Updated: Sep 10, 2018
"Who knew cheetos, cheese sandwiches, cheese dip and Mac-n-cheese are not the 4 food groups!"
Growing up this was my go to food of choice, especially in college. No wonder my body went haywire.
According to Wallet Hub, did you know that Tennessee is rated 10 out of 174 as one of the unhealthiest cities in the U.S.? Maybe it's #TheSouth with our #southern #friedfood and heavy help'ns. Think about it, we fry EVERYTHING!
Who has ever been to the Delta Fair? It's this weekend you know!!! Corndogs, funnel cakes, fried corn on the cob, fried candy bars and lets not forget... butter! We fry butter! That's right, "Deep Fried Butter! Get Your Deep Fried Butter!" Houston where out of control!
Let us just take a another view. Children and adults that consume "The Standard American Diet", aka S.A.D. (this is not a joke), exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat. This is a lot of white food and I'm not talking about cauliflower, onions, beans or bananas. USDA recommends we eat half our plate with fruits and vegetables.
Did you know, depending on your age and how active you are, we are suppose to eat 9 to 13 servings of fruits and veggies a day? Of course if you cook them to death then you need more! WHO DOES THAT?!!! BTW - if you can't get your daily intake of fresh fruits and veggies and you want a simple way to bridge the gap of what your not eating everyday, here's what I do - #TheNextBestThing!
However, the most amazing thing is, we can create new #habits!
5 ways to transition into healthier choices
1. Write down everything you eat and drink. This will make you aware of what you do. Many times we're just eating out of blind habit and not because we're hungry.
2. Drink one more glass of water than you did yesterday. Did you know the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are a watery: 31%. Our standard guideline is to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water a day.
3. Cut down on your breads, potatoes and pasta. Replace them with healthier options such as using a cauliflower pizza crust, eat avocado or zucchini fries, spaghetti squash in place of pasta, portabella mushrooms as buns. These are just a few suggestions but you can find so many tasty recipes online. Plus it's fun to learn and cook together as a family. Side tip, when a child helps they tend to participate in the healthier habits too, especially when they contribute.
4. Sweet tooth, keep fresh fruit of your choice handy so when that crave hits you can just grab and go. I like to pre-bag my snacks in handy snack size baggies. Make your own trail mix. Mix with less sweetened ingredients and learn to use more of all natural foods instead of the store bought with candies and highly sweetened raisins, etc. Look for recipes for homemade muffins, popsicles and even cookies made with real fruit and veggies!
5. Sodas, southern sweet tea and high fructose juices. This is a sure challenge for some. As for the sweet tea, just start by cutting back on the sugar. This was one of my favorites that took a while to transition. When I ate out I would order it half cut, meaning half sweet tea and half unsweetened. I got use to this and cut it down again. Sodas was easy for me, I just chose to drink tea or water, but if your addicted to the surgery sweetness, drink one less a day for a week, then delete one more a day the following and so on. Sodas can be very addictive and most don't really know the side effects either. They literally can damage your body. Juices, if you have to have them make them yourself, or get the real 100% juices and cut those with water too. We don't realize just how much sugar we get from empty calories in drinks. Another great reason to record what we eat and drink everyday. As you drink less of what you shouldn't drink, add 6 to 8 oz. of water in place to help hydrate your body.
All of our choices are easy to do but they are easy not to do as well.