Monday, April 26, 2010

Eating Healthy

Eating Healthy
November, 2007
Excerpt from "In the Kitchen with Family and Friends" by Karen Lee

So many different diet plans are out there right now that it makes it hard to know what to believe, and what to eat. From the small amount of research that I have done for this book, I have learned that there are several synthetic foods that should be avoided, including monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame (Equal & Diet Coke), hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and others (see the list in the Grocery Shopping section). I also have learned that fatty acids are important, as are complex carbohydrates (whole grains and fresh vegetables).

The debate among dieticians, nutritionists, and physicians regarding the healthiest diet continues. As a person who loves to eat and loves to cook, and consequently is in a life-long struggle with excess weight, my goals are to try to …

Eat less
Our typically large eating portions are out of control. Less food is actually plenty of food! Many of the recipes in this book are heavy and rich, and should probably be enjoyed only on special occasions.

While compiling these recipes, I was concerned about encouraging my friends and family to prepare such apparently “fattening” foods. I discussed those concerns with my mom, Flo, who is a very healthy septuagenarian (she is younger than some 40 year-olds that I know). She reminded me that our Aunt Clara always ate a diet of very rich foods (some recipes included in this book), including heavy cream, real butter, lots of eggs, cheese, and meat. (And, she enjoyed her cocktail hour, too!) Aunt Clara lived to be 91 years old! She never counted carbs…I doubt she had even heard of them! The one thing she didn’t do was eat big portions. She thought “going for seconds” was rude and impolite. Aunt Clara ate anything she desired, but never “pigged out.”

Mom pointed out that very good food is very satisfying, so you shouldn’t need a LOT of food to be truly satisfied.

Eat slower
Instead of wolfing down the food on my plate, I’m going to try to enjoy my meals longer and let my stomach become full with less food.

Eat smarter
Cut way down on white flour and other starchy foods with “empty” calories.

Eat healthier.
Reduce risk of various types of cancer by avoiding synthetic foods and sweeteners. Go Organic!

Eat in balance
After cooking a heavy dinner one night, plan a lighter meal for the following night (or two!).

Eat fewer calories
Avoid sugary beverages and desserts. Indulge infrequently…save those sweets for special occasions.

Exercise more
Walk, hike, jog, swim, or bike for at least half an hour, at least 4 times a week.

NOTE: Although I’m particular about avoiding monosodium glutamate because of potential health hazards, not everyone else is concerned. Millions of healthy people eat MSG everyday with no apparent problems. Some of the recipes in this book include pre-packaged mixes that may (or may not) contain MSG. I’m not familiar with every ingredient included in these recipes, so be advised, and make your own choices. If you’re concerned about any pre-packaged products as ingredients, I’m sure you can find natural substitutes that would yield similar, good-tasting results.

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