Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How much should a salad weigh?

      My salad weighed a pound today.  In Phase 2 of Eat For Health, Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating a pound of fruit and a pound of vegetables daily.
       Today's salad was a spinach and lettuce salad with strawberries, mandarin oranges, feta and walnuts.  I was full after I ate it, so I waited to make the rest of my lunch, which was a 2 egg veggie omelet with 2 cups of broccoli, cauliflower, chopped tomato & a tiny bit of grated cheese.  I forgot to weigh it because the missionaries came to the door right then.  But if I add in the apple and blueberries I had with breakfast, & the half banana snack, I know I've had at least 2 lbs of fruits and vegetables today.  And I'll have more with dinner. 

       As always, dinner is my challenge.  I have 6 other people to please. Nearly impossible! But I keep trying and every once in a while I get lucky.  Tonight will be spaghetti, french bread, steamed vegetables, carrot sticks and salad.  I'm thinking ice cream with strawberries on top for dessert.  (I'll probably pass on the ice-cream and do a green smoothie.)

       In some future post I think I'll take the time to weigh all my fruits and veggies in a day.  It could be over 3 pounds. That sounds like a lot of produce!

       Does anyone else eat this much produce or am I a freak of nature?  Don't answer that.  OK, do, but be kind.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm A Nicer Mom When I Exercise

I’m a nicer mom when I exercise.

I’m a nicer mom when I eat right.

        I believe that most moms (or people) don’t feel guilty about what they’re doing, they feel guilty about what they aren’t doing- that they think they should be doing. Which is probably why I’m a nicer mom, and wife, and person when I take the time to eat good healthy food and exercise. It just takes some of the stress away. Even if it’s just going on a walk. If I am feeling healthy, it’s easier to be patient, to serve others, and I feel ready to get things done.  Which is a mom’s job, right?

      This doesn’t only apply to exercise.  It applies to all aspects of our lives. We need balance in all areas.

      Last week I went to a Power of Moms retreat in Park City, UT.  It’s a day and a half retreat, kind of like a business conference for moms.  We learned about organization, creating margins in our lives, how to find joy in motherhood, the importance of creating family traditions, and about taking care of yourself.  I went with my four sisters and my mom.  I'm so excited to be back home and to apply the things that I learned.

      If that sounds like something you might like, there’s another retreat coming up in May.  Here’s the link.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Need More Phytochemicals ~ And So Do You

photo courtesy

I've been reading a lot about the Standard American Diet (the S.A.D.) - That 85% of us will die of heart disease, cancer or diabetes. - That our children's generation will be the first generation who won't outlive their parents. - And that we are causing this by what we're eating.  Does this freak anyone else out?  Or is it just me?

Don't you think it's time we look at what's wrong with the way we eat and do something about it?

We already know that most of the food out there is high in calories, but low in nutrients.  We're hungry so we grab something to eat.  If that food doesn't give our bodies the nutrients we need, we aren't satisfied and we eat more food.  The cycle continues.  We end up eating way too many calories and we still haven't satisfied our need for nutrients.

Waste products build up in our cells when we eat foods that lack antioxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals.  Without nutrients, our cells don't function normally.  Our bodies can't remove normal cellular waste. Our poor diets lay the groundwork for obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases that will eventually kill us.  The crazy thing is that this is something we can change!

"When consistently consumed in adequate quantity and variety, phytochemicals become super-nutrients in your body.  (Phytochemicals  are plant compounds that have a huge effect on human cell function and the immune system.) 
They work together to detoxify cancer-causing compounds, deactivate free-radicals, protect against radiation damage, and enable DNA repair mechanisms.  When altered or broken strands of DNA are repaired, it can prevent cancer from developing later in life."  (Dr. Joel Fuhrman in Eat For Health)

So how do we get these phytochemicals?  We eat lots of good real food like green vegetables, berries and seeds.  Dr. Fuhrman recommends setting a goal of eating at least 3 fresh fruits with your breakfast. I do this by having an apple, blueberries, strawberries and raisins in my oats every morning. When I'm eating a lot of good food I naturally tend to eat less of the bad.  It makes me happy to eat this way knowing that I'm treating my body right and strengthening my immune system.  I've also noticed that my tastes and cravings have truly changed.  When I've just had a huge delicious spinach strawberry salad and a smoothie, I have no desire for a donut or a Coke.

Over the last few weeks I've been a little lazy about feeding myself and my family good food, so I'm rereading "Eat For Health".  It motivates me and gets me back on track. My kids and I will be running a 5K in a couple weeks, so I'm going to need all the help I can get just to keep up with them.  My kindergartner will be running it for his first time.  It should be fun!