Sunday, February 15, 2009

Being Healthy Part 2 - Diet

Growing up, my mom made sure that I had a balanced diet. Dinners were not complete without at least one fruit and one vegetable. When I got home from school, the first thing I did was to eat a bowl of fruit, lovingly prepared by my mom, while she grilled me about my day. Very few snacks were kept in our house, and soft drinks were only allowed on special occasions.

Strangely enough, a little bit of that seems to have sunk in. I still try to eat healthy. The key word here is try. My husband, who grew up in a meat and potatoes family, does his part - he tries to humor me. As luck would have it, he'll eat just about anything. I'm not saying he always enjoys it.

Years ago when we were visiting my grandma in the hospital, we had dinner in the cafeteria. I grabbed some pudding, among other things. I remember telling Jim, "OMG! This is the best pudding I ever tasted!" After shaking his head in disgust, he informed me, "Jen! That's just because it's regular pudding! Not that low-fat crap you always have at home!"

I try to only eat snacks at night, and I try to buy healthy snacks. I buy Fig Newtons, instead of chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, baked low-fat chips instead of Doritos. The little changes make a big difference, I figure, and I don't feel like I'm depriving myself.

I also only drink soft drinks when I'm out. Well, I guess I should clarify that. You see, every night, Jim drinks one can of Coke. Just one, and almost every night I drink his last 2 or 3 sips. Why? Well, I just like to make him crazy! No, actually I love Coke, and just those 2 or 3 sips are enough to satisfy me.

Recently I bought a book called, "Eat This, Not That". If you don't own it, you should. This genius book gives the "Dummy" books a bad name, it is so easy to use. It not only lists the bad and good products, but has pictures of each for us visual learners. It gives information on what to eat and avoid at 40 fast food and chain restaurants, the safest foods to get at the supermarket and at school, recipes for 10 kid favorites made healthy, and a list of 11 foods that cure.

Since I got the book, I have been trying out some of the healthy alternatives, to the dismay of my hungry husband. When I tried a certain frozen pizza with a thin crust, he exclaimed, "This is more like a pizza flavored cracker! I'm gonna have to eat a hamburger after this!" The healthy oatmeal raisin cookies I bought tasted "like cardboard". The low fat popcorn tasted like "flavored air". The Greek yogurt was "like eating sour cream with a spoon".

Luckily, Dylan is pretty easy to please. He loves fruits and vegetables. I have a hard time getting him to eat meat. So far, I've been pretty successful at limiting snacks. As long as he has his "white raisins" (yogurt raisins), he doesn't complain, but just continues to suck down his food as the human vacuum.

As for Jim, he hasn't complained about all the healthy products. A few of them, he actually liked. But, if you invited him to your house for dinner, I'm sure he wouldn't turn you down.

1 comment:

Janet said...

I have to admit, I'm with Jim in this regard. We ate healthful foods growing up just as you did, very few snacks, desserts only on Sundays or birthdays, no sodas (although we did have Kool-Aid which has to be much worse - I didn't like it though so I didn't drink it.)
But I really really hate most vegetables. I will eat them though to try to set a good example. But I don't do low-fat, low-sugar, diet anything. Life is too short to be that miserable. But I do want to get that book because my kids don't eat anything except yogurt. (well, that might be an exaggeration, but not by much)