Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shopping Right - Plan It

     
     What is healthy? Perhaps, that should have been my first post, but I write as the topics come to me, and today I would like to discuss what constitutes healthy eating. Of course what I say and believe comes from years of research after my husband’s heart attack and subsequent open heart surgery. After thirty plus years, I would say we have learned quite a bit about eating healthy and staying healthy. However, I don’t want anyone to passively believe me. If in doubt about anything I say, please refer to experts in the field.
    Studies have found that too much salt, sugar, bread, pasta, meat, alcohol, and processed deli meat are not good for one’s health. The effects could result in high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, and a multitude of other problems that follow obesity like hip and knee problems. I don’t think this data is disputable; however, what does one eat if all these items are taken away? The initial impact is tremendous. Believe me. I know. The first time I went food shopping after my husband’s heart attack was an eye opener and a tear jerker.
    It  took me over two hours to do my food shopping. That’s about two hours more than usual. I normally go in and get out. I don’t dilly dally – I tend to buy more when I do. I had to check all kinds of ingredients before I could include the item in my cart. I had to know how much sodium, sugar, fat, etc. was in each frozen package or can? Fresh meat and poultry had to be checked as well because some have added sodium, which was quite an eye opener for me because I thought all meat and poultry was sold as pure. I didn’t know that most of the time it’s tampered with, since most of us really, really like the taste of salt. Fish was ok, except I had to slow down on buying shell fish because they have a tendency to cause water retention. The best items and the least frustrating to buy were fresh fruit and vegetables.
    Our saving grace was that we had always , since our first full week of married life, planned our week’s menu. That gave us an upper hand because we automatically saw what we would eat for the week. That is not to say we do not alter once in awhile, but this weekly menu gives us a good idea of how we are doing with our healthy eating. If we see that we have pasta listed twice in one week, we alter it, so there is variety. One week may look something like this:
Sunday: Grilled chicken w/ salad and broccoli
Monday: Ahi Tuna over spring salad mix, asparagus, and hard boiled eggs.
Tuesday: Turkey burgers with home cut fries and coleslaw
Wednesday: Chicken Cutlets w/ string bean salad
Thursday: Salmon steaks with salad
Friday: homemade pizza
Saturday: Dinner out
    Some of my recipes are on Cooking With Natala.blogspot.com
Every week is different even though we use the same type of foods, i.e. fish, poultry, and vegetables. Every night our desert is fruit and nuts. We indulge with dessert  during the weekend either on  Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night but not all three.
    These are just a few ideas, but you might want to check out other blogs about food planning and scheduling. Whatever your comfort zone about food and planning your food intake, be good to yourself. Believe it or not, eating what is healthy is one of the nicest ways you can say, “I love who I am and I want to be healthy.” Good luck!!

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