Um, sorry MSNBC.com, but this news is old news. The sad part is that popcorn used to be bad for you and now it is really bad for you.
If you are trying to lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle, you are doomed. There is no point trying to lose weight because food manufactures, restaurants, vending machines, fast food facilities and even health-food stores are providing you (the consumer) unhealthy food options that are just too good to resist. And even if you try to resist them and choose a healthier option, your healthy option is still high calorie, high fat, high sugar or high in fake ingredients.
Perhaps I am taking this to the extreme but don't you feel like you are being sabotaged with your weight loss journey? Statistics are telling Americans how fat (ouch, I just hate that word-let's use obese and overweight) but at every food aisle in the grocery store there is an abundance of unhealthy food options. The portions are getting bigger at restaurants and you have no idea what you are eating or how many calories you are eating. Why don't we have nutrition and calorie guides at restaurants and fast foods? You order a smoothie post-workout at the local smoothie shop and you may as well have eaten a candy bar w/ a shot of sugar. Why aren't companies providing healthy options for athletes and fitness enthusiasts? Who really needs a 800 calorie post-workout smoothie and why are there 50+ grams sugar in a post-workout recovery shake? Your children can choose from ranch dressing or blue cheese with their fried chicken wings at school and their salads are old iceburg lettuce and a few carrot sticks...but of course, with a side of ranch dressing. Why aren't there apples and oranges at the check-out counter instead of candy bars and candy? And, when you try to buy healthy foods for the family you are forced to spend double of your grocery budget compared to processed, packaged and frozen foods which are cheap, easy and quick.
I don't want to get carried away on this blog post about what we can do to eat healthier in a country which is doing a lot of wrong things to help people lose weight (although there is a lot of progress in food manufactures and regulations helping people lose weight)....although I would love to just write and write and write about this topic.
I find it hard to believe that many people don't realize what they are consuming when they eat. I know it is hard to be the one in the grocery store reading food labels (because that isn't the norm) but it is worth every minute you spend comparing your food options. And if your co-workers or friends make fun of you for logging your foods during the day, tell them they can contact me and I'll show them the research that logging foods is one of the most beneficial methods of sticking to a weight loss/maintenance journey.
There are countless websites and books devoted to calories in food, restaurants and fast food, yet American's want to "guesstimate" calories when making the healthiest option. If they aren't guessing calories then they are justifying the reason's for eating x-amount of calories. Furthermore, with foods claiming to be "low fat" or "no sugar added" it is easy to think you are doing great with your weight loss journey, yet see or feel no noticeable progress.
My mission right now, with the Holiday season quickly approaching, is to teach you how to appreciate the value of cooking and preparing your own meals. Guess what..you burn calories when cooking! I know it isn't like the 30 min. interval run on the treadmill but when American's need to move more, short bouts of exercise count..and so do activities around the house.
It is important to recognize what you are eating. If you are eating green bean casserole, try to figure out how many calories are in your portion. You don't have to avoid the casserole, just factor in those calories to the sum calories for your meal. If you want a piece of pie, how about you make the pie. Then you will know exactly what you are eating and how much of it you'd like to eat. There is no reason to feel guilty, ashamed or defeated when it comes to eating healthy. And yes, eating an occasional desert is fine on your weight loss/health journey.
This morning at swim practice a wonderful lady who swims in the other lane came up to me and said "Marni, do you ever just let loose with your healthy eating?" I didn't even have to think about it..."Nope".
To me, this is how I choose to eat for the rest of my life. There is nothing temporary about my eating and I hope with time, that I can become even more healthy and nutritious with my eating habits. If I want something sweet, I eat it. I know when to eat it, how much to it and I enjoy every bite. I don't fear food for it gives me fuel. I absolutely love to exercise and move my body and without the right types of fuel, I can't do what I love to do. With these recipe makeovers, I hope you can start to have a good relationship with food and understand that you can enjoy a little of everything and not gain weight...especially in one night. However, if you have an unhealthy relationship with food on a daily basis, you will live day after day wondering when you will ever lose weight.
For all my blog readers, I am going to make over several recipes for you to use on a daily basis or for Thanksgiving.
Here's the grocery list...tomorrow comes the recipe w/ pics :)
1 cup Tofu (not extra firm)
2 tsp. Mustard (spicy or horseradish is recommended)
1 tbsp. Fat-free sour cream
2 tbsp. Fresh chives
Walnut, Raisin and Cranberry Squares or Muffins
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. smart balance butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. grated orange zest
2 cups chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins