Saturday, August 7, 2010

the nutritionista diaries... no more plastic food

Dear Diary,
Why is my face broken out and my favorite jeans burst into flames when my thighs rub together? Why do the people at McDonald’s know me by name and ask if I want the usual when I walk in? 
     God has provided a wealth of beautiful and glorious foods for us to choose from here on this earth, yet many times we choose things that aren’t good for us. 
     Although our lives are sometimes hectic, we can train ourselves to spend fifteen minutes or so preparing simple, healthy meals in the same amount of time it takes to throw a frozen dinner into the microwave or sit in the drive-thru at a fast-food place. When time permits, homemade usually costs less, tastes better and is healthier for you.     
      You have probably seen or at least heard of the food pyramid. The USDA has reworked the pyramid and now it's a plate. There are five catagories, fruits, grains, protein, veggies and dairy.
     If you have young children in your home and your diet consists mainly of mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets and pb and j, try to broaden horizons by adding fresh fruits and veggies with the standard fare. Never make separate meals for picky eaters. When hungry, they will eat.
     Include several colors on each plate. This is a rule my mom lived by. It made an enormous, visual impression on me. A plate of colorful food is much more appealing than dull, monochromatic fare. 
     The colors and textures provided by Nature are the best. The plastic ones, provided by Ronald and friends are not! 
     If you train your mind and the minds of your children, you will begin to notice the cravings for high fat- low nutrient things diminish.
     Be in a first name basis with the people who grow your food, like the friendly locals in your neighborhood farmers' market. Allow kids to pick out a few colorful veggies.
      So, if you're feeling inspired and ambitious after this little pep talk, plan and plant a little kitchen garden. Even a large pot on the patio or a 3x3' plot outside your kitchen door will make a huge impact on the way you and your family thinks about food. A beautiful, ripe tomato grown by you or a local farmer is far better than a semi-plastic replica grown in a faraway greenhouse.

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