Friday, February 26, 2010

Making Healthy Choices

Since I posted two desserts this week, I thought I would take the day off from posting recipes and post something a little different. The United States of America is in a crisis. We are a severely overweight population, myself included in that category. As a kid, I was very active. Always outside playing, or riding my bike. My imagination was a big part of my life as I was the only kid except for summer vacation and snow days when the granddaughter of a neighbor was down for the day. I didn't have video games or a computer so it was outside I went. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I took on that lazy persona. By the time I was 16, I had a computer, tv, sega gaming system and maybe even a playstation, in my bedroom. It was my own little world and I didn't leave it much.
Now as an adult, I see the error of my ways. I'm hoping to keep my kids active through out their lives, which means getting myself active again. My 15 month old daughter and I often have "races" in the house. She runs from squealing and I call after her that I'm gonna get you! It's a great time. Once it warms up and we can play outside, I'm not going to be doing much chasing. I'm currently pregnant and this baby will be born by c-section the end of June. It doesn't leave me much summer to really enjoy with my daughter, but I plan on doing my best.
Now a word on food. Growing up, you don't have much choice as to what to eat. It was whatever my very busy mom and dad brought home, or cooked up that night. It consisted of a lot of prepackaged food, can goods etc. Plus as a kid we always had "unexpected" guests for supper time. It would be nothing for our family to eat an entire 13x9 pan of lasagna. As I got older there were more and more leftovers but still portion control wasn't thought of in our house and I never quite learned what the correct size of meat, starch and veggies I should really be consuming.
I now know we had everything backwards. Starches and meats were consumed the most while veggies were often pushed to the side and sometimes forgotten all together. I certainly don't blame my mom for this. She was and still is a very busy woman and my sister wasn't much help. Now I'm not saying I was either, obviously. There is 10 years between my sister and I and by the time my mom started making more and more already prepared or packaged meals I was in school all day and working most nights. All of these things carried over with me into my adult life. When I was 23, I was an assistant manager for walmart, living in my own apartment and my then fiance was living about 5 hours away from me and attending college. It was the first time I was truly on my own. I lived about an hour or so from the walmart I worked at the time. Breakfast was a trip to Dunkin Donuts, lunch was at the pizza place next door or one of various restaurants around and dinner was often one of those places too. If I did eat out, then it was home and throwing either corn dog nuggets or french bread pizza in the oven and eating it most of the time, right before I went to sleep. Needless to say, because of this and the stress I was under, I gained some weight.
Shortly after leaving my job, I got married and decided we really needed to change the way we ate. It was a very slow process that started with throwing out our deep fryer. Yes I missed and still do miss nice crispy french fries, but on the occasion we go out to eat, I allow myself that treat. The next change was passing by the Mcdonalds or Dunkin Donuts instead of stopping. Those were two very big changes. The next came when I was pregnant. This has probably had the hugest impact on our life and is something I that I urge all of you to do. It comes in two parts. A) Buy organic when you can and B) leave the canned good, prepackaged foods, and ready to eat meals in the grocery store!!!
I'm a stay at home mom, which means we're on a fixed income that I do my best to budget every month.  This means I don't have the option to buy a whole lot of things that are organic because of their higher prices. I certainly can't afford to buy organic beef or chicken but when I buy things that are fresh, like lettuces, fruits and veggies, I do my best to buy their organic counter parts. Do I wish I could buy more organic products? Of course, but what I do instead, I feel, is pretty darn close, and that's to leave the cans on the shevles in the store. I buy very few canned goods. In most cases, its canned tomatoes and beans. If I can't buy it fresh, then I buy it frozen. This has cut so many nasty chemicals out of our bodies. I do my best to pay attention to whats on the ingredient list of the products I buy. I get real butter instead of margarine. It's those little thing that make a huge difference where our bodies and our health are concerned.

H A P P Y  C O O K I N G !!


  1. Erica, this was an awesome post. Thank you for sharing, you know I am too overweight and appreciate where you're coming from when you're cooking. I like that you are making healthy choices and not only will you and hubby benefit but Aurora will too!
    I have seen in Parenting magazine earlier this month and just on the Food Network this morning that you can buy dry beans, soak and cook them and then freeze them so they are ready like canned beans but with less preservatives. I haven't tried it yet but I'm definitely thinking about it because like you, the canned aisle is not my favorite!
    Keep doing what you're doing and posting awesome recipes!

  2. Thank you so much for the comment Loni! I wanted to post more that day but I felt I was getting a little long winded and well Aurora wanted mommy.


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