Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Everywhere we look we’re being told to “Eat whole grains.” “Eat fresh food.” It’s very popular and quite hip to buy organic, at farmers markets or to grow your own food.
When did the food world turn upside down? Not more than two generations ago it was the poor people who ate whole grains & grew their own food because processing was more expensive.
I am going to fly in the face of the pundits who say it’s expensive to eat healthy foods. Ounce for ounce, you still get better value & better food value if you buy whole foods instead of processed foods. Compare by weight and nutritional labels the difference between un-popped popcorn and pre-packaged popcorn; old fashioned oatmeal and instant oatmeal; Rice a Roni™; a bag of potatoes and a box of instant cheesy potatoes; fresh chicken or even chicken pieces and frozen, breaded chicken fingers…
We don’t have to let hipster, foodies and food industry marketing hijack healthy eating. Ignore all the hype and serve and eat whole and fresh foods because you know it’s the right thing to do.
Friday, March 8th, 2013
I have a friend who lives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Whenever he visits Chelsea (his home town) he marvels at the choices in the produce isle of the local grocery stores. When I saw him at Christmas he said “What an amazing selection of greens!”
This week I read an editorial that started with a sentence something like “Every isle in the grocery store is filled with guilt producing choices.”
Yikes! Our abundance – real, true abundance, should not be guilt producing. We should be invigorated by it, like my friend from the UAE. Embrace our good fortune to live in a place where we can find 2 or 3 kinds of kale, veggie chips, Canadian bacon, chicken raised without additives, milk & multiple milk substitutes, grains beyond imagination, fresh produce, organic produce, dried produce, frozen produce and sliced/diced & pre-washed produce.
If you do need rules for grocery shopping to help you reduce the guilt, these were my Mom’s rules.
- Stay around the edges of the store where the food is real, less manufactured (produce, dairy, fresh protein, whole grain breads).
- Look high & low for the healthiest foods. The more expensive, highly processed foods are often at eye level.
That’s all there is to it. Happy, hearty, healthy eating.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
The other day I heard again that ‘healthy groceries are more expensive than unhealthy groceries’. In the past year or two, prices on things like produce have gone up, a lot. But guess what. So have the prices on empty calories like macaroni & cheese, junky cereal & chips.
Groceries are very expensive these days. And it’s true – it’s cheaper to buy a box of mac & cheese than a whole chicken & a few vegetables to go with it. But you eat a lot longer & healthier on a simple pot of soup than a box of mac & cheese. A box of barely or brown rice to go with your soup is a pretty inexpensive way to fill the family up.
A bag of oranges, onions, potatoes, package of celery, and another of carrots can feed a family for days, along with some simple cuts of meat, dried or canned beans & rice. I challenge anyone to find 3 days of pre-packaged dinners to feed that same family for less money – especially if we’re reading labels & you want your pre-packaged food to provide fruit, vegetable, lean protein, whole grains, low saturated fats & salt.
Even as I’m writing this, I’m thinking we should have a shopping challenge! It could be fun.
p.s. Next we should take on the myth it takes a long time to prepare a healthy meal. And after that, maybe we can talk about a problem that’s even tougher to conquer. How many kids really prefer chicken & rice soup to mac & cheese?
Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Researchers at Stanford University discovered that practicing weight maintenance may be the key for weight loss.
Two groups of women were studied. In the first group they started weight loss efforts right away. In the second they spent 8 weeks practicing maintaining their weight (daily weighing, portion size awareness, reasonable snacks…). After the 8 weeks they began weight loss efforts. One year later both groups had lost about the same amount of weight but those who practiced weight maintenance before weight loss were more likely to maintain their losses than those who didn’t practice.
Practice, practice, practice. Just like mother said.
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
It’s Halloween. Give it up, all you parents who hope your kids will come home from school and say they don’t want to trick or treat tonight because they don’t really care about candy & it’s too cold.
Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
If history is helpful, many parents remember that about day 5 their kids lose interest in candy. If it disappears (especially gradually) they often don’t even notice.
You can also have your children take their unopened Halloween candy to Beacon Dental, 9477 N. Territorial Road (up to 5 pounds) and be paid $1 per pound on Nov. 5. All the candy along with tooth brushes will be sent to U.S. Troops overseas. Anyone can participate from 4 to 7 p.m.
