Snacking is as American as apple pie and bald eagles but it's not exactly the healthiest pastime, is it? While some doctors do recommend several smaller meals throughout the day rather than the traditional three hots to go with your cot, others maintain that it's just not healthy, especially if you're working on lowering your blood sugar. Each person's needs are unique and snacking just isn't for everyone.
As a big fan of Wellness Mama, I knew she had to mean something else when she said she "ate her sunscreen," but it turns out that she meant that she eats things to help her body make its own protection against the sun! This makes so much sense since we know we need SOME sun for optimal vitamin D production. Avoiding the sun is bad for our health, too, so how do you get enough without turning lobster red?
Over the years, the food pyramid has changed. The most recent recommendations for foods to eat, as well as portion sizes, was created by the United States Department of Agriculture on the picture of a plate. Their website is called ChooseMyPlate.gov and it has the food groups broken down into fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, dairy and oils. Oils, however, are not pictured on the plate.
The website encourages consumers to fill at least half of their plates with fruits and vegetables. One fourth should consist of grains, with at least half the grains being whole grains. The other one fourth is meant for proteins. Where does the dairy come in you ask? It is found on the side as a small circle, perhaps representing a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt. The USDA recommends using fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
Live Below the Line is a charity with an objective to raise awareness on poverty. Participants of this challenge are to live on $1.50 for food per day for a total of five days. That's only $7.50 per person total for the five days.
I agreed to be a part of this challenge when asked by BzzAgent. I have two daughters, which means that the three of us must live on $ 22.50 for the duration of the five days. My hypothesis is that we will be able to eat three meals a day, but they won't be foods that are considered healthy. I'm making this hypothesis based on my observations within the grocery store. Healthy foods tend to cost much more than quick foods, which have little to no health benefits.
When I was young, I struggled tackling my vegetables. I would swallow them without chewing, attempt to hide them in my napkin, or toss some to the dog and hope he would eat them before anyone noticed. I suppose that is relatively normal for kids – to dodge the vegetables. Yet, my mother…the good mom that she is, wanted me to eat vegetables and be healthy. So, she opted to find ways to make vegetables more appealing – add some cheese.
Honestly, you smother any vegetable in cheese, and I would eat it. I would still probably eat it now. My mother used cheese to trick me into vegetable eating. And it worked. I have loved cheese since I was little – I can eat sliced cheese, melted cheese, queso, cheese sticks, blocks of cheese, shredded cheese…pretty much cheese in any form or fashion. The downfall to this is that cheese is not the most healthy option. Veggies = great. Cheese on veggies, makes the healthy factor go down a few notches.
A completely fat free recipe is quite the challenge; unless you are opting to each a couple veggies and some water. For me, as much as I love vegetables, that combination does not sound appealing. So, although I do seek fat free options and recipes, low fat recipes seem to be far easier to locate.
Recently a friend allowed me to flip through one of her cookbooks. I came across a lettuce wrap recipe that sounded very appetizing and not too harsh on the waistline. Yet, there were quite a few things about the recipe that needed tweeking for my taste. So, I bought the ingredients and conquered a new healthy recipe. Fortunately, I wear and advocate for the Bodybugg; and this system allows me to enter my food into a computerized system, tracking my caloric, fat, sodium, calcium, etc. intake.
With that being said, I am aware that this recipe is less than 300 calories with very minimal fat – reality is, you can alter the recipe as you see fit as well…which will likely change up the nutritional facts a bit. If you have ever eaten at PF Chang’s and tapped into their lettuce wraps, you know the joy that can come from these little asian styled heavenly wraps. Now, you can enjoy them in the comfort of your home.
I could opt to throw out another low-fat or fat free recipe, given that the primary goal of this website is to do just that. Reality is, finding low or fat free recipes is only half the battle. We can eat healthy every day – watch our caloric intake, monitor our sodium intake and reduce or eliminate a chunk of the fat from our meals. Chances are, we will see positive results. We may slim down, have more energy and overall be in the process of obtaining and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. And to some, they may be good enough.
For me, I want all of those things. Yet, a plateau always manages to creep into my life – a moment where my efforts roll to a standstill. The moment where I have conquered a portion of my weight loss and health goals, but a decent amount remains. And no matter how healthy I eat, I stay exactly where I am.
If you speak to anyone in the health and wellness world, they always note that nutrition plays a significant role and exercise becomes the next. I have tried gym memberships and group classes. All are great on some levels – however, I have been striving to find something that would work with my schedule, provide results, and essentially help me reach my fitness goals.
Most people have heard of P-90x. A large chunk of people have tried it. I being one of them – and honestly, I cannot deny that it was a great work-out. My only struggle is the amount of time needed to complete the work-outs. There are numerous days that time is not on my side. I recently ordered the 10 minute work-outs from the same individual who created P-90x. Work out for 10 minutes – believe me, that is a work out I can commit to.