Friday, February 24, 2012

Eating Healthy...?

Eat eggs... Don't eat eggs.  Eat carbs... Avoid carbs.  Drink water with meals... Drink water between meals with only enough at meals to get the food down.  Don't eat after 7 PM... Have a healthy snack before bed.  

It can get confusing to try to incorporate all the "good advice" out there for healthy eating.

Another problem I have with all the healthy eating advice is that it often focuses on weight loss.  I have a family I want to eat healthily, but I have some I want gaining, not losing weight.

Princess Sassy recently bought The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged.  She has long been interested in healthy eating, but is a definite sugar-holic.  She has been after me to check into this way of eating, because she and Prince Steadfast claim that after just a few days of eating as advised in the book, they felt more energetic and awake.  She also said people commented her face looked slimmer and she felt her muscles looked more toned, even though she hadn't time to lose any significant weight, and she hadn't exercised any more than usual.  

This past weekend, while sitting through a 2 1/2 hour break in stadium bleachers (ouch) during the state wrestling tournament for which Steadfast was coaching, I skimmed through the book, since Sassy had it in her bag.  

It shares some of the weight-loss or weight-control focus of other 'diet' books, but is more about eating natural, nutritious foods, and revitalizing your metabolism.  The author is against 'dieting' just to get to a certain weight, and encourages that 'Eating Clean' become a way of life.

I'm not sure there is much in the book I didn't already know or believe.  For the most part, we even do most of it.  There is one practice I wasn't really familiar with, or hadn't thought of, and that's her liberal use of the whites of hard-boiled eggs as sort of a protein supplement for many snacks and meals.  For instance, she starts her day with oatmeal and berries, accompanied by 4 egg whites... From hard-boiled eggs with yolks removed and fed to her dogs.  (She eats only a few yolks per week.)  I'm not sure I agree with discarding so many yolks, at least for my kids, but it sure could make multiple hard-boiled eggs easier to get down.

Her principles with which I agree (but always need re-reminding to follow): 

  • Eat whole (unprocessed) foods, free of preservatives and additives, as much as possible.
  • Eat a good breakfast, within an hour of rising.
  • Eat several small meals a day instead of 3 large ones.
  • Every meal should include lean protein and complex carbohydrates.
  • Drink lots of water... As many ounces to equal half your weight in pounds.  Weigh 150 pounds?  Drink 75 ounces of water.

She also has me thinking about getting up with my early-risers, who usually see to their own breakfast, making it for them, and eating with them.  She says this will make a difference in the family, and I believe that.  If family dinners are so important, why not family breakfasts, too?  
You now know Prince Inventive...
Why have only one waffle, when he
can layer 2?  :-)
The time each usually takes to make their own meal can be spent eating more leisurely, and doing a bit of family bonding before starting the day.  Maybe I can get the '2nd shift' to get up earlier and join in, too.  Or maybe I'll just do it twice.

This particular author seems to make reasonable sense.  One thing I like about her eating plan is that it allows for jumping in with both feet, going 'cold turkey' on bad eating habits, or for wading in, and making a couple positive adjustments at a time.  There is freedom for going off track once in awhile.  She leaves room for real people to eat a favorite treat now and then.  She drinks a cup of coffee every day, knowing there are negatives to doing so... but she likes it.  She is just careful to make up for the diuretic effect with enough water and good foods to replace the minerals the caffeine my flush away.  In this way she is an example of making choices and adjustments so that we may be free to include certain things we aren't willing to give up.  --Unless, perhaps, that's daily French fries or trying to fill all our liquid needs with Pepsi.

The author, Tosca Reno, has many in her series of Eat Clean books.  I am particularly interesting in checking out  The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids: Simple Strategies for Lasting Health and Fitness, in hopes it will answer how Hubby and I can do weight loss and control, while the kids eat enough to fill the energy needs of sports and growth.
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