I had some good responses from my last post. From people who have struggled with weight gain over their life to people who commented about healthy eating being more than just calories. Here’s a thought provoking one:
“I would hate to see food “legislated”, throwing politics into the fray.”
I totally agree. It seems that the more the legislation, the more complicated it gets! For better or worse, though, our government does play a role in what we eat, or what we think we’re eating!
In addition to regulations on what schools serve, the government also regulates how foods are marketed, i.e. labeled and described. For an example of this, check out this 2010 NY Times article about labeling changes of high fructose corn syrup.
When it comes to guidelines for school meals, it’s up to the schools to decide how to meet the guidelines that the government requires. They could be met with processed, not so healthy foods or they can be met with high quality fresh foods. Or somewhere in between!
Cool things happening in schools:
My dietitian friend who lives in Oregon sent me the link for this blog, which highlights some schools around the country that are doing great things with their school meals! http://eatwellatschool.
Are you or your kids helping to make your school a healthier place? Tell me about it! I’d love to share some stories, especially from schools in the Triad, NC area!
5 Holiday Eating Tips for the DON’T GAIN Challenge!
How are you doing in the DON’T GAIN challenge so far? Black Friday through New Year’s Day are the most important days when it comes to healthy holiday eating. What you eat on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are not the most important. Take those 2 special days to enjoy time with friends and family and eat whatever you want!
It’s the days in between that are the most important! If you take the foods and amounts that you eat on Thanksgiving Day and continue eating that way for almost every day (think cookies, creamy vegetables, large portions and sugary drinks) – THAT’S when you start to put on the pounds.
So here are your 5 tips to avoid the weight gain during holiday times:
- Safeguard your home. There is nothing more important than making sure that your home environment encourages health. This means that you want to avoid temptations and encourage consumption of healthy foods during the holidays.
• Keep a minimal amount of baked goods on hand. (Only bake enough to give away or use for one festivity)
• Keep baked goods or junk food in closed containers out of site.
• Be sure to have plenty of healthy food available.
• Keep healthy snacks visible on the counter so you’re more likely to eat them.
- Eat your Vegetables! Often during holiday times we forget about the basics of healthy eating. For some reason holiday fruits and vegetables are dressed up with lots of sugar and fat. There’s nothing wrong with including plain old veggies and fruits in your holiday menu! It’s also important to remember to include vegetables and/or fruit with every meal. Make sure vegetables take up half the room on most of your plate even during the holidays!
- Sign up for a 5K or fitness walk. During the holiday season, we often are so busy with the to-do list that our exercise ceases. By signing up for a 5k or other fitness event, it will help to keep your mind focused on fitness goals. Also remember to take a walk before and after big meals and be physically active every day! In Winston-Salem, we have a Mistletoe 5K and 1/2 marathon this weekend. I’m sure there are many opportunities out there! Or, join me for Cancer Services’ Polar Bear Ride for Courage on January 1st, 2012. It’s one of my favorite events and you will be motivated to do some riding during the holidays to get ready for it!
- Prepare for pressure. During the holiday times, friends, family and co-workers will constantly be offering you treats. Their intention is good, however you cannot eat everything offered to you and maintain good health! Practice saying “No Thank You”. It is not impolite to refuse food or drink offers. Are you worried that refusing will insult the cook? Tell them it looks great and you’d love the recipe but that you are too full to enjoy it right now.
- Plan for the must-haves. Think about what foods are really special to you that you really want to eat vs. those that you could probably do without. Potato chips at a holiday party are not a must have! You can have those any time of year. Cookies from a store bought package are not must have’s either! Save your calories to eat those foods that you really want.
Mark Your Calendars!
To keep your healthy eating plans going through the New Year – plan to join me on January 17th from 5:30 – 6:30 at the Allegacy Federal Credit Union community room for a “Fighting Cancer With Your Fork” seminar. I will cover the 11 most researched foods when it comes to nutrition and cancer and answer questions. To RSVP, call 336-760-9983 or email me!
Let me know how your healthy holiday is going so far!