and would recommend: What to Eat (excellent book by a nutritionist but LONG!), The Healtiest Kid in the Neighborhood (good info although a little preachy), and YOU: On a Diet (good background on how the body works, the actual chapter on the healthy diet is good for breakfast, lunch, and snacks, but flimsy on dinner).

I'd say our diet is currently better than average, but there's definitely room for improvement in regards to eating more fruits and vegetables. I eat a high-fiber, high-protein ceral with berries and fat free milk for breakfast. We make dinner at home most nights, usually using a lean meat (turkey, chicken, or pork), and cook with olive oil. We cut out most bread, pasta, rice, and chips during a stint on South Beach, although we still eat tortillas quite a bit. DH does eat lunch at a restaurant most days, while I do once or twice a week and have leftovers on other days.

Here are the areas I'm going to concentrate on:

1. Eating mostly from the "perimeter" of the grocery store -- fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy -- and minimizing packaged foods such as crackers and chips.
2. Read labels on all pre-packaged food. Avoid foods with "enriched flour", "high fructose corn syrup", "sugar" (and its synonyms), or "hydrogenated oil" in the first 5 ingredents. Avoid foods high in saturated fat or with any trans fat.
3. Eating more whole grains. When we do buy breads, cereals, etc., choose ones with "whole wheat" or "whole grain" as the first ingredient.
4. Concentrate on getting 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables.
5. Eat fish at least once a week.
6. Eat more nuts, beans, and lentils.
7. Cut down on artificial sweeteners.
8. Enjoy a glass of red wine a few nights a week.

So far, the reading labels part is going pretty well. I wanted some bread to make toast for my toddler, and I was really disappointed to find that my favorite whole wheat bread contains high fructose corn syrup. It seems like it's in EVERYTHING! I finally found a loaf made by Miltons that I like ok. I'm not sure whether to make an exception for the BBQ and Asian sauces my husband likes to cook with -- they all seem to have corn syrup and sugar in them.

Eating more fruit, veggies, and beans/lentils seems to be the toughest change to make. My husband is actively resisting the veggie campaign, so I'm trying to come up with a list of sauces, etc., to make them more appealing.

For drinks, I'm planning to switch to homemade lemonade and sun tea. (Currently we drink a lot of diet soda.)

Here's my plan to eat 5 a day:
1. Banana or berries on my cereal.
2. Apple, pear, orange, or plum, etc with lunch.
3. Crunchy vegetable (carrot, bell pepper, or sugar snap peas) with dip (hummus or homemade guacomole) and a handful of nuts for my afternoon snack.
4. Salad with dinner.
5. Side vegetable with dinner.

I'd love to hear your suggestions on how to make specific vegetables taste good even to a veggie hater!

2 Responses to “My healthy eating plan”

  1. robex Says:

    We are huge fruit and vegie eaters and our three kids will eat almost any type we put in front of them. For their school lunches they always pack a juice, a fruit and a fruit snack...usually Squiggles or all natural fruit leather...so that's their 3 fruit servings. I have a container of cut up vegies in the fridge for them to snack on whenever they choose and we usually have a salad as well as one or two side vegies with dinner. I also put fruit in our cereal in the morning, and we'll often have smoothies for dessert.

    I encourage my kids to choose different vegetables at the grocery store and then we cook them together. If your husband is the only resistant one then I would give him fresh vegies with a healthy dip for a snack and put little bits fo vegies in everything you cook...rice with mushrooms;zucchini in pasta sauce;broccoli and cheese on baked potatoes etc. Maybe just having it offered over and over again will become the norm for him. Good luck!

  2. littlegopher Says:

    You've come up with a great plan, and robex has some great ideas too. Nothing really enlightening to add, just that we attempt this kind of eating at our house too! We all take lunches from home to work and school, which makes it far easier to eat the way you want (with two adults and four kids, this also saves a lot of money too.) Best wishes on your quest!!

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