Six Easy Ways to Make Your Family' s Favorite Meals Healthier

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Six Easy Ways to Make Your Family' s Favorite Meals Healthier


For the most part, we are creatures of habit and most of our kids don’t want to try ‘new’ things… So in trying to educate our children and train their taste buds towards foods that will keep them healthy, it’s best if we sort of ‘fool’ them into eating healthier by simply improving the health  quality of the family favorites that they are already accustomed to.  Why take the trouble? Do you know how many of our children are now starting out life overweight? Do you know why? Believe me…it’s time to break with our culture…and do things different. Just cause everyone else is jumping off a cliff, children in tow, doesn’t mean we have to!  Here’s what Carol Simontacci, author of ‘Your Fat is Not Your Fault’ says about what she calls “The Fattening of America”….

“If your overweight, chances are you’re not a glutton, but you probably do eat too many nonfoods. Some nutritionists call these foods ‘food artifacts,” or products made by human workmanship. These are substances that are not naturally present in the world and were not part of our ancestor’s diets.

If you look at supermarket stats, you’ll see what Americans are buying—and it isn’t food!  We’re eating more pseudofood now than ever in the the history of the world! And don’t think your body doesn’t know the difference. That entree may taste and smell like real food, but your body knows otherwise, and it knows where to store every toxic molecule.  All the low-fat this and low-fat that, the sugar substitute here and the fat substitute there will not solve your fat problem.

   Over 75 percent of the food products sold in our supermarkets are either nutritionally dead or nutritionally toxic. We don’t bury that dead food; we store it on our hips, waists, and chests, pound after pound after pound. Why build more toxic waste dumps in this country when we can use our bodies instead?”


What happens when we eat this stuff?  Carol says, “When we eat foods our bodies can’t use, or foods that contain artificial ingredients; when our digestive systems do not sufficiently break down the foods into usable parts, the liver is required to handle an excessive amount of toxic waste for which it is not prepared. And most of us don’t drink enough water or eat enough fiber for the colon and kidneys to perform their vital functions, and waste materials build up in the colon to be reabsorbed into the body.   Fat performs an important function in the body by storing all this excess toxic waste.

Logic tells us that if we clean up our diets and eat pure foods, including 30 to 40 grams of fiber a day, drink eight to ten glasses of water, and avoid synthetic chemicals as much as possible, our bodies will not have to build storage depots on our hips and bellies to handle an unnecessary load of toxic waste.”  In other words, friends, Fat has to encase these toxins to keep them out of our systems! No toxins…less fat in all the wrong places!

Six weeks ago, I decided to take Carol seriously and say No to junk food, sugar, fast food, bread and other man-made non-foods (except homemade whole grain wheat bread).  Guess where I lost the first ten pounds?  My hips, stomach, and other lumpy bumpy places.  Not only that, but my energy level skyrocketed! My hubby, who is very thin, was feeling so sluggish that he decided to quit eating the junk too. He said he feels better than he has in years and he looks less drained and dehydrated. So obviously the junk food affects us all whether we have fast metabolisms or slow.

Even if our kids aren’t overweight now, if they keep eating junk…they will be later down the road, or like my dear hubby, they’ll just be exhausted and worn down by the time they hit middle age. We feel like we’ve gotten a new lease on life! But convincing our kids to change is another issue all together!  Hence the reason for today’s article…We need to make gradual changes and wean our kids off this stuff.


The biggest thing you can do to improve your meal’s health factor is to cook from scratch. The fact is that if it’s in a box or a bag or has Carol Simontacci (nutritionist) says, “Don’t eat it!” It’s probably not good for you!  I's time consuming..but our country is in a crisis...and we need to spend more time on this issue! Our children's future health and quality of life are depending on our willingness to make this a priority. 

Second, replace the BAD fats with GOOD fats Don’t buy fatty meats…but instead choose lean meats. Instead get your fat from good sources like real butter, olive oil, canola oil, and lots of nuts for snacks, even avocado slices to get the good fat that actually lowers cholesterol and gives you the energy you need.  This will cut out the hunger factor and avoid so much need to snack. Even your skin will be softer!  Don’t eat or use saturated fats if you can at all avoid them…and of course, fried foods are pretty much a disaster… so avoid them as much as possible.

Third, have a good source of protein at every meal! This will keep you from having a carb heavy diet that causes insulin rush and food cravings..leading to excess snacking of the junk food.  Spend less on junk and more on lean meats, low fat cheeses (the only thing worth buying low-fat), eggs, turkey bacon or protein drinks (look for ones without the excess chemicals), tuna, fish, poultry etc.  Sandwiches are more bread than anything else and without protein will lead to excess hunger and cravings.  Make chunky soups with lots of meat and veges, that can sit in the fridge and be eaten easily and packed for on the go if needed.  I keep at least one cold roasted chicken in the fridge just for snacking purposes.

