Tag Archives: unhealthy eating

What’s In YOUR Cart?

15 Aug

Today, I went grocery shopping after work. It’s funny, but in the last few months I’ve begun to really look at what is inside someone’s grocery cart. I constantly hear from people that they don’t understand why they’re overweight, but it never occurs to them to change what is being purchased at the grocery store. I don’t say this to sound sanctimonious now that I’ve figured out how to eat healthy, I say it because I think the ignorance is genuine. People don’t realize what is in food both in terms of fat and calories, but also preservatives, sugar and sodium.

Many foods advertised as low fat/low cal are often compensated by being sky high in sugar and sodium. If you buy anything within the interior aisles of the supermarket, chances are your food is loaded with preservatives and other unpleasant chemicals, fillers and calories.

When you go grocery shopping, really try to stick to the perimeter of the store. This is typically where fresh produce, meats and the bakery are located. Once you start venturing down the aisles, you will encounter foods that come in a box, can or frozen section which usually means chemicals, preservatives, extra fat/calories/sodium. Go grocery shopping with a clear list and a clear head. Don’t shop while you’re on the phone or otherwise distracted. This can cause you not to read labels and buy impulsively. Take the time to read labels—look not only for nutritional information but find out if the meat or produce is organic or where it’s from.

Shopping healthy is, unfortunately, fairly expensive. My grocery bill for me this week was nearly $65. The majority of the food I bought today will only last me one week, though some of it can be frozen and saved for a later date (i.e. chicken breast strips were buy one, get one free, so one went into the freezer). That’s a lot of money for a single person. Try to watch the mail for grocery store inserts to see who is having sales on lean meats and produce. This will help in your overall bill reduction.

For example today, I didn’t have time to stop at Sunflower Market, which is where I typically buy most of my produce and all of my meat. It’s usually all organic but incredibly cheap (a 6-pack of chicken drumsticks is as low as $1.50). So I had to hit the main supermarket for everything. Their organic chicken was $8 a package, which is crazy expensive. Non-organic chicken was $4.50 for a package, but this week with my shopper’s card, I could get two packages of the organic chicken for $8 since it was BOGO. Watch for these kind of deals and stock up.

Try shopping the perimeter for one week. Make all of your meals fresh at home. If you are working or busy with a family, make large quantities and freeze it for the week so you have more time. Although I still seriously heart my ice cream, I can guarantee you will feel so much better cooking with only fresh ingredients. So put the Hamburger Helper back on the shelf and give this challenge a try.

Share your grocery cart contents!

What I Bought at the Grocery Store Today
Blueberries, Strawberries, Plums, Cherries, Watermelon, Red/Green/Orange Peppers, Corn on the Cob, Sliced roast beef from deli, 93% lean ground beef, organic chicken breast strips, whole grain white Wonder bread (I can’t get on the whole wheat band wagon, just can’t do it!!!), fettucini noodles, egg noodles, 1 healthy request cream of mushroom soup, 2 quarts of Greek yogurt, low-fat string cheese, parmesan cheese, reduced fat cream cheese (for a recipe).


Should Parents Lose Custody of Obese Children?

14 Jul

ABC News: Should Parents Lose Custody of Obese Children?

Is letting your child become obese a form of child abuse? That is the hot debate right now in an article I read on ABC News’ website. Children with extreme obesity are being removed from their parents’ house and put into foster care so they can lose weight. In the article, the children came from low-income families where the parent either couldn’t afford to buy healthier food or they worked several jobs and didn’t have the time to cook. It was very sad to read as the parents were obviously trying to do what was best for their families by providing for them in the best way that they could. One parent worked several jobs so they wouldn’t have to live in an unsafe area, but unfortunately, that resulted in fast food dinners for her 400 lb child.

I’m not sure where I stand on this debate. I see both sides and there are definite pros and cons to both sides, but separating a child from their parent when it’s not a clear case of physical or sexual abuse seems wrong. So often times parents who do hit or molest their children get to keep them. Yet a parent who can’t watch their kid’s diet, but is otherwise a good parent loses their child. At the same time, a 13 year old child who is 400 lbs is far from healthy and is definitely in grave danger of an early death and a slew of health problems.

Ideally what needs to happen is there needs to be nutrition and exercise programs available to families in low income areas. Kids need to have a place they can go to get healthy meals and a chance to work out when they have busy parents. However, with our national debt growing by the second and no end in sight, a government run program like this will never happen. I wish local communities could raise money for that type of thing.

There is such a push to try to eat healthier, but it is much more expensive. Why can’t the prices on fruits and veggies be reduced somehow? Everyone could still make a profit, but if a carton of strawberries is priced like a McDonald’s hamburger, maybe more people will eat it. Local gyms make quite a bit of money, especially if they are a big chain like 24 Hour Fitness. Can’t they offer free classes to overweight kids from low income areas?

I would think there are a lot more solutions out there beyond taking the kids away. And so the kids have success in losing weight in the foster homes, but what is to say what would happen to them when they return home to the same situation? Does that mean they are never allowed to go home? On some level it is abuse to let your child weigh hundreds of pounds more than they should, but there are ways to fix it without separating the parents from them.

The Real Deal on Fast Food

27 Jan

I saw an article online this week on ABC News.com about a woman suing Taco Bell for false advertising. Taco Bell was offering a 99 cent burrito filled with beef, cheese and other yummy goodness. The woman was suing, however, because it apparently wasn’t filled with beef. Well, it was filled with only 35% beef. The rest was fillers, binders and chemicals to simulate beef.

I eat Taco Bell about 3 times a year. Three times a year,  I get a serious craving for it, think it’s a good idea and usually spend the rest of the day regretting it. Now I know why. I knew their food quality was questionable. I mean seriously, how can you offer anything remotely good for you for only 99 cents? But I didn’t think it was quite that bad.

But, when we put foods like that into our bodies, is it any wonder that America has obesity problem? If Taco Bell is doing it, then so is everyone else in the fast food industry. And again, I think if you indulge once in a while, no big deal. Everyone has to have some junk food sometimes. But the people who have steady diets of this stuff, it’s scary. It’s so processed and full of chemicals.

I don’t think it stops at fast food either. I think the majority of the boxed and frozen foods at the grocery stores are in the same league. Things that are processed are no longer natural. They are pumped full of chemicals and excess salt to build up flavor.

You want to lose weight? Start shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. Don’t venture down the aisles if you can avoid it. Or if you do, have it be for things like spices or pasta—not boxed or frozen dinners. Buy real meats, produce and dairy products. If you’re switching over from a steady diet of processed or fast food and start this type of shopping, you’ll notice a difference right away.

You’ll probably not only lose weight, but start to feel better and have more energy too. A few weekends ago, I went to visit some family out of state. That family member doesn’t cook and didn’t have any groceries. As a result, we ate out the whole weekend. I felt so gross by the end of the weekend, and I was up several pounds. I craved a salad so badly I would have sold my kidney to get one.

Bottom line: indulge once in a while in something naughty. That’s not going to hurt you. But on a regular basis, remember all the scary things in fast food and processed food and try to make healthier choices.