Have fun, everyone. Stay warm & be safe.
Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Chelsea Community Kitchen is hosting a Kid’s Cooking Camp from July 9-13. Open to children in grades 1-6, children will have an opportunity to learn basic kitchen skills and kitchen safety. Each day will focus on a different meal or recipe type and will include samples.
Two local experts will lead the class. Lisa Lutchka, a registered dietitian with 20 years experience and a master’s degree in sports medicine/exercise physiology and Judy Radant, a certified SERV Safe instructor, Culinary Arts instructor, and owner of Ellie’s will provide a fun week of classes focused on healthy choices.
To learn more or to register, please click here. For more information, please contact Jane Pacheco at 734.330.4497.
The class is supported by the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation and Moore Pediatrics.
Friday, May 25th, 2012
A friend of mine was so excited when her teenage daughter recently asked if she could have some white beets. She was stunned to hear this question from her very finicky daughter who doesn’t usually like vegetables but was thrilled she actually wanted something healthy for once.
After she recovered from the question the mom realized she hadn’t heard of beets that were white, so she asked her daughter if it was a new type of beet/vegetable, which instantly sent her daughter into hysterics. When she finally stopped laughing the daughter said “NO MOM, NOT WHITE BEETS, WHITE “BEATS”, the headphones!
I guess it was just wishful thinking for this mom AND her daughter, as the price tag for white “beats” is more than $200! Looks like the only beets/beats she will be getting are of the purple variety. Teenagers!
Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
The Dexter Community School district is committed to improving the health of it’s students by promoting healthier lifestyles. One of the recent initiatives toward this goal was the implementation of the Move Forward Program in the district’s K-6 buildings. The program was grant funded by the CWF, and oversight is provided by a committee made up of parents, staff members, a pediatrician, school nurse, and the coordinator of the program.
Under the umbrella of this program, exciting things have been happening in the K-6 buildings, such as:
~ fruit and veggie try-it’s (introducing new fruits and vegetables) to children
~ fitness stations and Fit Fridays lunch time activities
~ assemblies such as Iron Chef at the 3 – 4 building
~ farm-to-school field trips learning about where food comes from
~ chef Alex presenting at the schools about healthy foods and snacks
~ policy changes encouraging healthy snacks and treats in the schools
~ the installation of Project Fit America equipment at 2 of the buildings
~ the Healthy Me Poster / Poetry competition
~ developing ways to encourage walking and biking to school
the list goes on.
The grant is for 2 years but the sustainability of the program lives on, through overall increased awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyles in disease prevention and happier healthier lives, and through changes in the school’s policies and environment.
Aileen Kernohan is the district school nurse for DCS. She has a strong interest in health promotion / illness prevention activities and behavior.
Monday, February 13th, 2012
Day in & day out our real life gets in the way of making good food choices.
Enter the Clementine. In about 15 seconds this little, portable, dynamo of a fruit is peeled & sections are popping into your mouth.
According to one nutrition fact source, a Clementine has 35 calories (virtually none from fat), 60% of our daily requirement for vitamin C & even a little calcium and iron. It provides fiber, thiamin & potassium.
Now is the time to buy them, too. So buy a box & set them on a refrigerator shelf where everyone can see them. The Clementine will take care of the rest.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
There is no better time or place for preparing meals than August in Michigan. No better time or place in the entire world!
This week at the Farmer’s markets you have your pick of fresh blueberries, raspberries or peaches. There were even some apples.
Heirloom potatoes and summer squash from the tiny, cute petit pan to some as long as your arm (they are the ones to use for zucchini bread or cut length-wise, hollowed out & stuffed with something you can bake).
The tomatoes range from yellow to orange to red in shapes little, big, pear shaped & bumpy.
The corn on the cob comes in white & yellow & multi-colored.
There are purple & red & yellow & green peppers of every shape & level of heat.
Here’s a farmer’s market benefit I’ve enjoyed for over a decade. When you buy at the local farmer’s market you won’t have fruit flies!
Bon Appétit, everyone.