Fourth, add lightly cooked vegetables to every meal and keep raw veges  ready to eat for snacks in between meals.  Plan to have two thirds of the meal be veges to one third meat.  Be creative! There’s all kinds of ways to add veges to a dish…get the kids used to chunkier sauces, add veges to casseroles, etc.

Fifth, cut out the sugar!! Provide lots of fruit, ready to eat, for dessert instead of nutritionally worthless pastries, chips and snacks.  If you can’t leave the sugar out of your main dishes altogether, at least use a natural substitute like Truvia or Stevia.  But skip the baked products as much as possible.  I buy one back of chips for the week and one bottle of soda—we’re still in the weaning stage. When those are gone…they’re gone! Then I keep lots of fruit on hand.  We thought it was going to cost a lot, but surprise! When the fruit was there and the bread, cookies, chips, and soda were gone…they ate it…and forgot to complain!

Last, substitute GOOD CARBS for BAD CARBS in your main dishes and side dishes.  Oatmeal and Oat flower, Brown rice, Pearled barley, sweet potatoes and protein fortified pasta will not spike blood sugar levels nearly as much and won’t cause the cravings that normal pasta, white flour, rice, and white potatoes do.  Be aware..Gluten Free Pasta is HIGH on the glycemic index!

These are habits that we need to instill in our lives and the lives of our children. Yes it’s easier to just eat readily available quick cook precooked food…but the price we pay in terms of health and fitness for the rest of our lives is simply not worth the convenience and time saving. Make some time for you and your children’s health…it’s an investment that will pay off for life!

I’ll post Carol’s recipes this evening, but here’s my menu plan for this week….
Comin’ Homes  Menu Plan for May 25-31
  • Roasted turkey breast, roasted asparagus, Baked Sweet Potato
  • Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole, Sauteed Broccoli
  • Healthy Salisbury Steak, Baked Potato without fat, Basic Salad
  • Roasted Chicken with Mushroom Gravy, Roasted Veges
  • Lemon Pepper Halibut, Steamed Rice, Roasted Asparagus,
    Pumpkin Pie (1 small piece per person)

Sunday Dinners:
Roast Beef w/Roasted rosemary tossed whole greenbeans, new potatoes, and carrots
Skirt-Steak Fajitas with Sautéed Peppers and Onions  (go easy on the canola oil!)
(use corn tortillas instead of flour if allergic to wheat)

Photo Credits for most pictures: Photo

Happy Homemaking!


Laura said...

Good Mornin' Donna!
Great post...we didn't actually take this kind of info seriously until my husband went to the doctor...and his high blood pressure and cholesterol level was through the roof! For the most part, we do eat very healthy...but since that news we have changed dramatically...what a blessing it has been for our family!
Have a blessed day!

Andrea said...

Hi Donna! What a great post. I try to feed my family this way. It's all great info you are sharing.

I wanted to let you know that you are the winner of the $25 gift certificate to The Freckled Bug! (Texas Blogging Gals giveaway.) Email me, we'll talk!
Thanks! Andrea

Geetha Srinivasan said...

Donna, that's a nice healthy post.
i wish i could share some healthy Indian recipes with you. Let me look into that.

And regarding our Houston visit. I would love to meet you Donna. We'll be there for an appointment on the 18th of June. So i'll mail you.

Maria Killam said...

I totally agree, my mom brought us up vegetarian and she is my DR. I call her when I'm sick to find out what to do.

Diet stuff is the worst because your body doesn't know what to do with the artificial sweetener, it kills your immune system slowly my mom says

Great thoughtful post Donna!

Donna said...

Maria, The diet stuff is worse than you know. My nutritionist, Debra Raybern, correctly diagnosed the excruciating pain in my ankles and legs as a reaction to Sweet and Low. I've used it all my life! She said that Sweet and Low and other artificial sweetners are neurotoxins.

She was right! In a week, the pain which had lasted felt like uncontrollable charly horses...just disappeared. It's only come back once. I was on the road two weeks and had to resort to sweet-n-low one time to many at restaurants. I started getting horrible pains in my ankle. I knew what to do and again, as soon as I quit using the sweet and low, the pain went away.

Melissa said...

This was a great post Donna. We are vegetarian in our family so a lot of these things are what we do on auto pilot when we shop. But we do like treats now and again, which is why I try to bake as much as I can to avoid the store bought preservative filled stuff.

If i can reccomend a movie and a coupe books?
Movie- Food Inc. many have already seen this, but for those that haven't it is an eye opener.
Fast food Nation - It is a dry read sometimes but if you thought you knew about farming and food, you were probably wrong.
Eating Animals-It is not as righteous as one would think it gives a point of view from just about everyone who needs one in the animal husbandry business.

have a look at these and I promise you, your diet will change, for the better.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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